All posts by Rachel Chorley

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Growing up, growing down // BUMF Says

Our Article Writer Katie Charleston shares her thoughts on growing up.

It is one of the world’s commonly observed ironies that kids often wish they were adults, and adults long for the freedom and innocence of childhood. During the summer I worked at a holiday camp, and a 6 (and a half) year old told me that her Mummy often wished she were a kid again, and she asked if I felt the same. Not really, I told her. Been there, done that, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Now, I live with my best friend so it’s like having a sleep over every night, I can decide my own bedtime, and I can even have chocolate for breakfast if I really want to. This blew her mind. As soon as her Mum arrived to pick her up, the little girl proudly announced “Mummy, I can’t wait until I grow up, or you die, because Katie said that then I can have chocolate for breakfast”. Of course, this wasn’t quite the interpretation I had hoped for, and the potential heart-wrenching tragedy of losing a loved one quickly dawned on her.

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Her morbid interpretation aside, it did make me think. To these kids, I was an adult. In reality, I am nowhere near. I have often wondered whether so-called ‘adulthood’ is actually a myth. Working with children, I often marvel at their imagination, their beautifully bizarre logic and train of thought, their perception of the world untainted by the disappointments and disillusionment of life. That said I do believe that artists, designers, and any creative professional in between, maintains the right and the privilege to never really grow up. We can embrace the experiences we’ve had and lessons we’ve learned, but holding on to the imagination, confidence, blind optimism and often-necessary silliness from our childhood minds can be the key to originality and authenticity in our work.

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Just before the Vis Com third years graduated last year, I remember our technician, Scott, asking some of them if they were ready for the ‘real world’. They joked that Scott doesn’t live in the real world; he spends all day in the studio helping us, and then goes home to skateboard and eat pizza. It’s not exactly your standard 9 ‘til 5 lifestyle. But that’s what’s so great about him. I used to consider being an adult as when you pay your own bills, buy your own food, and understand mortgages, taxes and insurance policies. When you get excited about buying new bedding, or finding reasonably priced tiger bread that lasts more than a day. I recently asked my brother, who is older than me, what he thinks a grown up is. He said simply, one who is fully-grown. “I am a grown up. I have grown. Up.” I couldn’t dispute this logic. But, my brother – who for no particular reason wanted to be referred to in this article as ‘Jean-Jacques Bridlington-Smithe’ – said that he is more specifically a ‘baby grown-up’; he is a grown-up, but not an adult. “You become an adult when other grown-ups think you are one. You’re an adult when there are coppers younger than you”. Well, it’s as good a definition as any, I suppose.

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There are more official definitions of adulthood – legally, when you are no longer considered a minor, or biologically, when you reach sexual maturity. I remember being told “you’re officially an adult now” at my 16th, and 18th birthdays, and it’s inevitable for my 21st. But socially, it’s when you can be considered independent, self sufficient and responsible. Of course, we all know some adults who are none of these things, but it’s up to us to define what our own adulthood will be. Take ‘act your age’ as an invitation for interpretation. I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say working in the creative industry is not just a career, it’s a lifestyle, and a fundamental part of us as people. Maybe it’s time to take ourselves a little less seriously. Maybe it’s time take the silliness seriously. Maybe by not trying so hard to be grown up, we might learn something about ourselves. I don’t know, maybe.

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Words by Katie Charleston, Illustrations by Sarah Gomes Munro


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Blowout // BUMF Reviews

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe visits “Blowout”, an exhibition spanning from 2nd – 12th February showing the work of Callum and Liam Painter in BUMF gallery. 

This time around in our gallery, we have “Blowout”, an exhibition exploring the Bristol skate scene from the eyes of Callum and Liam Painter. I looked forward to visiting the private view for this especially as this is the first opportunity I’ve seen of work that I knew would be particularly revealing of a certain subculture. We’re all aware of stereotypes and why they exist but they’ll always limit our horizon and perception of individuals. This exhibition provided a series of windows to peek through for what the skate scene means to those inside the circle.

