Saturday, 17 September 2011

What was it that i Bespoke about....

Throughout the process of turning Red Door 44 from and old function room, to a brand spanking 'happening' studio, tidying the place up had to occur in order to use the space. there was an entire labyrinth of odds and sods. One major thing that the collective all agreed upon, was to recycle as much of the sods as possible. Broken table tops become shelving space for art materials, old benches became dividers for individual artist spaces. Rather than throw away what may appear to be useless, we had a go at making things useful again. An example of this, was a pair of draws discarded amongst the rubble. The original unit was never found in the space and so the draws were soon to be tipped at the scrap yard. I felt that i wanted to make something out of these now useless wooden trays. And so with a little thought and perseverance i now show you the new and improved MISCELLANEOUS TRAYS.

I need to find one more tray same size and preferably the same design, just to complete it otherwise i may have to hack off the remaining Thread on all four bars.

As one door closes, a Red door opens...

With university life now over, for this so called graduate. I have had to venture into the big wide world that is the rest of my life. Over the past few months of summer, i have teamed up with a collective of artists. This collective is based in a sizable studio in Swansea. Red Door 44 as we are now known, has become the first studio space i am to make work for future exhibitions. My father always told me stories of his many studios through his career as a photographer, i had always dreamt of having a studio space. 2011 is the year to do so. scraping, painting, trashing are all suitable words to use to describe the work and process gone into making Red Door 44 a reality. I cannot wait for the next few months when we officially open in October this is where i alight for my artistic pathway and career into the working world.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Digital Monsters...

A phone doesn't just ring anymore, it receives little brief digital letters of congratulations or devastating news. The phone can organise your weekly appointments, record sparks of genius monologued earlier that day. and it can also capture those daft occurrences, that you come face to face with in a photograph or video, you'll later show your friends. The majority of my cameras are all analogue, what is meant by this is that i use camera film for those in particular. The minority, you guessed it, are Digital cameras. A mobile phone has a camera built in as standard. If you own a phone without a camera in it, your out of touch with the modern world. Everyone has their phone on them at all times, i know for a fact that i worry if i have left my phone at home, " what if people need to phone me or text me?". I get home and no one has contacted me at all.

Ok so most of the time people have their phones on them. i'll use the camera function to either capture something funny i have spotted, to show my friends at a later date, But most of the time its to record or make reference to an idea for a future project or inspiration in its physical form. I've had the same mobile phone for a while now, its getting old and its getting broken soon to die like the latter before. occasionally the camera malfunctions and part of the image captured has been destroyed. ( you can see where i'm going with this ) The image has been taken but failed part way through the transaction of capturing and displaying the image on the phone. I have currently, two images 'partly' destroyed, the subject matter isn't important at this stage. i guess the worse my phone gets the better the DIGITAL DESTRUCTION gets.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sign on, you crazy Diamond...

It has been three weeks since Graduating with a 2:1 in Photography BA (HONS) and i have now passed the denial stage of having to sign on. i have searched hi and low and around all four corners of Swansea to find a part time job. I have been Littering the streets with CV's, i have heard nothing for about two weeks now and money is starting to be an issue. If i want to make work i'm going to have some money for equipment and materials. If i want to enter exhibition Submissions i have to pay a little entry fee, for a chance to be envolved. i'm not looking for a job in Photography Straight away, i know i couldn't walk right into the industry, I just need an average part time job to help fund living costs. IS THERE ANY BODY OUT THERE!! WHO CAN GIVE ME A JOB.

POLARoid Explorer...

It has been about three weeks after i graduated from Swansea Metropolitan Uni, i have shot a single frame of work in a while. I have an exhibition in October in a small gallery by the Mumbles Bay. Instead of shifting work from the end of year Swansea and London shows, to Mumnbles, i want produce new work not only for my enjoyment of my practice but also to build on the portfolio.
A few Blogs back i mentioned a box i had inherited from my Father, the box contained old 35 and 120 mm film but also 20 year old Polaroid film. About two years ago my father delved into his staircase cupboard, waided through all sorts of objects, to reach his old 120 Camera.

He brought the camera out to show me and allow me to play about with, Strangley my Father discovered that he had left a Poloaroid back on the camera with a few shots left to be exposed. The film had been in a dorment state for about 10 years on so would not have been in the best condition. Nevertheless this didn't stop us from firing off a few shots just to see what had become of the stale Polaroid sheets. as we had antisipated most of the Polaroid chemicals had dried out but parts of the Polaroid sheet still had elements of mositure and chemicals still there to expose the Polaroid. I am still working with the destroyed photograph, but giving back a little more to the viewer.

