Last Friday I went to London for the day with uni. We went for two exhibitions: Hannah Höch at the Whitechapel Gallery and Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern. The Hannah Höch exhibition was really interesting whilst Richard Hamilton’s work didn’t grab me so much, although this could be partly because I went towards the end of the day when I was feeling pretty tired.
The highlight of my day was going to the V&A. The V&A is possibly my favourite museum in London and I never get bored of wandering around it. I’ve been stressed out of my mind with uni work this term so it was kind of therapeutic to spend a bit of time on my own walking around and taking photos.
The V&A currently has the Jameel Prize exhibition on, which is contemporary art inspired by Islamic tradition. It was a really interesting exhibition and I particularly liked the work of Waqas Khan and Faig Ahmed.
The exhibition that made my day was Make It Up: Photographic Fictions. This was a tiny exhibition that I stumbled upon at the V&A but it contained the most amazing selection of photographers: Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Tom Hunter, Duane Michals, Julia Margaret Cameron. My favourite was the huge Gregory Crewdson print at the back of the room. After seeing Crewdson’s work in numerous lectures and on the web, it was amazing to finally see a piece in the flesh. I would highly recommend this exhibition to anyone whose interested in photography, and to make it even better, it’s free!
I’m off to New York for five days on Monday. I’m excited for a break from uni and to be reunited with Kara. Hopefully I won’t turn into an icicle and will post a blog about it when I get back!
2013 was probably the best year of my life. I got to travel, spend time with so many of my favourite people, go to shows and photograph some of them too. I completed my foundation course and started a degree. I’m more confident than I used to be and I feel like I’ve moved on from the shit I went through in recent years.
I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I had this year and all the people in my life. I’m not about to go through and list everything that happened, instead here are some highlights.
I saw in the New Year at home, curled up in an armchair feeling sorry for myself because I’d been ill for the entirety of the Christmas holidays. Once I got back to uni we were finishing our document project which was probably one of my favourite projects on the course.
I also finally got to see Anberlin live and had an interview at Kingston University.
February was the month where I decided it was time for a change and got most of my hair cut off. Usually I get upset when I get a drastic haircut but this time I was really happy with it!
I also met John and Hank Green after seeing them perform at Cadogen Hall. I didn’t realise there would be a signing after so it was the best surprise. It was definitely worth the ridiculously long train ride that me and Elise had to endure to get to London.
On that train journey I also took one of my favourite portraits of Elise looking out of the window.
At the end of the month I was reunited with the usual suspects in a spur of the moment decision to see Walk The Moon. We all froze our butts off whilst waiting in the queue but it was more than worth it.
In March we went on a uni trip to Amsterdam. I fell in love with it instantly and would love to go back there soon.
We went to some great exhibitions and ate a lot of amazing food. I could easily have spent another week exploring the city.
April was spent working on my final major project which was focusing on The Joiners (a venue in Southampton). I got to photograph The Ataris and Versus The World and have a chat with Kris Roe who was really interesting and turned out to be into photography!
I also fun. this month - front row at the Hammersmith Apollo!
May was one of the best months. I finished my course and was free from project stress. The weekend after I finished I celebrated by seeing The Rocket Summer twice in one weekend. Bryce’s music has helped me through so much and it had been three years since I saw him last. The shows both had 20+ song set lists and I finally got to meet him and thank him for what he’d done for me.
May was also Slam Dunk month which I already blogged a lot about. It was the best line up of the three I’d been to. One of the highlights was getting to see two of my favourite musicians perform together and then meet them as well.
June was mostly spent counting down the days until it was time to go to America. However, I did have my 19th birthday in Bournemouth and at the end of the month I got to see Arkells play a tiny venue in London and Bonnie Raitt at the Royal Albert Hall.
On July 2nd I left for America. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so grateful for Kara for letting me invade her house and putting up with a Brit for three weeks. I got to celebrate July 4th, see some of my favourite bands, stay in a cabin in West Virginia and go to New York City and so much more.
Most of August was spent wishing I was still in America. I did get to see Butch Walker with Bexy and Ali which was a lot of fun and at the end of the month I shot a local four day festival called WTFest. I took some of my favourite live music photos at this.
September I moved into my new uni house and started my photography degree. I felt so much better starting uni this time than I did on the foundation. I think that’s because I already had a years experience and was living with friends!
