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Persephone // Immy Howard

Immy// After celebrating a recent hat making project hand in for a pantomime a few months ago, I wanted to get back into drawing again, so decided to create this piece based on my interests outside of university, now I had some free time to do so. I am very interested in art nouveau paintings, fantasy and 1970s psychedelic patterns, so wanted to combine these in a kaleidoscopic detailed drawing that has a lot of elements to look at. I really enjoyed making this and found the whole process quite therapeutic, completing the piece in about 3/4 days. However, whilst working on this, I found that I could always be adding more detail and building the drawing up in layers, which, although enjoyable, made it quite hard to put down when deciding to stop working on it. I gave myself a bit of a challenge to fill the entire page (didn’t quite manage it but my eyes started to go a bit crazy after a while!) and found it quite difficult at first to maintain the symmetry of the piece, but managed to get the hang of it a bit more as I went along. The piece itself isn’t perfectly symmetrical as I just did it by eye, but I think that is all part of the process, and didn’t mind if there were more ‘organic’ elements in the drawing. I enjoy working in this style very much, and hope to create more of a series of these illustrations, based around different themes and characters. I would also like to experiment with the level of detail in each piece so there is more of an evolutionary process when looking at the series. I called this drawing ‘Persephone’ based after the Greek Goddess of spring and Queen of the Underworld. I enjoy creating a bit of a story when drawing, and am currently working on a nautical themed piece that I think will fit well alongside this one. It is quite a time consuming process, but something I have a lot of patience with. I enjoy working in detail in my university projects, and like the idea of there always being something to discover when looking at a piece of work.

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Social media:
Instagram @immyhoward


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Skin // Ellen Taylor

Ellen// My work alternates between abstraction and representation and explores the haptic materiality of the photographic surface, creating primary forms and saturated colour. This current final major project, SKIN, is documenting the surface of the photographic medium. This is done using the macroscope facilities in the Photography Department focusing on the extreme detail of the subject and being able to produce both digitalised and analogue results. These images aim to reveal the sculptural properties of photography and its medium by creating structures only using photographic paper. After being photographed, the detail of a photographs surface is revealed and each individual grain can be clearly seen. This work has been majorly influenced by the developments of photograph as object in current contemporary photography which has been shown in many recent exhibitions such as Paris Photo where photographers are exploring the tactile nature of the medium and treating photographic medium as an object.

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My practice throughout this unit has been extremely experimental at looking how I could reveal the surface of the photograph in an abstract way. Most of my image making has been from scrunching photographic paper and even burning the layers to reveal more sculptural properties of the medium which are then photographed. I have managed to create a large body of work that will hopefully be featured in a book that will be presented as part of my final outcomes for my final year studying Photography at AUB.


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Time Capsule // Creative Events Management

The first thing that springs to mind when you think of Creative Events Management is teamwork. This whole degree is centred around people’s ability to distribute and assume responsibility to put on an event. It’s a very hands on course in which the students learn a lot through actually doing, with one live event every year that grow steadily more complex alongside the students’ ambition and confidence. With each event students must manage all aspects from branding and marketing, to fundraising to the execution.

Phil Beards, the course leader, further explained how industry was at the heart of the course’s organisation. As well as the live event, students have work placement in their second year. They also keep up with contemporary developments in the subject area such as pop-ups or the digital aspect to putting on an event, from social media marketing to app prototyping.

 

“You really get a proper feel of the real world”

 

The course gives you the tools but you must build the castle. As with all creative degrees, there is a lot of freedom in regards to what is actually organised and how exactly it will engage the audience in a creative way.  For instance, the 1st year live project we visited decided to host an artist led workshop in a park for children on a sunny Sunday.

Students learn something new with every unit and every responsibility undertaken but what seems to be the most important lesson is adaptability. Preparing in advance for everything that could go wrong as well as needing to find quick solutions for unexpected problems are key in making a smooth going event (as well as adding a bit of spice to their day!).

 

“We bounce off each other as a team”

 

Alongside adaptability comes organisation and communication, a team will only function when it speaks clearly to each other. This also means the course opens itself up more readily to collaboration, artistic contributions from other courses at AUB or else on-the-day helpers are common amongst a creative event. As a result, this is quite a social course and it was smiles all around as the workshop went ahead.