One part of the sheet has an abstract destructive blemish, and the other half of the sheet has left a perfect exposed image. This leaves the viewer a 'teaser' as to what the image is of, yet still partly blinds the viewer to read anymore into what has been photographed. Now that i have a large box of old Polaroid i can be certain that most of it has dried out and will not produce anything on the sheets, but in terms of a Russian Roulette aproach,there maybe some sheets with a little chemical left in them to expose bits of the Polaroid. My goal is to hang six or seven Polaroid on the wall in the gallery. I am currently toying with the idea of presenting them back in there empty Cartridges.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Graduate....

Well i got my 2:1, second class honours degree. I was a tense evening waiting for the online results, friends from other faculties were reciving their results, yet my results were still unavable. The social network status updates were rapildly updated with cheers of joy and some tears of sadness. I was going out of my mind with worry. It was all running through my head, I've failed, I've failed, I,ve failed. I eventually went to bed in a sleepless panic, i woke up the next morning having read a new set of status' i eventually got through to my results. 

My waiting had paid off and the 2:1 came my way. i was worried throughout the time period between the last hand in for assesment and the last exhibition show in Brick Lane. i was not sure about my disserataion passing but now i have the 2:1 i think may have passed that module. I'm not really sure if i want to know what my dissertation grade was, all im grateful for is that  i passed it. My supervisor for the dissertation promised me however my dissertation ends up, she would not allow me to fail.

And here's to you Mrs Robinson Sam loves you more than you will know wo wo wo.

The Truman Show.....

 Brick lane is ram packed, full of art and photography, enjoying the week and the atmosphere very much.

Monday, 20 June 2011

What is all the abundance about?....

Along with the portfolio's, i felt it also maybe a good idea to make electronic versions. I made a DVD portfolio for Marketing and Self Promo, and so now i was making some for real life. I  will only hand out to people that i want to possibly buy my work it contains a few extra PDF files of my work, an artist statement and visual CV. i will also place a few business cards and post cards for contacting me. I only made five as i can't see a high demand for my CD portfolio's. I have my print portfolio for people to look at, but if they want to take something home or to their place of work a simple CD is ideal.

On the road again....

The time has finally come, London is only a day away. I've been packing work up all week, wrapping sticking, and stuffing. collected my light boxes from the framers today, they were the last thing to pack. My father donated his wooden trunk, to haul the light boxes in a protected manner. I would rather  that, than leaving them to possibly break during the road trip to Brick Lane.

 Portfolio's are to head down with our exhibition work for later days after the opening night, it just gives interested parties the opportunity to look at more work for them to deliberate about purchasing a photographers work. the past seven days have seen me drown in bubble wrap and fragile tape. It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to expensive prints and and portfolio's full of prints.. Tomorrow i shall be traveling on the train to london, the work shall be taken to london in two van loads for all sorts of must needs at the free range show.

Monday, 13 June 2011

From Junktion to Function......

I am staying in Swansea for one more year after University. As well as getting a job to pay for rent and living costs, i want to continue making work and submitting for exhibitions in Cardiff, Bristol and London. For me to continue making work i am going to need to find a working space. I was speaking about this with a good friend of mine and fellow artist, Phil Cheater. He mentioned that a space had been found by a second year Fine Art student. The student/Lauren, works for a working mans club in the town.

She enquired about a space upstairs from the club that wasn't being used. The space contains bits of rubble and rubbish and could be an ideal space for Art. I joined Phil at a meeting in the space with Lauren, an artistic fraternity has formed to make this dead space into a living breathing work space for artists. We are soon to enter the space and recycle as much of the junk as we can to help build a studio space. Plans are being put in place for fund raising to help with paint and other decorative utensils to participate in the construction of the studio. Phil is currently designing for logos and names for the studio space that we can promote for funding and awareness in Swansea.

You didn't think i was going to reveal much did you?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A Third Year Exhibitionist.....

It has been a few weeks now since the Third year exhibition opened. the work went up a few days before the show went live, but not without its hitches. At the very start of the exhibition week, My hopes for a quick and easy exhibition set up, were dashed. Two weeks had gone by since i ordered my Duratrans light box prints, in those two weeks i also ordered one 40x40 MDF mounted print. I later collected it from a Cardiff Print and Mounting company. I was so happy with the mounted print, that i couldn't wait to have all the work together and hung next to each other. My light box prints were being made in Brighton, all the work i had for the show was being constructed all over the country.

