This year I decided to keep a nature journal, with paintings and drawings of the animals, plants and weather I see each month. I thought it would be interesting to look back on at the end of the year, as well as being a great way of improving my art skills.
Last week I went to Bedminster Lantern Parade, a procession of handmade lanterns and local bands through the streets of the Bedminster area of Bristol, put on to bring a little light and cheer to the winter darkness. It was sweet, uplifting, and very, very Bristol.
The Fairy Tale, Di Oliver
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by fairy tales. As a child I was enthralled by the pretty princesses and magical phenomena, but as I grew older I started to notice the darker elements of the tales, to wonder what was going on behind the scenes. Why were the (usually female) protagonists always warned to stay out of the woods, away from the tower, or not to go to the ball? What was lurking there that was so dangerous? And was it really dangerous to the protagonist, or was there something more oppressive at work? When I discovered the work of Angela Carter, who so skillfully weaves all these questions into a tapestry of magical realism, carnival colours, and often shocking sexuality, I was completely entranced. Her writing made me think deeper about not only the stories I had grown up with, but the real world, and my place in it. It made me realise that magic can be found in the strangest of places. Above all though, her writing conjured up a series of very clear images, pictures in my mind which have influenced me ever since.
I've had several failed attempts at a 365 day challenge before, but somehow I still wanted to come back to the idea. So I decided to quietly start one on January 1st 2017, and wait a couple of weeks to see if I could actually pull it off. So far, so good.
During my past attempts I felt like I had to have massive variety in what I was showing, but this year I am much more focused on ACTUALLY FINISHING THINGS. There may end up being multiple photos of the same project, but I think that will be an interesting progression to look back on, and it will be a good learning experience to work out different ways of photographing the same project. I'm also going to be much easier on myself this time, allowing any art challenges I do to count as part of this 365 day challenge, if needs be. So without further ado, let's dive right in.