 

Putting on an event from planning to execution takes more than is expected, fitting therefore that many people come from unexpected backgrounds. Not everybody has had the chance before this degree to work in events management but they all have the passion and dedication for it. They work as a team to get everything off the ground and despite the vision, sometimes it is only when the final result is right in front of them that they truly realise what they have achieved.

 

            “Seeing everything put together is very rewarding”

 

Sometimes it might seem a bit difficult to see how you can be creative amidst all the risk assessment, phone calls, emails and group discussions but it’s always there, and as one of the few Creative Events Management degrees in the country, it gives you the chance to do just that.

 

            “we do ideas”


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Debating Effectively // Abbie James

 

Article Writer Abbie James talks Debating: What is it for, and How Can We Debate Effectively?

A couple of months ago an interview was posted on the Channel 4 Youtube channel. This video depicts a debate between Jordan B Peterson, a Clinical Psychologist from Canada, and Cathy Newman, the Channel 4 Presenter. The debate is mainly situated around Peterson’s controversial views on gender, and Cathy’s dispute of these views.

Now, before I continue I want to warn you that I am not going to be discussing the correctness, or incorrectness of either opinion displayed in this interview, I am simply exploring concepts that were brought up that I found I personally connected with, and the nature of debate itself as a concept. What has become so interesting about this particular interview for so many people is that there are techniques used within the thirty minutes, that display a lot about presentation of self, eloquence, and discussion.

While watching the video I found myself questioning what it means to present ourselves. As a woman myself, I can somewhat relate to what Newman is trying to say within the discussion, but I do not relate to her behaviour. You can tell that Newman is becoming more and more agitated the closer to the end of the interview we get, and her debating technique is suffering due to this. She has been called out by many for her use of the ‘Strawman fallacy’, which is identified by the tendency to dispute the imagined opinions of your opponent, as opposed to disputing their actual opinions; hence the idea that you are attacking a straw man and not a real individual.

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I was thinking that we can all learn a lot from Newman’s situation, regardless of whether we agree with her or not. How we behave in a debate says a lot about our identities, as does the specific language that we use. A common phrase that comes up in the conversation between these two is Newman saying ‘So you’re saying that…’. This phrase alone is what sums up her agenda in the conversation. When using language like this, we encourage this idea that we are accusing someone or immediately attempting to overrule what they have previously said, regardless of whether we understand it or not. I think that Newman’s approach did not allow her to fully absorb the conversation and be present within it because she did not show that she was listening to Peterson.

Throughout the interview Newman repeats herself numerous times, despite Peterson’s explanations, and she digs herself (honestly) into a bit of a hole, that she later struggles to get out of. When you enter into a conversation with someone who does not agree with you it makes a whole world of difference whether you are able to engage properly with the other individual. If Newman had taken each sentence as it came and listened a little closer perhaps she would not be in a situation where she appeared so aggressive (and in my opinion unprofessional) towards Peterson. Being taken seriously as a professional is an issue that women find themselves faced with very often, and by communicating the way she did, Newman did not help this case particularly. She distracted the viewer with her aggression and argument style, instead of what she actually had to say. She went into that interview with the aim of creating conflict with Peterson, and asking him to defend a viewpoint that he disputes multiple times that he does not have. She has been criticised by fans of Peterson, and also non-fans, for this behaviour.

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So…what do we do to present ourselves well in a debate? Losing sight of effective debate techniques is becoming increasingly common in our generation, from what I can see. Individuals are arguing via the Straw man technique left, right and centre, instead of listening to each other and engaging in proper, conclusive discussion.  By doing even little things such as arranging our postures correctly we can change how we are perceived. (I know, you’re getting flashbacks to school practise interviews when body language and eye contact is repeatedly emphasised.) However, by displaying ourselves as relaxed and non-confrontational, our bodies actually respond, and help to make us feel more relaxed and less confrontational. This allows us to more easily listen, reply to, and process what is said.

What we can also do is talk respond to things that we do not have knowledge of in a way that diffuses, instead of suggests defensive behaviour. For example, we can ask for more information to ensure that we have a fuller understanding of the other person’s viewpoint, or we could simply say that we do not know, as opposed to responding in anger or offence about something someone has accused us of.