A violent ringing of the door bell, woke the house one morning. I twigged that it maybe my Duratrans i had ordered two weeks before. I rushed down the spiral staircase, but was beaten to it by a housemate who signed for a delivery. When i got down stairs i had a brief look at the parcel and thought nothing of it as it didn't look like what i had ordered. Alarm bells began to ring, when my house mate gestured the poster tube package to me. My heart rate dropped when from confusion, i ordered light box prints and so i thought that they would arrive in a flat package, i also thought that my photographs were printed on Perspex for the light box to glow through them. I thought they were supposed to be on Perspex and i knew that Perspex isn't thin enough to be rolled up into a poster tube,knowing i only had a few days before the show was opened to the public. 

I immediately went into a state of panic and anger. I rang my Father in my anxious state and explained to him this unbelievable mistake. I quickly phoned the Brighton based company to find out what has happened. According to them i did not specify that i wanted perspex prints and only asked for Duratrans prints. I had never worked with Duratrans before and so did not know what to expect. My father and i quickly came up with the solution of place these transparency prints in between to sheets of glass to hold them flat on the light boxes. At this point i hadn't even seen them, i went to Uni looking for a tutor to take a look at the Duratrans with me and make sure they are exhibition quality.

Off to Uni with the poster tube under one arm with a frustrated feeling inside me. I found a tutor wondering the campus and asked him for a moment of his time, he agreed to meet me and look at the prints. I used cotton gloves to carefully hold the Duratrans prints to avoid smudge marks or finger prints on the glossy surface. what was to be seen was so upsetting. I slowly placed the prints out of the tube and carefully unwrapped the tissue paper protecting them. I uploaded high res files on the companies website. the prints i received and paid for were not high res. I can only describe them to you as, areal shots of legoland or a contemporary cubist painting. It was a map of pixel city all over both the Duratrans prints. 

Angrily i knew i didn't have time to get reprints for the light boxes and come up with an alternative set of prints to put on the wall. I phoned up the company complaining, only to be bull sh***ed over the differences between screen prints and actual prints, ( if printed correctly there are no visible differences what so ever.)
In the end i had to settle for framed substitutes for the Swansea show, but promised for London i would have the light boxes up on the walls. Just recently in the past couple of days i got a new order of Duratrans from a better company, i paid out yet more money but in the end worth it. The new prints look absolutely stunning and i cannot wait to see them on the wall in the light boxes. London is getting close and i'm even more excited about it.

I have a few photographs of the Swansea show and will soon post the London photographs soon.

Roll on the Summer.....

My Father is amongst chaos at his house, getting his roof redone. He was told to clear his loft so that work can begin fixing a hole where the rain gets in. To my surprise My Father phones up to say that he has found a box of old film; containing, Polaroid, 5x4 Slide and Colour film, Black n' white 5x4, Slide 120 mm and Colour + Black n' white 120 mm, 35 mm Colour and Black n' White AND AND AND AND 10X 8 Black n' White Negatives. This summer is going to be an awesome one. I have an exhibition later on in the year in October, so over the holiday i shall be experimenting with the twenty year old dried up Polaroid and 10x8 Negatives, possibly pinhole Negs.

Sourcey Website, Photographic Review.....

Along with the rest of the photography gang at University, i joined the bandwagon and got a review page on Source Magazine photography website. My page will be on the site forever and can be viewed by anyone who is interested in my work. I thought that it would be a nice thing for me to have and to put into my Visual CV. I get a years subscription to Source magazine along with having my own page on the website.  

Marketing & Self Promography....

After the hand in of my portfolio, Visual Diary and External folders. I was also required to produce a promotional pack for an extra module. the pack consisted of business and postcards; a DVD slide show of work, a CD of images, an artist statement, a visual CV and a mock funding proposal for a grant from either Arts council of Wales or England. last year i made a set of Business cards and Postcards, for my portfolio and presentation module in the second year. i really enjoyed the designing of the cards and also my DVD. 

I always want my work to look slick and professional. i take time and effort with extra little details, to make the work that little more special. As a class we were shown examples of packages from previous third years. Some were good and some were bad, so i chose to spend some time thinking about how i wanted to package to look. i felt it was fitting to link to design to my final major project work, to give it a documented and archived look. It almost has a medical or evidential feel to it, in keeping with practice ethos.

Friday, 10 June 2011

To sit on my own with the Fresh Prints.....

"It's the final countdown". My time at university is soon to end, all that is left to do is hand in my portfolio, visual diaries and external folders. I collated it all into a big black brief case my father gave me in the first year. He told me it was his old portfolio case, and always got a job using it when meeting clients. he said it would bring me luck. It's brought me luck for every hand in over the past three years of study. I always excite the tutors with the appearance of the Brief case, each time i go in for an assessment the tutors seem more interested in the case than my work. It's a nice topic of conversation during the assessment, the tutors always ask for one of their own.

