Gender Pronouns

This June is pride month for the LGBTQIA+ community. During this month it is more important than ever that everyone within that community and ally’s of it show their respect, support and understanding of the difficult issues those in the community face.

I am a pansexual and gender-neutral person myself. I have been in relationships with beautiful people of all genders and sexual preferences. So, I thought I’d give you a little insight as to what is important for the LGBTQIA+ community right now and what you can do to show support.

I am going to be covering the topic of gender pronouns. You might read this and already be tensing your muscles in a confused panic, especially if you are a heterosexual cis-gendered person. Not to worry, I understand that there is some doubt around this topic as people commonly fear causing offence or think that it is too complex  of a topic to get their head around. I am here to explain to you what it means to be non-binary or gender-neutral, how to be respectful/supportive and why it is important that you state your preferred pronouns, especially if you are cis-gendered!

Who are we talking about?

Non-binary / gender queer people use gender neutral pronouns. Some people don’t fit into categories of ‘male’ or ‘female’. Some people have a gender that blends elements of being a man, a woman or have a gender that is different than either ‘male’ or ‘female’. Some people don’t identify with any gender and some people’s gender changes over time.

Some society’s, like ours in the UK, tend to recognise just two genders. The idea that there is only two genders is sometimes called a ‘gender binary’ because the word binary means ‘having two parts’. Therefore, ‘non-binary’ is a term people use to describe a gender that doesn’t fall into one of these two.


Some things important to know!

Non-binary is nothing new!

Non-binary people are not confused about gender or ‘following a fad’.

Non-binary identities have been recognised for a millennia by cultures and societies all around the world. In some cultures, gods have been depicted as genderless or gender-fluid for thousands of years.

Not all people undergo medical procedures, but for some it is critical and even life saving!

Most transgendered people are not non-binary. These people often identify as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ and want to be treated like any other cis-gendered person, so should be!

Being non-binary is not the same as being intersex. Intersex people have different anatomy or genes that don’t fall into typical ‘male’ or ‘female’ biology.


How to be respectful.

You don’t have to completely understand in order to be respectful. However, it is important to educate yourself as much as you can.

Always use the preferred name a person asks you to use.

Try not to make any assumptions about a persons gender, If you are unsure you should ask.

Advocate for policies that are inclusive to non-binary or gender-neutral people in public spaces. Something as simple as going to the bathroom can be very difficult for a these people due to fear of being verbally or physically assaulted.


Why you should state your pronouns.

You can now add your preferred pronouns to Instagram, and I highly encourage you to do so! Even if you feel as though you don’t really need to. The more people that do, the more we can normalise this behaviour and make the process of sharing and accepting pronouns better for all of us.

The University of North Carolina wrote: “Normalising and using correct pronouns leads to acceptance and de-stigmatisation of individuals who ‘deviate’ from traditionally used pronouns or pronouns that do not align with their physical appearance or gender-based name. By stating one’s pronouns the need for explanation is eliminated”

Including pronouns on your social media profiles, in email sign offs and when you introduce yourself to someone is a small step that cis-gender people can – and should – be making.


Why it is so important?

The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQIA+ Youth’s Mental Health found that a heart-breaking fifty two per cent of trans and non-binary youth have seriously considered death by suicide.

Those who reported having their personal pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who didn’t have their pronouns respected.

It is evident there is more to be done in normalising pronouns and it is vital that it comes from cis-gendered people! This is because cis-gendered people have a privilege that allows the opportunity to work to normalise without the risks that trans, non-binary and gender-neutral people face. It is essential that they use this privilege to cultivate a environment where trans and non-binary people don’t feel alienated!


Written by Charlie Greening (She / They)

Reclaim The Night

I think it is safe to say that none of us ever want to be a victim of crime. No one wants to be robbed or have their home broken into. Even if not much is taken, something like that can lead cause you to feel violated, vulnerable, angry and upset.

