Sunday 27 January 2019

Spiritualising the Photographic Image: Project Sign Off

I have created and completed the project sign off for my project ensuring that ideas are possible in the time given and that I am developing new skills in terms of the materiality of the image and creating images that I have not explored before through the altar pieces.

Please find my sign off here: Spiritualising the Photographic Image

Here the beginning with Adam and Eve - Adam and Eve has an appeal as there is a simplicity and beauty to the images that could be photographed in a quite enigmatic way to really bring out the beginning of all stories...

Thursday 24 January 2019

Interlude: The Hand of Yves Klein

Today inspired by the hand of Yves Klein I created a small artpiece using all the hands of the Digital Arts Class.

Related image

Yves Klein in his blue period created his own colour blue 'International Klein Blue 79'; ' IKB 79 was one of nearly two hundred blue monochrome paintings Yves Klein made during his short life. He began making monochromes in 1947, considering them to be a way of rejecting the idea of representation in painting and therefore of attaining creative freedom. ' (Tate 2019)

I though this image with his hand in colour with the black and white portrait really exemplified Klein and his work and the images I have created here I hope is a small homage to the artist!


Tate Online (2019) Yves Klein, IKB79 (1959) [Online] Available from: (Accessed 24/01/19) 

Lalique (2018) Lalique Yves Klein [Online Image] Available from: (accessed 24/01/19) 

Sunday 20 January 2019

Initial Project Planning

Please find here my initial plan for my project:

Initial Project Plan: Photographic Altarpieces

70 Million by Hold Your Horses (Click link to watch video)

Please find here a video by Hold Your Horses which includes a wide variety of Tableau Vivants (Living Pictures) based on paintings and artpieces - here you will find The Last Supper, The Scream, Magritte, Picasso and many more - also it is funny and well done!

I intend to create a more detailed plan and will add my project sign off as well so that it is clear what the project will be, how I will execute this and my intended final outcomes.

Contemporary Altar Pieces: Spiritualising the Photographic Image

After much consideration I have decided this term to develop further the idea of creating altar pieces in photographic form. These will be contemporary stories, that perhaps have been stories that have been told, perhaps biblical but applied to the modern world. The photograph is not known for it's spiritual nature and coming Caravaggio's rejected altar pieces (which were too real), the photograph is often considered in a similar way as originally mechanical reproduction it has struggled to be considered seriously as art. It also has not reached the heights of painting in terms of creating pieces which are exalting God or a spiritual higher power.

It has often been used as the opposite of this as stated above, as an example if we consider Andres Serrano's 'Piss Christ'. This controversial image was much maligned when it went on display and even today causes controversy among Christian groups. In Avignon, France in 2011 protesters demanded it was removed, however the protest; 'reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an "anti-blasphemy" campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon. The violent slashing of the picture, and another Serrano photograph of a meditating nun, has plunged secular France into soul-searching about Christian fundamentalism' (Chrisafis A. The Guardian 18/04/11)

Andres Serrano (1987) Piss Christ

When the photograph original was displayed in the United States: 'In 1989, right wing Christian senators' criticism of Piss Christ led to a heated US debate on public arts funding. Republican Jesse Helms told the senate Serrano was "not an artist. He's a jerk."

Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the "billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry" and a "condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends". It was vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007.' (Chrisafis A. The Guardian 18/04/11)

Another use of piety and goodness through photography was Barbara Kruger's image from 1980 'Perfect'. This image was used in the cause of Feminism - Solomon-Godeau writes; 'In this headless presence the incarnation of 1950s good girl-ness or a vignetted image as prayer as a ladder to spiritual perfection..text here is revealed to be as ambiguous as the image' (Solomon Godeau 1991:94)

Barbara Kruger (1980) Untitled (Perfect)

In the case of both of these images photography is used to question how we look at God and how God is used in society. Therefore I would in my own images like to bring a real spiritual aspect to the photographic - a real exaltation rather than an attack or a controversy.

I would like to create contemporary altar pieces, I would like to use the photographic image and I will shoot in Black and white - I may experiment with colour if the scene or image demands this. I intend to find the spiritual within in these to somehow exalt the viewer into considering a higher power or authority that is not a cause, or advertising or celebrity or themselves which is what the exultations of photography seem only to be now. I want to create an image that can truly be meditated upon almost like a prayer....


Chrisafis A.(18th April 2011) The Guardian, Attack on 'blasphemous' art work fires debate on role of religion in France [Online] Available from: (Accessed 20/01/19)

Solomon-Godeau A. (1991) Photography at the Dock, University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota

Picture Credits

Serrano A. (1987) Piss Christ, Wikipedia [Online Image] Available From: (Accessed 20/01/19)

Kruger B (1980) Untitled (Perfect) The Art Institute Chicago [Online Image] Available from: (Accessed 20/01/19)

Tuesday 15 January 2019

The Sagacious Snail: Process Excercise

This is the story of the sagacious snail - essentially this was a lego construction exercise which was used to exemplify how to record process.  The journey of the construction and creation of a piece of work.  In this case I wrestled with the lego instructions and small bits - however this is the results...