What holds a lot of worth, and that seems like a simple answer, is taking. Our. Time. It makes so much difference in the way we respond to others when we take time to properly process what they have just said, and what we believe in response. During the recent UK Election I was present during a debate about new policies and new powers, and it became increasingly apparent in this conversation that it was going nowhere. The two people were simply throwing words at each other without taking the time to think about what they really thought. At one point, I’m pretty sure one person was arguing for something they didn’t even believe in, because they simply got caught up in the argument. It is hard to not get hot headed and involved sometimes, but taking a deep breathe and a pause can really make or break your side.

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I have noticed that in recent debates surrounding Brexit or Trump, there has been a distinct lack of understanding the other person’s view. In order to reach a point where we can actually sort things out, maybe we need to engage with those we do not quite understand? It seems that many people are more interested in taking a side and fighting for it, than actually learning about the cause and the debate that they are fighting in. And so I say…empathy! Listen to the other person and try to understand their point of view, even if you disagree with it. In fact…especially if you disagree with it! Showing empathy towards other’s opinions can not only allow for a more successful debate, but can also allow for personal growth. This does not mean that you have to accept or agree with what they have said, but it does mean that you can understand it, which ultimately is extremely beneficial for both sides of a debate.

“You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth…It’s been rather uncomfortable…You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell’s going on, and that is what you should do, but you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me. And that’s fine. I think – more power to you as far as I’m concerned.”

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I am finishing on this quote from the interview because I feel that it is the most interesting part of their conversation. What Peterson says, is that, essentially, Newman already agrees with his point of view. He does this by exampling their exact conversation, and it leaves Newman in a position where she doesn’t have a response, because she does agree with what he has said.

Being able to view the other person this way in a debate is a strength. It means that you are willing to acknowledge and understand what the other person is saying and doing, but also shows them that they agree with your point. Debate isn’t about attacking another person, it is about discussion and learning. Debate allows us to communicate with people we may not normally communicate with, but it does not always work if we act in certain ways.

If you want to watch the full interview yourself, you can view it here on Channel 4’s Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/aMcjxSThD54

Words by Abbie James, Illustrations by Jacob Heylen

 


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Time Capsule // Fashion

The sun shone in through the ceiling high windows on the 3rd year Fashion students, scissors flashed as shapes were cut out and the space was a hive of activity as they put their garments together.

 

Putting them together however is only one aspect of what this course entails. Students are taught a comprehensive list of skills surrounding the making of clothes from knitting, to sowing to digital creation of garments, as such they can fully understand the process from sketch to finished piece. With such broad teaching, students sometimes find a new avenue they had never considered before, pursuing new professional goals. This diversity is one of the courses key aspects, with specialist tutors, the option to either follow a making or communication path (fashion journalism for example) and taught skills, there is great focus on finding your own distinct voice across the sea of fabric.

 

“What is YOU in it?”

 

Speaking to Iain Archer, the course leader, this only became clearer. This degree is made to put students in the right lane for whatever aspect of Fashion they want to pursue afterwards. With lots of possibility for specialization and keeping up with the industry, each term builds on the last. Students gain more skills and knowledge so that when they leave they are their own brand.

 

“We give you core skills, you show us how you can do them differently”

 

Such a varied degree attracts people for different reasons, however what runs throughout is the hard work and dedication shown by the students. Driven, they are often the first on campus and the last to leave, working when they can so that they can step back from their finished outfit and have the hallelujah moment of seeing it all come together right before their eyes. At the end of it, they look back with pride on the whole journey.

 

“You come in, you get here. It’s down to you”

 

Good communication, authentic vision and rule breaking; this is what is found in the Fashion students, sometimes they have even come from completely unrelated backgrounds but what drives them on and keeps them practicing is quite simply their passion for fashion.

 

 


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Simultaneous Instances of the Self // Amy Rose Rumbold

Amy// This project is about the constructed self: a mimesis of the performed self before the camera. These are a series of self-portraits where the subject, myself, is simultaneously exposed and camouflaged; as to reveal the subject whilst it hides in plain sight. the portraits have multiple layers which make my appearance complicated but also recognisable. The work is a critique of today’s selfie culture and the individual’s social media presence; whereby we photograph ourselves specifically for presenting them on sites to allow our lives to be viewed in a specific, constructed light. We are captured and viewed as we want to be captured and viewed; a different version of ourselves, performed for the camera. With each self image we build our own visual narrative. A self-portrait shows a person in one of their many states, therefore I have created an amalgamation of images of myself within a single frame, of a self that cannot be depicted in a solitary, unedited photograph. The work combines the traditional studio setting and process for portrait-taking, with digital manipulation software that allow me to mould my visual narrative into a specific, devised form.

