Posted on October 6, 2016
My long distance package from a friend Dave Carter Baker in Birmingham arrived today containing my shipment of Fused magazines.
After cutting open with my big scissors and then vigoursly ripping back the flaps I was quite surprised to find an extra gift .
Should I frame it and lock it away in my downstairs safe.
The art of grooming, beardart from bakersy by the grim weeder.
What exactly is it ?
Peculiar and strange.
A long distance personal dna infused self portrait or a religious icon of the beards contemporary cultural status? I have yet to figure this out.
Posted on May 19, 2016
Posted on January 29, 2016
The negative contribution of our perceived reality of death on society .
In my current project “ Place “ I started a project surrounding our cultures interaction with death and its own mortality throughout history . How it is perceived as a taboo and as a species how we have been negatively influenced by it in many ways .
Throughout history man has shown his awareness of self and mortality through reflection in his artwork via different means such as vanitas and memento mori ( Latin for Remember you are mortal ) .
What do we fear about death
Nothingness . Never experiencing pleasure or anything again . Pain . Missing family and loved ones .
I think our conscious thoughts about experiencing loss are to blame for our fear of death even though when you rationally think about it what we are scared of is not possibly able to happen . Its just our thoughts of it that create the fear , our concept of death is created by the living and for the living it isn’t a real part of death . So surely we can create a concept of death that benefits us more than our current perception of it .
As when we are children and do not understand our own demise we are happier .
I am currently in the process of documenting two individuals lives .
A male called Roger who was the second person to undergo and the first person to survive a new operation called a percardiectomy . A Pericardiectomy is the surgical removal of part or most of the pericardium. This operation is most commonly done to relieve constrictive pericarditis or to remove a pericardium that is calcified and fibrous. Roger went into the operation theatre expecting to die . The operation was successful and he was granted extra time , whereas in nature he would of died . However this did not cause him to change his ways and he went back to drinking heavily . Our advancement in technology provides us with a means to extend our lives but is it really the correct direction in which society should progress for the benefit of prolonged group survival on this small planet .
The image above is Roger and the artefact he is holding is the actual image taken whilst he was in the surgery of his heart whilst he was being operated on . The thick membrane you see surrounding his heart should only be the width of a rizla paper . It becomes calcified thickens and puts strain on the heart .
We cant have billions of people surving to over 100 and all having children themselves the world would collapse under its exponential weight . We shouldn’t have let it reach these proportions in the first place .
My research led me think about how death is perceived of and impacts upon society today and to use the binary of Life and Death in my presentation elaborating on some theorys and insights I have gained whilst following the lives of these two people that I think would benefit the longevity of our species .
After witnessing their pain first hand . I tried to imagine what I could do to prevent it and help them in some way . Their pain is only brought about by their knowledge of a future negative self event and if we had no concept of our own death this misery could be avoided along with a lot of societys negative actions which at their root are caused by consumption generated by knowing our own mortality .
Our Greatest Problem is not Death . It is The Thought Of Death .
This led me to envisage my proposed theory . As I started to think and act as if I myself were in a world where death was not imagined and to photograph as if I was a person in that world creating living images of my hopes and dreams and the people whom I was documenting , this world seemed to be a better place to reside .
After your death you will be what you were before your birth . Authur schopenhauer . German Philosopher .
The idea of death , the fear of it haunts the human animal like nothing else , it is a mainspring of human activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death . To overcome it by denying in some way it is the final destiny of man .
Ernest becker .
Our biggest downfall is knowing our own mortality .
Man consumes the world and everything in it to avoid his own death
Our knowledge of our own mortality creates unhealthy mindsets which promote selfish destruction of ourselves our planet and the people around us . Imagine a world where we have no concept of death how would it change our civilisation ?
Is it possible to consider the thought of our world and the people inhabiting it living without the idea of death subconsciously lingering in the background . I propose that all our contemporary problems are caused by this very realisation , especially in a world more enlightened about death being a final state . We are less religious and more people in our time don’t believe in an afterlife but instead put there trust in science . But also at the same time civilisation is driven by death , ( would our belief it didn’t exist hinder our development or just slow it down thus I think being beneficial ) , albeit at an unhealthy rate . We need to slow down and reach our goals of civilised advancement at a much reduced rate with a different driving force . Our very culture , religion and the subjects that have evolved through the ages such as science have been influenced by death and how we can avoid it . Religion was created to make people feel more comfortable about death and give them hope at an afterlife . Now we are becoming more scientific and losing our faith our realisation of death causes us to strive harder to avoid it but also feel more scared of its impending infinity of nothingness . We cannot imagine it … It is impossible to visualise . But many people people today know that it is the end .
