Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More on Ryde and Red 62

We took the catamaran over to IoW 

There was something odd about the Isle of Wight, or Ryde anyway.

Just a small break between the mainland and the Island made for a definite change and the culture felt different.
A preserved 'Victorian' Arcade

Maybe it's the Princess/Queen Victoria connection  but the place has an almost genteel quality to it still.

Despite having all the mod cons time felt  slower and it did seem like we had walked back 15 years or so ago (in some respects even longer) - there was Scooter weekend during the bank holiday but it was far from the 'threatening' bank holidays of the 60's when Mods and Rockers would have battled on English sea-fronts.
Always 1953 in Ryde

How unsurprising that there's a museum to Saucy Postcard-Meister  Donald McGill and a commemoration to the shop raid (in 1953).

A number of 1960's relics were on show

I like the picture below the figures paddling/wading remind me of the work of contemporary artist  Liam O'Farrell - and the modern skyline behind juxtaposes old summer holiday pursuits with more moderns concerns.

'Warning' - Modern Life Ahead

Red 62

This isn't the IoW but slightly disappointed to find that they like us have wheelie bins (thanks 'On the Wight)

A squeegee 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

IoW time travel and Red 63

Another time traveller in evidence
It could be about 50 years since I've been to the Isle of Wight - the trip over yesterday felt like 'Time Travel' anyway.

Ferry crossing was very straightforward and we were in Ryde around 30 minutes after leaving Portsmouth.

My memories are as you might expect more than a little hazy but I have some recollections of happy times reading comics and Enid Blyton stories.

I also (think) that I recall the old underground trains used on the island.

Like being on the central line

Red 63

Well they could have thrown it away in a bin.

Work, Rest, Play etc.
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Conan Doyle at Portsmouth Museum and Red 64

So on Sunday we took a walk to the altogether excellent Portsmouth Museum.
The driver for the walk from our hotel was the exhibition about Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Items associated with the fictional Holmes

In fact Sir Arthur was an awful lot more than just the creator of Holmes, he was a Doctor, a keen sportsman (who played in goal for Portsmouth), a campaigner and he was also something of a spiritualist.

Almost as fascinating as Sir Arthur was the man who donated his life's work to Portsmouth Museum and whose death was the inspiration for two crime novels the very mysterious Richard Lancelyn Green.

With Holmes Sir Arthur created the modern detective and his accoutrements have become shorthand for detection - with the symbolism of the pipe and magnifying glass deployed in a variety of advertising campaigns for a diverse selection of products.

Not as worn by Holmes

The Museum though is far more than just a homage to Sir Arthur, there's a great section on modern history recreating rooms in working class homes, a fantastic selection of Sickert drawings and a lot about the artist Edward King (b 1863) who spent 25 years in a Portsmouth Asylum following a breakdown triggered by his wife's death.

A really great provincial museum - with free entry.

A front room that brought history to life

Red 64

Perhaps it should be a 'person' box?

A touch of 'Stateside'
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dickens Birthplace Museum and Red 65

yesterday after a better than expected breakfast we took a walk away from the coast to the heart of Portsmouth.

The Plaque to Dickens
One of the good things about the city is the profusion of helpful maps on the streets this helped us to find the Charles Dickens Birthplace museum.

The builder first built the house on the left for himself and then built a further four to sell/let -Dickens' father was a tenant when he worked as 'paymaster' at the dockyards.

The builder completed the house on the left first


Red 65

It's in the bag! 300 done now and from a more innocent time when carrier bags were free

We've still got some left under the stairs 
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Portsmouth Arrival and Labelling the literature Red 66

Arrived in Portsmouth after a very good journey and pleased to
find no distance to our hotel.

Amazing weather and felt like being abroad.
Part of the Spinnaker

Preparations for BEAT

The Dymo 320 has been busy
So plenty of publicity to go and post with my own details added for the Orchard Café venue.

A go at printing on the back

Red 66

Amberon - well actually more Redon

red light for Amberon at the 'Temporary' road works in Argyle Road W13

Friday, August 26, 2016

Becoming more like my heroes and Red 67

In last week I've been listening to a couple of really enjoyable plays on the BBC Radio iPlayer - they were about Raymond Chandler and collaborators of his (Film Directors Alfred Hitchcock and Bill Wilder).
The great Sid James

When you're young it's easy to have heroes but sadly we often feel at an impressionable age let down by when their feet of clay are revealed - as we get older I think we relish the humanity of these people,  and the fact that like us they have failings and frailties  this can offer us some belief that we too can be or do something.