NOW IMAGINE there was a particular kind of crime, a crime that is so violating and traumatic that it left almost all victims subject to it with symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Symptoms like; nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, chronic irritability, emotional numbness and difficulty concentrating. IMAGINE a crime that was so serious it left most people who’d experienced it with depression, chronic pain or suicidal thoughts. IMAGINE that this crime adversely affected relationships, careers, livelihoods, families and communities. IMAGINE these impacts were so severe they were often long-term, sometimes even lifelong.

NOW IMAGINE that one in every five women living in England and Wales today, had experienced some form of this crime since they turned sixteen years old. Take a moment to reflect on the women in your life and how many women that would represent.

IMAGINE that one in every thirteen adults in this country, that’s 2.4million women and 709 thousand men, had been subjected to some form of this crime before they were sixteen years old, when they were children.

NOW IMAGINE that less than one fifth of the victims of this serious traumatic crime, which don’t forget may have left them with long lasting health and social impacts. Less than one fifth of those people ever reported what had happened to them to the police. Imagine that these people didn’t report this crime because they feared they would not be believed.

Even with it being a given that none of us wants to be the victim of crime, imagine being worried it may be implied that actually they did want this horrible thing to happen to them, and even really it was kind of their own fault.

IMAGINE that out of those one in five people who decide to report this crime, only 1.4% if them ever saw their perpetrator prosecuted. Not convicted, not sent to prison just legally prosecuted for what they had done.

IMAGINE that an overwhelming majority of the people perpetrating that crime were just freely walking around the streets of our country.


Approximately 85,000 women (aged 16 – 59) experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offences (of adults alone) every hour.

When I first wrote this, I put sadly before that fact, but it isn’t sad, it is simply outrageous. We shouldn’t be feeling sad about this, we should be feeling angry. We should be raging. Raging because there are millions of victims and survivors living in England and Wales right now and they are being failed.

Since the tragedy if Sarah Everard’s death, women across the country have taken to social media to discuss their own experiences of walking the streets of London and the lengths we go to in order to feel safe. One movement that has been extremely prevalent is RECLAIM THE NIGHT.

“Reclaim the night means reclaim the day, reclaim our safety, reclaim our bodies, reclaim our confidence, reclaim our freedom. With this very important conversation finally happening, it has caused many of us to feel uncomfortable. Mainly because of the sheer horror that this is our reality, that we have subconsciously accepted and programmed into our lives. That we mustn’t walk alone, we should never be on our phone, we should always get taxi’s home, when the taxi comes, we should be certain it’s the same reg, when he’s being overly friendly, you tell him you’re being dropped at your boyfriends.”

“Reclaim the night means reclaiming our reality. For too long we have warped our reality to fit that of misogyny and patriarchy. For too long we have dramatized our reality for the fear of our safety. For far too long we have been shunned in our own reality, whether in a social setting or a professional, we’ve all been the ‘only female’ token that sits quietly, just showing up. While we continue to break the misogynistic culture that has determined our lives, men and women for as long as we can remember, we must continue to support each other in this. To listen, to understand, to hope for better.” – BLUP50 TALENT, LIV WEST [@liv.west]Reclaim the night gold knuckleduster – Copyright Studio BLUP

Reclaim the Night came to the UK over 40 years ago. In 1977 women in Leeds took to the streets to protest the police requesting women to stay at home after dark in response to the murders of 13 women by (recently deceased) Peter Sutcliffe.

Placards read “No curfew on women – curfew on men”. It is hard to believe we are still marching, but we will not cease until we can walk the streets at night, without the fear of rape. Women still face widespread violence from day to day harassment in the street to sexual assault, rape and murder. And yet we remain in a climate where this is still normalised as acceptable ‘banter’, where prosecutions for assaults are decreasing, and specialist services for women are under attack.

Women are speaking up, breaking the stigma that it shouldn’t be talked about. We are demanding better from men, demanding safety, equality and change. Some of you reading this may be male, and to you I say thank you for educating yourself. You might be thinking ‘hey, but this isn’t all men?’ 

