Tilt – Shift a visual reflection

This post is a visual reflection of the works exhibited at Tilt Shift an exhibition of artists on the MA- Fine Art and Education programme at Northumbria University.  I exhibited 3 works, of multiple 3d and 2d pieces, two of which were working as a coherent installation together. The exhibition took place at Gallery North, Northumbria University and ended on 4th September 2016.


The above three photos show fuller views of the installation from square on and two views looking across the gallery. This comprised formally 3 pieces of work:

  1. Scrolls (36 views of a steam flue), 2016

Photo paper and transparency film, metal and chipboard fittings



2) Anatomy of our flatpack desires, 2016

Floor installation in printed chipboard and laminate.

Dimensions variable


printed vinyl on laminated chipboard furniture components



Tilt – Shift – installation day 2

T-Sinstallation-9The installation on day 2 meant rethinking it all.  The linear orientation needed to be broken up, but I did not want to lose the  sense of progression, from flat chipboard origins to a more complete ‘unit’.  I decided to include the ‘frame’, which acts as the full stop and the final view.  This new layout offers more dynamic views and shows the individual pieces reacting to each other more. There is a linear route  through the piece, this time a diagonal that tacks back towards the door and allows viewers to stand among the pieces – to try to fit them together?


With more space the ‘Scrolls’ piece can have more space to breathe….it allows viewers to approach unhindered.

The scrolls look well on their double chipboard background – utilising a spare a printed cloud board to work as a frame, this gives more presence to the piece and links them together better than was achieved in the last installation.


Finally the third piece: Lacking, Needing, Wanting Taking, uses the pillar to create a branch effect, allowing the four box units to be seen as one alone and in contrast to others at 90 degree angles as part of a group, but ultimately all four can never be seen all at once.

Coming Together

The work for the final exhibition is coming together well,  but requires input to monitor and interpret drawings and models.

The printed sheets of chipboard have been completed by Chromazone and picked up by Geoff Jackson of Langley Furniture.  Geoff will slice the printed chipboard and assemble the bathroom cabinet. First there needs to be a plan.

A VERY BASIC MODEL – provided for Geoff Jackson to get makingGeoff  tries to relate the model to the printed sheetsIt will make sense….


The grey tones of the chipboard print look excellent, but what will they look like under the harsh light of the top floor of Northumbria Gallery North….

finding gems


The process of reviewing all the photoshoots of the chipboard factory has been fascinating.  With more time to reflect, I discovered some gems from the original film shoots back in November.  These were shot on 35mm film so contained some well composed captures in landscape format.  This is useful as the Kallax piece, in fact all the pieces using Ikea furniture items, need images that are not square.  In this example, I have deliberately edited quite underexposed from the digital scan of the film negative.  The reduced highlights bring out the textures of the riverbank and the grey cloak of a sky.  The reflected light on the three factory structures shine out.

All images used can now be from film – it is consistent.

Designing – for others to make

plans for exhibition-1

There are great risks in getting others to make to formal designs.  I successfully made the drawer component of the exhibition but I need a greater accuracy in the cupboard feature.  Therefore I need to work with a skilled collaborator: Geoff Jackson of Langley furniture Works. http://langleyfurnitureworks.co.uk. There is a degree of absurdity in sitting down and talking about the ugliness of chipboard with Geoff who is a maker of fine furniture, adding insult to injury by asking him to make something from this weak and fibrous material. Team-01

However, Geoff is a consumate maker  and enjoys the creative challenge as this fine picture from his website testifies – a ‘Noddy Car’ for an exhibition at the Centre for the Children’s book.  Geoff is intrigued by the idea and talks of other hidden northumberland factories which make strange or even threatening products – hiding in plain sight.

I need the chipboard printed so collaboration  with Chromazone is also needed.  I have made samples and now need them to print larger sheets to work with.  I am also working with Robin Watson signs to make the vinyls that will go over the Ikea furniture. This has become a process of project management – designing – testing – costing and then allowing this work to be made by others.  A change from my previous practice which focussed on what had been made by hand – primarily by my hand.

The hand of the ‘maker’ will be concealed in the final piece, even though the work will be partially about the process of making from materials…..


Editing the photo scrolls

final crit blog-3

Above is the trial photo scroll as a 3d object.  The following is a ‘still’ from the edited scrolls I have been making.  Improvements inspired by feedback include – a decisions to drop the hand written font and work with a simple typeface and font – like a traditional typewriter or a ticker tape.  I have also included some words that reflect ancient property rights or structures, a demesne is the are of land close to the manor on a medieval lord’s estate. All the photography is now shot on film.


Kakejiku -Japanese Screens and scrolls

Developing an idea to create work in the form of a scroll or screens.

Looking at traditional Japanese vertical screens  as a possibility for connecting images back to the idea of ’36 views’.

Kakejiku — ‘the hanging scrolls you see in japanese tea rooms, temples or traditional guest houses.’


They have a particular structure – allowing a top and bottom to roll the central image, a simple bottom and top rod and satrap to hang the work.  The framing is precisely defined as well:


sometimes the borders are organised into columns and lintels.

This film has a lovely visual description of the craft of making the screens.  Is it possible to do this with photographs……?

Thinking onwards – film strips or scrolls

I have started to think about showing the images as a  book, then as a ‘strip book’ and taking that to the logical extreme as a redited strip to the same size as the original capture film.  This could work as positive print or negative film….first trials below

or indeed as scrolls, looking at the Japanese tradition again:

Video of a traditional Kakejiku – Hanging Scroll

This video shows the craftsmanship required to make a perfect scroll.  They are an art of devotion and were designed for contemplation.  Their portability is a part of their design, with special fabric tassles to tie up the work.  Often found in Budhist temples or in homes, they have a strict design of framing with concepts of ‘pillars’ at the sides and a ‘heaven’ section above and a ‘hell’ section below.

All these concepts and techniques link back to my introduction to the craft of rice paper and chinese brush painting which was the subject of an earlier workshop and post.

There is a possibility of taking and adapting this to the issue of how to display the possible 36 image poems so far created.


Sycamore – image and text together


Starting to move towards a ‘publication format’. I think the black background is great. White text works well – but this must be off the picture, composition demands a balance between text and image and overlap is an invasion of one on the other.

Handwriting is now a possibility, in the  image above the writing is done with fine pen on exposed negative film and then scanned.   I like the idea of my handwriting and the effect of it being scanned or ‘developed’ as if it were a negative.  My handwriting is terrible and its flow sporadic,  so I have tried some versions with a more organised style of handwriting and applied these to recent photos medium format negatives to create these compositions and looked at them printed largea1 felled


The next thing to try was how this would work if the images were returned to something close to their capture size, to a strip. the size of an actual film negative….