The assessment went well, with a few laughs here and there, i think they liked the work that i submitted. I felt confident that i had worked hard over the year and produced a great portfolio. all that was left to do now was to put up the work for the final third year Exhibition.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

London's Calling.....

It has been a while since i last blogged, apologies to all followers. The work load has been hectic with lots of things added each day. It is coming to the end of a very fast few years of University. I am currently tying  up loose ends of my research and the odds and sods that need to be handed in for my final assessment. The main preparation for this final major project, is the end of year shows in Swansea and in London.  Brick Lane is the location of the london show. Free Range is an arts expo that happens every year in Brick Lane, with Universities participating from all over the place exhibiting all faculties of art. I have just sent off for some of my work to be made in Cardiff, this is one of many pieces of work that needs to be made. I am to have a 40"x40" mounted print, two Light boxes and a television installation.

So far the 40"x40" print is the first thing that i have sent off to be made. This week i need to send some image files to Brighton to make Duratrans prints on perspex sheets, for my light boxes. The Television installation i already have to hand. I need to find a plinth from University to use to hold the tele, I will make a CD of images to put into a DVD player to display the work. A book has been made and awaiting arrival, this will also go on display at both Shows. In a sense i will be using a variety of mediums to present my work. Yesterday i signed into the Free Range Portfolio profile. This profile displays my ethos and a few sample images, this 'portfolio' will remain on the site for ever and can be looked at by employers or interested parties.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Today was the start to the unending production of photographs. My Portfolio is to begin to grow, as of this week. I spent most of the beginning of this week preparing for printing. I'm using 12"x16" Fiber based paper for my Black and White work. i've developed (ruined) a few colour films to start on my colour prints as well. Tomorrow is the last day over the holidays to use the colour darkrooms so i will be spending the day mostly in the Colenta room.I will have a look at my Fiber prints and if there is time tomorrow i may re print one as the exposure was a little off centre of the paper. This new work will have more meaning and interact more with the viewer as i am now starting to piece together what it is i want this work to do and relate to when seen by the viewer. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Marketing and Self Help.....

Its coming close to the end, visual diaries need filling, portfolio's need building and now a presentation and promotion package is under way. I did one last year which included a portfolio, visual C.V, postcards and business cards. This year i wanted to make my DVD look really cool.

I want my final portfolio look like a collection of medical examinations and so i wanted to make the cover look like a nice Sciencey Journal. I started by finding a nice book in the university library, preferably a book with a blank cover. This one i spotted and felt the colour was nice to use. I had found in my Fathers filing cabinet a pouch of stickers with the words,

PHOTOGRAPHS PLEASE DO NOT BEND. I felt that this sticker had a quirkiness about it and wanted to use it somewhere in my final major work. I want to make numerous covers of different colour's making in the process a mini collection of the Book/DVD's. I may even get a little bookshelf to set up the collection of portfolio's.

Friday, 18 March 2011


Went to an interview organized by the Uni, the interview was with a Photographer's Gallery Curator from London. She was pleased with my enthusiasm for wet film, especially in this digital age. she found my work very exciting and loved the playful and experimental appearance of my work. the Curator name dropped an photographic artist hadn't heard of before and thankfully remembered his name. 

The photographic artist is called Walead Beshty, a London born american photographic artist,

Many consider his artwork or photography to be abstract, but he objects, “insisting instead on their material inscription of the structural conditions and possibilities of the medium.”] Beshty’s artwork makes the viewer question the possibilities of photography and its relationship with the current world we live in.( < blurb taken from the one and only Wiki.)I looked him up and found the artist that i was looking for all other artists i had found were either abstract expressionist painters or camera-less process artists. Beshty works with film and creates beuatiful pieces.

Monday, 14 March 2011

It's All There In Black And White...

Now that my thoughts and motivation has been dragged from the dissertation to higher and happier climates,  i am now trying to experiment with a range of things; doo daa's, watcha ma call its. don't really know what word is best used instead of 'things' but any way i am coming to the end of a very long and winding road. I now need to work out how i want to present my new work at the London Free Range Show in Brick Lane. 

