25th June 2017
So just before leaving Leeds we were all rearing up and ready to launch our Degree Show, a public exhibition of some of our best work from the past four years of university. The show was titled “Alchemy”, and was led up by two of my housemates, with Isabel acting as Creative Director and Luisa as Project Manager. I must extend many thanks to the two of them, and many others, for their amazing work in pulling the show together.
Having submitted some images for my page in the catalogue, and a design for my large poster on the wall, I nipped in during the last few days of preparations to lend a hand to the committee who were working hard to get everything in place for launch night. My first assignment was to help with the trimming some of the final boards to go on their frames, with Rhea working the knife like a pro.
A face of cutting concentration
I was then tasked with figuring out how to create and mount the wayfinding signage after Izzy had completed the design of the system. Me and Luisa ended up bringing maths into the mix – cue memories of sitting in high school maths classes wondering when anything would come in useful…
Once everything was in place it was time to put on a snazzy shirt and head back into university for the launch party, which took place on Thursday 15th June. With Luisa’s family flying in from Germany and my whole house exhibiting work, it was a lovely evening, with the networking conversations flowing almost as much as the free wine.
People begin to arrive for the launch
Just in the foreground of that photo, on the corner of the table, you can see the distinctive green glow of the business cards I have been busily making recently. This was the little spot where I showed off some of the physical work I have produced over the past year, both in university and during my spare time.
Some of my print work
Above you can see the multicoloured booklet set I created for my Pearson project, the neon green business cards I made by hand, the signature red and black pages of the Briggs Report project, and a little photo book which is part of a project which I have yet to announce publicly… Something to look forward to!
Soon after the launch the Briggses were reunited as a family as my parents and sister came to visit the show, where we tried and failed to be on our best behaviour…
My sister and dad enjoying the show
Afterwards me and my sister treated my dad to a surprise Father’s Day lunch at one of my favourite brunch spots, Ox Club, before we all headed home for an evening together.
Brunch with the family
Since then I have had to return to Burnley, where there’s the extraordinary task of condensing four years’ worth of worldly possessions into one room waiting for me every evening – bring it on!
22nd June 2017
As I graduate soon I thought it’d be probably wise to get myself some business cards made, but with me being pernickety I decided that I was going to make my own so I could get them exactly as I wanted. I decided it should include the two most prominent features of my personal branding: the lightbulb logo and a vibrant shade of green.
This time however, I decided to max the green up as far as it would go – neon green.
The component layers of my business cards
To achieve the effect of my bulb lighting up in the neon green, and to add a tactile element to the design, I decided to laser cut the logo out of black card to layer over the neon paper I bought. The first step was to laser cut the sheets of black card, including small circles in each corner for alignment later on, and then glue these to the neon card.
Once this had been done, I aligned the printed thick white card to the rear of these sheets, and then cut out the individual cards using guidelines printed onto the white card.
To add a little bit more pizzazz and intrigue, I then piled these cut cards up and carefully sprayed each side with bright neon green spray paint. The result I found to be quite effective, and even more striking when business cards are stacked up to be taken by the public.
Spraying the cards and ruining our kitchen gloves
Some cards at my degree show
I am very pleased with the final result, which although quite basic in complexity, manages to be very eye-catching with it’s stark neon green and black colour scheme. Needless to say I put a huge pile of them out at the launch of my degree show (blog post on this to follow soon) and the next day all but one had been taken – not bad!
The cards in all their glory
As mentioned, there’ll be more news of my degree show and upcoming graduation very soon – as well as more photos which I have just today picked up from being developed. Prepare for some lovely photos of lots of random events from the past few months!
17th June 2017
Some of you may recall that a few weeks ago me and Kevin jumped in the car which my parents had left me for the week and had a spontaneous day out exploring the lovely city that is Liverpool – all detailed in this blog post. As usual, I took both of my cameras and I’ve just got round to scanning in a few photos which I took on my old film camera whilst there…
We mainly used the camera down at the docks, arguably the most photogenic area of the city. Kevin did a good job of taking some of me but the faces I’m pulling in them are rather unfortunate so I have gracefully decided not to burden you with them. For now then you can all have some more of the waterside…
Looking over the water
Kevin at the water’s edge
There’s also one last sneaky shot, which was an attempt at macro photography of the lovely falafel meal we had before heading home – it didn’t come out great but I like the colouring.
