To some it may be an art form, to others it may simply be a smart phone app. To me it is my calling, my chosen profession, what I aspire to fill my life with. Photography to me is a preservative of time and memories, of lost love and the greatest invention ever to have been created. Photography is a huge part of our future, one that can not be computerized or manufactured into robotic notions correctly. To be a photographer is to have a keen eye for detail, to search round the crop of your image for imperfections and detail you do not desire. To control a camera like it is your internal eye. Some people say that everything has been photographed before, but to me it’s not always going to be the same image of the same thing. It’s the perspective of the photographer that we look into, the imagination and the creativity, for me to lay my images bare and be judged on my perspectives is liberating and fulfilling, even if I get critiques badly I am still on a learning journey of becoming a better me, a better photographer, along with becoming better at preserving moments in time that can be remembered and recalled on in years to come. That is why I do what I do.
I have always been interested in art and creating new things. Photography was introduced to me when I was at college. The dark room fascinated me, it was the only place in the world at that time where I felt at home. I wanted to learn all I could about photography, The film, the cameras, the formats, digital, the lenses, the people, in invention. It seemed to draw me in further the more I knew. So the time came where I could re-enter back into education and learn it from the best.
In 2013 I started at Rotherham college, I enrolled onto BTEC Photography. Being the age I was (23) I was the oldest to enroll onto the course that year so I seemed to feel a little out of sorts, but this pushed me further than I ever thought It could have. After only a year I gained a double distinction and skipped a year, Enrolling onto HNC/HND in 2014. I worked hard and found I could do the unimaginable. In 2015 I PASSED My HNC.
From here (2015) I could have stopped, I could have got a full-time dead-end job, but I didn’t. I enrolled myself onto BA (hons) Degree in Photography and moving media. I was **Petrified** to say the least. I had recently been tested for dyslexia and told by the examiner if I didn’t get help with my work I would fail my degree. This pushed me further to do it for myself and my own reasons. I will not lie, It was HARD!! it was EXHAUSTING!! and it was EXCESSIVE!! But I am proud to say I did it.
I DID IT!!!
I will now graduate with a 2.1. I never thought it was possible for me to complete a degree.
Back in 2013, when I started in education, if anyone had told me I was going to finish Rotherham college with a Degree in Photography and moving media, I would have laughed and told them to stop dreaming. But they would have been right on the money.
I now have my graduation ceremony to attend in September and I am petrified of falling over my graduation gown (I’m so clumsy).
My graduation will not only mark the end of my educational journey which will be an utterly sad one, but it will also mark the beginning of my next chapter, my professional journey. My journey of proving to myself what I can do and what aspire to be. I have proven to myself through the past 5 years that I am as tough and successful as I make myself.
I make my own luck and I create my own future. With the help of the people around me and the aspirations of my goals. But in the end it comes down to how far I can push myself.
“Dreams come from your inner strength and its your inner strength that makes your dreams come true.”
I know I would not be as successful as I am right now without the people I have already had the pleasure of working with. Daniel Ashton, Sara Hall, Lance Burkett, Ricky Charlesworth and Stephen Boot. Not only the people who have pushed me to discover my own inner strength but the people who have taught me not to be afraid to succeed.
I can’t also go without mentioning my dear, wonderful wife Rebecca Windle-Heath. This woman needs a medal, she has not only supported me through my journey but I always knew she was my safety net if I fell. She made me keep my spirits high when they where falling and she is an all round amazing person. I would not be who I am if I didn’t have her beside me.
So i finished my dissertation last semester and have been contemplating weather to publish it only. With this week being my final week in education i think… hay why not, it could help someone with research in the future.
I did my dissertation on Stendhal syndrome, which in a physiological experience some people witness while viewing art. For my dissertation I investigated weather this could be influenced by photography. As photography is a form of art and in some ways we view it in the same situations as we do painting. To review my finding on: can photography influence Stendhal syndrome. Please read the following. Kasey Windle-Heath Dissertation
So its 4 days to go until my exhibition opens: Visionary Exhibition opens its doors to you lovely lot on the 25th April 2017.
Exhibitions are hard work, its not like planning a party for a friend of family member or putting on a buffet for people. its a little like planning a wedding although a lot more stressful. (I have done both)
So for future reference here is a few tips if any one would like to undertake the daunting task on planning there own exhibition… hire a curator.
