14m2

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We are very lucky to have Yatta supporting 14m2. They have featured us in their halloween edition of Yatta Magazine and have also featured us on their blog, allowing their regular audience to be reminded or discover our exhibition. Editor Nik has included the same features from the magazine making it easy for people to make the connection between the two and reiterates the key points about 14m2.

We have also received conformation that there will be a review of the opening night of our exhibition on the blog and in the next issue of Yatta Magazine due out just after the opening night.

Thank you for your continuing support Yatta!

14m2

The final show on this years circuit was 14m2.  Exhibition out of Bonzo creative studio on Albert Road, the pressure was on to have the highest of profile openings and to build on the mistakes made by the other groups in their own shows to make sure theirs stands out.

In a change of tact from the previous reviews I am going to start with my gripe first!  The green wall!  Despite being part of Bonzos’ corporate identity it is one of the least friendly surfaces to exhibit photography on and this comes from the person who only a year ago was exhibiting work on a red wall in a pub as part of Art Crawl and now curates a gallery on wooden cladding within a pub!  I am, however, reliably informed that they were not able to paint over the surface and so had to work with it.

The quality of the work was of a very high standard throughout both in terms of the photography and the presentation methods used.  The opening night was a huge success with excess of 300 visitors over the course of the evening!  In the face of such a huge turn out the team did a great job to keep the free refreshments, including alcohol, flowing leading to one very happy critic!

This brings to a close this years level two exhibition circuit and it is at this point I realise that non of the groups had any guest speakers of any kind, maybe this is a flaw? Maybe this is bucking a trend?  Either way I feel it has not had any real effect on the shows!

Group Meeting - Nine

The big one, the final meeting before the exhibition! The meeting was fairly straight forward, paying back money out of our sponsorship to anyone who has used their own money, sorting out who would be printing the t-shirts. With a week till our exhibition, it was becoming ‘real’ and we needed this last little elements to bring it all together.

Visitor Book is key for the opening night so we can get lots of feedback on the exhibition, providing us with thoughts on what they liked, what could be improved etc. Noemie has taken money from sponsorhsip and will be heading to Paperchase to pick up a lovely book for us.

T-shirts have to be printed this week, a little last minute but still do able. We have decided to purchase our own black t-shirts in whatever style we want and to meet at 1.30 on Monday at Eldon to hand them to Jess and Lauren who will then head off to Brilens to book in a time to print. I’ve managed to organise with Alice to pick up my black top from work as I can’t get away in time.

Our Posters will be on display in Fratton station this week. After much persistence from Becky, she managed to get hold of the manager of Fratton train station who has agreed to display our posters for the coming weeks. 

Wall space has become a bit of issue again with some people changing their mind about where they are going without informing the group. We decided the best way to do it was a simple hand vote, voting for which wall you wanted to be on. Luckily some people weren’t particularly bothered and in the end we found that wall space shouldn’t be an issue. We worked out we would have one person on the grey wall (Lauren’s prison photographs needed to be on this background to suit her photographs), four people on the white/graffiti wall and nine of us on the green wall. Sophie would also have her projection screen to display her shadow images and this could easily be placed on the day. The white/graffiti wall is going to be covered in cotton drill material as it is fairly thick and heavy so it will cover the graffiti and be able to support anything hung on it without costing a huge amount (roughly £5 a meter). In case of any issues with wall space, we have decided to meet at Bonzo at 10am on the opening night (9th December) to allow plenty of time to reorganise if needed and to overcome any hanging problems.

Health and Safety is obviously important so we have decided to have a rota to cover the doors, food, drink stalls etc so that there is some control over all areas. Having someone on the drink stall is particularly important in order not to provide any under-aged with alcohol. We have also agreed to all do are part in keeping Bonzo tidy during the opening night, tidying up as the night progresses and all helping out at the end.

Alice is still keen to perform at the opening night, looking to start singing at half 6 till 7. Her brother has also offered to play guitar in the background for a period of time.

