Thursday, 30 September 2010

Setting up studio

As i presumed in my last blog- this week has been busy and draining. Tuesday was at college in the morning, enrollment started at 9.30am- but that's when myself and Anika got the train, to save the expense of the peak ticket. You forget how many people you know and like at college- until you all go so a scary shouty cafe in Pimlico and try to fit around one table... only to be shouted at not to sit at the table until you have ordered. This is the way of the shouty cafe 'TWO EGGS AND CHIPS!' That Tuesday evening i had to rush home for the Guides (This commuting is giving me a headache- we better find somewhere to live soon!)- Word had spread that i wasn't back at Uni yet, this week I covered the guides- last week i was covering the Brownies- it is quite nice to work with the different age ranges though- and i feel slightly more confident now that i know most of the girls from camping over the summer- the Brownies do ware you out though. All they seem to do is run and scream.
Anyway, following through with this week- yesterday i was at Rainbows, and today i had arranged to meet with a couple of people from our studio last year to talk about the new arrangement of the Opt-in Space.

We have been given a small extra room for the Opt-in Space this year- as the part time students are being given studio space, we have gained their project room. But what to do with this room is the challenge. The guys that met up had some really great ideas about ways of opening up the whole space without having to loose walls- As the 'guinea pigs' as such, for the space, they are really taking the initiative of what to do with it next (Since the creators left this June). The plan as of yet is still to be discussed with the new intake into the studio next week- but we have discussed breaking down some walls to let in some natural light, to have a centralised sofa/ working area and bring the the black space and blue room into one room. Also we may be given a projector to use in the space permanently, which is fantastic for shows etc and maybe we can use the small room as a bookable space for the people in Opt-in. The guys that came in are also really keen to start building their own furniture for the space as well as movable walls (This sounds amazingly difficult and i wish i had the woodwork capabilities to do it). I did have to mention though,  that not everyone else would be able to help with the furniture making. I say everyone- to be honest it's just me that doesn't have a clue how to do it. I can't wait now until next week to see who is moving to our studio. It is all very exciting. I think our emphasis for next week is to try and keep everyone included in discussion and get them excited about the space, whether they are a painter of video maker- they shouldn't feel like they can't use the space.

Monday, 27 September 2010

The start of term

The new term starts tomorrow, therefore i popped into college today to prepare. I had a quick meeting with Rob and Jeff to discuss the possibility of having a catalogue for the Hitachi PV and so far so good. Jeff's feedback seemed quite positive overall- the idea and cost. However, we do have a very short time to prepare- only 3 weeks. I still need to work on design and content, I think i may need some help, it will have to be a tight turnaround and the printer that i have a quote from suggests that we need at least two weeks printing time.
This week i am quite busy, especially as we still don't have anywhere to live and our third housemate lives in Cornwall- she's staying at my parents house tonight, but really we need somewhere very soon. Commuting to college from Cornwall is a little bit of an issue...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Open House and Hitachi

I took advantage today of the open house event and went up to the mayors office with my sister. Amazing views across London and a brilliant building to be inside, my sister wasn't so interested in the architecture as i was, but there was an activity at the top of the building where you could make a house and put it in an imaginary city of other houses that people had made. We made a haunted house and placed it on the edge of town next to the 'Sunshine Hotel'- the defining features of our building was the tissue paper smoke surrounding it and expanding out of the roof- it also had a drawbridge. The building was a lot like the Reichstag in Berlin- slightly smaller ques to get in, and views that i recognise- but very similar, I'll have to look up to see if it was the same architect that designed the building.

Conveniently it is also right next door to the Hitachi Consulting office where we put up a show earlier this year- I didn't hang any work myself but i project managed and helped curate and choose the work to be placed in the year long exhibition, paid for by Hitachi Consulting. So i took the opportunity on the balcony to take some photos of the Hitachi Building- mainly the parts where you can see the work through the windows. I am trying to get together a catalogue for the private view coming up in October, so the photos may be quite good for that. If not its a good record of location.
We also went to The London Dungeons today- I thought i would mention it because it was really good, and it had a link for me to the crooked house ideas i was having in Great Yarmouth. A lot more extensive than last time i went (about 10 years ago) and a lot more participatory, there are more actors and things like the Sweeney Todd exhibit which gives everybody exactly the same creepy experience. They also have a room which is the old '10 Bells Pub' in Shoredich, linked onto the Jack the Ripper exhibit- I personally enjoyed this because it linked history to location, and I've been to the pub too. We actually went over to Shoreditch after the dungeons so i could show my sis the pub, and a couple of locations of the killings- i went on one of those Ripper Walks a couple of years ago, and remembered a couple of locations. It puts things into perspective a bit, if not bored my sister a little. From there we also went down Brick Lane to get some bagels to eat on the way home- however we got stuck in the middle of a music festival that was going on, and realised when we got to Mile End that i had actually taken us the wrong way down the lane. We had to squeeze all the way back down to the other end. It took us about an hour in total to get the Bagels and get out of there!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I went to Rainbows today after being out of service for about a year- my intention last year was to try and make as many sessions as i can, but found again with the commuting last year and so much going on at college, i could never find the time. It is a real shame though, because i have been with the group since i was 19, and have always had fun with the kids and the leaders. The main problem I find with Rainbows is the time- 4.30 on a wednesday- slap bang in the middle of the day and because th girls are 5-7 years old there is a 1:5 ratio needed for adults. I have however commited to a month, because i'm not at college at the moment and there is a shortage of leaders. Basically i will be a leader there until we can get a mum to join and commit to be there every week. It's a shame that i can't commit, bu realistically, if i have a tutorial/ seminar on a wednesday, it's to important for my course to miss. Hopefully i will be able to pop in every now and again when they need me.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Senior Section

After camping with the guides the other week, i got into talking with one of the guide leaders about how it is apparent that a Senior section is needed in the local area, a couple of the girls on the camp wanted to continue with guiding but, were quite a lot older than the ones that had recently joined the group. It was something that i was interested in taking up last year, but nothing ever came out of it. I think the main problem being that commuting last year left me worn out and time-less. Hopefully this year, living in London, commuting out of London once a month wont be such a problem.
I went to normal guides session tonight to present the idea of there being a senior section, unfortunately there were only three people there that are eligible to move up a group. I bought in my laptop with a DVD explaining what it was about (To be honest I'm not even sure myself what is supposed to go on in the senior section at all) the DVD suggests that it will be packed with trips around the world and awards but there isn't anything to suggest what is supposed to be happening in a monthly meet up. I did have a chat with a lady in the girl guiding head office in London who was quite helpful. What she said was that the Senior Section was about a number of things, but mainly about understanding social responsibility (moving onto being a brownie leader etc) and having peer support through exams and leaving school, basically somewhere to have a bit of fun and chat. A lot of the projects like the duke of Edinburgh award and the queen guide award are to be done on their own- with my support in organising things and talking about how to do it. My initial ideas are to maybe arrange a trip every other month that is concerned with one of the girls personal interests, so as a group the girls get to learn more about each other and then in between these trips just have sessions to talk about what people are doing and to give help with organising time, and the guiding projects/ exams.
Its early days though, and it all comes down to the amount of girls interested in coming on a regular basis- which directly links to the amount of funding for trips etc- there are still guiding fees to pay.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

A very full day of working at college

Yesterday we started work at 7am. The MA Show breakfast. I don't think i have ever been so tired in my life- yet to be honest it wasn't that early. We were hanging around for a while though before things got going, which probably resulted in the tiredness. The main purpose we were there was to give tours to collectors if they wanted them, there was one person and i missed them because i went to the toilet, good timing. It was a little pointless me being there- but i did get to see  Lucien Freud, he had come to look specifically at one piece of work (I think)- We didn't get a chance to give him a name badge though because it had been stolen by one of the MA students messing about. An ambassador was ushered over to try and take his picture but being polite, he asked and was declined. I am envious of the interaction though. I wish i could have been turned away by Lucian Freud! We had work again that evening, this time for the MA private view- we did a superb job giving out maps and even had a little chat with the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea as he entered- well, i offered him a map and a sticker, he did laugh... By this time it had been a long day and my mind was frazzled. Truthfully though, we were highly complemented on our map giving out skills, we got into it.
One person ruined that evening for me, which was a shame because i had a fun time working. As we were ushering people out at around 5 minutes past closing time (baring in mind that we had already told people that they had ten minutes) a man came over to me and said that i was being really obnoxious- in his words he said "You have told me at least three times to leave in different rooms of the exhibition and i think it is very rude" - how do you reply to that without saying "Perhaps you should have left the first time?" hmmm?

On a different note: I went to the Havering museum today- a first for heritage in Havering. It has recently been placed inside the old brewery- which coincidentally is the theme of a whole exhibition room about the local pubs in Romford. I'm not going to challenge the relevance and cultural richness of the museum, however, one of the exhibits was a print of Ian Dury because he is a local boy and there was an exhibit about the second world war in Epping.