Book the venue well in advance!!
Once that is booked and secured your venue then can start with everything else. The venue holds all the answers, what time, what date, location. without all these pieces of fundamental information you cannot start advertising, gaining guests or even arrange catering for your exhibition. So first port of call is to gain the space you wish to show your work in… maybe a cafe, local gallery, a rundown warehouse or maybe an open air pop up exhibition, there all possible venues just add a little creativity and make it your own.
Set your budget.
This is fundamental to planning and organisation of the overall event, it also puts your finances under the microscope. Be fair to yourself. If you knew for a while you was planning to curate an exhibition there should be something financial to show that, although if it is well in advance you may be fine.
Finances is a big part of what you envision your exhibition to be like, do you want classy and upmarket with a preview event of canapes and prosecco. Or a casual and friendly event with vintage beer and cake. Do you want prestigious guests like the top artist in your area or the mayor to attend, or are you looking for a family and friends gathering to celebrate your latest work? All fantastic ideas, but every exhibition is an individual, with an individual price tag, but all ranging from £500 upwards. I have set out a few tips on how to save the pennies.
Utilize the people you already know, photographers, printers, cooks, waitresses, builders, artists etc… Call in favors of owe a few if you have to. Use the people around you instead of hiring others you do not. Most wont ask for the top price because they feel obliged to help, If your friend’s, dad’d best friend owns a catering company… call them and use your links (opening line- iv been recommended to call you by Andrew, Aria’s dad).
Do not buy all at once- Spread out the costs of marketing materiel over a few months, do not wait till the month before. start buying them now.
Booking catering and venue in advance will allow you to set up a payment plan with them. Pay your deposit (10% usually) and then pay each month a set amount. This will compensate itself, instead of paying one lump sum and missing it.
Keep an eye on your travel costs, this is also a factor in which to consider in your budget.
Branding and marketing.
Branding and marketing are the key to gaining visitors to your exhibition. If the location you chose to have your exhibition in has an online space. Be sure to ask them to advertise you event on there website, social media. This allows there networks of previous clients of art enthusiasts to have the opportunity to see your work. Isn’t that the whole point of showing your work… for people to see it?
Early in the exhibition curating stages create yourself a brand, stick to the same colours, fonts, images. Or make yourself an exhibition logo. Post this on all the social media platforms you are filmier with (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc). Make your own pages on social media and create and event to start the guest list process. A space where you can post regularly about the progress of your work you will exhibit or the progress of the exhibition itself.
Artist statements- a little bit about the artists involved, this will allow your followers/ invitees to get to know a little bit about each individual person.
Behind the scenes- post photos of a video about the progress of an ‘in the making’ video. this will grab peoples attention and show your work from a different perspective.
Sneek Peeks- post snippets of footage or photographs that have been taken out of the final series. After all if you put all your final pieces on your social media no body would come because they can view it from the comfort of there own home/
Developed promotional materials- posters, invites, leaflets etc… this will make people see your professionalism and that the exhibition is a real event.
Count downs- I did mine on the week running up to the exhibition, this brought more activity to the pages as i was posting every day for a week up to the exhibition. Although you could do weekly countdowns.
When the exhibition is due to be held and your have put up your exhibition, take a photo of the final space ready for the guests.
If you are holding an exhibition that you would like high profile professionals to attend they will expect to be waited on. So if you are doing a buffet style catering do not invite Her Majesty Queen.
If you would like high profile attendees invite them well in advance. A few months prior to sending out any other invitations. Professionals are nutritiously busy people and can take some time to get back to you, so factor in this time and give them no escape.
Planning and exhibition will become a very busy period in your life. You will meet with all kinds of professionals. Although each meeting will be for a different subject, be prepared for each of them. write down in advance any questions you need to ask, there is nothing more annoying than wanting to ask so many questions, then arriving to forget them all. Then all you do is ask the wrong questions to go home and email them with a list of questions you missed.
Take a note pad and pen or record the meeting and there answers through your phone or Dictaphone. If your anything like me, they will tell you everything you need to know and you will forget what they said as soon as you walk out of the door.