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For me and my hometown, the skate-park was always an intimidating space. The way the park was constructed, there was no way to subtly walk past with all the rolling and slamming of boards against the feeble attempts at what the council thought was adequate for those committed to the activity. The people that rode there were there every day. There was graffiti in respect of the person who helped get the council to build the park in the first place.

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The council spent loads on funding a heat sensitive camera so they could send the police over if anyone lit up a cigarette (in case it was anything else) but refused to build upon the space despite the evident passion for the activity. I’ve never spent more than a minute on a skateboard but to refute the importance of skate-parks to those who spend time in them would be plain ignorant of me.

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The exhibition displayed playful, simplistic flags that for me, suggested what Tyler The Creator would do if he was assigned with designing for IKEA. The photography work confidently voiced nothing more than fun and innocence, a stylistic social belonging that you can appreciate as an outsider. “This is who we are and this what we get out of it”.

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Very recently, I visited British Art Show 8 in Southampton and saw Mikhail Karikis’, “Children of The Unquiet”. The video was about a deserted town that the artist made a point of only being brought to life when filled with the presence of children. Similarities can be drawn between all the works in Blowout and Karikis’ video as often, the areas that skaters utilise are, as they aptly put it, “devalued pockets of paradise”. There’s nothing new or revealing about the spaces they’re shown to skate in except the glaring realisation that people are the only method of bringing life to a place.

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If a community can’t make the best of a space then it’s left to them to take pride in it. When I can embarrassingly admit I wouldn’t look twice at the spaces they’re skating in if they weren’t in them, there’s nothing more respectful and humbling than that, no matter your opinions on skating.

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Blowout will be in the gallery until 12th February, so there is still plenty of time to get down there and have a peek!

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Photographs by Kate Wolstenholme


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Students Against Trump

Our article writer Daisy Leigh-Phippard attended the ‘Students Against Trump’ protest at AUB today. Here’s what she had to say.

‘No tolerance for intolerance,’ said a placard from today’s peaceful protest from students. In light of the recent political events in the United States, a group of AUB and BU students met in the courtyard to express their support for those feeling concerned. The small but dedicated group could be heard from all over campus, and the rainbow flags and umbrellas were a welcome sight. Handwritten signs with the familiar slogans of ‘love wins’, ‘united we stand’ and ‘build bridges not walls’ were being waved amongst others. Both Bournemouth universities have vibrantly diverse communities openly supporting individuals of varying nationalities, genders, religions and sexualities (the AUB and BU Pride event is taking place later this month as it happens), and as an artistic community we ourselves have many outlets to express our beliefs and feelings about these uncertain political times. But as the world has demonstrated over the last few weeks, a quick way to reach people is through peaceful protest.

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‘All of us here attend universities that house international students. In light of President Trump’s recent executive order on migrants, and indeed our own prime minister’s compliance, this demonstration is to show solidarity to those ostracised. We want to have a positive demonstration to support those scared or concerned by Trump’s regime’ – Elly Markem, organiser.

Today’s event was undoubtedly inspired by countless marches and protests taking place across the globe since Trump’s inauguration. The Women’s March of January 21st had an estimated 4,956,422 people out in the streets in 673 different marches across the United States and the rest of the world. The march on Washington alone was estimated to be larger than the President’s inauguration the previous day. Even a few days ago peaceful protesters sat down in the LAX Airport after Trump signed an executive order for the Muslim Ban, resulting in numerous civilians being detained. Amongst the crowd were lawyers who were offering to provide free support and defence to anyone affected. In the UK itself we’re seeing ‘emergency demonstrations’ popping up against Trump and his regime outside Downing Street, in Brighton and other cities to make clear a very powerful response that has come out of the events of 2016.

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‘The purpose of the demonstration was to show that both Bournemouth universities, as diverse international communities, embrace difference and solidarity in the face of these troubling times. It is vital that we are seen to show love, respect and unity in the face of legitimated intolerance and fear’ – Izzie Jones, organiser.