People I admire are admired by me for a variety of reasons - partly for what they've done but also the way they remain themselves as they do them - Bruce Lacey and Billy Wilder are just two of the people I aspire to follow - mavericks to the end - and people who were not so single minded that they could be considered predictable or 'one trick ponies'.
Hitch -Predictable and unpredictable 

There are plenty of people around, not necessarily big figures, I won't embarrass them by putting their names down here but they remain inspirational to me now.

David Bowie was a true one-off and since his death this year is viewed as almost saintly but he said and did some spectacularly silly (and bad) things - proving how human he was.

Look at Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen - still trying new things as they approach old age(!)

Generally we don't need to work at the 'human side' of our lives - that comes as a default option but if we're lucky enough to find something we can focus on perhaps we can act as a something of a beacon to those who come after us (perhaps just a small one).

Red 67

Nice bright red London Pride (a nice pint too)..

Pride doesn't always come before a fall but too many and it might!
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Thursday, August 25, 2016

BEAT preparations (in my mind) Red 68

In this very hot weather (in London UK) it can be hard to get things done so 'thinking' is a good activity to switch to - it's too much for me  to get tidy)
Not tidy

Assembling the 'installation' - might sound more than a bit pretentious but ahead of Ealing BEAT in September -but basically I'm working out what I want to do with the 'space'.
A rack for prints
The background is this big

The main focus will be on participation, getting people to pose or present something 'Red' against a rudimentary studio backdrop - asking them to engage in my Leap Year project (you can see a rough cut of the 300-ish images here).

A screen showing 'Leap Year'

But I'm also keen for people to look and perhaps buy some of the things I've produced and to this end I'm going to be showing some mounted prints and postcards as well as the framed photo's - calendars might come a bit later.

A3 and A4 Mounts do not come cheap

What I'm finding is that Mounts are not so different in price from the cost of ready to go framing so I need to put together a pricing model that's fair and reflects the cost of materials as well as effort by me  but is something that the potential consumers are comfortable with.

All you need to know about the History of Photography in 5 minutes

[Watch a  great history of Photography (just 5 minutes) video from The cooperative of Photography here.]

Red 68

I reckon this Nasturtium to have a particularly lovely shade of deep red

A  very nice shade from nature 
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Densification in West Ealing and Red 69

Housing remains an issue in UK and especially London- a big 'tell' on UK economy is building trade and we'll see soon if new projects (UK Building Starts) continue to be developed - those cranes on the horizon tell us a lot about economic activity

As they appear in HK advertising - see more here

People I know with grown up children often still have them living at home as it's so difficult to afford a 'place of their own', there were some predictions of housing market collapse with Brexit vote but doesn't seem to have happened yet (and UK interest rates historically low).

Even with this news and the imminent coming of the new London Crossrail/Elizabeth line   I was still a little surprised to get an email from a HK friend alerting me to pricing of new flats in West Ealing.

What really surprises me is both the 'densification' and move from what were public housing estates to an ultra expensive part 'Conran' development with prices starting for 1 bedroom flats at around £0.5 million.

Not so different from the Computer generated image - how work is progressing from earlier on this week

Red 69

And keeping the building theme going. Here's a red that triggers more memories

When I worked at ITN -more than 30 years ago one of the contractors there explained how they used this arrangement to deliver waste to a skip and reduced dust and spillage, iot a great invention but a logical  thought that improves practice.

The sort of improvement that spreads with copying 
[see the latest rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

More memory and Red 70

Yesterday I mentioned memory as in a 'human' sense today I've got myself 2TB that'll be there for documents, Video and photo's.
A new powerful backup

The truth of the matter is that if my photo's are worth anything I need to take care of them that means back up and a database that allows me to find things - I've had some back up in the form of an Iomega drive but it seems to have been a bit unreliable and has now 'given up the ghost' almost completely - as time has marched on I've gone for a drive that can work with USB 3.0 and is available wirelessly for all 'devices' we've got at home.
[The unit is a Seagate Wireless Plus - cost about £150]

The old 'extra' memory

On a retail/customer service issue I was very impressed with local Maplin - the only unit they had on show was the display one and its box was a bit knocked about - as I said I wanted a new one the Ealing store arrange to collect another unit from Wembley and they then called me (next day) to let me know it was available for collection - this is what is needed to compete with internet sales  (they might have offered me a discount on the display model though).

