Wandering On The Moors – Compelling Portraits.

Wandering on The Moors with Carolyn Mendelsohn and other inspiring female humans, or Compelling Portraiture hosted by award winning photographer Carolynn Mendelhson and accompanied by guest photographer: Miss Aniela. In attendance 5 other inspirational females:

  • Gemma Brunton
  • Dani Heavens
  • Rowan Coleman
  • Rebecca LaChance
  • Kay Young

Based in  Haworth, Haworth the home of The Bronte Sisters and the setting for a photography workshop,  Ponden Hall was our base and home for three days,the potential real life inspiration for Wuthering Heights and setting a romantic but dark tone for the photography workshops.

As a photographer, you are constantly aiming to achieve the connection between subject and camera, I  attempt to portray narrative with or without figures within images, one of my first aspirations was to be an Author, I wonder if photography quenches some of that young “story telling” desire. If I am being honest I have never joined any photography workshops since becoming a full time photographer and considered this a huge step. But so many qualities of the workshop appealed to me: the location, the guest photographer (whose work I follow), Carolyn herself and the work she produces and her approach feels familiar and warm.

I keep looking a the images I have taken and tweaking ever so slightly in post processing and It is clear to say, I love them. Time will be spent over a few blog entries to enable reflection.

Bear with me as I take a little journey backwards.

  • Model: Ella McNeil
  • Stylist: Caroline Brown
  • MUA: Lauren Rippin
  • Photographer: CJGriffiths Photography

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Radiator Springs

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So here I am in Radiator Springs drinking expensive hot and cold drinks in custom made drinking vessels and Ben is gasping in amazement at how “well made” Disney has been put together.

 

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I see you Sign – CJGriffiths Photographer

It is so hard not to be mystified by the grandeur of what Disney had created and continues to create. No, I definitely do not want to be sucked in to the candy floss sweetness of it all, but The Americans just kinda do it so well and in a better climate.

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I am checking the architecture out, everything looks so “chocolate boxy”, it looks exactly like it does in the movies. I am basically just walking around the whole place with my camera glued to my face, look an obsessed tourist.

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The more I look, the more I want to take pictures. I am turning Disney into work, I want to just enjoy the moment like a big kid.

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Whenever I go somewhere, I am obsessed with getting expensive drinks. Disgusting really and sorta headache fueled sometimes. We were so worried about how much money we should be spending on stuff and with no idea of strong the pound was against the dollar, we held back, apart from expensive drinks!

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So Radiator Springs? You know where the popular “Cars” film is set ? It was better then any town I had been to. So clean and pristine and with piped music being played into the streets………hold on, whats that?

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Yes – that’s right, this is so Austin Powers, I can barely contain myself.

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We follow the fire engine to the wrong side of the tracks, wondering if we should go on The Bugs Life spinning ride, we arrive at………………………………the most hilarious and too good not to go on twice. Hollywood Tower.

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Again, again, again…….

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Which we did!

 

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We even tried to get on it a 3rd time!

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But it was nearly parade time.

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It is nearly parade time……………………………..

 

Day 1. California Dreams Do Come True – A photographic journal.

I do not want to come across boring, I mean who does…..But this trip really was that made of dreams.

After a ton of time and I mean quite a few years, me and my partner in crime, Ben were able to make it across 3k miles of sea to California. A late honeymoon, supported by a number of amazing people who donated money as a gift to help make our dreams a reality.

Travel to me is like being renewed or reset, a chance to look at other worlds and people and know that life is elsewhere.

Regarding photography, I once read an article about that mechanical instrument the camera, where the writer stated “keep some money back for travel and do not spend it all on equipment” – he was right.

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I never thought I would ever visit Disney Land – it is just not on my bucket list, a child hood fantasy perhaps and not on the “to do” list for California. The first day was supposed to be at The Vans Pool Party – Skateboarding event. But we were so near by, we just thought “what the heck”.

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In there before anyone else – early doors, taking care to notice signage explaining that we could be exposed to cancer or other hazardous chemicals (these signs are everywhere). Strange thing to read when you are entering a famous entertainment centre (America has all their bases covered, there is no way they are going to get a law suit slapped on them).

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So early doors, there was no one about…………..Now I am aware my images are starting off pretty dull and un-creative and ass I start my day but I have slipped into tourist mode and   just capturing anything that looks interesting and it all looks interesting.to be fair. Quite a dull day weather wise too, apparently it is known as “May Grey”! My partner in crime is bemused that I am even trying to take photographs, but you know – its an extension of myself, I cannot help myself, it is a affliction.

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It is all just so American!!!

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I know I am touch with my childhood spirit – but this is ridiculous.

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Even the toilet facilities are attractive – I am looking up at this window and thinking “is this the window with the candle that remains lit for Walt Disney’s return?” I have read about this and I like the level of creepiness.

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OH MY GOD!!!!! M.I.C.K.E.Y……..those Disney Staff are soooooooooo happy. Must be the nice weather.