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Website / social media:
Website https://www.amyroserumbold.com

Instagram @amyroserumbold


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Different Styles for Different Souls

Article Writer Daisy Leigh-Phippard talks personal styles and identity.

I’m one of those people that like having objects to display what they like. Amongst the various deer paraphernalia around my room, I’ve got postcards, figurines and clothes to show anyone who comes into my room my tastes. Notice the Princess Mononoke poster on the wall, the big star map, the signed Tillie Walden print and my little BB-8 on the bookshelf in front of the books I insisted I couldn’t live without. Turn around and you’ll see the Tintin postcards, the Game of Thrones pillow and the Moomin mug. I’m not exactly subtle in my fandoms. But, if everyone was as decorative with what they enjoyed as I was, their rooms would be completely different.

We all like and enjoy different things because of different reasons. Our inclinations first and foremost; what we feel like we gravitate towards or might have a talent in. But also because of our environments and past experiences. I probably wouldn’t be learning to be a filmmaker if my parents hadn’t shown me science fiction movies since before I could speak. Now, it’s what I want to spend the rest of my life doing and I do instinctively gravitate towards a lot of it. But I wonder if things would’ve been different if I’d grown up around sports or something else.

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That’s not to say that we always like the things we grow up around. My parents talked about politics a lot when I was younger, and until a few years ago I detested even the mention of it, I was so tired of hearing it (ironic, don’t you think, considering the world we live in now). I realise how incredibly lucky I was to have parents who were enthusiastic about the subject I loved and encouraged me all the way. It only helped me cultivate and explore the passion I had for it. All in all, I’ve managed to find a nice little corner of the industry that fits in with my interests and philosophies.

That being said, I also think it’s interesting how we can enjoy things that are problematic. At the moment everyone’s asking if art can be separated from the artist; Harvey Weinstein has called into question whether we can love something made by morally corrupt individuals – anyone else itching to say criminal? It’s an issue people have been choosing sides on since we’ve been creating art; the idea that the Hollywood producer was the first person to do something disgusting and get away with it for a long time it is ridiculous. Does that mean we should shun their work? Does it change the quality of that work in the first place? Does it even matter who the artist is once the artwork is out in the world? In this particular case, I think film requires so much collaboration that you can’t call it one individual’s work.

But it also depends on the artist themselves; take Sylvia Plath, a famously honest poet. It feels like her actual personality has been printed into words and preserved on the page. Other artists blend and experiment so much that their style isn’t so personal. Should that come into whether you enjoy it? Honestly, I don’t know. I think a piece of art is enjoyable because some part of it speaks to us, regardless of the weaknesses that may surround that element.

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A lot of things I love aren’t necessarily feminist, racially diverse or revolutionary in battling tough themes. And they shouldn’t all have to be: a film set in a rich boy’s boarding school in 1980s America probably isn’t going to have lots of people or colour and strong female leads. That story is valid on its own. But when you only ever see the same cast of characters again and again, it becomes a problem. You could argue in our current media climate, it’s near impossible to find something that’s perfectly rounded. I enjoy testing boundaries and exploring things we don’t often see in more independent projects when it comes to film. But the newest Disney remake has its audience, and if you’re in it that’s great.

I don’t know why we shame people for their personal preferences. If it’s overtly racist, sexist, homophobic etc., that’s one thing, but if you just enjoy a good old action thriller, what’s the problem? In the end, everyone liking different things is good. If we all listened to the same music and read the same books, we’d only ever be seeing the same things being made again and again. As artists, we have our own styles built up from our personal influences. If all those influences were the same, none of us would have any originality anymore. We’d all be painting the Mona Lisa, writing Lord of the Flies and listening to Beethoven. It’d be some high-quality artwork, but it’d be boring if that was all there was.

Words by Daisy Leigh-Phippard, Illustrations by Emilie Muggleton


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Submission // Anne Lesch

Anne// This project was an awareness campaign for Alzheimer’s disease. I wanted to show the harsh reality of what the disease is actually like and the distortion it causes on the brain of the victim. I used my Grandmother (who suffers of severe Alzheimer’s disease) as the subject matter of this project. I used scans from all of her old family photos and distorted them to create the effect of forgetting a person. I used photos from family holidays – to wedding photos. In one of the images you cannot see her own face, I wanted to emulate the fact that this disease has effected her so much she cannot speak, and I do not think she even knows who she is.