In response to those behind the ‘Not All Men’ movement I’ll agree that not all men harm women, but I’ll ask you this. Do all men make sure that their fellow men do not harm women? Do they interrupt troubling language and behaviours? Are they having conversations with their sons about safety and consent? Are ‘all men’ interested in women’s safety? 


Reclaim the night article written by BLUP50 talent Charlie Greening [@chazzabel]

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Coping with social anxiety as lockdown restrictions lift.


As the UK starts to get back into motion, people are beginning to crawl out of their hiding holes. Switching track suit bottoms for party dresses and cups of tea for pints of beer.

Understandably, after a year of avoiding social interactions some of us are struggling to get back into it. What do I talk about? How do I function in a social setting? Social Anxiety is a very common disorder amongst people prone to anxious thoughts. Things like ‘FOMO’ and social media can be a stimulant to this, so it is understandable that a year of social restrictions may have some effect. Symptoms of social anxiety include worrying about speaking to people, dreading social events, avoiding eye contact and low self-esteem.

For those of us with social anxiety, lockdown has been both a blessing and a curse. In a strange sense, it feels as if we are being rewarded for doing what we do best: keeping ourselves to ourselves and staying away from others. But there are downsides to this, too. The prospect of having to socialise with others again after the best part of a year spent isolating is absolutely terrifying for those with social anxiety.

The most Human beings are social creatures, we thrive off of the chemicals released when we spend time with others. Something as simple as a hug has the power to change our entire state of being. Personally, I felt both the pros and cons of the most recent lock-down. I didn’t see anyone outside of my household for three months in hopes of helping reduce the spread of the virus. During this time I tackled feelings of loneliness, isolation and boredom. However, I found it gave me a new opportunity to adjust my focus onto myself rather than the expectations of those in my social circle. It is normal for us to be swept away into social situations, trying to fit in and be part of a tribe. This comes from our innate human instinct to be part of a group in order to protect our lives. This is unnecessary in today’s world as we aren’t going to be attacked by a Lion, most of the time. Never the less, this fear of abandonment or not being part of a community still stands.

So, what can you do to help ease anxiety as we start to make our way back into the world again? Here are some of my best tips and tricks to tackle these worries.

Talk to someone you trust. Sharing your concerns and worries can help alleviate them, so find someone you can trust and who you feel comfortable talking to. There’s a good chance that they are feeling a similar way, which will help you to feel supported and like your worries aren’t unwarranted.

Pre-plan situations. You know yourself best, so consider the situations where you’re feeling the most anxious and think about how you can ease the nervousness you feel about them. For example, if the thought of taking public transport and being surrounded by crowds fills you with dread, is there a different way you can travel that will make the situation easier for you?

Stay informed. Misinformation only fuels anxiety and makes social situations seem even more terrifying, so remember that education is key. Make sure you’re armed with the facts from reputable, reliable sources so that you can be confidence what is safe and what isn’t.

Show yourself compassion. The easing of lockdown and returning to normality is another big adjustment, after over a year of strict guidelines, so be patient with yourself. There’s an expectation that once social activities are available, everyone should be returning to pre-pandemic life immediately. But that’s not necessarily the case for everyone, especially those with anxiety. So, don’t feel pressured to get involved if you’re not ready – take it at your own pace and be honest with those around you if you need more time to adjust.

Focus on the positive. Anxiety can shroud the positive aspects of situations, making it feel like there’s nothing enjoyable to look forward to. But remember that this is the anxiety talking and not the reality.  You may find it helpful to list out the things you’re looking forward to, so you can refer to it when you’re feeling anxious.

As the world slowly returns to ‘norm’ we have a new found appreciation for the relationships dearest to us. There is an energy in the air – prioritising community, acts of kindness and love. I hope that we can build a new world as we put it back together. One that encourages us to look out for one another, minority groups and the natural world.