So far uni has proved to be really great and I’ve made some lovely friends. I’m definitely glad that I decided to start this course despite my doubts leading up to it.
I got a lot closer to Leo in September and October and we saw The Front Bottoms and Deaf Havana together. I really liked a chance to introduce Leo to some of my favourite bands and musicians.
We got together at the end of October and it completed my year. In November we went to Paris and had our first date there. On that night we decided to take photos in the photobooth from Amelie (not sure it was THE photo booth but it was in the right station). Hopefully Leo won’t mind me sharing these. It took us ages to get photos we were just about happy with and I’m still pulling the worst faces…
In the beginning of December I spent a week with Leo before he headed back to Thailand. Then I went home for Christmas and it was good to be back if only for a couple of weeks. I had drinks with Chloe and Luke on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas day with my family. I saw in the New Year with Leo eating pizza and watching Die Hard.
It’s been an amazing year and I’m hoping that 2014 will be even better!
I managed to pick 10 records for this year and I thought that rather than just show the album art, I’d write a little bit about each of them and pick my favourite song from each. It’s a bit late I know but I’ve had this post saved in my drafts so I thought I might as well post it.
These albums aren’t in an order but I think Paramore’s self titled album would be number 1 if it was. I was listening to this album solidly for a good few months after its release. It’s just so different to their other records and that’s what I love about it. It’s long but you don’t get bored of it because there’s such a variety of songs. Also, Ankle Biters is a great song to run to…
Favourite song: Ain’t It Fun
It took me a while to get around to listening to this record and I can’t really remember why. Perhaps because I was still hooked on Paramore… I think Fall Out Boy made the best comeback ever with Save Rock And Roll. I listened to this album a lot when I started uni and I think it helped keep a smile on my face and stop me from feeling homesick.
Favourite song: Just One Yesterday
In my eyes this band are pretty much perfect. This is a really beautiful album. I really don’t think this band could ever disappoint me.
Favourite song: I’ll Be There
This was Andrew’s new release after Jack’s Mannequin came to an end. I love this EP as much as any Jack’s record. I can’t wait to hear more new music from this guy.
Favourite Song: Synethesia
Twenty One Pilots aren’t like any other band I listen to. I’m having a really hard time trying to describe this album so I think it’s best if you just go listen and hear it for yourself. Also, if you ever get the chance this band are incredible live.
Favourite song: Holding On To You
Beckett’s new record was worth the wait and I hope he gets over to the UK soon so we can hear these songs live.
Favourite song: Pick Up The Phone
I’d really been looking forward to this record and it lived up to my expectations. Parachute are the band I listen to when I want to sing and dance around in my room and I think this record sits well with their others. I look forward to the day I’m back in America and me and Kara can blast this record whilst driving through Maryland or getting lost in Delaware…
Favourite song: Didn’t See It Coming
It took me a while to get into this album and I think it was after seeing the songs performed live that I started to enjoy it a lot more. I guess some albums are just like that.
Favourite song: Vegas Lights
The Neighbourhood I only really got into in November but I quickly fell in love and they kept me sane whilst I wrote my essay.
Favourite song: Sweater Weather
I really love this album and had it on repeat for a good while after it came out. It’s one of those records I can listen to the whole way through without skipping a track.
Favourite Song: Everybody’s Dancing And I Want To Die
I underestimated how hard it would be to write about my favourite records. It’s difficult (for me, at least) trying to explain why you like something especially music. I would say it’s worth giving each of these albums a listen and maybe you’ll discover something you like!
I’ve been a terrible blogger recently so I’m going to try and do a summary of the past month and a bit.
I suppose the last big event since my last post was Andy Warhol night. This was a social for everyone on Photography. This is me and Megan looking not that much like Andy. I think it would have been better if I’d straightened my hair…
This was probably the best night out I’ve ever had for a whole bunch of reasons. It’s weird to think that if this night hadn’t happened then Leo and I probably wouldn’t be together.
So after Andy Warhol night came halloween. We threw our first house party which was a lot of fun. I had two disposable cameras which I left in the living room for people to use. Unfortunately the film was fogged (going to blame the x-rays at the airport) so only a few of the photos came out. This is my favourite from the bunch.