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Website / social media:
@toe___b @toby_trush


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Edit 54 Print Auction // BUMF Reviews

Our article writer, Abbie James, attended Commercial Photography’s Silent Auction in the BUMF Gallery last week. Here’s what she had to say:

It’s 5:00pm and the BUMF Gallery is teeming with people. Last Friday BA Commercial Photography hosted a silent print auction to raise money for their end of year show. Even from the floor above you could hear the hum of conversation, perhaps enhanced by the wine available to the guests, courtesy of the gallery hosts.

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The auction showcased a great variety of Photography, from landscape to portrait, to fashion. In each and every image you could see evidence of an individual student, with unique ideas and visions. Prints were on auction in a number of sizes, from standard A4 to larger framed portraiture prints, and beneath each one lay an auction sheet. The beauty of the silent auction is that people are far more likely to engage due to the fact that they have the time and opportunity to make judgements and decisions on the art without time limits.

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Starting bids range from as little as £2.00 to as high as £15.00 for larger, extremely high quality prints. If you have a penchant for photography, events like these are incredible for purchasing accomplished works at such a low price; wonderful, perhaps, for beginning a collection.

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It is clear to see however, that a great number of guests were there to simply support the artists’ work. Friendly faces and lively conversation easily spotted, and it is always heartwarming to see students from other courses supporting each other.

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I took a moment to have a quick chat with one of the photography students hosting the auction, and she told me that the concept of a silent auction just seemed like a perfect way to raise money for their course show. It allows the students to showcase their talents, learn to properly display their photography in a gallery setting, and just seemed like a good, fun idea.

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If you want to know more about the talented artists in Commercial Photography visit https://edit54.com/

To donate to their grad show https://www.gofundme.com/edit54

Words by Abbie James, Photographs by Alice Clarke


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A Comedy of Errors // Fynn Ballantine

Fynn// This body of work is for a theoretical feature film funded by Netflix to produce a feature that allows Shakespeare to become more accessible to younger audiences through a platform that they are most likely to use.

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This project required 8 final designs of the different Shakespearian characters along with fabric samples, justified by relatable research with the designs showing the character of the person that they relate too. The designs that I created pull different aspects of fashion from 1860 to Present day as this is when the London Underground was first started. Theses costumes along with the set design produce a feeling of heightened reality where everything is relatable and can easily be recognised but due to the vibrant colours and way that in one design can incorporate several different periods. This means that characters dressed in Victorian, 20’s, 50’s as well as 70’s, 80’s and contemporary clothing can stand side by side without it looking out of place. As a backdrop to these characters extras dressed in ordinary contemporary clothes will be sitting on the train and passing through but not lingering very long on the platform giving it a superstitious and mythical aura which the original city of Ephesus had being a city of paganism and witchcraft.

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Also required was a scale model box, due too me designing for a film I made a 1:100 scale white card model box of the main platform where most of the action will take place because of this film genre it needs an increased complexity compared to a theatre set and thus high attention to detail. Trains will be running through the station of Ephesus on their way to Syracuse, they are 1996 deep tube rolling stock that is easily recognisable due to them still being used on the Jubilee Line, i have however altered the colouration so that they fit in with the platform I have designed. The platform is shorter than modern platforms only being able to hold three cars rather than the modern severn but this allows easy movement of the characters around the space. To add to the platforms air of mystery i have inlayed the Nazca lines of Peru into the floor as well as constellations of stars into the ceiling in gold, with these as well as the materials that i have chosen to use for the platform produce a well thought out and complete world for the play too take place.

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Final in the set box i have added the different shops and building from the play to the station itself so that it still has the feel of a traditional play but as a film interpretation. Therefore I have included Angelo’s Goldsmiths shop, the Priory, the Courtesan’s Boudoir and the Phoenix into the stations architecture, all made in high detail pushing the abilities of laser cutter as far as I could to produce stunning and complex designs made from paper layered together one on top of the other creating the depth and complexity that I initially drew.

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Throughout this project I have pushed what has been possible in the time, from the designs to the set and have been able to deliver on time producing effective and powerful work.

Website / social media:
fynnballantine@instagram