Sunday, 2 October 2022

Welcome to Autumn Term 2022

 Welcome to the new academic year!  Here we are again back at the beginning. I will begin this term by looking at Hannah Hoch.  I always find her work makes me feel a little sad but here we begin with this work Ohne Titel (without title) 

I am starting with this as it exemplifies to me the fractured nature of woman, an ideal put together in the head of a man.  Höch (German, 1889–1978) was part of the Berlin Dada group in the 1920s and worked on mixed media images that reflected and satirised popular culture and ideals.  However, she mostly worked on gender issues.  Hoch stated that; “Most of our male colleagues continued for a long while to look upon us as charming and gifted amateurs, denying us implicitly any real professional status.” (Hirschl Orley, H, 2022)  Hoch's photomontages explored women's role in society and Hoch dedicated herself to promoting women through art. The Art Story states; '[Hoch was] A political iconoclast, she actively critiqued prevailing society in her work, and, implicitly, through many of her life choices. Her active interest in challenging the status of women in the social world of her times motivated a long series of works that promoted the idea of the "New Woman" in the era.' (Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas, 2022)

In the above image, the man is represented as a respectable but aloof generic male figure while the woman has been made almost grotesquely out of proportion with a hue infant head.  This representation of marriage and perhaps the idea that marriage infantilises or reduces women's role in society as a whole, once married a woman then (at this time) has to be a perfect wife and mother.  She is no longer allowed or expected to have a job or an important role creatively or at work. 

Hoch was a pioneer in her field of Photomontage/mixed media imagery and was one of very few women to be working creatively in the Dada movement.  Hoch continued to make work but could not exhibit during the Nazi regime and moved outside of Berlin, after the war she conituned to work and in 1976 there was a retrospective of her work.  Hoch had a message and she (a little like Heartfield) was trying to warn women of the dangers of being a woman.  At this time Hoch warned bout how women were portrayed in the media.  She warned women of the dangers of advertising through her work and how this affected women.  

These issues sadly still exist today for women and women themselves often do not or cannot stand up against the wrongs that are done to them in society.  I started this post by stating that Hoch's work makes me sad, as you can see her work has sadness.  Women if you can, do stand up!


Hirschl Orley, H. (2022) Hannah Hoch. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].

The Art Story (2022) Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].

Gallagher, P. (2022) The Mama & the Dadas: The pioneering feminist artwork of Hannah Höch. [online] DangerousMinds. Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Website Updates and UX Testing

 For this I am just checking my website and updating as necessary and making sure all links work and update anything that could be improved 

I will begin by checking my copyright notice and this is correct and appearing on each page 

I also am updating my social links and I have updated my Linkedin recently so I have added this and it should appear at the bottom of each page 

I have published again to ensure that everything is live and working. I then check my homepage and the navigation and the image and menu is all working.  On my portfolio page clearly I had used it to instruct students and so there were random buttons and pages that were not linked I have fixed these and published again.

I checked all other pages and these work and are proofread and published again.  I then checked my mobile view as this is how most people will view my website.  

Contact page is okay however the portfolio page does not work properly and will need adjustments I will nedd to work on this and so I will come back to this later for redesign.

I checked all the actual portfolio pages and these are all laid out out properly and work well - here is an examples of one of my portfolio pages. 

The About page is working well and the artists statement 

I also previewed the mobile view and checked the menu is working and all other links are working.

So everything has been checked and in my next post I will show the redesign of my portfolio front page as this is really not working on the mobile view. 

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Software Test: Photopoetry

 Today we were testing the software for our projects, for my own project I was going to use Photoshop as it should work well for the image/text piece that I am creating this term. I will be using my own images to complete this experimental piece.  These are the images I am gong to use and the properties of the images - I took these on my Samsung phone.  All the settings were the same for consistency.

1/50, F1.8, ISO 250

                                                                  1/50, F1.8, ISO 250

On Photoshop I created a new canvas by clicking on 'new' then 'Print' and I chose A3, on the dialog box I changed the resolution to 300 and chose a black background and made this portrait.

I then opened the first image I was going to add, I used the clone stamp tool to clean up some blemishes on the image.  I then checked the levels and light using curves and I made a very minor adjustment making the images slightly lighter so the image would 'pop'

I then used the Text tool and added text in a new layer.  I chose Palatino Linotype and 24 pts and changed the text to white so that it could be seen on the black canvas. I then added another layer of 

I then added my second image and completed the same process with text and image - I used the move tool to move the text around so I could experiment further with layout.