Throughout history Kings and Queens have always tried to symbolically immortalise themselves through their very own reproduction in sculpture and paintings . Sort of like an old fashioned selfie . Whereas now we are in an age where the public symbolically immortalises themselves daily through selfies on facebook . As a species we have always sought to engineer our own immortality . Civilisation has grown upon a need to thwart our enemies , stave off disease , hunger , cold and ultimately death . Modern day attempts include stem cells, nano medicine and genetics . But at what cost ? What price must we pay ? The developmental greed of the western world has caused the beginning of the earths destruction .
Instead of the rich individually striving for immortality to protect the only thing they truly love ( themselves ) via any means neccessary , even if that means sacrificing the very planet they live on for future generations . We consume to survive and take more and more because we know our own fate and only wish ourselves the most pleasure possible .
If humans convinced the world there is a god then surely we could provide good reason there is nothing to worry about regarding death . Could we not persuade or teach people through science to see death as something we are happy to accept . Could we not banish death so our society thrives in a peaceful and loving state of deathlessness . Could our children not be convinced through education that it is a joyful concept , would it not be a better lie than religion to factually portray death to the world as not something we should fear but embrace . This would be a small sacrifice and price to pay to achieve the results it would bring . Would never being told or even knowing of its existence in the first place not make us a more peaceful species and more loving of our neighbour .
If death didn’t inhabit our mind would we not learn to think more as if everyone was the whole unit instead of selfishly and singular self consciousness . Thus more chance of prolonging our species survival . Everything would slow down and the way the world thinks would change as there would not be any need for a Human-Race to survive . Our consciousness would be less centred on greed , growth and protection and more so towards the moment and love as are animals that aren’t aware .
Death should not matter and should not be in our thoughts . We are all ignorant to knowledge about it as there is no way for us to know , It is just a thorn in our sides that we would be better off removing for the sanity and future of the earth . If we couldn’t comprehend it then everyone would carry on as normal until the very last second .
How long will it be until we are able to live longer and the rich living commonly reaching a century but the poor dwindling away quietly in their 40’s50’s , but still being told and believing our lifespans are increasing . Will we ever reach a point where we can live indefinitely becoming immortal and would this be a good thing . I think that if we can banish that very thought of our ideologys around life and death we would have a more peaceful and loving society .
Would we as a species not be happier ?
Our knowledge and fear of death promotes change but also creates monsters intent on destruction for their own survival .
The Final Place
Everything we do is subconsciously controlled by the thought of our own mortality . Our very culture was brought about to provide herd protection from our greatest fears and to prolong our inevitable fate . Sanitisation . Hospitals . Religion . Medicine . Genetics . Food . Our homes . Diet . Exercise ( to mention just a few ) you name it and ultimately it is a form of self preservation or security against the grim reaper .
But this growth and protection of ourselves through knowing that our final curtain will one day be drawn , leads us to excessive consumption of our surroundings to delay deaths rapid onslaught . Which in turn causes many of todays problems such as global warming and overpopulation .
I find it hard to believe that we could continue to sustain a population as big as ours and each individual within it with long healthy lives and not have the planet pay the ultimate price of complete extinction through our wanting of our own perpetuity . How ironic …..
Death is like a cultural disease that eats away at society .
I wonder if it is possible for an intellectually evolved society to be convinced it is immortal ?
Posted on January 9, 2016
Posted on December 12, 2015
Stories like this definitely make you realise how lucky you are to have shelter , warmth and a family on these cold winter nights and … especially at christmas time .
I found Antoinette crying in a doorway , shivering and freezing cold . We approached her concerned as to why she was crying and to try and comfort her .
Straight away she noticed the camera around my neck and i was met with pleas of
” Please take my picture so my mum will see it and know where I am ” .