9K for what?

Lockdown university students are currently paying nine thousand pounds per year for an 80% studio course with no studio access

Every school is being affected by the decisions around our education system. Since 2015 every Prime Minister has claimed to be putting more money into schools than ever before. But the hard truth is that nearly all schools in England are worse off now than five years ago.

In 2015, David Cameron promised that his government would continue to protect school funding. 

During the 2017 election, Theresa May promised to spend £4bn more. 

In 2019, Boris Johnson promised to level up school funding and ensure no more winners and losers. 

But even if you fast-forward to the highest point in the Prime Minister’s plan, in three years, our schools will still be reeling from a £1.3bn funding shortfall in 2022/23 compared with 2015/16 — the biggest in a generation. 

How is the current pandemic affecting university students?

The most prevalent issue for current university students is the substantial tuition fees still being paid. The standard fee in England is £9,250 per academic year. The standard fee for International students is a whopping £12,750 per year. Many of these students have had to return to their countries of origin thousands of miles away from the university they pay so much to ‘attend’.

Why are these costs too much to ask for?

Let’s say you plan to go out for a meal one weekend. The restaurant asks you to pay for the meal ahead of time. Feeling confused as to why you’re expected to pay for your meal before you eat it, you politely do so anyway. Once at the trendy restaurant, your waiter comes up to your table halfway through your dinner date and takes your unfinished plate away. Frustrated and hangry, you try to fill up on the breadbasket that is left on the table. Moments later, the restaurant manager exclaims “right were closing due to the pandemic, everyone out”. You’d quite rightly expect a full refund in this situation, right? So why would we treat university students paying for their education any differently? 

Under section 56 of the consumer rights act; students who have received a substandard quality of education this semester are entitled to a refund.

How do you request a refund on your tuition fees?

Go to the quality assurance agency to check if you have a case.

Complain directly to the university – they can refund students directly.

If the university does not refund you, go to The Office of Independent Adjudication and fill out a complaints form.

Here are some petitions you can sign that could have an impact on this current education crisis.

Students need wifi to have access to online learning. Pay for the wifi services that are compulsory for students who are living and learning in student homes. Here is a petition to fund free wifi for university students forced into online learning.

Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, especially as grants have been removed. Here is a petition to reduce university tuition fees from £9250 to £3000.

This is an open letter to the universities across the UK from their students, intended to lay out our concerns regarding the necessary changes to teaching this academic year and to dispute the failure to introduce national, fair mitigation policies to protect our futures. 

You can also get more resources via social media with the hashtags #9kforwhat and #saveourgrades

Formal Review – Pixel Agency Project

Over the last eight weeks, Pixel Agency has transformed. This experience has taught me about time management, networking skills, how to build a portfolio for yourself, teamwork skills and to be consistent with content through a common theme whilst building my own brand.

My role within Pixel Agency has been as part of the editorial team, which is a role that jumped out to me when receiving the brief. This is because I love writing content and sharing my views with the world via a creative platform. I also knew that the editorial team would take on a lot of the content and therefore have the most fulfilling experience for me, with opportunities to collaborate, curate shoots and see what is going on within London right now.

At first, the project was daunting to us all. It had a short time frame and a lot of responsibility. Through amazing guest lecturers guidance and help from my peers, I learnt something very important. That creative confidence is a key factor in getting your dream career. This project has helped me build on that, think deeply about my passions, my aspirations not only in this project but in my degree as a whole. Teaching me to understand the importance of having a realised, developed brand for myself.

Weeks 1&2:
In the first two weeks, we faced the challenge of getting our heads around the project requirements, immersing into it in order to live, breathe and be Pixel Agency. To create the best content of our ability, we needed to root ourselves into what we stand for, want to get out of our agency and how we will use it to get ourselves new career opportunities.