Zoe mentioned at the beginning of our planning about possibly having a time lapse or video of our opening night to allow us to share the experience with anyone who couldn’t come while also acting as publicity for people to come down to the exhibition during the following week. Nik from Yatta has again offered his services, to come down on the day to create a time lapse of us setting up and the opening night itself. This will mean that we can focus on our exhibition while Nik documents it. Fantastic!

Business cards, there will be lots! We are each going to bring business cards to the exhibition and place them on one of Bonzo’s 'hot desks’ so that it is possible for the visitors to get hold of us or to get more information on websites etc.

Food and drink was our last point of the meeting. Katy, Zoe and Jess were left in charge of the shopping and were given a budget of £50 to get everything we would need. We created a rough list of things to get, trying to cater to everyone, looking at getting red and white wine, lemonade, coca cola, snack food of some kind (getting something suitable for vegetarians too) as well as disposable plates, cups and bin bags. They decided to head off on Wednesday evening to do their shop and store everything at Zoe’s as she lives just down the road from Bonzo. 

Everyone has their last little jobs to do and by 6pm Wednesday we will be opening 14m2 to the public. Exciting is an understatement. 

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We had many a discussion about leaflet designs and after presenting our two possible designs we were going to combine to one of our lectures during a group presentation we had concerns that our logo and our design ideas didn’t fit together. Lauren Taw took it upon herself to compose a new design and produced the leaflet design you see above. Everyone is really pleased with the design, Lauren managed to combine some of the ideas we had in the original poster designs but apply them in a way that was suitable. By removing the colour and have a leaflet that was purely black and white we were able to reduce our costs (with printing costing nearly half the price of full colour double sided) and have a coherent theme between our logo and our presentation.

We ordered 500 leaflets and after a few delays at the printers (they ran out of toner) we finally have our leaflets. So far we have placed some in Bonzo, I will be taking some to work (LCE) with me Sunday and our team will be handing them out at the Boutique Market.  Expect to see them across Portsmouth over the coming week.

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For our bake sale we decided that as well as our Facebook and twitter group we needed to advertise in Eldon itself. The best way to do this was posters so I decided to design a few posters that could be used, I wanted the posters to be very simple but provide all the information required. As you can see from the poster design, I decided to use exactly the same layout but change the picture in hope that a different illustration would attract people and they wouldn’t become used the to same poster displayed around the building. By hand drawing the cupcake images I hoped to appeal to the various art major students that study in Eldon while the polaroid film frame would help bring back the photography element. The 14m² logo has been included in the bottom right hand side as well as a fundraising for notice included in the bottom centre so that people are aware of why we are raising money and hopefully it will encourage them to ask questions about 14m². The ‘find us on facebook’ enables people to conclude that we are on the social networking site and like us to discover more about the exhibition as well as keeping up to date on any other events.

Details:

Bake Sale,

Friday 21st October,

Art Cafe, Eldon

11 - 4pm

These posters could be found around the Eldon building from Tuesday 18th October.

Group Meeting - Four

Our forth group meeting took place this week, with the bake sale and the assessed presentation being our main points of focus. 

Bake Sale

As the bake Sale was due to happen on the following Friday we decided to organise who would be baking as well as how we would organise the stall. First we discussed who wanted to bake before then deciding roughly who would cook what, in order to not have too many of one type of item for sale. Our chefs are; Katy, Lauren, Alice, Laura, Noemie, Lach and Stevie. The next important part was deciding how were going to run the stall, shifts seemed to be the fairest way to run the the stall. We devided the 5 hours into morning (11-1) lunch (1-2.30) and afternoon (2.30-4). We are planning to have at least two people at the stall during all these times, with some people put down for working during each session while others have said they will help out whenever possible (prior arrangement or photo shoots are resulting in some members being unavailable). We have all agreed to turn up at the art cafe in Eldon at 10am so that we can quickly and efficiently set up, display and price each of our items. Hopefully the bake sale will run as smoothly as the planning did.

Leaflets

Getting the leaflet designs became a priority as we were starting to question the amount of time it would take get them edited, processed through the printer systems, dispatched and deliveried. We decided to set a deadline of the following Monday (allowing around 5 days) for people to have their designs ready. We would then meet on the Monday and pick which leaflets we preferred. Ideally we wanted to include the logos of our sponsors on the leaflet (as some were given based on that we include their logo as advertisement) including J.W.Photography, SpieMatthewHall and Brilens, as well as the logo of our hosts Bonzo and the University of Portsmouth logo to show a connection with an educational base.

Amber and Becky had looked into the cost of printing leaflets with the best offer coming in at 500 A5 leaflets single sided for £37.50 or £53.70 for double sided, both full colour. At this time I do not have the name of the company.

We also decided at the meeting that we would print the posters ourselves using the uni facilities as this is how we printed the Bake Sale posters and we were very pleased with the result. At 60p for an A3 colour print and 30p for an A4 colour print, we feel that these are very reasonable prices and can print as many as we need. 

Presentation

Our assessed presentation would take place on the following Thursday and we needed to being preparing. We have agreed to meet on Monday after our theory lecture to prepare the presentation and would also meet on Thursday before the presentation to have a run through so that we felt very prepared. 

Group Meeting - Five

Fifth group meeting, the entire purpose of this meeting is to organise what is going in our presentation and who is saying what. This was probably the easiest meeting we have had because we already had the base of our presentation from our last one, we simply had to add and improve on it. We worked out what needed to be included, in what order and who would speak about it. 

This is how we de-constructed our presentation.

  • Name
  • Communication/Group Presentation
  • Location
  • Sponsor
  • Raising Money
  • Advertisement
  • Online Presence - Facebook, Twitter, Website (screen shots)
  • Photographer’s Question Time - sit in Bonzo during exhibition
  • Entertainment - Playlist and acoustic set
Group Presentation - Two

On 6th October we had our second group presentation, this time we had to present what we had completed so far (in the first presentation we were only presenting our ideas as nothing had been confirmed) and it acted as a practise run for our assessed presentation on 20th October. Each member of the group spoke briefly about the area that they were working in order to have the most informed person informing others. We were given roughly 15 minutes, this was enough time for our powerpoint presentation which was divided up into each job area and any follow up questions that our audience may have had. 

The points we covered in our presentation were;

  • Our confirmed venue of Bonzo, an open access art studio which we have been allow to use for 8 days with the opening night on 9th December, all free of charge.
  • Our name and logo 14m²
  • Sponsors, some of which we already had confirmed and others that we were waiting to hear from
  • Our web presence, we knew that getting ourselves online was key in attracting a wide audience so we made sure to cover as many bases as possible. 
  • Just as important as web presence, we discussed how we plan to advertise our exhibition including posters and the big screen.
  • Raising money was also important in order to make the exhibition as cost effective as possible, our bake sale was confirmed that day for 21st October and we are still considering busking and a local art fair. 
  • Entertainment, we discovered that a group member was musically talented so we explained how she was going to be our musical addition to the exhibition opening.

Overall our ideas and plans seemed to receive a good review, with the only questions raised regarding how we were going to divide up the wall space when displaying our work. I explained that we were waiting till everyone had an idea of how they wanted to display their work and then we would start organising displays.

I believe we all left feeling confident and reassured that we were successfully curating an exhibition, also that we would be able to work as a team to produce an interesting and informative presentation on the 20th October. 

London Trip

I’m off to London tomorrow to visit a number of exhibitions, planning to visit the Tate Modern and some involved in Photomonth, as well as taking some photographs for my documentary practises brief but mainly for my own portfolio. I’m planning to be blogging throughout the day and will do an overview once I’m back with some of the images I’ve taken. I will also be reviewing the exhibitions.

Did I mention I’m getting up at 4am to catch the 5am train? 

It’s going to be a long (but enjoyable) day.