Ask your partners, fellow curators and other conjoined aspects of the exhibition if they have any questions for that person. If they do take them with you or get them to write them down for you prior to the meeting. I.e catering may want to ask the venue something.
Keep a log of all the meetings you have had, who with, what date, what was said. This will give you future reference of information you may have no needed back then.
Also keep a log of the contact details for the conjoining aspects of your exhibition. You should have the caterers mobile number, email address, name and maybe an assistants contact number as well, along with the same fore the venue, technical help, brewery and anyone else involved. You should have these with you at all time, especially i meetings, this will allow you advantage of cutting out the middle man where possible.
For example: If you meet with your caterers to finalize the menu, but they want to know if they can store the food in the venues freezer prior to the exhibition event. This would be your opportunity to give the caterers the venues contact details to confirm this between themselves. Although this is not the most professional way of completing the task, it dose take some of the weight from you, because after this meeting you will be writing the meeting up and finalizing other things prior to the exhibition date.
Design your space.
Prior to hanging any of your work or assembling any exhibition installations, design you exhibition space. Ask your venue for floor plans of there establishment or while at a meeting, take photos of there space. Designing your space will allow you to know prior to hanging how much wall space you have and what will be better hung were.
For example: you may have 20 A2 pieces and there could only be room for 17 A2 pieces, this then would give you a dilemma of what to place where and what not to show at all. Allow there to be space between each pieces of your art, approximately half the size of each piece should be the witch between them all, this then gives the impression of similarity and an even look throughout the space.
So designing the space is key to getting the exhibition put up quickly but effectively.
An exhibition is not only about showing people you work and abilities, Its also about perspective clients and gaining notability for your work. Promotional packs are a great way to get your name out to people that attend your exhibition. Give them incentive to take them home, include a pen with the exhibition logo on or a trolley dolly. Something that is not only branded, but they can also use it.
Within this pack include you business cards, a postcard with an image from you your and contact details on, an exhibition catalog or leaflet and maybe old clients business cards in exchange for commission.
Example: My promotional packs contained; a postcard, Exhibition catalog, a pen (above) my business card, a clients business card (in exchange for commission) along with packs provided by a client, all contained in a white paper bag.
Your promotional material is what you make it. if you do not do any, you wont promote yourself.
The big day.
All that planning and the day has arrived, the day of your exhibition event. Weather your exhibition is going to be displayed for 1 day or 1 month, the preview event is everything to you right now. This day unlike any other is the most important. Prepare for the worst but expect the best. This will allow you to prepare for any hurdles you face on the way. If you have put up you work prior to your exhibition preview that is one less thing to worry about, although there is still more to do.
Prior to this day you should have:
Set a time for your arrival to the venue.
Set a time for your caterers arrival to the venue.
Set a time for your guests arrival.
Prepared the exhibition promotional packs (if any).
On the day you should:
Confirm with the venue and catering regarding times of arrival.
Test any technical equipment.
Prepared the space for peoples arrival.
Lay out any stations (feedback station, purchasing station etc).
Our Exhibition Space will be at The Art House in Sheffield.
This space is Perfect for our exhibition and so show the current project ‘our little secret’. The venue is small and intimate. It has a warm and welcoming ground floor cafe to house our past work from previous assignments and a small quaint first floor to house our current project our little secret.
The cafe are will hold some posters of my current project. Along with images i have done previously. I do not know which images i will show yet although i do have many shortlisted.
At our exhibition the cafe will be closed and I have out of house caterers coming in with proccesso and canapes *how classy*.
The upper floor has a small exhibition room with a hall way leading to it. We plan to have my images on the hall way walls leading to the exhibition room where the short film will be shown.
The lower levels will hold a different feel as the upper floor, we aim to low level piano music to be played throughout the lower levels, this will not interrupt the upper level film screening.
If anyone would like to attend this. It will be on the 25th of April at 6:00. 😀
The images are to represent the feelings and emotions children associate with experiencing child abuse. some are not as obvious as others but i aimed to capture the emotions in the children’s faces and eye. to let them to the viewer a story.
5 Participants, 2 Days, 9 children, 5 Stories, 2 camera set up, one for filming, one for photography, dark Gray black drop, 1 large soft box and light head and one large reflector… what more could I need
Day 2 of filming and things are going rather well. Only 1 drop out from yesterday but this was expected out of 10 participants.