Summer Task 2011

For the summer task I literally began documenting everything around me, people, their possessions, nights out, journeys, as I only realised I was going to be attending Coventry University a few weeks before the beginning of the first term. So I kind of threw myself into it. I probably didn’t follow the brief as tightly or religiously as I should have but I couldn’t help myself.

The main person I focused the project around was my boyfriend. It was helpful because he has a strong sense of self and so his interests can be easily photographed. He loves the Halloween movies, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas, metal music, tattoos, food, Jack Daniels and getting people who have first entered the ‘Man Cave’ (his humble abode) absolutely ‘wankered’, it’s sort of an initiation, which by the way is not fun but painful. I vow never to have jelly shots again. Period.

With this being a common event, I photographed Kev’s now, old flat, and the morning after the night before. At which one of his friends was still royally hung over and completely oblivious to me taking photos. During this time I was also tidying up the squalor, so did some before and after photos. Domestic goddess? I think so. I also photographed Kev’s possessions that epitomise his personality like his figurines.  I think that captures his presence in those surroundings because again it’s very clear what his interests are. I also photographed ‘tiny dinosaur’ named ‘Bazz’ Kev’s basilisk because he’s adorable and kind of hypnotic, I could watch him for ages!

I also photographed random goings on, like a group of us at the train station and a night out.  I also included the photographs I had taken at the Coventry Ink Tattoo Convention and more intimate photographs of Kev and I. For example, Kev is often the first thing I see every morning so I documented him sleeping. Looking back, I’m unsure whether I actually captured a person’s presence, Kev’s presence to be precise, because I seemed to just document everything to do with my life at the time. Me just chilling at Kev’s house, my surroundings at my mother’s and something I wish I had continued doing…there’s still time though.

In terms of the editing of my images at the time I went through this phase of wanting to make my photos look aged and retro but looking back I think I made the photos look worse rather then better but oh well!

For the summer task I also did some drawings. For example, at the time neither Kev nor I had a car (I still don’t, car insurance sucks!) so are means of travel were trains, taxis and buses. Mainly trains. During my train journeys I would get to mingle with a wide range of people (well sort of), fellow students, families, businessmen, girly shoppers, foreigners and the list goes on. So one journey I thought why not draw some of these passengers.  A girl in the row opposite sat down and gazed out of the window for the entirety of the journey from Birmingham New Street to Coventry, handy. So I drew her.  I tried to be as sly as possible because I didn’t want to let on that I was drawing her. It was just a quick sketch and I completed it later that day.  I also did some more random sketches about the conversations and daydreams I had, so treated the project like a visual diary.  I kept everything in an A3 bound sketchbook to make it more personal.


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