Falafel and obligatory green stuff
If you liked these photos, there’s some I took in Portugal (including a spot of urbexing in an abandoned hotel), some I took around Leeds as summer rears its unfamiliar head, and some from Berlin and Nürnberg which I took a while back.
13th June 2017
Just last week I thought I’d head back to Burnley for a couple of days (once again) to take some photos for my portfolio and update some of the outdated ones on my website and social media. I’ve had one of me sitting in my room for ages, and now two years later I can reveal that I have managed to stand up – as you can see in the new photo below. That’s progress for you.
Now standing amongst the green
I also tried out a new style where the only light comes from an array of green LEDs – I’m actually quite happy with the result but it does seem to come across as a little bit too mysterious…
Who is that dashing man?
Whilst at home I ended up being whisked off for a day out with my mum and dad where we managed to visit IKEA and make a stop off in the lovely town of Hebden Bridge for a cheeky glass of wine in the evening sun.
Got myself an IKEA hat and now I am cooler than you
Unimpressed by the wine it seems
Once back in Leeds it’s been hectic preparations for our Degree Show – if you’d like to come along then you can find all the details here! This Thursday I’ll be attending the launch and I’ll report back with a few pictures no doubt.
To procrastinate during all this preparations I decided to do some baking again for the first time in a while, and after shoving every sweet and sickly flavour and ingredient into the mix I present to you all – the double chocolate cake with choco buttercream, dulce de leche, and salted caramel icing.
Luisa cannot wait for this cake
Anyway, it’s back to the daily grind for now, but I’ll be sure to update when I have a few more tidbits to share this weekend! Until then, I leave you with this video of Mireille Mathieu singing Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien – I am somewhat obsessed with it for some reason…
2nd June 2017
As I mentioned in my blog post centred around my time in Burnley, we have also been enjoying the sun back over in Leeds too, and so one day I got a bit stir crazy and decided to head out with my cameras through the student area of Hyde Park. I took with me my digital Canon and old manual Praktica film camera, and I had the film developed quite quickly thereafter, and so for once I can bring you both the digital and the film scans at the same time.
Summer study days
Heading out past the law school
The sun creeps into the park
The film camera once again yielded some lovely shots, including the one above where the sun has created a lovely halo on the film. For more photos from the camera you’ll see them throughout this post but also some shots from Portugal and Germany which I have uploaded in the past.
The layers of Hyde Park history
The sky rolls in over the moor
Pretty much the entirety of the student population had crawled out of their Hyde Park houses and flooded onto the moor to enjoy the sun, and I wandered through pretty aimlessly to soak up some of the heat.
Students on the moor
The sun begins to set
I then re-entered the gloriously messy student housing area and took a couple of photos on the old camera which compliment the redbrick aesthetic of Hyde Park, including the only gaslit cinema still in existence in the UK – Hyde Park Picture House.
The picture house
I hope you enjoyed having a snoop through the student area as much as I have living there and taking the opportunity to stave off my cabin fever – it was lovely to actually leave the house after some busy deadlines!
1st June 2017
Over the past few weeks England has been mysteriously graced with some lovely sunny and warm spells, and throughout this time I’ve been having to nip back home to Burnley every now and then for one reason or another. At one point Kevin came to visit, and besides taking him to see the huge Tesco Extra and Home Bargains, we went for a lovely wander over the rolling hills of Hurstwood.
Is this the entrance to wonderland?
During our walk we encountered the World War II era bunker which has sat alongside Gorple Road and fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Once we’d confirmed that there weren’t any sheep taking residence inside, we had a snoop around inside.
Kevin explores the bunker
I left quite intrigued as I’d never done any research about the purpose of this bunker, so that evening I did a bit of online reading and it turns out that it was built as part of the Starfish site programme during World War II. These were large-scale decoys which used fires to simulate cities, with the hope that German planes would drop bombs on these rural sites rather than on the cities themselves. The bunkers were built as observation/control centres for the operation. Pretty cool to discover that a bite of history like this has been sitting on my doorstep for all these years!
Inside the bunker
Outside of this I had a lovely stroll with my friend Amber, and was drafted in to make some tapas-style food for the rest of my family as my sister was visiting from university to do a bit of revision in the sun. I eventually made some chorizo in red wine, stuffed courgettes, patatas bravas and a chorizo selection – all of which went down a treat with some homemade lemonade!
Now I’m back in Burnley again, but this time for less interesting activities – I have to take some headshots for my portfolio and clear out my room ready to combine the contents of 4 years of living in two different places. Quite the challenge!
31st May 2017
As I was clearing out my room just the other day I stumbled upon the developed film that I got from Portugal, which has been sat in a box for ages but I never got round to scanning! The photos document both the holiday in general and the exploration of the abandoned hotel, and I now present them here only two years late.
Looking out from the coast
The roll of film begins by documenting a wander along the coast, exploring as grutas, the famous grotto formations dotted along the water’s edge. The old Praktica 35mm used to take these photos comes from the 1980s and yields images with a vignette blur but a gorgeously retro feel.
A gap in the cliffs
The photos have only been edited very subtly, just to correct fading and colour balance, but they remain largely untouched. This process of taking photos without knowing what you’ve taken is a tonne of fun yet wildly risky, but I find that it’s all worth it when I develop some film which has been sat in my camera for over a year, and in doing so discover photos which I had forgotten that I had taken.
The arches of the grottos
The proceeding photo has to be one of my favourites from the grottos, be sure to click on it to expand and have a nosey. The 35mm film, the old boats and the garish parasols all place the photo in the 70s or 80s, not in August 2015 when it was actually taken.
Boats in the grotto
From there the photos then move to the abandoned hotel, where I feel the old film compliments the eerie subject matter. Tread where you dare.
Approaching the hotel
And for my favourite film snap from my exploration of the hotel, a look over the pool area, where the film medium and the bright sun paint a rather bleak picture of the scene.
Fallen from grace
For anybody interested, these photos were taken on a partly broken 1980 Pentacon Praktica TL1000 with Kodak ColorPlus 35mm ISO200 film. I say partly broken as the autofocus and ambient light sensors no longer work as it will not accept a battery – so it’s fully manual. If you’ve got any comments or feedback be sure to get in touch – this is still a new world for me!
30th May 2017
So, and probably way too long ago for anybody to remember, I wrote a blog post about a holiday to the southern coast of Portugal with my family. Within said post I mentioned how I’d been exploring at an abandoned hotel as part of my trip, promising to post them in a follow-up blog entry – then in the whirlwind which was my year working in Madrid I completely forgot to write any such blog post! I’ve done all the scanning now though, and present them here only two years late…
Approaching the hotel
Down in Lagos, which is a town near Faro on the southern coast of Portugal, there’s a huge hotel which has laid abandoned for over 15 years. One afternoon me and my dad headed out to see how far we could get inside before things got too dangerous or difficult…
Approaching from behind
We approached from behind the “Hotel Golfinho”, skirting around the old swimming pool structure and vaulting over a few walls to enter the grassy area surrounding another abandoned building at the rear, seen in the photo above with the sloping roof.
A strange painting
After finding some strange objects scattered around the place, including the above painting, a pile of animal bones, the carcasses of some fish, and the remnants of campfires, we headed further into the complex and were confronted by a barbed wire fence.
An off-putting sight
Not to be fazed, I did a bit of snooping around and eventually found a break in the fence, through which I hesitantly clambered in order to avoid putting any weight on a very fragile-looking roof which lay beyond. I soon found myself in the outdoor swimming pool area of the hotel, where the years of neglect have not been kind to the structure.
Crumbling poolside walls
A harsh contrast
Debris fills a smaller pool
The cocktail bar has long run dry
I wanted to push ahead and try to enter the main labyrinth of the huge structure itself, but the fragile plastic roof of the buildings at the rear which I’d have had to climb over seems a little too risky given we weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Not finding any entrance points to the front of the building, we decided to call it a day, but not before I managed to sneak a few more snaps in as we retreated.
Long dried out
It was interesting to witness first hand the downfall of something which would have at once seemed so huge and immovable as a seven-storey hotel, and eerie to think that the scene of so much fun and relaxation has now wound up so dangerous and dirty. For more information be sure to search for Hotel Golfinho Lagos online – others have managed to get into the corridors and rooms of the place!
That’s all for this post, but I should also tease that I did actually take my old Praktica TL1000 35mm film camera with me to Lagos too, the developed images of which I’ve just unearthed once again. I’ll be sure to get those scanned in and posted here as soon as possible – hey, maybe even sooner than two years late… Oops.
24th May 2017
As my parents had left me the car as they left for a week in the sunny Spanish community of Murcia, me and my friend Kevin resolved to make good and proper use of it and decided to head to Liverpool for a day. After a drive over in which I miraculously didn’t crash, we spent a good while circling through the city centre in a tizzy looking for a car park.
Once we’d actually managed to park up and scraped the bottom of our wallets to get some spare change to pay for our parking, we strolled into the centre of the city and began our explorations. I just had to pay a visit to some of the shops along Bold Street, including a tiny detour to visit the city’s oldest building, the Bluecoat Centre.
The courtyard of the Bluecoat
We initially headed straight through the building to the rear courtyard in order to soak up some of the rare rays of sun, before stopping for a cup of tea and some lovely cake in the centre’s café.
A view from our spot
Reading in the gardens
Once we’d headed back inside I was enchanted by an installation of a tonne of posters which had been plastered on the high wall in the exhibition space, and spent some time trying out the manual setting on my camera and searching for good lighting – I found some eventually and enlisted Kevin as a model.
Posters for days
Is that Kate Moss?
With the return of the sun we decided to head back outdoors and down towards the docks and shopping centres of the waterfront. After we’d put the world to rights in one of our very lengthy discussions, we took the opportunity to try out some more photography, and I gave Kevin a lightning lesson on how my old film camera works. We took plenty of pictures on that too, and I’m hoping to have them developed soon!
There’s only one way
Down at the waterfront
Kevin took this one
Once I’d tried to explain the intricate workings of my old manual Praktica camera, Kev tried taking a few photos of me on it. After this we headed back up towards Bold Street to get some lovely food on the way back to the car, the journey back in which was not without its strange creaking noises and flying pieces of metal in the road…
Stole my damn camera
Cool stairs are cool
Some lovely food
In spite of our neath death experiences on the M62 we arrived back in Leeds in one piece and then I had to head off to Leeds Bradford Airport to pick up my auntie and uncle who had landed back from Murcia just that evening.
In other news, today I literally half an hour ago just finished my final presentation for university – and now my last piece of assessed work is done! With a few more things coming up, such as the degree show, I’ll be in Leeds for a little while longer, but I’ll be sure to do a little bit of exploring here and there where I can – and naturally I’ll bring you all the updates here…
23rd May 2017
Now that I’ve finally finished sorting some stuff out for the School of Design’s 2017 Degree Show, I took a few days off to relax, during which I made a trip to Saltaire to take a few photos and get out of the hectic air of the city. Saltaire is only fifteen minutes outside Leeds and is currently protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to it’s history and pretty, quaint appearance.
A house in the village
I arrived in the car, which my parents had left me whilst they went on holiday, and began to meander through the pretty repetitive rows of houses towards the centre of the village.
The quaint houses of Saltaire
Looking into the valley
From the centre I headed down towards the mill, but as the time remaining without rain was limited I thought I better explore the outdoor areas before heading inside. Down the road and after crossing the river there’s a lovely park area where you can sit by the river with an ice cream, but the British weather wasn’t in the mood for cooperating on that particular day…
Looking over the cricket ground
The mill from the park
Wandering a little more, I soon made a friend in a Canadian goose which was wandering through, but as the clouds continued to roll in I soon headed back up the hill towards the church and the mill. For those who aren’t familiar with the history of Saltaire, pretty much the whole village was built in 1851 by Titus Salt, who used his surname alongside the name of the River Aire.
My new pal
Built around the old textile mill, Salt created the neat rows of pretty housing for the millworkers, and included buildings such as a town hall, community rooms, and a beautiful church – which I wound up visiting after tiptoeing around a family of geese which had invaded the churchyard…
The church in Saltaire
After this I hopped over the road and paid the huge mill a visit, which is now split into four floors of cafés, shops and exhibition spaces. Whilst there I stumbled on the current exhibition of work by David Hockney, the famous artist who hails from Saltaire’s neighbour, Bradford.
Inside the mill
The David Hockney exhibition
After a lovely stroll around, and a huge salad from the café where Hockney had designed the print on the menus, I eventually called it a day and headed back to Leeds. Feeling somewhat refreshed, I am now in the throes of preparing my portfolio and rehearsing my presentation for my final piece of marked university work ever tomorrow… Wish me luck!