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Despite common misconception the main points of these protests (at AUB and globally) are not to get trump’s attention or even really his supporters’, but to spread solidarity, love and hope to those who are scared and vulnerable. It doesn’t matter if you oppose Trump’s regime already, that belief can’t start to make a difference until it’s spoken. What we’ve seen from recent activism is that we are definitely not alone in this fight, but I wonder how many of us feel lonely when the breaking news icon appears on our dashboard as it so frequently is at the moment. As the organisers of the protest today made clear, they were not there to spread anger and blame, but love and support. As one placard said: ‘hate nothing at all except hate.’

Words by Daisy Leigh-Phippard, Photographs by Sophie Lawrence and Katie Emerson


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Queuers // Sarah Gomes Munro

Sarah // In this project we were told to choose locations and explore them through drawing, so I went where all students go: Lidl. I sketched there many days and from all the curious humans that perform in the food shop choreography it was the strangeness of queues that most caught my attention. From the shapes of the forming lines to the polite impatience that is so quintessentially British, there was something absolutely bizarre and fascinating happening. Through these images I wanted to explore all the peculiarities and absurdities that could happen in this strange world of queues and most of all how impatient and fraught they always seem to feel.

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Website // www.essdjiem.com

Instagram // essdjiem


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From foreigners to film // BUMF Says

Our article writer Olivia Church shares her thoughts on topics from foreigners to film: did Streep miss her mark with her Golden Globes speech?

Walking up the steps to receive her award, actress Meryl Streep made not only a speech of thankfulness but what may now be considered as a historic speech at the 2017 Golden Globes: ‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence’. She was referring to, of course, the doings of then President Elect Donald Trump, who despite his behaviour and questionable attitudes throughout the election period, became one of the most powerful men in the world on Friday 20th August.

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The speech itself was heartfelt and passionate and for once, was not an act. Her words were largely well received by her Hollywood peers as well as public and it was perhaps, to a degree, a chance for someone to say what we were all thinking. This was opportunity for us to prepare for change whether we liked it or not. Streep is highly regarded in her field anyway and celebrities like her often use their position to highlight ongoing problems today – she even made her support for Hillary Clinton known throughout the chaotic months of campaigning. Her power seemed to come from pain, which sounds like a piece of acting direction from Steven Speilberg, but it nonetheless carried the speech forward and created strong foundations. She was able to remove barriers that had been put up many months before and instead remind people of their importance and contribution in American society.

There is disputably a flip-side to Streep’s motives: was she right to use one the most prestigious awards ceremony on the film’s industry’s calendar as an opportunity to cast her political views? Arguably Streep may have misinterpreted the atmosphere that event and instead of choosing to celebrate film and everyone who worked so hard to make this medium so respected, Streep took the opportunity to voice her concerns about the current state of American politics. Knowing that the Golden Globes would be a televised media hot spot and social media is only a few mouse clicks or finger taps away, Streep’s profile would have been boosted more than ever and make her the talk of the town, shifting the political climate once more. Knowing Streep, she may shrug her shoulders with a ‘let ‘em talk’ kind of ease, but her actions could have surely repelled some people – badly timed shots of other glum looking actors and actresses interspersed throughout Streep’s monologue wouldn’t have helped either. The thought of another celebrity telling us what we should and should not be doing is bound to make some heads turn in the other direction.

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It should be noted, however, that a lot of Streep’s points do, in fact, ring true to students this university. I hope people feel fortunate to be in a safe university environment where diversity is celebrated and no one is demanding to see your birth certificate. Personally, I have noticed in my time here that simply because one person may study a certain subject does not mean you cannot cross into another discipline or even collaborate with other students to enrich the quality and creativity in your work. Similarly, with Streep, her job title does not mean that she does not have the intellectual capacity to talk about a subject a world away from her own. It is her fame that makes her outlook seem undesirable to the wider audience but strip that back, there is one woman with one opinion who wants to express it to the people around her. I can’t help but feel that ultimately movies have socio-political contexts and themes that continue to spoil our world today. Streep admitted that what she witnessed was not in a movie but was in real life and while film may not be real life, film is a representation of a reality told by people like Streep who want to want to preserve the truth as much as possible.