After counting down the days November 5th finally arrived which meant…
It had been over 4 years since I saw Fall Out Boy for the first and last time, and that night we saw them play an 800 cap venue. I was reunited with Elise, Ali, Bexy, Donna and Lucy and met Lauren for the first time. We were in the middle of the crowd to begin with but when it started to get unpleasant (which resulted in Elise getting hit in the face) we left to stand by the bar and sing our hearts out at the back. FOB looked so happy to be back and playing to us!
After FOB I was back to counting down the days until we headed to Paris on the 13th. It was overnight coach trip from Wednesday night meaning we arrived at the hotel at 11am. I hadn’t been to Paris in a couple of years and it was nice to go back to my favourite haunts. I didn’t take half as many photos as I thought I would but here’s a few.
The main reason we were in Paris for Paris Photo which is held at the Grand Palais over the 15th to the 17th. I’ve never seen so much photography work in one place and it was all amazing. Two highlights were seeing the work of Mike & Doug Starn and Cathleen Naundorf who are two of my favourite artists.
The rest of our time was spent exploring and eating very well. We went to the Eiffel Tower one evening, I’d never seen it at night and it was nice to see it lit up.
The best part of Paris was going on my first date with Leo. We got dressed up and went for dinner at my favourite restaurant called La Mosquee. It does the most delicious food and the inside of the Mosque is beautiful.
After our meal we walked to the Rue Mouffetard then down to the river. We went into Shakespeare & Company and spent a good hour debating about which books we were going to buy. I bought a copy of the first Sherlock Holmes book ‘A Study In Scarlett’. After that we sat outside Notre Dame for a while before heading back to the hotel. I don’t think a first date could get much more perfect than that.
I’m going to try and not get too soppy but I feel so incredibly lucky to be with Leo. He’s one of my best friends as well as my boyfriend. I was scared to take the leap for fear of ruining our friendship but I’m so glad I didn’t let my worries get the better of me. It’s like being on an adventure and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
On the 21st I went up to London to see Panic! At The Disco. I got to see a lot of my friends and I couldn’t stop smiling that night. It was great to see two amazing bands with a bunch of my favourite people. I saw Panic! in January last year but they were so much better this time round. New Politics were also amazing and i’m looking forward to seeing them support FOB in March!
The last few weeks of November were filled with project and essay stress with a few fun days thrown in between. Oria came to stay for a weekend and it was lovely to see her as we hadn’t seen one another since the end of foundation in May. I also went to see Catching Fire which was amazing. Eventually our final deadline day came around and the term finally ended. Meg, Ashton, Taylor and I went out to Halo to celebrate.
The next day, feeling pretty tired and hungover, we made our house roast dinner. Everything was going fine until the roast potatoes took what felt like five hours to cook, despite this slight set back, the meal was delicious and it was nice to spend an evening together before everyone left for home.
I spent the first week of the holidays with Leo before he headed back to Thailand for two weeks. We went to an all you can eat lunch buffet with Tom and Freya, on a bowling date, had a Lord Of The Rings marathon, went for a photo walk in Bournemouth and saw the Desolation of Smaug.
I lost every game of bowling and got a bit sad/grumpy ‘cause I’m a horribly competitive person and a bad loser. In the final game when I was losing Leo told me I didn’t need to be sad and surprised me with an early christmas present: portable CD player and a mix he’d made for me. It was one of the sweetest surprises and the mix is perfect and I’m only half way through it.
We also tried out this Japanese restaurant up the road from me. I had a glass of Umeshu (plum wine - super expensive, super tasty and super alcoholic) and chicken yakisoba. Leo tried to teach me how to use chopsticks but as I’m left handed (and he’s right handed) and I don’t hold a pen or knife and fork properly, it didn’t really work out. (I still managed to use the chopsticks to eat my dinner so I consider that an achievement!)
I think that is pretty much everything. I think one of my resolutions for next year will to be better at blogging and take my camera with me everywhere so I don’t miss anything. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I’ve had this film processed for over a year and I never posted any of the photos so I’m going to put up a few now.
Deaf Havana / Southampton Guildhall / Thursday 17th October
Last minute decision to go to this show with Leo and I’m so glad I did. Big Sixes and Charlie Simpson were brilliant but of course Deaf Havana stole the show. I hope they tour the UK again soon because I’m already impatient to see them again!