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Everywhere I looked, I was like: Ohhh, awww , wowwwww. Even though it is all pre fabricated a bit like Facebook and Disney is basically showing off its “highlight reel”, it is difficult not to be impressed.

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The art deco inspired buildings really got me.

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I was being submerged into a fantasy land of Disney characters, colour, twee music and very expensive food and drink as we raced around trying to take everything in.

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I mean. look!! It is Captain America – goddammit!!

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even the shops left me agog!

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We entered Radiator Springs and if you are not sure of the reference, this is the place where the Disney film, Cars is set.

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Where we were prepared to get our kicks.

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A scaled down version of Radiator Springs.

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and the scaled up version.

Am just going to leave it right here – next episode: Radiator Springs and beyond. I am not sure what I expected entering Disney and as the day grew hotter and hotter, I wanted to really put the camera away or thought actually this would be much better if I was here just here to photograph! Because sometimes the want to photograph overtakes being able to take the moment in, luckily the cameras magical ability allows you to take in those moments later….

 

Showzam Circus Festival 2016 Blackpool

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I think I am now on my 4th or 5th year of photographing the very visually pleasing Showzam Circus festival.

Showzam in #Blackpool #UK hosts a variety of street and indoor performances across #TheWinterGardens, #TowerBallroom and #TowerCircus over a 5 day period.

If you were around this year you may have caught sight of wood wind playing chickens or a steam punk werewolf riding his bike through the streets of Blackpool.

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Poor Blackpool tends to get a lot of stick (of rock), the poor mans Brighton, the “uncool” cousin of Manchester. I am here to “blow” the trumpet of Blackpool, christening it with it’s new name “Blackcool”.

 

#Showzam is a mostly free festival currently in its 9th year. See you in 2017.

in Deference – a collaboration of photography, light & projection.

When time has passed and things have changed. Do you remember that feeling of that time, place, person or feeling or do we
move on? 


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“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.” 
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
I am currently working on a collaboration with local artist and educator: Jayne Simpson http://jaynesimpson.co.uk/
Using a film of a shrine I had made for a previous project based on memory and remembrance we set about projecting the film into the concrete space, onto walls of the
vast arch above us, in small nooks dripping with stalactites we
wrapped the projection around pillars and plinths and Claire began photographing this amazing space whilst trying to capture those qualities that were not visible, like the damp stench and the diesel and water on the floor. The atmospheric and narrative based images that Claire
captured led the way to further collaborations and individual work whilst retaining the sentiment of our curatorial idea - Jayne Simpson artist.

'One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it'.

Gaston Bachelard - The Poetics of Space


The projections placed into the space of The Boathouse which 
was due to be filled with concrete had such an ambient feeling and clues to a narrative of its former life.

“When I was fifteen, all I wanted was to go off to some other world, a place beyond anybody’s reach. A place beyond the flow of time.”
- But there’s no place like that in this world.
- Exactly. Which is why I’m living here, in this world where things are continually damaged, where the heart is fickle, where time
 flows past without a break.” 
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Our investigations led us to The Regent a former cinema and bingo
 hall in Blackpool town centre.


The Regent - CJGriffiths Photography and Jayne Simpson (15)


A place where dozens of people had passed through shared joy and
 laughter now selling antiques and collectibles on the ground floor
 But above lay a labyrinth of old corridors, staircases and
 balconies with a suggestion of what had gone before. 


In the Spring/Summer we got access to ‘The Regent’ on Church Street Blackpool, now a thriving Antique/Secondhand centre the building had been rescued and given another purpose and gratefully we were 
given access to the upper floors of the building that had once been used as a Theatre but retained some of the original stall and lots of ornate, although crumbling plaster work. We ventured further into the enclosed spaces at the top of the building including the
 original projection room. - Jayne Simpson - Artist.

Following Jayne's residency at Fleetwood Museum and it's recent
 news of loss of funding, I was invited to photograph inside,
investigating its exhibition and space with my camera. I wondered 
how Blackpool Museum could help with their recent good fortune,
 could the exhibits be shared. If Fleetwood Museum was to go, how 
would we remember the rich fishing towns history? https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Residents/Libraries-arts-and-heritage/Blackpool-Museum.aspx

 As art galleries and museums get closed down. As creativity
 gets removed from education.

  That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is 
the most important of all the lessons of history.
  

To see further work, installation and exhibition.
Jayne Flyer finished
 
'A rather large dossier of literary documentation on the poetry of houses could be studied from the single angle of the lamp that glows in the window'.

Gaston Bachelard - The Poetics of Space

 

Dance with The Devil.

As I continue my photographers journey – I have the current good fortune to work with Sam Jayne Simpson a unique artist and lover of music and dance. Read on as I introduce you to our current project.

 

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

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I had noticed the Artist around for a long time in Blackpool. I had noticed her getting “lost in music”.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.
Dance Studies by Sam Jayne Simpson.

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As I lured the Artist under the pier and asked her to stand in the sunshine and yes, you guessed it. Get lost in music.