Words and Illustrations by Olivia Church


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Behind Closed Doors // Caz Dyer

Caz// The fashion editorial series “Behind Closed Doors” original concept was based around the narrative of a woman who, although wealthy, is incredible lonely having deal with a husband that shows her no attention or appreciation. As she is waiting for him to take her out for the evening she catches the sight of him out the window of him with another women. After battling with the emotional pain he has caused her, in her rage she murders him. She is haunted by what she has done and is slowly driven mad. In this madness she finds peace within the dark corners of the house she now possesses.

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Inspiration for this project was taken from photographers such Gregory Crewdson, Olivia Beasley and Frank Herholdt. Visually each photo is revealing an aspect of the narrative and though not being completely literal, within each frame there are subtle hints of other characters in the story and what becomes of them. The shoot was done over 2 days and set in a Manor House in Cornwall. The clothing was chosen and styled by Jemima Smale (@jemimaeloisefashion) a Fashion student in Plymouth. The model in the images is Layla Dawn (@laylaladawn) who has a solid career as a dancer. Assisting was the very talented Stefano Naddeo photographer (@s_naddeophotography) who is studying Commercial Photography alongside myself.

Instagram // cazdyer_


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Vanity & Reflections of the Soul // Olivia Russell

Olivia //As part of my first submission for my third year studying Make-up for Media and Performance at AUB, I had complete creative freedom to create whatever I was interested in. While studying various forms of vanity for my dissertation I was inspired to create something that could potentially fit the themes that Oscar Wilde had included in his novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. Using Dorian’s character as inspiration, I designed a female character who’s soul was reflected not by a painting, but through a mirror. Oliver Parker’s film adaptation of Dorian Gray featured a portrait that used syphilis as its main focal point for the grotesque appearance of Dorian’s soul, whereas I wanted to take a more delicate approach.

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I created silicon prosthetics for my model’s face which featured cracked porcelain-like skin with an added shine over the top, which were all sculpted from scratch from reference images of old broken dolls.
As I was sticking to an 18th Century theme, I restructured and knotted the front half of a synthetic wig, as well as constructed a wire hair frame to achieve the beautiful height that 18th century wigs had.

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The outcome of the hair and make-up was something I am very proud of, and it was all tied together with the beautiful costumes that Heather Filby and Ella Grace Osborne (AUB Costume) had created in their first year. Collaboration is key with these types of project, as more often than not, the costume brings a whole new level to a character!

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A brilliant MA film crew filmed a short 1 minute clip of my beautiful porcelain creation in action to convey the story behind it. I wanted to make it clear that this young girl is blinded by her own self obsession and traditional sense of vanity, and that there are consequences to this kind of narcissism, which here is reflected on her true appearance of her soul.

A special shout out to all of those involved with this project, as the team made it all a reality!
Claire Hefford (Assisting MUA)
Heather Filby (Costume)
Ella Grace Osborne (Costume)
Lexie Voitovich (Model)
Sam Klein (Editor)
Przemek Przystup (DoP)
Jade Spowart (Photographer)

Website // www.oliviarussellfx.co.uk

Instagram // OliviaRussellFX


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A Painting Exhibition // BUMF Reviews

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe visits ‘A Painting Exhibition’.

In Bournemouth Gardens on Friday 13th, we had ’A Painting Exhibition’ curated by our very own artist in residence, Sian Hutchins. The exhibition consisted of twenty-one artists tasked with challenging the medium of paint. Historically, paint has been a palette, a brush and a canvas. Sian’s exhibition didn’t disprove that but highlighted that even a process with such a history as painting can also adapt in the modern world. Back a few hundred years and the most people had on the subject of the arts was composing music, drawing and painting, universally something reserved for the upper class to indulge into as a hobby. Even then, we could say that sound and image have grown up alongside each other and only now, in a time where art is more widely accessible, can we fully explore that.

