My first assemblage

Something completely new for me… I have started work on an assemblage – Things The Paramedics Left Behind. Initially I thought that I wanted the items to be displayed on a while background however when I tried it out only the blue and yellow items stood out. It wasn’t as defined as I wanted it to be at all, particularly for the plastic items. Instead I have tried out different arrangements on a blue tray. Here are the test photos of the different compositions.

Things The Paramedics Left Behind – tray test photos

I have tried all sorts of different arrangements of the items. Overall I don’t feel as though the assemblage works well within the confined space of the tray. I think the shape of the tray really limits the options of where the objects can go. It feels restricted and the squashed. I also dont think it reads well. Therefore I have tried putting them items onto a piece of reclaimed wood.

Things The Paramedics Left Behind – reclaimed wood test photos

I think the arrangements on the reclaimed wood work much better because if the proportions of the space. It reads better as a group and also as individual items. I plan to attach the objects to the wood with small picture tacks.

As this is my first venture into trying to create an assemblage I would greatly appreciate any tips or opinions because I would like the work to be powerful and thought provoking.

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Eye Manipulation

I have started quite a self indulgent project in recent weeks. I am documenting my own health. As a starting point I have starting collecting- objects, photographs, videos and my thoughts through creative writing.

I think this new body of work is going to be quite a departure from my work in the past because I am focusing on myself, but strangely I don’t feel self conscious about it. I think it’s because I am experiencing alot of unusual things, quite different from the life I used to have before I started experiencing health issues. Therefore it feels important to be recording it, reacting to it and responding in a creative way.

At the time that the below photos were taken I was unable to see anything due to eye inflammation. I am quite impressed that I even managed to capture myself in the frame!

Dabbling on Photoshop

I still consider myself a novice in Photoshop techniques but I quite enjoy the process of digital photo manipulation so I have had a go to see what results I could achieve. My aim was to try and highlight the white eye drops against the the rest of the face by changing them to black and white and then inverting them to make it look like black dripping out of the eyes. It didn’t really work, the drops just ended up grey. However, I enjoyed the process and although I didn’t achieve what I wanted, some of the results are quite cool and detailed.

Physical Manipulation

I have printed the photos so that I can also physically manipulate them. I want to blur out the images and I am going to try several different processes to see what effects I can achieve. I want to create a blurry veil to mimic my blurred sight.

I’m quite disappointed with the minimal effects that my processing has had on the photos. I was expecting some much more dramatic results. I think it is because I ordered very high quality photo paper.

Boiled – didn’t really do anything other than break down the strength of the back of the paper

Harpic toilet cleaner – I like this effect. At first I wasn’t keen on the blue colour, but now I quite like it because it fits in with the medical theme.

Margarine – hasn’t changed the image at all

Oil and salt – I added the salt afterwards because the oil didn’t really do anything

Plaster- I like this outcome but need to somehow seal it on the photo so that it doesn’t break off of the surface

Hand soap – only a slight darkening to parts of the image

Vasaline – has done nothing to the surface of the image. I thought this method would be much more effective than it has been

Wax – tricky to pour it where I wanted it to go – perhaps dipping the photo into the wax might work better

Bleach – had to be bleached twice because the first bleaching didn’t really do anything at all. I quite like it now that it has been bleached twice

Scanned

I put my manipulated images into my scanner and some strange things happened to some of them. They scanned in as normal and then when saving they went through an ‘enhancing’ process on the app and the colours washed out. Quite interesting… and I can only assume it is because the scanner uses light to capture the images.

When I couldn’t see I felt quite vulnerable and somewhat lonely. These were very new feelings for me to experience! I struggled alot with these emotions and it was the worst part of not being able to see. I am going to try and explore these emotions some more and try and get them to reflect in my work.

My obsession with cracks, …

… imperfections and things that used to be somewhere.

I am in Cheltenham this week. When I am in a new place I like to go out on foot and go exploring. I take my camera, a sketchbook and use the stimulus of my new surroundings to get inspired. Unfortunately this week my back and hips are extremely sore so I can’t manage the 2 or 3 hour walk I would usually undertake. However I have managed a very short walk to the Pitville Pump Room and a small part of the Pitville Park.

On my way to the Pump Room I saw some lovely cracks!
https://maps.app.goo.gl/q9JjUK4vgmCVr79z8

My obsession with cracks began in January 2021 when I spent time documenting a local carpark. Since doing that project I love (and seek out) all different kinds of imperfections and the ‘overlooked’.

Here are some compositions I photographed on my walk today.

I was also able to go inside the Pump Room. It was really quite beautiful inside, particularly the lighting. It was a calming and serene space.

I wish that I had been fit and able enough to take a full wander around the large expanse of Pitville Park. I did sit for a while and do a pencil drawing of some beautiful tree bark. For those that are interested I used a Blackwing Palomino pencil.

R A M O N A W H I T E

My name is Ramona White, and I have just finished my Art and Design foundation diploma at Gower College Swansea. I am extremely grateful for the use of the Jane Phillips Award blog, and I’m delighted to be the first from GCS to do so.

N O S T A L G I A

I have always been fascinated by the feeling of nostalgia. A thought of the past floats through your head, instantly filling your heart with warmth while it simultaneously begins to feel suffocated. It’s as though the rose-tinted glasses allow you to fall in love with the past but the bittersweet tinge of reality could burn a hole straight through you. To me, it’s a beautiful and confusing concoction of heart retching aching and carefree love, two emotions which are painfully strong, pulling your heart in two completely different directions. When feeling nostalgic, I never know whether I want to live in the bliss of the memories or to cry forever at the thought of them never repeating themselves.


This photoshoot revolved around the idea of nature and childhood nostalgia.

While growing up, I had a relatively small garden, but it was gracefully packed with overgrown nature. Long grass and wildflowers sprouting between concrete slabs, making a plethora of miniature ecosystems. As a child I would leap face first into this personal landscape. I have always been drawn to nature, compelled by something within me to reach out and adventure into interesting landscapes hidden within the cities I have lived. My inner child yearns to be fully surrounded by wildlife, which is where the inspiration for this series’ look stemmed from.

The makeup, modelling and photography was all done by me, allowing me to have complete creative control over the outcomes. The dried flowers I have displayed on my face were picked from my garden and pressed by myself. The flowers are still aesthetically beautiful and delicate but will eventually become completely stale and lifeless. The knowledge that something will never fully return to its earlier qualities once removed from its original home; that is where the pain originates from in nostalgia.