I was over at my Father's retreat to acquire wise wisdom and experience, after rooting around in the dusty dead fly grave yard of an attic we came across the ol' black and white moving picture box that my Father bought years ago. Half an hour later after many attempts to plug a dubbed video dub (DVD Player) device into the picture box we appeared to be defeated in our efforts to produce an image on the screen of the box. 

with a crash bang and a wallop all of a sudden (this didn't really happen just trying to create an intense atmosphere). A flicker of an image appeared before our very eyes. Turned out we hadn't been tuning the ruddy thing, "Silly us aye"

with a few turns of the leaver thing we got as best a picture as we could get, my Father wanted to improve the quality of the tunedge. I hope he wasn't expecting HD quality. While my Father found the quality of image terrible and scrabbly i was quite excited by the shapes and abstractions made by the Picture Box. We placed a CD of images from Boots or some photo print place like that and loaded the DVD Player and viewed the photographs on a slide show mode of the Player. Due to the poor quality of the Television you couldn't really make out what you were seeing. i felt this had a fitting element to my practice and end of year portfolio of work.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Lost & Found

I am currently collating discarded end trails of film left behind in the processing bay. This is part of a sister project of my Final Major. The Series will be called 'Lost and Found', I feel this is a fitting title as the image documented on the film has been lost and the Neg thrown, i have found a beauty within the destroyed,

"One man's trash is another man's practice of work"....

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A Last Minute Explanation...

My practice deals with manipulation in both the photograph and the viewer. I work with representation of a photograph and alternative perception and perspectives of the photograph.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Every Cloud...

Two photographs from a small series of work i made last year. The irony of it all is these two pieces came about through failure. The original plan was to delve into the unknown; staying with the process of chemically disrupted film, two rolls of film were shot, portraits were taken. One set of portraits were conventionally taken and the second set i asked the subjects to make a spontaneous gesture within the frame. With a set of each portraits i then juggle and move the films from left to right, now there is no way of knowing what is on what film.

Once i decide on a film to develop the other film is to be destroyed. there is an element of risk that i wished to explore. The portraits were shot on Colour C-41 film. thinking i would ruin the film i decided to use black and White development chemicals to process the film. Throughout the developing stage i opened the developing tank to see what was happening to the film knowing i was experimenting i didn't mind leaking of light into the tank.

once the film was dried i then scanned what was to be very thin negatives i discovered a semi negative/positive result. The silver  solarized effect gives a ghostly atmosphere. So having failed to destroy a roll of film i have succeeded in creating a (happy accident). 

"Every cloud has a silver lining"

you can never replicate the same photograph twice, and so unfortunately the Every cloud series can never be replicated after numerous attempts to get the result back i have now failed from my succession. 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Will the real Sam Mills-Williams please stand up...

Hello all whom that read this, i hope you have had a wonderful day and are in a comfortable place in your life at this moment in time.

I recently typed my full name into a search engine, to seek others who share my name to find out what they have become. what was to be revealed shocked me as it was an unexpected answer, the message read:

                 Sam Mills-Williams isn't defined yet.

This realization evoked a hysterical eruption with aching ribs as a result from laughter caused by the direct approach to deliver the answer of who i am as a person. 

I find myself nearing an emptiness, a mass space of nothingness. Once university life is over i fear for what may lead me to my future, fear itself is the unknown. For now i get up in the for the day ahead, make work, think about it and wait to go to sleep. 

Friday, 11 February 2011

Starting Point

My practice first came about as an accident. Colour film that i had never processed before got destroyed, when i tried to develop the film. the photographs lost were of my mother and brother just before i left for university, i took the photographs as memento and sort of comfort blanket as i had never moved away from home before. i still kept the ruined film as a record that i had tried to process film but something had gone wrong, i would need help when processing the next roll.

A few months later i watched a film Pollock. It was a film about the artists life and the all important drip technique Jackson had discovered. Seeing his paintings reminded me a little of the destroyed film i had stashed in the back of my negatives folder. the destructive quality of his work resembled what had happened in the C-41 darkroom. 

I began to scan in on to a computer as the negatives were so thin that wet printing wouldn't really pick up much detail. i had found these weird abstractions, shapes and formations all over the film. 

I am now investigating what is photography, and how far can a process using photographic mediums can go before its not seen as photographic anymore. 

Examination no. 3

Examination no. 2

I am working my practice in a Pseudoscientific approach to Amnesia and neurological study, I am to become a fictional Neurologist, studying the chemical disruption of the brain and what is left as resemblance of a memory. all this is scientifically impossible, no one can see a memory of another, but using the camera as tool to recreate a memory, using the film as a metaphorical brain i can represent a quasi-amnesia.

Photographic Amnesia - Examination no. 1

My work is finally coming together. through a series of experiments i will be putting together a case study of memories collated from friends and acquaintances. re representing a memory, chemically disrupting the 'memory' causing a disturbance with the stability of the photograph/memory and revealing an abstraction, to be interpreted differently numerous times creating a new identity and character to the body of work seen by different people.