Sunday 13 January 2019

Developing an Idea from Rejected Altarpieces: Feet & Flowers

To explore the feet and hands as depicted in the rejected Caravaggio images I started to create some photographic images.

The contact sheets for these are here:

The final images that I have chosen for the study which I felt expressed the realism and naturalness that I was after are these: 

This study shows the detail of the flesh and the details of the lily, the lines on both work well in the image.  The high key set up has meant that the light is even and there is minimal shadow against the black background which is similar to the first Caravaggio with Saint Matthew and the here the figures stood out and the viewer was entirely concentrated on the faces, feet and hands which gave the intensity of the feeling the images.  

These images, I believe, are really quite exquisite and I do think that there is something here that could be explored further. ...

Welcome to a New Term & Beginning Ideas for a New Project

Welcome to the new term - This post will show you the ideas that I have generated and started to explore for a new project. 

The beginning of this first journey starts with 20 ideas in 20 minutes

From this exercise I I have generated a wide variety of photographic project ideas the ones that I liked particularly are:

  • Creating an Art Piece/Altarpiece that explores the majestic nature of iconic images and how they become devotional objects
  • A research piece on the philosophy of the portrait
  • Documenting change over a month - a personal change in habits, lifestyle etc and the effects.
  • Photographs enlarged and used as a part of a 3D Installation on physical objects
I will begin by looking into these idea and researching others work to explore whether I can create an original piece that has new perspective of technique. 

Rejected Altarpieces: Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Inspiration of Saint Matthew(first version), c.1602
Oil on canvas, 223x183cm
[destroyed in World War II]

Caravaggio used realism and naturalism and this was considered by the church not in keeping with the elevation of Saints and Religious icons such as this image above.  This image was considered not in keeping with the evangelical spirit that was acceptable in this period. The 17th Century Critic Bellori stated: 'the figure had neither the decorum nor the aspect of a saint, being seated with his legs crossed and his feet crudely exposed to the public.'[1]

I chose this image for reflection as it has a photographic aspect in that as a black and white photograph this would be very similar. The hands and the feet are the most prominent areas in the image and it is with our hands that we pray and reach out to worship, to touch others, to show love or hate.  Our feet keep us upright, keep us moving and the appearance of bare feet show a connection not just to God but to the earth and earthly things.

I will consider some photograph in response to this image to reflect more on the aspects of this composition and the meaning of the symbols incorporated.

Also here I would like to explore this piece The Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio:

Death of the Virgin
Italian: Morte della vergine, Italian: Transito della Madonna 1604-1606

Above: Caravaggio, Death of the Virgin, 1605-6, Louvre (detail)

This piece was heavily criticised again at the time as the critic Haarlem Van Mander stated that the model for the Virgin was; “one or other filthy whore” Again the realism and naturalness of the people depicted did not conform to the majestic evangelic images that were acceptable in a house of God at this time.  

The hands in this image are the expression of feeling as the virgin's hand rests upon her stomach in death and her other hand hangs languidly over the bed.  Her face is not a perfect vision but one with expression and lines that reflect all too human qualities,  Again the bare feet connect the participants of the scene to the earth. 


Alstrom Apprasails LLC (2018) Mild applause: Caravaggio's Rejected Altarpieces [Online] Available from: (Accessed 6th July 2018) 

Art Histories Room (5th January 2014)) Hendrick ter Brugghen and the “ugly” Christ Child
(Accessed 6th July 2018) 

Saturday 12 January 2019

Final Work & Reflection on App

Completed pages and navigation on my app for a Dictionary of Photographers.

The app itself worked well and in testing this could be a very good app however in the time given here this could not be completed as a 'dictionary as I could only make so many listings therefore I have chosen not to publish as this is not a final working app but as a test it showed me that this could be a great project and over time this could be a great app for students and those interested in photography generally.  Below are examples of the pages I have made.  The layout and design I thought worked well and the navigation and additional features such adding social networking features, a gallery for uses to add their own images, contact me page, about page.  The listings themselves as they used images from the photographers may have copyright issues and this would also need to be checked if it went into the public domain.  The images here obviously belong to the photographers or whomever has the rights to these images and that is another reason why publication on an app would have to be researched carefully and permissions sought.

I would create another app in the future however I think this is a longer more in-depth project that would use my own images and would perhaps be for a different use.  Great to learn something new and to try out new software online and I will continue to explore this in future projects.