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Aptly located in The Band Stand, the works were required to incorporate sound in some way. Some considered it in the process, others found a direct way to involve it in their outcome. Impressive turnout for such chilly weather, fantastic support for events like this are crucial to holding more of them! There were interactive installations and performance pieces for people to get their teeth into. Boundaries were pushed as one set of works were made using different concentrations of carbon, which when used in conjunction with the accompanying interactive installation, provided different sounds. A minimalist catalogue of the works included contributions from John Baldessari and Alison Carlier. The pioneering conception of this exhibition and the thoughtfulness of each artist’s work was overwhelmingly evident, as each person could walk away rethinking what it means to take something and make it their own, as well as considering how other familiar mediums might transform in the near future.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe // Photographs by Kate Wolstenholme


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The Art of Being Happy // BUMF Says

Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe shares her thoughts on the art of being happy.

Those clever clogs over at the London School of Economics published something I feel is rather important. According to them, the art of being happy is all about mental health and relationship status. The same team of researchers also discovered that money and material wealth have very little impact on our overall happiness levels.

Now, very recently I was assessed for a presentation on the anxiety-inducing effects of capitalism. It inspired an article for BUMF which was posted before Christmas that you can have a look at here. It was all about how we’re encouraged to stay indoors on our devices and to swallow the everyday pressures of life as though they’re normal. We often feel at fault for not handling them when in reality, those responsible for creating the systems that upset us are at fault. Our assessments and academic success, our job performance reviews, our financial worries. These are just some of the big things that loom over our heads for extended periods of time.

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LSC researchers found that mental health was by the far the largest influence on life satisfaction, with depression and anxiety accounting for approximately twenty percent. Last week, I made a plea for us artists to respond to our shared stresses, to create work about it, to reveal the public secret that we’ve all felt but not spoken about. I’m turning that plea into a formal request. I don’t think it takes a genius to point out a link between mental health and art (but in case you need more proof, you can have a lookie here). With that in mind, what are you waiting for?

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We’ve got all the communication skills you could ever need. Paint, word, video, photo, performance, clothing, sound. Everything that catches your eyes and ears every day and we’re here being taught how to manipulate it. We’ve got the tools, all we need now is the means. The researchers responsible for this information asked for “a new focus for public policy: not ‘wealth creation’ but ‘wellbeing creation’.”

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This isn’t some “Illuminati” rubbish, this is real life. This is what we’re all going through on the daily and there’s something we at AUB can do about it. In their report, the authors note that life satisfaction among the general population has been the single biggest predictor of the outcome of European elections since the 1970s. When we feel helpless or down, we’ll either act in protest or follow the crowd under the notion that we “have no choice so we might as well”. I’m not going to state my own political opinions but I think Brexit is a good metaphor for this. How can we as a country be as divided as 48% and 52%? At least a landslide either side would have proved me wrong, or that there was some evidence that we as a country knew where we were going. It’s time to get out of the fog. What do you want from life? LSC has just narrowed down that list for you, your iPhone and your Topshop jeans are only going to keep you happy for so long. We know our virtual selves on Instagram and Facebook are neither accurate or healthy for us. So what are you going to do about it?

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I’m often described as optimistic. I’ll say “why can’t they just do this?” and my mum will say something like “only in an ideal world Britt”. It’s annoying. She’s right, we aren’t in an ideal world but we could be. Tell me I’m not being ridiculous. I reckon we all just need a big kick up the bum to get started. Okay, this is it, this is your kick up the bum. The researchers calculated that abolishing depression and anxiety would be four times more effective at ending misery than raising all incomes. Yay! We don’t need to live that big baller lifestyle that only the top one percent can afford to be happy. Now, eliminating these disorders isn’t possible right now. Boo! Although…the authors found that treating anxiety and depression costs 18 times less than raising people above the poverty line. We may have found a cost-effective way of reducing misery and with research like this being published, the word is getting out. We’re waking up. How’s that for a light at the end of the tunnel.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Illustrations by Laura Franx