Personal blog of Kate Green. My other blogs are available at www.justanotherartstudentsblog.tumblr.com (CoP) and www.meandviscom.tumblr.com (PPP)

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Summer dissertation roundup

Change of title
I have decided to change my area of research to a subject area and field of creative output that I am more interested in. I will be investigating letterpress printing and attempting to answer two questions: why do practitioners have such a passion for the printing medium; and why is there a recent reemergence of the form? My creative output with be via film making.

Practice filming

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A PHOTO

One up, one down. #canal #london #camden (at Camden Lock Market)

A PHOTO

On the inside of a big red #London #bus (at Peckham)

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Yay, #autumn. #minniemutt #greyhound (at Middleton Park)

A PHOTO

Left over pizza noted the minute I walked in the door. #pizza #minniemutt #greyhound #dogsofinstagram

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I had the idea to make #teambradford out of the people who make up Team Bradford, ie University of Bradford staff and students. I thought it would make a great image for social media and really help engage the audience during Clearing, the biggest and busiest point in any university’s recruitment calendar.

I came up with the idea at the end of the day, had the next day to deliver it, and the day after to deliver to an online audience. I got the photographer and students organised before I went home and the location booked – we got all sorted to do it the next day.

Unfortunately it rained too much overnight and we couldn’t use the first location of the grassed amphitheatre. This was a large flat space with a third/fourth storey walk way above for the photographer. The second option was the gym where there was a first floor observation level for the photographer and plenty of lighting and space for the letters.

Unfortunately the height wasn’t high enough and we couldn’t gather enough staff and students so we ended up photographing one letter at time. When I looked at them later on the computer the gym floor lines plus the letters you had to think about was just too much so I used Photoshop to remove the lines.

The photographer I used was called Victor and he had previously taken shots like this. He said that he used a cherry picker and got much higher and more directly above the subject.

Team Bradford Team shadow small

The layout of the type was mainly driven my the best shape to use on social media. The image proved to be the most popular used throughout the Clearing campaign as both current and prospective students used it and it was embraced by the Students Union and its societies/clubs.

For more information on how I planned the letters and how I used Photoshop, see my sketch pad.

People letters I had the idea to make #teambradford out of the people who make up Team Bradford, ie University of Bradford staff and students.
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Love Arts Windows

Lord Whitney Shopkeepers Window 001LR

Notes from the first meeting with Marianne from uni and Tom from Love Arts to discuss the window display project.

Meeting update:

  • keep the mental health theme simple and accessible, eg isolation. Don’t go for the sensational, eg suicide, hallucinations.
  • Tom at love arts will do the first contact with nations and then let us know who to introduce ourselves to. They may be a bit duh but we…

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Got the OK

loveartheader254

We met with Marianne today to go through our ideas for the Nations window. She liked our plans and suggested we look into different materials and textures for what we project on to. She suggested Bill Viola as an artists to explore further.

We also need to look in to the ethics of filming people and getting permission slips for…

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Window of ideas

IMG_0610
Loren, Zoe, and I will be working on a window display for the Nations of Shopkeepers bar in Leeds city centre. The window will be part of the Love Arts Festival, which is concerned with mental health and creativity. This is an annual festival and lots of students from our course volunteer to help with the city-wide event. A few third years get the opportunity to do one of the three window…

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On the second day of the three day workshop we continued on from learning about the forming stage and moved into storming.

As you can imagine of a session entitled ‘storming’ it was challenging. I had to facilitate a group where someone had to role play having such low self-esteem and lack of confidence that they were actually disruptive for the group. It was very hard and exhausting, even for the short amount of time I did it. Overall I learnt to keep calm and try to see things from the persons point of view and the point of view of the other group members. Try to include people and help them feel more comfortable. If needs be speak to person separately to try to resolve things, or at worst ask them to leave the group.

As last time we had a number of activities and discussions that supported the work and gave us a chance to learn from each other.

For the session we each had to bring an ice-breaker activity and run a small session using it. I brought a frisbee and we had to pass it around the group and each have a go miming an alternative use for it. It was fun in the beginning but the group was too small and the activity went on to long that we all got a bit fed up (the group leaders controlled the length of time we did it for). Other ice breakers includes ‘I have  never’ and ‘I like’, both designed to find common ground between people, and ‘if I were an animal I would be a … because ….’

Group working: day 2 On the second day of the three day workshop we continued on from learning about the…
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This was day one of three for the Group Facilitation course run by Yorkshire Counselling Training. As a volunteer for Leeds Mind (Inkwell) I was offered the opportunity to attend this short course at a very discounted rate, so I signed up!

I was a little concerned that the course would be very counselling heavy because the Yorkshire Counselling Training group were running it, however I knew that a greater understanding of facilitating any group would be really useful for me. Group facilitation is a great transferable skill that can be used whether working on a project at university, in a team for an employer, or running creative workshops – all areas of work I’m involved in.

Each session will be a full day and will run through the different stages of a Group – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Norming (Tuckman, 1965). This first session explored Forming.

The key bits of learning from the day was establishing a contract with the group that everyone agrees with will be the best way to work together. I also got to participate in facilitating a group and a number of other group activities, which were really good for reinforcing learning, getting to know others in the group, and helping to get us relaxed. We mainly talked about the positives and negatives of participating in a group and understanding everyones point of view and how everyone could come together to achieve something.

Although many of the people attending the group were from counselling or mediation backgrounds, some people were like me and were offering craft and creative sessions to mental health clients and the community. There was something for everyone in the course and the counselling context meant that people were able to share some of the most challenging scenarios they have faced and we talked about how to deal with them – all situations that it will be unlikely for me to come across about leaning what to do made me more confident about other groups.

Group working: day 1 This was day one of three for the Group Facilitation course run by Yorkshire Counselling Training. As a volunteer for Leeds Mind (Inkwell) I was offered the opportunity to attend this short course at a very discounted rate, so I signed up!
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Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

British Library

I was greeted at the door by some analogue graphics and menacing V masked mannequins – I knew already that I’d enjoy this exhibition of the British comic writers and artists.

The masked mannequins were a theme throughout the exhibition. They’re were very creepy and I kept checking that they were plastic and weren’t about to jump out at me. They wore the V mask, as I would later…

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Beacons: the movie

me filming

It was really cool to be able to get my first DSLR camera this summer, and one that could record in HD too! The only problem was that when it comes to film making I’m a complete novice. Knowing that I work better when I have a very specific purpose in mind I decided to develop my filming skills by recording the zining workshops I was helping Loosely Bound deliver at Beacons Festival.

About the film

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I’ve been a creative/craft volunteer at Inkwell since around Easter time. I was prompted to start as I wanted to gain skills in leading workshops and explore it as a possible career area as part of the Live Projects module. I had been working with Loren on this, but with her off home for the summer I decided to continue solo and support the mental health charity with a monthly creative drop-in session.

Alas all did not go smoothly. I called off the first session due to ill health, and Inkwell called off the third session due to a lack of customers throughout August and no promotion of the event. I did actually attend the middle workshop – a craft monsters session of willow sculpture – but me and two other volunteers were the only ones that did. Never-the-less we soldiered on and made a butterfly out of willow to show to people at the next such workshop. I had never worked with willow before so it was great to see what is was like to work with.

I’d gotten a new pinny for the summer workshops. I find a pinny really handy, not only for keeping you clean, but also for help people to identify you as a helper. For me there is also something psychological about putting one on, it definitely makes me feel ready to make something. This new waterproof pinny was an upgrade from my last, which was just cotton.

I have been invited back to Inkwell to deliver my planned zining workshop during the autumn, which will be fun. Unfortunately, due to my work commitments, I can’t offer a regular weekend, for example every second Saturday each month, which is what the team at Inkwell really want. Other crafty volunteers that offer that build an audience over time and that cuts back on the need for additional promotion. Between us we have come to the conclusion that it would be easier just to support workshops when I’m free rather than trying to organise sessions. It seems to be too much work for everyone involved and then fills a Saturday which makes it hard to get a regular session running. This is a shame, but supporting is just as much fun and I still learn loads.

Volunteering at Inkwell I’ve been a creative/craft volunteer at Inkwell since around Easter time. I was prompted to start as I wanted to gain skills in leading workshops and explore it as a possible career area as part of the…