I spent a lot of time researching into millennial and generation Z trends via LSN: Global and other research platforms. I looked into Pentland Co, our partnership, and found a passion for the company by discovering all of the amazing things they do with brands and charity, for example, the donations they give to communities in order for young people to do more sports and activities. After doing some SWOT analysis on both the previous Pixel campaigns and Pentland, I was ready to make some positive and ambitious changes.

Once in my editorial group, I reflect upon what job role I could be most beneficial in. As an extroverted and business savvy character, my initial instinct was to step up as a team leader. However, having learnt from my past mistakes I realised that I can be overly controlling, unapologetic and scatterbrained within a leadership role and chose to vote my peer and amazing creative Keiran to take that responsibility – this way I could still give as many creative ideas, content and skill sets to the project without social anxieties and time management troubles getting in my way.

When coming up with a dossier for Pixel, I contributed largely with the idea development. Taking every opportunity I had to fearlessly suggest campaign ideas, manifestos drafts and design suggestions to my group. Taking and giving constructive feedback was a skill I already possess and discovered was something very beneficial when collaborating with other creatives.

For the presentation and dossier, I created unique and minimal illustrations via Adobe Illustrator. Which, as a more hand-drawn illustrator, was an interesting and rewarding challenge for me – teaching myself skills I hadn’t yet taken the time to learn. I also wrote up about 5 different drafts for the Manifesto and Campaign Proposal. Each of these was read by my peers, voted on and edited down. Learning to write less is with more impact rather than more with too much detail was a skill I picked up through this process.

Once the Dossiers were voted upon and combined to create the ultimate outcome – we jumped straight into brainstorming and thinking about ideas for content. There were some communication errors at first, with confusion as a whole on how much of Ellesse we needed to promote and how we were going to promote Pixel Agency. As a group, I suggest that we made huge mindmaps covering all angles and helping us idea generate with freedom but having it all in one place in order to connect and have consistency throughout. We wrote down all of the influencers, creatives and celebrities that work inspired us, we talked about our political views, we considered what it means to be a young creative in today’s society – all with intent to help individuals ‘change – unite – create’, our tagline which the editorial group came up with.

Weeks 3&4:
When it came to presentations, I felt a lot of anxiety which showed me I had a real passion for our dossier and wanted it to go well. We were very prepared and had come in on many occasions out of lectures, in order to practice together – this gave my team confidence over the other groups. I have confidence in my presenting skills as it is something I’ve had to learn to do since I started Ravensbourne 4 years ago. With a background in theatre performance and improvisation, I suggest to the others that I will be the scapegoat if any unexpected questions came up or any mishaps occurred.

Firstly we planned a photo shoot that we were going to do as a group and then from that spurred other content ideas and separate responsibilities. This main focus shoot was for Ellesse, having recently become a yoga fanatic, I suggest that else take a more minimal and self-care approach to sportswear, focusing on the current fashion trends of athleisure. Having read into many articles on how millennials are passionate about looking after themselves, via spirituality and mindfulness, I urged the research team to find some solid statistics to back up our idea.

Diving into this, a goal I had set myself was to be more fearless in networking and asking for collaborations, especially with people in the industry. So without hesitation, I started emailing Yoga studios around London, asking them to collaborate with Pixel, let us use their studios for photo shoots and/or attending our event with any expertise they can provide. I got a few responses but with no budget it deemed difficult.

I also started communicating with models and influencers on Instagram, asking them to collaborate with Pixel, promote us and model for us in our shoot. I booked and communicate with two female models, a non-binary model and a male model. However, a lesson I learnt is that models are not reliable. This is why having back up plans, a time management plan and solid job roles is fundamental for a successful shoot.

Weeks 5&6:

After reaching a halfway point in the project it was important to create much content as possible to get on the website, the social media and other promotion. Before the main Ellesse shoot, I decided to do a shoot by myself at home, as a test for the main shoot and for further Pixel content. Due to weather and location issues, this shoot did not go as well as planned but also helped me to learn about photography, planning and lighting. I picked up new skills by editing photos on Adobe Lightroom.