Postcards for sale

One of the great things about the opportunity the local BID (MakeitEaling) has given me is the chance to 'learn' about a business possibility - so my focus on protecting my 'content' but also I now recognise that I should look at other (lower price) items for my customers - so looking at unframed prints, possible postcards and calendars too.

Red 70

A red drink - not blood!

There are a few fruity drinks that are startlingly Red

[see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Monday, August 22, 2016

Layers of memory and Red 71

Earlier in the week during a brief time awake in the early hours I turned on the television and saw part of a TV programme with Rory Bremner visiting an ice cream parlour in The Mumbles Swansea.

During the later years of my Mother's life she had a flat on the edge of Swansea and one of her pleasures was to spend some time at Verdi's for one of their Ice Creams, visiting from London I took her there on more than one occasion- it is a memory that I have not dwelt on for some time.
A Postcard can drive a memory 

Of course death is always with us but as a younger person it often appears to be something that only happens to other people - and reflecting on the nature of existence does not always come easily or comfortably.

Unlike other animals though we are aware and reconciled to a form of loss and separation from a fairly young age - think of the child going to school or later college - often we are expected to hide our true feelings whether it is as the departing person or the one left - as we socialise our feelings around death become something we might feel it is easier to keep to ourselves.

Man's desire to impose a narrative can help to explain the variety and number of different 'faiths' but in some respects the way we handle our loss is to relegate to a hidden away recess of our mind and to put it in a too difficult to process box to be dealt with later.
A happy memory of my parents

A friend of mine recently lost his younger, adult brother to cancer- it was a death where those saying goodbye, friends and family had a chance to spend time together (around 9 months) and adjust, but still there remain feelings  undoubtedly of loss and a guilt about a loved one who is no longer with them -did we give him the best time we could, were we sometimes irritated by the uncomfortable situation?.

If we look at domestic animals, like cats and dogs  who have lost another animal who has shared a household - we see animals we describe as 'lonely' and recognise their puzzlement - for us it is a loss we can reflect on but depending on a faith (or no faith)  we can comfort ourselves that they have gone to  'a better place' or that they are no longer in pain.

The subject of death is a difficult one - the idea that someone who is suffering should be released from their suffering is not unreasonable but our ideas in the abstract often change as we face reality and the way we adjust to someone no longer being around is an ongoing negotiation - with odd little 'blips' triggered by our memory banks- even by unexpected TV programmes in the early hours ...

Red 71

Another Red retailer at Westfields was Camper with which I feel a strong association having conducted a number of design tours at their Design Museum exhibition during summer 2015.

Their emphasis on design permeated the brand and was reflected in idiosyncratic shops as well as the footwear.

Camper the Spanish footwear brand - No two of their stores are the same 
[see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shoppers delight and Red 72

People spending at high end stores in West London

I know it's going to sound like a bit of a cliché but yesterday at Westfield's in Sheperds Bush there was plenty of spending going on and it certainly felt like a recession free zone - So recession what recession?

I could positively see no sign of a post Brexit holding off on the spending and all around me in West London I see in shop and café windows  signs 'for hiring'.

[And in fact we saw the towering Richard 'Pointless' Osman there.]

In fact the shopping centre has quite a few new 'names' and there seems to be more (like John Lewis) expected - these aren't the Poundlands and discount stores of so many high streets (or short term lets and charity outlets) - you've got the big designer names in abundance and well heeled shoppers - fortunately there are sales and bargains too otherwise I'd have come home empty handed.

Oddly a profusion of Skull influenced merchandise which would have (perhaps) brought a smile to Noah Scalin's face - below are a couple of items

Just what we all need.

Apple store looking very busy - with 'techies' and  gadget fanciers also a Tesla Store had a nice looking motor on show.