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Did you know we were featured on Strong Island? I’m sure you did as its a fantastic website looking at the creative side of Portsmouth and Southsea. I was considering getting in touch with the team at Strong Island for a while having seen how they approach featuring photography exhibitions I hoped it would mean we would have a fantastic audience. On another one of our random trips into Bonzo I spoke to Phil (who runs Holgarama and organised the Holgathon which much of our group went to the opening night of) who gave me the email of Paul at Strong Island, as a photographer himself it was suggested that he would be very keen featuring us. 

So I emailed Paul, telling him why I was emailing and what 14m2 was about, ending the email saying that I was looking forward to hearing from him and if there was anything needed to ask. The text I emailed was the same text I had written for Yatta, I had spent time carefully considering that piece and had conformation from my group that it was fine so felt it was only wise to send this in too. 

Imagine my delight when I turned on my computer to find that on my internet home page of Strong Island was our article, less than 12 hours after I had emailed Paul. I hadn’t sent any images across in the email as I thought it would take longer to process and was waiting for a reply from Paul to say what he wanted but to my surprise at the bottom of the article is one of my photographs. All my emails regarding photograph are signed off with a link to my website and blog, I’m assuming Paul looked into my website to see what the quality of the exhibition photography would be and decided to take this image to accompany it. So not only has this article advertised our exhibition it has also given the world a little piece of my photography.

Overall, really can’t complain.

Leaflet Designs

During the week before we had set this meeting as a deadline for leaflet designs so that we could start getting them printed and sending them off to various companies to use as advertisements. At least 7 people created rough leaflet designs and we decided to vote on which we preferred. After a group vote we decided to use a combination of Zoe’s design and Noemie’s design because we felt both had elements that were very successful. Now we have a rough idea of what our leaflets will look like, we just need to get around to finalising the designs and getting them printed. I’m hoping this will be done very soon so that we can head out to businesses to ask them whether they are willing to display them in their store or use as a way to explaining to people about our exhibition.

At the moment we only had hard not digital copies of the leaflet designs, hopefully I will have access to digital versions in the coming week and can display them on here. 

Lauren in our group was put in charge of creating a logo, as mentioned in Group Meeting - Two we had already decided on the name ’14m²’ and had a rough idea of what we wanted the logo to look like. We wanted something simple that gave the idea of an isolated space. Lauren clearly took everything we were looking for on board and produced this image which has become our logo. Placed in a square, our black and white logo features the exhibition name in a basic font. It is clear from this logo that ’14m²’ is about the occupation of space of some kind.

I’ve spent the night before the setting up and opening of 14m2 making a zine. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but my laptop has been in for repair so I’ve lacked the technology.

Basically, a Zine is a mini magazine. After discussions with Nik from Yatta about how they publish Yatta online I decided it would be fantastic to have a publication that could be on show during the exhibition that people could use as reference for everyone’s work and could be accessed after the opening night. Using InDesign I began to put together the little 14m2 zine (Lauren had been kind enough to design the front cover so that it matched with our posters and leaflets), containing information on the exhibition, who was exhibiting and the people who had helped make it possible. Another reason behind wanted to have a zine is to make the experience of 14m2 as close to a larger exhibition as possible. When visiting displays at various museums or galleries it is normally possible to buy a publication dedicated to the show. I wanted this to be possible at our show however by keeping it online it is possible to reduce any cost, other than my time, and enable anyone to access it.

It took me a few hours to put together as I wasn’t particularly organised and had to go off to find information or write pieces of text but my determination to have this at our opening pushed me on.

In the end I managed to complete and publish the magazine tonight. There are some changes I would like to make but to achieve the standard I would like would take much more time. If possible I would like to create another zine after the opening of the photographers, creating a portfolio of 14m2 that could be used as a reference for those who visited the exhibition however time will dictate whether this happens.