I also created some hand-drawn illustrated zines, as this is something I love to do and I had a lot to say based on the theme of ‘self-care’. These zines got a great response on social media and have to lead me to start creating my own brand that will sell my illustrations via zines, t-shirts and postcards.

I wrote around 5 articles on exhibitions I’ve attended over the past 8 weeks, mindfulness and meditation, books I’ve read and general knowledge. These have all contributed to the online blog that I take very seriously and wish to use as a platform for my creative voice. I only have 30 followers currently but with my socials becoming more popular I hope to make it grow.

Last Weeks:
Over the last few weeks, I learnt that some things I want to create will take more time and planning. Prioritising tasks was something I learnt over this project in order to help this. I am currently reading ‘Don’t Read This Book’ by Donald Roos. This is teaching me about prioritsing my creative tasks and spending less time on the more important tasks – rather than more time on many smaller tasks. This is a key to being the most productive and having the best creative outcome. In order to do this, I write a to-do list of all the ideas or tasks I have and then number them in priority, I then cross out anything lower than 1,2 and 3. This enables me to focus on these with a more visualised end goal, and the things I’ve crossed out on the ‘TO DON’T list‘ will become a priority after the initial tasks are completed.

What could I have improved upon?:
I could have improved upon my networking skills by utilising the guest lecturers to not only communicate with but ask for advice relating to my own brand and how I should think about pushing it forward in the future.

In what way did I develop my on/offline profile?:
I developed my online profile by refining what I stand for and presenting myself as the ‘Charlie greening brand’ via my blog, Instagram and LinkedIn. My following is increasing which I am happy about but I have plans for the summer to develop a podcast, a more consistent blog and a twitter account all with the main focus on getting my journalism skills recognised and solid brand identity.
Offline I have networked with many other creatives, discussing internship opportunities, courses and skill development goals. I wish to secure placement over the summer with a company that shares my passions and respects me as a creative.

If this was a job role in the future?:
If Pixel Agency were a professionally run business, I believe my best assets are with people. I have many skills in communicating and helping others to reach their needs. However, during this project, a lot of my input has been with various creative content and writing – leaving me to think that being a Creative Writer/ Journalist paid an annual income of say £25k would be ideal.


Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

“The paradox of modern life is this: we have never been more connected, and we have never been more alone.”

Matt Haig

This book helped me kick- start my soul again. I read it when coming out of a very low point, and this book gave me a perspective that I hadn’t noticed before. I recommend everyone reads this book, It helps us to understand why in this post-industrial society we are so delicate and stressed. Understanding the effects of the outside world can help us detach from within it, and see everything through a fresh set of eyes.

As a sequel to his first best-seller ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ Matt does a brilliant job of keeping up the life-changing content. Through thinking about the effects of technology, architecture, transport, politics and evolution; I was able to see clearly how we are already born into this world stressed. How this planet is so overly advanced that our brains and bodies simply can’t always keep up.

In today’s age, we are expected to follow a capitalist chain, consuming and consuming in order for the economy to profit. That isn’t where we will find happiness, even if you achieve all the steps you might not take a second to enjoy where you are and who you are until its too late. Our society thrives on future thinking, on always trying to get more and more, whether its more followers, more friends, more money… it’s all temporary anyway. Think about the last time you bought yourself something nice, it could have cost you a lot of money but it doesn’t mean you were happier about it for longer? You just got used to it and then wanted to buy something else. This temporary content is how most of us live our lives now.

In my opinion, we are expected to do as such and maintain future-thinking throughout; go to a nursery and worry about getting into a good primary school, go to a primary school and take SATs to get into a good secondary, go to a secondary and take GSCEs to get into a good college or sixth form, Take A levels or Diplomas to get into a good University or apprenticeship, Worry about doing well in that to get a good career, get a career and worry about a promotion, get a promotion and still save your money to buy property, buy some property and worry about finding someone to share it with, then have children, move to the countryside because the city has inevitably driven you mad and then retire. Once you retire you may then start living your life purely for your own joy, however with 50/60 years of constant stress behind you, chances are you won’t be alive very long to do that.