This is the final piece of this layout, the words are just an experiment and are not the words I will use in the final piece.  I will now try a different layout with different images and words to see what this looks like. 

I also tried a different layout using a white canvas and experimented with different sizes and text.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Inspiration: Alain de Botton-The Architecture of Happiness


From Alain de Botton (2014) The Architecture of Happiness (P88-89)

The pages above are from De Botton's book the Architecture of Happiness.  The images from Swiss pseudoscientist Johann Kasper Lavater and his book Essays on Physiognomy (1783).  This book analysed painstakingly every facial expression and how it changed the meaning/feeling conveyed.  Each had a title such as 'benevolent and tender' or 'brutal and cynical' .  Botton cited these in his book as he discusses forma nd how we see human fom in all kinds of objects and in architecture the way a line or a shape cuves can affect our mood, our thoughts, our associations. He states; 'We can judge the personality of objects from apparently miniscule features  (a change of a few degrees in the angle of the rim can shift a wine glass from modesty to arrogance)'. (De Botton 2014:87)  The reason I was reading the book was that I have always been interested in how architecture has teh ability to affect mood and feeling and often I think modern architecture is unhuman and, for instances, walking through the ultramodern Jubilee Line extension in London, is a cold experience where we become just one of many ants moving through this metal maze. 

The creators of this; 'Described as "the biggest architectural sensation of their kind since the Moscow Underground'' (Jubilee Line Extension, LONDON — aLL Design International Architects, 2017).  After experiencing the Moscow underground personally, this seemed even more inhuman.  People may say it is beautiful but the stations, imposing and ornate overwhelm the citizens.  The citizens are just a mass reminding me of the photographs of Titarenko.  Taylor write of the Moscow underground: 'At rush hour, to enter the cheap but majestic, efficiently run metro in the center, you pass through the turnstile and are swept into a crowd thronging toward one of the three rapidly moving escalators. You ride down into an arch-ceilinged tunnel so long and deep that stations served as bomb shelters during WWII. Uniformed attendants at the bottom hector passengers through loudspeakers—“Take that purse off the handrail! You there, no running!”' (Taylor, 2015)

Titarenko saw the mass and with slow shutter speed they became like smoke and no longer individual human forms. This is why De Botton's look at Architecture was fascinating as it is about how architecture affects us everyday.  One of my own joys in life is to return home to my flat.  It sits in the city centre in Leicester, it is small, it is too hot in summer, too cold in winter but it is has everything I want cleanliness, comfort, clean lines and functionality but separate rooms, privacy and safety.  Modernity is very keep on open spaces, offices with no privacy, spaces that are crammed with people but make people feel less than people.  If everyday we are made to experience this this will have an affect on the soul. I often imagine the perfect space for me to live and work, I imagine how life would be changed by this change in space, in connection with the world.  Beauty is very subjective and as De Botton points out: ' the very notion of beauty having come to seem like a concept doomed to ignite unfruitful and childish argument.  How can anyone claim to know what is attractive? The creation of beauty, once viewed as the central task of the architect, has quietly evaporated from serious professional discussion  and retreated to confused private imperative' (De Botton 2014: 28)  Although he states this even if the argument is different and form and functionality may be what is discussed the architect/artist/creator cannot but help themselves impose their idea of beauty into everything they create and in our own homes, if we love them and we want our lives to be improved we impose our imperative all over our private abodes as this little space is our sanctuary.


De Botton A. (2014) The Architecture of Happiness, Penguin Books, London. 

aLL Design. (2017) Jubilee Line Extension, LONDON — aLL Design International Architects. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 August 2022].

Taylor, J., (2015)  Moscow: Opulent, Overwhelming, and Pulsing With Power. [online] Culture. Available at: [Accessed 1 August 2022].

Monday, 25 July 2022

Herbert Bayer, Bauhaus, Graphic Design & Photography


Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) was a polymath who was very influential in the Bauhaus movement and studied and taught a wide range of art subjects as he believed in the integration of all arts.  This approach interests me greatly, as I use many different artforms as means of expression and certainly think that the narrowness of a 'subject' can be restrictive and as the Bauhaus movement did in the 1920s, we should be encouraging students now to embrace everything, explore everything and learn as many skills as they can as the the future is uncertain. 

The above work on The Menstrual Cycle is from 1939 when he was discovered in New York, this was for the Schering pharmaceutical company “He was especially fascinated by bodily mechanisms, from the human eyeball to the female uterus,” Lupton writes.  Bayer had to leave Germany after the second World War he was not in favour as he had produced posters for the Nazis and though his wife was Jewish he said 'had been blind' to the atrocities they had carried out.  Graphic design is where Bayer got most of his work and his eye for design and abstraction is what is interesting about his work.  The work I would like to discuss is his photographs as I will be creating photo poetry I really want to explore how to design the images to really express the feeling of the poem through possibly using abstraction. 

In the above image, sometimes called humanly impossible; 'was created [by Herbert Bayer] some years after he had left the Bauhaus. Reality, symbolised by the body rendered with photographic precision, merges with the dream world, where a mirror not only reflects the image of an excerpt of reality, but literally makes it possible to experience the dissolution processes first-hand.' (Bauhauskooperation, 2022) The idea that the process of reality breaking down within in the image reminded me of a play by Carl Laszlo 'Let's Eat Hair'!' which was about the breakdown of language.  World War II and Post WWII the idea of reality's breaking down would become quite prevalent in art as people had watched their own reality fall apart.  Here Bayer has been influenced by the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) who created very experimental abstract photographic images.  As can be seen here the mixture of dreams and unreality/abstraction could really work well with the photopoetry I intend to create.  To create the above image this was the process used: 

'To make this work Bayer started by taking his picture in a mirror. Knowing that every added mark might betray the illusion he wanted to project, he worked to scale. He exposed the self-portrait negative to a 30 by 40 centimeter (11 13/16 by 15 ¾ inch) sheet of photographic paper pinned to an easel in a darkened room, and he then mounted the resulting print on board and worked up the image. To shape the fragmented arm and its missing slice, he painted over the photograph with gouache containing an opaque white Pigment (such as chalk) that acted as an effective concealer and provided good reflectivity. With an airbrush, the turn-of-the-century tool favored by graphic designers, Bayer then deposited an atomized spray of gouache and watercolor to smooth irregularities and create seamless transitions from paint to photograph. In the next stage, this maquette was photographed and printed to scale, signed in the lower-right corner, and photographed again; every subsequent print was made from this third negative' (Humanly Impossible (Self-Portrait) (Menschen unmöglich [Selbst-Porträt]) Abbaspour, Mitra, Lee Ann Daffner, and Maria Morris Hambourg. Object:Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909–1949 at The Museum of Modern Art. December 8, 2014., 2022)


The process here I actually really enjoy this use of paint on the photograph and then using a maquette to create that doll like-like quality to the final image.  This use of paint, cut-outs  and playing with the image in this way could be a technique I employ in my own images and this will be something I will explore in my test shots.  This last composition has a look of Dali and the use of manmade and natural objects and using a frame within a frame assists with the leading line and perspective of the piece.  This feels much more like a painting composition than a photographs and, it is interesting that Bayer was not that interested in the technical side of photography and moved into graphic design for most of his career and it was his eye for composition that really does make his designs stand out.  

I will be experimenting with some mixed media techniques as I experiment with the photopoetry and I will be studying Bayer's work further to see what I can implement in my own work and experiments 

References (2022). Herbert Bayer Self-Portrait. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

LACMA. (2022). Moholy-Nagy: Future Present. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). (2022). Humanly Impossible (Self-Portrait) (Menschen unmöglich [Selbst-Porträt]) Abbaspour, Mitra, Lee Ann Daffner, and Maria Morris Hambourg. Object:Photo. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909–1949 at The Museum of Modern Art. December 8, 2014. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

Museum of Modern Art (2022) Herbert Bayer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

V & A Museum, (2022). Shortly Before Dawn | Bayer, Herbert | Bayer, Herbert | V&A Explore The Collections. [online] Victoria and Albert Museum: Explore the Collections. Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

Magazine, S. and Moonan, W., (2020). The Pioneering Work of Graphic Artist Herbert Bayer. [online] Smithsonian Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 25 July 2022].

Monday, 11 July 2022

Photopoetry: SMART Objective


Please find my SMART Objective here for this terms project:

I will be creating a Photopoetry book that will use one poem and a set of up to ten photographs that illustrate the poem.  I will layout the text and image to make this work in a book format.  The book will be small, 5 x 7 inches and will be published on Blurb.  The photography will use an Olympus digital camera and different lenses, a tripod and a remote shutter control.  The images will be low key and use avant garde techniques in digital form.  This project will be a published book on my website by the deadline of 7th September 2022.

Photopoetry: Project Development

 I created an infographic on Picktochart to explain how I will develop my ideas throughout this project.

Please find Infographic here