In response to the similar conceptual approaches used by Aida Silvestri and Yto Barrada I have photographed my own interpretation of the situation, however conceptually my approach is more about the border in which we have to cross in order to live somewhere else which is why I have located my subject on the border of the walls surrounding Chester. Although obviously the struggle to cross is not upon the same level as it is for those illegally fleeing from Africa, the representation of the border which keeps us located in a certain place is clearly visible.

I have chosen to cover the face of my subject to remain anonymous much like Silvestri and Barrada in order to create no distractions from the meaning in which I am depicting visually via a reconstructed representation of a refugee’s struggle to freely leave their homeland. The scarf covering the face of my subject in this situation represents the struggle to see where they are going and enhance the fact that moving from one place to another is not so straightforward for some people.


Negative News Obsession. (Explicit Imagery)

Forum 2: Viewer or Voyeur

Please have a look at the following links and share your thoughts regarding the
morality and ethics of reportage photography.

Stoned to Death.

Farah Abdo Warsameh’s Stoned to Death, Somalia, 13 December. Photograph: AP.

My Response:

Why are we obsessed with negative news?

It occurred to me from scanning newspapers everyday that the ratio of negative reportage is unbelievably high compared to the positive. What I wanted to find out was why are we so obsessed as viewers with negative news?

The work of evolutionary psychologist and neuroscientists suggest that we seek dramatic and negative events as our brain craves negative energy, our negative brain tripwires are far more sensitive than the positive and therefore we experience fear more than happiness. We have much more access to the wider world now due to social networking and the media focusing on the negative news constantly creates an atmosphere of fear and stress for the reader as they’re overwhelmed by horrific stories, however as we’re hard-wired to this we share and talk about these dramatic cases much more than the good news when it occasionally comes around. Of course, this is great publicity for the publications, the more shocking their front page headline and accompanying picture is grabs our attention even if we are sickened by it and this compels us to find out more about the situation from shock and intrigue more than the rare positive news, which only seems to be about trashy TV shows and smug gold-plated assholes like Simon Cowell these days.

Reading and seeing negative news all the time stimulates a state of depression and those who indulge in the bad news become stressed and are more likely to make rational unwise decisions which are influenced by consumerism, notice since the recession consumer sales in entertainment has risen rapidly as we constantly try to fix what we cannot mentally escape, even those who don’t read the news are generally still surrounded by it everyday due to conversation or social media.

Essentially bad news makes us think that we feel good about ourselves and we continue to read it, by this the media have us wrapped around their little fingers in fear and control. However, there is no reason why we cannot equal the balance out by simply surrounding yourself with positivity whatever that may be to you.

Response: On Landscape Project.

Wish You Were Here

Emma Wieslander, Wish You Were Here, 2010. 

Since visiting the On Landscape Project I have decided to responded in my own way to contemporary representation of landscape. During a history and theory workshop we were asked to use a shallow depth of field to explore what usually goes unnoticed in our everyday lives. Using a macro lens and inspired by works of Peter Fraser I have produced a narrative within an everyday object based around what looks like a landscape.

I have photographed this scourer in a way which looked most like a landscape to me. Using the yellow as a sort of cliff face and the green as the grass upon the top of it. Aesthetically inspired by the grassy cliff faces at Bridport Sands, East Cliff, Dorset.

Photograph of the cliff by Ian West available at:

I intended to explore an idea I had that objects can often look like landscapes within the right perspective, responding specifically to Emma Wieslander’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ series from On Landscape Project.

Available at:



Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Van Gogh’s, Sunflowers. 

The National Gallery, London. 

25/01/14 – 27/04/14 

The Sunflowers.

Hustle and bustle, pushing and shoving, is this absolutely necessary for something we’ve all seen a million times before? For these famously known and immensely reproduced images.

As an avid fan of Van Gogh too see his Sunflower paintings in their almighty glory and for free? I do believe it was worth the tourists filled queues to feast my eyes upon the beauty which surrounds the viewers presence.

For the first time in 65 years two of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings are being shown side by side in the National Gallery for spectators to compare and contrast before their very eyes. Alongside these are accompany scientific research x-ray scans which enables us to see exactly how Van Gogh painted them. Giving much more understanding to his practice and the ability to understand in more depth the meaning behind the works.

The exhibition displays the images painted from 1888 – 1889 during the rare time Van Gogh’s experienced excitement and optimistic feelings before famously cutting part of his ear off and being admitted to an asylum after a nervous breakdown.

The paintings were intended to decorate a friends bedroom and so they symbolise friendship, welcome and happiness.

Many people have their own reasons for admiration of the paintings but the most well known appreciation is  of the their overwhelming sense of a life cycle from the buds of new flowers, the very much alive and blossoming sunflowers to the slowly decaying and dying flowers. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to whitens 2 of the paintings side by side which create a much more overwhelming sense of awe than I ever imagined.


Two of Van Gogh Sunflowers shown together at The National Gallery, London  for first time in 65 years. 


My photographic response to visiting Van Gogh’s Sunflowers:Flower's.  Flower's. Daffodils.

My intention when photographing these flowers was to somehow represent my emotive state and express feelings within the flowers.

The colours specifically respond to the likes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers but also our semiotic colour association. The bright yellow’s represent positive current feelings of joy, confidence, strength, creativity and happiness. The depth of field as well as the composition is for aesthetic purpose but also represents direction and motivation within a specific point of the image, with a particular individual flower as the focus. Blurring the rest and focusing on mainly one flower is a conscious decision of my focus at the moment towards particular persons who help to guide and motivate me throughout life.

The daffodils specifically represent my long to go home, a sense of missing Wales as our traditional Welsh symbol looks longingly down and sombre towards the bottom of the frame which is why I chose to photograph them later in the day as the sun was slowly sinking before a new chapter in my life arises in my current home. I am grateful for such opportunity and do not take for granted those who have helped me along the way, specifically those back home.