In a flash , a lump rose in my throat ….. Anyway , we had been shopping and were on the way home , so …. I had in my bag food items and a pink glove and hat set which had been brought for my daughter . I immediately took out the sandwich and the hat and gloves thinking that it would do her a lot more good at this moment in time , she could keep herself warm and sate her hunger . With many thanks , in less than a second , the gloves and hat were on and the sandwich was being hastily eaten to numerous jeers from passers by of
” Why are you speaking to her “
” Dosser “
” Lend us a quid to score “
” Scum “
Today i think its almost considered a taboo to speak to people living on the streets never mind to offer a helping hand because the looks i got whilst helping her and the things people said as they walked past , enjoying their night of drink and drugs ( Probably ) were terrible . People are so selfish and inconsiderate ( The world could be a better place if everyone would love each other as they love themselves ) .
In the next 15 minutes I heard a heart wrenching story , through tears , of how she was missing her family , particularly her mother and son.
Antoinette had come from Burnley where she had her own son , at a young age , until she had lost her home , after which he was taken off her . The grief she felt at not knowing where he was , was so clear in her eyes and by what she said . She just wanted to get back home to her mother , see her son and sort everything out ( easier said than done when your in such a terrible situation ) .
She was recently blinded in one eye through being assaulted on the streets of Blackpool of which no action was taken . There was no way for her to get any help or a place to stay at so short notice . You feel so helpless when faced with situations like this .
This young girl who seemed to have aged way beyond her years was in desperate need of solace . I wish to have helped her more and I only hope we provided her with some comfort and warmth on this freezing cold night .
Her last words to me when i left were …
” Please don’t let your son turn out to be like me , tell him to be a good boy stay with his mum and dad …. and work hard ”
Posted on June 21, 2015
These are two images from a recent project of mine , which will soon be finished and put on my website . I focused on the different types of people living on a council estate , which is soon to be demolished , and all the residents being rehomed . My work shows an underlying cultural message from a group of normal working class people living together , enduring and surviving amongst the dystopia , living alongside it and all that this entails . A proud and patriotic working class sub culture leaving their old estate behind with a strong desire to have a better future , which is something we all want and should take heed of .
It tells a story of ordinary people striving to live alongside social problems and how society has installed rules and ideas to influence and affect these unaware populations , showing themselves clearly amongst these people . It shows ideas instilled by a culture and people acting out and living their lives accordingly through these concepts . They have been moulded by societies notions which have been placed upon them ( forced ? ) , unknowingly but willingly accepted , innocently but obligingly to a predetermined script . This script needs to be re-written .
Posted on June 21, 2015
These are two recent images ( of many ) from a project i am doing , which I will soon be finishing and putting the end result on my website . I focused on the different types of people living on a council estate . The one above is a typical kitchen on the 17 th floor of a council buildings where a suicide took place . The area is renowned for suicides and has the highest rate in england .
More tradgedy and emotion was at one time flowing around this uncomplicated kitchen area than most people in your average family will ever witness in their entire lives . The pure charged Despair and sorrow that once was a reality in this ether … space ….atmosphere of this simple kitchen belies …. is misrepresented by such an commonplace household image and does not give justice to what actually happened here with the numerous suicides on Queenstown . But this for me sums up a stark contrast of the concept of what we don’t see or realise is going on in different places we just do not understand or experience . The idea of the sheer madness of what once existed and was real but is now a just a rested memory abandoned to history .
A forgotten mistake that cannot be learned from …… But photography can solve these problems for future generations . My images carry on this thought so others can witness it and maybe help prevent these problems in the future
In the area they live there are consistently found higher levels of emotional strain, stress, depression, mental illness . It has been and is an important part of our culture to document , making a visual factual testament to the people who lived within them and how thy responded and evolved within it and the problems that arise .
My work shows a group of normal working class people living together , enduring and surviving together amongst the dystopia , living alongside it and all that this entails . A proud and patriotic working class sub culture leaving Queenstown behind but striving towards a better future , which is something we all want and should take heed of .
My work shows ordinary people striving to live alongside social problems and how society has installed rules and ideas to influence and affect these unaware populations , showing themselves clearly amongst these people . It shows ideas instilled by a culture and people acting out and living their lives accordingly through these concepts . They have been moulded by society notions that have been placed upon them ( forced ? ) unknowingly but willingly accepted , innocently but obligingly to a predetermined script . This script needs to be re-written for all our sakes .
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on The Man Bar|
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on Colin|
|allentimphotos2 on Colin|