A Tesla Girl

And yest more skulls

Red 72

As you'd expect (if you read yesterday's entry) plenty of Red on show at Westfields  - like the image below (which I do) .. [see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]

Another picture I like - feels like the guy in grey is less 'real' than the waitress and he's doing a double -take

Saturday, August 20, 2016

'Leap Year ' end is in sight and Red 73

The light at the end of the tunnel
As I get (it feels anyway) that I'm getting towards the end of my Leap Year  project - I've really appreciated input and support from those who get it  (thanks to Noah especially)

Here's what I've summarised it as so far - will be fine tuning and adding before my September BEAT outings and November finale- if you've got input please let me know..................

For about three years I've been going through a process where I've looked, blogged and documented my Own 365 Creativity Project – A big part of what set me off on this has been Noah Scalin's book and project.

My goal was to actively engage in Photographing and try to get somewhere beyond just capturing a subject in a pleasing manner.

Much is made of the Monochrome Muse in photography, the starkness and detachment that it (perhaps) brings – I'm not generally an enthusiast for the less is more idea and colour is rarely absent in my own favourite images.

Looking at the endeavour so far I've got three aspects to reflect on;

1) Memory

Looking at my pictures, there's a trigger in practically all of them, they're personal and (to me) memorable – which is partially the reason why I'm keen to get others to provide their stories and talk about their own narratives.

2) The Colour

So what about red? Having done a little research I find that it's the colour of excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence pretty much all the things of intensity and passion, and in the East it's often associated with sincerity and happiness -it's a lucky colour in China.

Red, triggers hunger so that's probably why you'll see restaurants like McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and plenty of others using it in their logos and advertising.

Red instantly attracts, makes people excited and has been shown to increase the heart rate.

Red's often seen as the colour of assertion, strength, romance, excitement, vitality, physical power, outgoing, ambitious and impulsive. It is a colour that flatters the skin and can make an excellent background. The deeper reds create an atmosphere of restrained opulence and power. Red brings to mind an uncomplicated nature with a zest for life. But, red can also warn of danger or threats. Fire engines, stop signs and traffic lights are good examples.

It's said that the meanings of red and people’s reactions to it tend to be fairly consistent across all age groups and cultures. Psychologists and researchers agree that red is a colour which stirs up passion, with both negative and positive meanings. We think of it as the colour of Cupid and the Devil. It’s the colour associated with both Love and War.
In Christianity, the colour red symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ and of his sacrifice.

In fact, Red is so intense that people suffering from temporary blindness due to a brain injury will begin to perceive red long before they see any other colours -so perhaps I've given myself an easy job?

3) The result

So what have I got from the exercise and perhaps more importantly have you or will you get anything from it?

[see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]

The Twitterati

I'm on it

So today I've hit a thousand tweets - if you want to follow me (and I've over a 100 followers now) it's #tjbourne

Red 73

when you want people to come in and look offer them something - why not a Red sweet?

It's okay to take a sweet.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ealing's Long Summer Night Arts Market and Red 74

The first of Ealing's Long Summer Night Arts Market
So earlier in the week I was approached by Make It Ealing about taking part as a stall holder   in the inaugural Long Summer Night Arts Market being held outside the Town Hall in the Broadway - I seem to be in a mode where I'm up for new experiences so I said 'yes'.

The last time I did something (slightly) similar would have been when I was involved in a business venture that went decidedly t**s up and we had an Easter market stall by the old Wembley Stadium it  was good fun and I think a fair bit of money changed hands.

Here take one of these

Yesterday too was good fun but was more about talking to people about my photographs than selling them - also a nice chance to meet more people from BEAT and other stall holders.

The Thursday Art Market's are running until early October and I wish the stall holders and the organisers the best of  luck.

24 Hour Tube People

Not yet a 24 hour station 

undoubtedly the start of a 24 hour Tube service in London will have beneficial impact on the economy  - more spending and a boost to Tourism are needed in these uncertain times.

In Ealing we'll be served by the 24 Hour Central Line so I might find myself using it at some time  

I do though have worries for some who find it difficult as things stand to 'switch off'  - we're more aware these days of 'Unintended consequences' those   non predicted secondary effects - I hope these are not too extreme for London residents. 

Red 74

One of the CDs I listened to a few time during those glorious Pop- Up  days was the deliciously packaged but strangely titled  Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest by  Fireman

It's an Orb like listen
[see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]