An official opening needs an official invite. We decided the best way to get reach everyone we wanted to invite was by email, this way we could assure they would receive them on time (after all as working photographers or lecturers they must check their emails fairly regularly). I decide to put something together and going through the usual process of Facebook approval, I created a basic image file containing all the necessary information, a brief summary on our exhibition and the logo of 14m2 and Bonzo. Using the same style and layout that I had used for the t-shirt designs, I hoped the viewer would make the connection when coming to the exhibition and would be clear to read whether the invitee open the file on their phone or computer. 

Zoe and Katy kindly offered to email the list of people we had constructed consisting of lecturers at the uni, guest lecturers over the two years we have been on the degree and our lovely photography technicains.

The invite was sent to:

  • Judy Harrison

  • Stuart Gard

  • Daniel Alexander

  • Leslie Hakim-Dowek

  • Stella Baraklianou

  • David Arnold

  • Benjamin Becker

  • Steve Whale

  • Andy Gregory

  • Jenny Waldon

  • Alice Corrigan

  • Nick Adams  (Via Twitter)

  • Tom Langford

  • Peter Rochochelli

  • Fergus Herron

  • Patrick Dolton

Big Screen Confirmed

During the second group meeting, Zoe confirmed to the group that we had secured the Portsmouth Big Screen to advertise our exhibition. Zoe had only found out a hour or so before the presentation and had not had a chance to tell the group so it was a nice surprise for us.

The Big Screen can be found in Portsmouth Guildhall square and is viewed by all who past through the area. It is often used to advertise events occurring in Portsmouth meaning many people will naturally look at the screen to discover what is happening in the local area. 

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(NOTE: Photographs taken on my iPhone)

Well, its time to start putting together my final piece for my the exhibition. We have a end of brief crit in the next couple of days so I need to get them ready in time but luckily because its a few weeks before the exhibition it gives me some extra time to consider how I am going to attach them to the wall.

In case you missed anything, I have been photographing skating locations in Portsmouth and have decided I want to display them on skateboard decks. After discussing with a friend who works in a local printing shop, we decided that large stickers would be the best way to have the photographs appear on the decks. As much as I would love to have them done properly (in that they could be used for skating), I am well aware of time and money which is rather tight. I am also concerned about how my photographs will look when printed, with a sticker I can easily edit if needed to get a true image of my photograph whereas paying for a company possibly far away to do it may not achieve the quality I need. (after all this is for a photography degree so the image quality needs to be high.)

The first thing I decided to do is test the technique of applying the sticker to a surface, Brilens let me borrow a protective sticker layout which was spread across the front of each sticker to make sure it wasn’t scratched while I applied it to the decks as well as a plastic slide to help smoothly press the sticker down. As a test attempt I used one of the stickers I had two copies of to place on the front of my RDB, this would be me the smooth surface to paste down on while also being able to try the technique before placing them on my board. I only ordered 5 decks and needed all for my final piece so there was no chance for mistake.The sticker went done fairly easily and making sure it was smooth wasn’t difficult, even lifting off the protective sticker was simple and left no marks.

Feeling pretty confident after a successful practise run I started pasting my stickers onto my decks. I found that ideally you need at least two pairs of hands, if possible three pairs, to get these stickers on. There was some slight over hang to the stickers to allow for slight direction change while pasting however it still required the stickers to be placed exactly right, made more difficult by the form of the deck (never have a noticed the curves in a deck soo much). With a slight struggle I managed to get the first sticker onto a deck, in line and spread across flat on the board. This was my first chance to see how they were going to look and I was extremely pleased with the result. After the first deck was when I realised that I did need an extra pair of hands and to give you an idea of how simple the process is and how the number of hands has an effect, it took me 40 minutes to do the first skateboard deck on my own while it took 40 minutes to paste the stickers on the remaining four with two pairs of hands. Applying the same technique of lining up the sticker with the deck, pealing back a small section of the backing of the sticker to paste on the deck and working my way slowly up the print and finally trimming the edges using a scalpel, I was able to get all boards ready in one night. It was a struggle and at times I questioned whether I had made the right decision to try something soo different however I am extremely pleased with the results and am going to look into the cost of getting them printed so that they can be used a skateboards.