The Artist naturally dances towards the warmth.

The Italian Steps on Blackpool sea front – a natural place to dance.

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The Artist dances to the sea as the ocean dances back.

Blackpool tower gazes on.

Dancing to my own beat.

Dance with The Devil is a classic house music track circa 1987/88 – that’s a pretty old record now. Do people even call music tracks records now? The reason I ask is because I have been collaborating with a amazing Blackpool based figurative artist: Sam Jayne Simpson https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Simpson-Art/1559607450973781  Phil-Winstons-TheatreWorks/102117523184811.

We are working towards an exhibition in July to showcase some of the images we have created.

Sam’s background is a pure love of music and with her background in Fine Art she combines the two for strong visual pieces demonstrating power, movement and the human form.

I discussed with Sam how her images tap into her psyche, what is she communicating to us? I sometimes think that dance, music, art, theatre, film and I am going to throw in skateboarding too can be compared to Zen like experiences – you know? Being lost in the moment – that is when we discover our true self.

Finding Myself Part One

My friend – a photographic onsessibe

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Amongst other things, I am a collector, a hoarder, a messy person.  A very, very, very messy person.  I know this because my husband tells me regularly, whilst he’s following me around, picking up shoes, underwear, banana skins, orange peel, dirty cups, scraps of paper, lids off pens……I know this but I never really think about it.

I’m an artist and a photographer, so I notice things all the time: the way the light falls, the colour of a shirt or a fence panel, a handsome profile, the shadow made by a chair leg. Details, so many details.  When I’m out, cameras banging against my body, finger poised over the shutter, my eyes are constantly flickering from side to side, finding the unusual, the odd angle, the strange activity.  Indoors, I notice the way the shadows fall, how the sunset reflects on my wooden desk, my grandson’s mouth as he tells me a…

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Hello World!!

Photography Queens Park, Layton Blackpool.

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Yes – I like that tag line. Hello World!! Brand new blog here to start my own reach out of my photography, thoughts and other whims.

One of my initial ambitions was to be an author but oh how I love Photography and gardening (I can be found in my potting shed, should I not have a lens glued to my face).

I want to use this blog to showcase photography that does not quite sit with my events and documentary photography. I am originally from a Fine Art background and use photography to tell stories about people, passion and life. Follow me and my recommendations as I attempt to spin you a yarn and tell you a tale through words, pictures, dance, music and theatre.

Dreams and laughter, a sense of humor are important in life – and so I keep having to tell myself. Have we disconnected with ourselves as we become more and more obsessed with possession of things in modern suburban life? Do we become products of our surroundings – what do you aspire to? Recently I photographed Queens Park Layton, Blackpool as the new development goes up and the sky rises are scheduled to come down.

I hope the photographs tell their own story.

 

Queens Park, Blackpool.

How did it feel to leave here for the last time and move just around the corner?
How did it feel to leave here for the last time and move just around the corner?

There is nothing of value on these premises.
There is nothing of value on these premises.

Prior to demolition.
Prior to demolition.

•1947 58% of houses were rented from private landlords. In 1983 11% •475,000 homes were destroyed during WW2 – the post war Labour government accepted it had to build houses .
• 1947 58% of houses were rented from private landlords. In 1983 11%
• 475,000 homes were destroyed during WW2 – the post war Labour government accepted it had to build houses .

•the 1st multi story tower block was built in Harlow New Town •mid 1950s lower building standards introduced by the Conservative government – a subsidy was given to councils for high rise blocks.
• the 1st multi story tower block was built in Harlow New Town
• mid 1950s lower building standards introduced by the Conservative government – a subsidy was given to councils for high rise blocks.

The buildings take on a new sadness with broken windows.
The buildings take on a new sadness with broken windows.

Prior to demolition.
Prior to demolition.

Wishes and dreams grow up from the ground.
Wishes and dreams grow up from the ground.

Queens Park, Blackpool.

No Ball Games. No fun, no joy, no laughter. NO BALL GAMES - So the sign states.
No Ball Games. No fun, no joy, no laughter. NO BALL GAMES – So the sign states.

A New York Skyline? Concrete jungle.
A New York Skyline? Concrete jungle.

Broken record at Queens Park.

Enter continental pre-war modernist architecture, forged in the creative minds of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and others, and kept alive in the fertile minds of Britain's young architects, who had been plucked away from their studied enthusiasm for the new modernism to fight a war.
Enter continental pre-war modernist architecture, forged in the creative minds of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and others, and kept alive in the fertile minds of Britain’s young architects, who had been plucked away from their studied enthusiasm for the new modernism to fight a war.

Residents passing through new doorways after decades of the same.
Residents passing through new doorways after decades of the same.

Are the shapes of the building beautiful. Initial thoughts on sky rises were as a solution to housing.
Are the shapes of the building beautiful. Initial thoughts on sky rises were as a solution to housing.

Left derelict. daisy's push through. Nature finds a way.
Left derelict. daisy’s push through. Nature finds a way.

Compulsory purchase order.