I realise this is a bleak way of looking at today’s world but I’m not wrong either. My point is enjoy every part of it for yourself and for the present – not for the next consumption. Learn because you enjoy learning, work because you enjoy working, put your perspective into one that doesn’t know what will happen next but is enjoying being here right now, if you got hit by a bus tomorrow would you have spent your last few days worrying about deadlines, social issues, or anything that wouldn’t matter 5 years from now? – well then stop. Be happy.

Original State Of Mind – Zhou Li

Zhou Li’s first solo exhibition in the UK entitled, ‘Original State Of Mind’, relates to the unique way that Zhou Li creates art. Throughout her practice, she seeks to question the relationship between herself and her surroundings.

The way people normally view the world is as through a window, from inside out or outside in, but I try to stand in the middle. I see myself from a neutral point of view, and I see the world from a neutral point of view at the same time.

Zhou Li

In her abstract paintings, Li attempts to position herself outside of the usual parameters of perception – a process that is normally seen as subjective or objective. Attempting to access and unhindered way of observing and understanding, she considers both herself and the objects around her as equally valuable to her art. The sensibility of rationality is challenged, by prioritising the phenomenal understanding of life – and her own experience of it.

Zhou says that when she paints she imagines her subject and communicates with it through her painting. This ‘subject’ could be herself, another person, an event or simply an emotion. It can derive a kind of meditation. This subject matter is then consciously re-perceived as an object, reduced to pure experience. This touched me due to my understanding of meditation and the benefits of living in the present moment, escaping the chamber of the mind and the judgement or perception that comes with it.

The artist describes this position as ‘the middle of the window’ suggesting that experience shapes consciousness, and she examines both. Through this approach, Zhou attempts to access ‘original thought’. This inclusive approach relates to the Eastern philosophy of the mind, which underpins this beautiful exhibition.

Machines Do Not Make Us Into Machines – Sarah Morris

On Tuesday I went to see Sarah Morris’s first solo UK show in six years. It was at one of my favourite galleries on Bermondsey street, the White Cube Gallery. I love this gallery because of the architecture and the ability for the art to completely take over the space every time I go there. It is always free so I recommend you pop into this gallery any time you get a moment in London Bridge.

The exhibition featured paintings, films as well as the artists first sculptural work. The exhibition reflects the artists interest in networks, typologies, architecture, language and the city. I visit this exhibition because not only does it relate to my dissertation subject, It also is a great reflection of the fact art is transforming into something different now. Contemporary art has the ability to have entirely new meanings and look completely new due to technology advances.

Displaying an architecture of colourful and abstract forms, Morris’s paintings play on the viewers’ sense of visual recognition. She incorporates a wide range of references, from the graphic identity of multinational corporations and the structure of urban transport systems (for example the TFL tube map for London) to the iconography of maps, GPS technology, as well as the movement of people within urban areas.

Her new series of ‘Sound Graph’ paintings continue to utilize the language of American abstraction (of minimalism and pop) while their forms are derived from the artist’s sound files, using a speech from audio recordings as a starting point for the compositions.
Featuring hard-edged geometric shapes, the compositions in the paintings progress in patterns that appear to fluctuate across the canvas, creating a sense of volumetric increase and decline, like a visual analogy of coding.

While derived from fragments of conversation, Morris’s paintings also reference concrete elements: digital files, the lights, the information on bar charts and flow diagrams or structures of mapping. This is her way of highlighting that language is merely a construct, particularly in relation to art in our ‘post-truth’ age, they connect with the history of abstraction while remaining conceptual in their production process. Language becomes image, evidence of the impossibility of painting ever being truly abstract.

Ellesse Inspired Photoshoot – 18th May

Coming in on a Saturday was difficult to start with, this is because I work late night shifts over the weekend for my part-time work. However, I got up at 7 am and got into uni with my model (Lucas Pacary, who is signed to contact Model Agency and an assistant at Pause Magazine). I was proud of myself for getting up and pushing myself to work on the shoot all day before going back to work that evening. 

We initially had a dilemma with lighting. It’s laughable looking back now but did stress me out at the time. Due to CLR (central loan resources) being closed at university on a Saturday, it meant that we did not have enough good lighting for portrait shots. We had rented out some led coloured lights which I just LOVE and think help to make anything look sexy and artistic. Bright white backing lights were needed in order to get the best quality photos. So, after some quick improvisation and asking people we knew in the other degrees for help. We managed to get some lighting through a friend of Janes. 

Waiting for the lighting to come took a couple of hours, and although we had the room booked from 9 am till 6 pm. I began to get frustrated with my peers as we had wasted two hours not taking any photos yet. I started to work on some still life photos before we had the right lighting just to calm my anxiety about not getting enough done really. Whether these will be used is unlikely. 

The experience for me was new and exciting. I found it very fun working creatively with others, I also found it frustrating too. Keiran, our group leader, has an amazing eye for photography and I very much have faith in her creative talent. However, I had to adapt myself a little being the control freak that I am and it was a learning curve for me to take a back seat and let all the final decisions be made by someone else. 

Finding that everything was quite under control with the main shoot I felt wasted by just sitting in the sidelines watching. So, for this reason, I suggested to Kieran that I and a few others that didn’t have much to do tried to work on some still life shots at the same time, in order to produce more content in the time we had. 

My Photoshoot For Ellese via PXL Agency

On Thursday I decided to curate a photo shoot alone in order to get some much-needed content out to the website team, in order to be on the Instagram and website. I originally wanted to curate a photoshoot that was inspired by the brilliant tennis clothing Ellesse has made. Here is the mood board for that, I had booked a tennis court also in a park near where I live.

I really like this concept so now that the sun is shining I may try to do this shoot another time.

Unfortunately, the weather was against me. Also after a group discussion about our campaign and overall shared ideas for the class production of content. We decided to stick to just one solid theme, in order to make it more consistent and understandable for our consumers. The theme being self-care and having the main focus of a yoga shoot. This meant I ought to change up my photoshoot. This is the second mood board I created.

I chose to work with my friend and model Rhea Parsons Daley. This is not only because I know that she is photogenic, but also her mum is a yoga therapist, so I expected her to know a few things that would help me out – I was wrong. I also felt she was a good model due to her large online following, knowing that she would promote PXL and my work to her 11,500 followers via Instagram.

I no longer had a location to shoot so, therefore, had to create an alternative option. I searched up any abandoned warehouses around my area and thought these would be good rustic places in which to shoot. Due to the heavy wet weather on the day, I decided I would just try to create a studio of my own at home. I found all the bedsheets, lights, cameras, props and ducktape I could then I got to work.

I blacked out all of my kitchen windows using a card, black pillowcases and blankets. I then created my own coloured lights using acetate, coloured pens and bright spotlights. This was an extreme fire hazard I won’t lie, but I managed to shoot with no fires. I found a large piece of gorgeous organic cotton, my dad had used it previously to protect space when he was painting. This meant that it had interesting paint splatters upon it which I thought would add texture and depth to the shoot. I hung this using bamboo sticks, clothing pegs and PURE HOPE.

When the model finally arrived after being a few hours late, which is rather a normal industry problem anyway. I decided to show her the different shoots, poses and styles I had planned. She wasn’t as flexible as I would have liked and to be honest the shoot really didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would. However, I am proud that I was the first in the class to create any new fashion related content for PXL Agency and felt it taught me some valuable lessons for the main shoot we have planned on Saturday.

I have contacted the Branding team swell ad the Website and PR team to edit and add some awesome graphics to my photos. I’m hoping this will amp up the images.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the shoot: