“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
– (Eleanor Roosevelt’s Most Inspiring Quotes 2014)
The future of this project and my practice is multifaceted. ‘Fractured Identities’ offers further development of the research behind the project. I anticipate deepening my research into what it is like to be human in this rapidly developing digital world, taking this research into a PhD. The proposed start date for this is 2019.
There is an opportunity to develop ‘Fractured Identities’ into a teaching resource for PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) education in secondary schools. The objective will be to raise awareness of the dangers of online image sharing and to discuss mental health issues caused by comparing oneself to others online.
Other opportunities are being explored into how to develop my teaching skills to enable me to teach and mentor in further education establishments.
The nature of this project lends itself to the development of a fully interactive website that explores digital image manipulation. The domains for this website have already been acquired (but not yet populated):-
The intent is to make the ‘Mask of Divine Proportion’ project as participatory as possible. Visitors to the site will be able to upload their image and manipulate it. The project is in its infancy at the moment and is planned for late 2019 release.
Other plans include a six-week exhibition of the ‘Masked Identities’ project in July and August 2019. This has already been secured at the Heritage Centre Gallery in the Forest of Dean. Discussions are also underway for other opportunities to exhibit.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Most Inspiring Quotes. 2014. Marie Claire [online]. Available at: https://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/a11250/eleanor-roosevelt-quotes/ [accessed 17 August 2018].
Addison’s Disease means that at times I suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, and have trouble concentrating at times. Taking on the MA whilst working full time has been a huge challenge.
The Falmouth Flex course has been very rewarding and also challenging. However, it has helped me to learn how to micromanage my condition. This has been achieved by tracking the amount of water and salt that I consume. Salt is very important for me as my sodium levels are usually very low. Eating extra salt can actually give my body a boost when I need it.
I have developed tremendous persistence and determination to do my best on the course. I have never limited this in any way. The first year was particularly hard and at times arduous. I have had to make sacrifices along the way to achieve this.
Firstly, I reduced my working week to 4 days a week in September 2017. This will be reduced to 3 days a week in September 2018 as I plan towards a PhD (something I never imagined in my future). I have had to develop discipline and persistence to ensure that I complete everything I need to. In that respect, suffering from a chronic disease has been a fantastic teacher as I was patient enough to learn its lessons.
But it hasn’t stopped there. The MA content has been so interesting and challenging that I have achieved far more work than I thought possible. My passion and enthusiasm for knowledge gained through both research and practice have been lit on fire by the course. My work ethic and work rate have, as a result, both increased as I have progressed through the course and this will stand me in good stead for the future.
I am so grateful for the support from all the staff on the course. I have been forced into re-examining who I am as a photographer. I was lost before the course started, but now I know what I am want to explore.
But, as always, my illness is beginning to catch up with me as I approach the end of a module (and this time, the end of the course). So, even as I write these last few entries, my body is tired and I am fighting yet another infection. It is time for a rest after final hand in at midday today.
Would I change anything if I did it again? Hell no. This course and its challenges have been the best thing to happen to my photographic practice. Without it, I would still be a lost photographer ambling along. Without it, I would not have met some amazing people who will remain in my life after the course.
This course has taken its toll on me but in a good way, as I emerge from the end of the course rejuvenated and excited for my future. Thank you, Falmouth!
As part of the Source Graduate Online Photography 2018, Source commission a number of respected figures from the world of photography. These selectors choose their favourite sets of images from all the work submitted. The work is then featured in the online selection, as well as printed in a supplement that I distributed with the magazine.
On 22nd August 2018 at 22:02 hours, I received the very exciting email from Source:-
“Hi Jo, I’m delighted to be able to inform you that your work has been chosen by one of this year’s selectors for the project (Maxwell Anderson, Founder – Bemojake Books). Your work will feature both in the online selection and in the printed supplement that will be included with the next issue of the magazine. Congratulations!”
Source asked for a copy of image number 1 and image number 5 (sequence as they appear in my submission on the site). Only one will be used, but having 2 allows for flexibility in the design of the supplement. The required format was:-
Saved as a JPEG
300 DPI resolution
22cm in height
I was able to make these changes in Photoshop and send through in good time.
I am honoured and thrilled to have been selected and cannot wait to see the online selection and the printed supplement. These will be posted to this CRJ after the final deadline for the FMP.
To maintain the consistency across my work, I decided to use the sans serif font Proxima Nova across all documents. Due to my previous research into Instagram fonts, I chose this font for my booklet, marketing materials, website, and now the assignments. I find the font easy to read on the screen. The font is clean, modern lines and has easy legibility at all point sizes. The font is recognisable to many people as that used on Instagram, and reflects my theme.
I decided that both documents would be interactive pdfs created in InDesign. The software offers more flexibility in terms of layout that Microsoft programs. I also chose to produce both documents in landscape format to make it easier to read online. This also allows the reader to view a whole page at a time, without the text becoming unreadable.
The only difficulty is that it is not straightforward to set the line spacing in Indesign. In Word, a single line spacing is 120% of the font size. So in InDesign this equates to a 14.4pt spacing for a 12pt font size (and this is what the software defaults to). To get a 1.5 line spacing (as required), the calculation is therefore 1.5 x 14.4 = 21.6pt for a 12pt font. This has ts to be manually set for each text box.
The documents both have a front cover based on the same layout, again aiding consistency.
Each document was also created using a common colour scheme. The dark red boxes, hashtags, interactive buttons, page titles, and hyperlinks were all set to the colour 9f163d.
Both documents used hashtags. The CRP only has them on the front page, whereas the FMP has them on the majority of pages. The hashtags used were all researched and checked on Instagram and reflect the content of each FMP page.
But why use hashtags? Hashtags are the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes content discoverable and allows users to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows connection and engagement with other social media users based on a common theme or interest. In my case, they are related to the work I have been doing considering the effects of social media on our self-portraits. For this reason, they have been placed throughout the FMP document.
I was so fortunate to receive a lot of feedback during the exhibition.
“This looks amazing. Thank you for all that you are doing to change the message”– The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
“I’ve been following your project for quite a long time – blog and Instagram and I think it was not only a brilliant idea but a model for how to follow a concept through from start to finish in an engaging, sometimes playful and yet serious way. The website is comprehensive and clearly laid out and I enjoyed watching your artist talk and listening to the interview. Wishing you much success in the future.” – Catherine Banks, Photographer
“This is a body of work which addresses a serious issue in an entertaining way and with a lightness of touch. Interesting and informative, it has been a pleasure to watch this project developing. Well done Jo.” – Philip Morris, peer
“Brilliant exhibition. The photos enhanced to make ‘me’ more appealing on Instagram were very interesting. My favourites were California and London. It was good to chat through some of the lengths people will go to in order to change their appearance! The depth to which you developed this subject is amazing and to a non-makeup wearing non-enhancing image ‘older’ person I learned a heck of a lot!” – Margaret Coleman
“How do we know where we start from? How do we know what is the truth? What is real? What is our identity? Who are we? How do we determine our identity? You are really embracing who you are and yourself in this exhibition.” – anon
“Are you struggling with your own identity? Or are you concerned with the impact of SM on others?” – Mary
“None of us really know what we look like in real life – a mirror is just a reverse image with light coming in at different angles.” – John
“Thank you for the honesty in your work” – Sarah
“Tim Berners-Lee couldn’t have known what he would unleash on the world” – Elizabeth
“Really great exhibition. Would you be interested in an artist’s talk in January? Keep in touch and we can organise something.” – Fred Chance, Co-curator of PhotoStroud
“Love the mask of divine proportion and the contour tribe –they really caught my eye. I am exploring crossdressing myself and love your work exploring issues around makeup. It is really encouraging me to keep going with the cross-dressing. Thank you” – anon
“I am from Germany and we do not have the same obsession with social media that you have here. In the UK it is huge. Young people look at their phones every 8 minutes – I heard this on the radio. I hope it all crashes down soon so that people talk to each other more. My grand-daughter is obsessed with her looks and she doesn’t need to be as she is so pretty. It is such a shame. I wish you lots of luck in raising awareness.” – Rosalinde
“How do we stop ourselves slipping down this path? I worry for my daughter – she spends hours in imaginary worlds ‘making’ money and presenting herself in an imaginary way. I really hope your work highlights the issues to everyone and creates more conversation – we need to talk about this and stop the slippery slide.” – Rachel
“Really interesting work – are you represented by a gallery yet? You should be. This work should be on display in London – it is contemporary art and should be seen – I have seen nothing like this – excellent work. Thank you for sharing it.” – Margarita
“The combination of sayings and images on your Instagram gallery is really interesting. The ‘love your #selfie’ saying with your unaltered portrait is genius” – Liam
“This is better than the last thing I saw at the Tate” – Bob, local artist
“This is the best and most professional show we have seen in this gallery” – Sophia and Neil, local artists
“An awful lot of research has gone into this project – I hope you take it further” – Carol, doctoral student in psychology
“I really dislike how Portraitpro changes people so that it doesn’t look like them. Thank you for an interesting exhibition that has given us lots to talk about and lots to think about as photographers” – Local photography club
“Consider the use of the labels. They are useful for adding information but would be better as an information panel on the image itself” – David, local artist
“You are so much better looking in real life” – anon
“You are so clever – it is really good to highlight these things – we need to talk about them
Love the titles of the images, especially the bags under my eyes are Chanel. Must be surreal to look at so many images of yourself- although we all do it on social media. I am in my 50s and have only just learned to love myself for who I am. Once we post an image online, it is no longer ours – anyone can use it, change it etc. – SCARY!” – Janet
“I really want to see what happens next –this is like the first rung on the ladder to understanding our online identity. The large images remind me of Chuck Black’s large portraits and of Jaye Saville’s work. Love the mask of divine proportion” – George
“Your digital presence and identity is part of your real identity. See too many people edit their pics online and then obsess about becoming that person in real life. Your work reminds me of Cindy Sherman and the work of ORLAN. Social media is too obsessive – I came off my personal profile because I became too obsessed – I would only get 50 likes for a selfie and a friend would get 100. I would then compare myself to them and began to question what was wrong with me if I only got 50 likes. At that point, I decided it was too negative to stay on there. Your lashes images remind me of drag queen makeup” – Sam
“Wow! Seeing you here amongst your work is like seeing a movie star!” – Jane
“This exhibition was highly commended by Fred Chance who told us to come. He was right – it is amazing. Wow, what a lot of work” – Sue and David
“Incredible how you are able to transform yourself and reflect that back to the viewer. You are so malleable in the work. I can hardly believe all the pictures are of you” – anon
“Great exhibition – do you do seances?” – anon – this was by far the strangest thing said to me during the exhibition. I did ask the lady to repeat the question and she said exactly the same thing. I politely declined! Only in Stroud.
Boy, it is hard work! Being in the gallery all day every day is very tiring. I found after a few days, I needed to increase my Addison’s Disease medication in order for my body to cope.
But, this was very useful and rewarding. I was able to engage with my own work and with my audience in equal measures. Visitors were keen to express their views and to talk about the issues my work raised.interpreter, facilitator, demonstrator, guide
The role encompassed that of an interpreter, facilitator, guide, and technician to sort out issues with digital photo frames etc. I had discussions with visitors daily about whether or not we can trust a face online and how it causes issues for some people.
Being able to explain my intention, the visitors were able to experience the work as I had intended. Getting feedback from them directly has also been incredibly useful for my future work. I know that I have received more feedback than some of my peers and that, I believe, is down to invigilating the exhibition myself.
I also love the reaction of visitors to my work. It adds validation to the ideas I set out with. Prior to the exhibition, I was doubting the power of the work. Seeing it on the wall every day for 12 days and listening to visitors, I now believe in the strength of the images.
Hull, S. 2018. “Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2018 – Falmouth University – MA Photography”. Source.ie [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/graduate/2018/falmflexma/falmflexma_index.php [accessed 15 August 2018].
Hull, S. 2018. “Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2018 – Falmouth University – MA Photography”. Source.ie [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/graduate/2018/falmflexma/falmflexma_student_16_02_14_01-08-18/falmflexma_student_16_02_14_01-08-18.php [accessed 15 August 2018].
The opportunity to take part in Source Magazine’s Graduate Photography Online 2018 was one that I was not going to miss out on. As a member of the first cohort to go through this course, our participation would help to raise the profile of the course, and show the photographic industry just what we have achieved collectively as well as individually.
The cohort first had to choose a lead student to coordinate the entry. Philip Singleton and myself were voted as the joint leads. We decided to split the work up. Philip was responsible for the financial aspect and I collated the images and text required.
The Source website stated that “Graduate Photography Online has been running successfully since 2007 and is designed to promote graduate photographic work from the UK and Ireland to our readership, which includes picture editors, curators and those active in contemporary photography.” (Hull 2018). This platform has an established national and international profile that provides the ‘Viking’ cohort with a collaborative way to gain additional exposure for our work.
As well as linking to our individual websites, taking part provides us with an online permanent profile on the Source website. Our work will be displayed on an individual web page. Each year, Source also ask various key industry professionals to select work that they find the most interesting. They use this material to introduce the project and this work is also published in a printed 10-page supplement which is distributed with the magazine.
The requirements were clearly laid out:-
“The Lead Student will gather the following from each participating Student:
(Required) Eight images saved as jpegs, 72 DPI and 800 pixels along their longest edge. We cannot accept moving image files. (Note: the Student may submit less than eight images if they wish.) If the Student’s work is made to be shown in a gallery we would recommend that one of the eight images be an installation shot. This is to show the scale of the work and how it is presented. See example »
(Required) A 120-word statement about their work.
(Required) Personal email address. This email address needs to remain valid after the Student has graduated.
(Optional) Personal telephone number. (Note: if provided this will be displayed on the Student’s page.)
(Optional) Personal website address.
(Required) Payment of £33.00 per student (Note: the Lead Student will gather all the individual payments and then make a one-off payment to Source on behalf of their class.)” (Hull 2018)
Once the email expressing our interest in joining this year’s Graduate Photography Online had been sent, I was also emailed further details on the submission requirements.
“a few important things you will need to check for:
Potential problems for images: 1. If an image is not saved as a jpeg you will not be able to submit it. Often students will unwittingly provide a tiff or png file for submission. Only jpegs are allowed! 2. If the file size of an image exceeds 2 Mb you will not be able to submit it.
So it is extremely important to check that ALL the images being submitted are: 1. Saved as jpegs. 2. Scaled so that they are 800 pixels on their longest edge. (A jpeg scaled in this way will never exceed the 2 Mb file size limit.)
Potential problems for text: It is quite common for students to use Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor to create the text which they are submitting along with their images. Text produced by word processors (and indeed email programs) may include formatting information which can be problematic when pasted into a web page.
Depending on how the individual student has the page setup configured in their word processor there may be additional spaces and carriage returns included in the text. These may only be evident once the text has been pasted into the submissions facility. 1. These additional spaces and returns make the text appear messy and disjointed. 2. If a web address or an email address is submitted with an additional trailing space it effectively changes that address meaning it won’t point to where it’s supposed to! 3. Certain special characters commonly used by Word processors MAY or MAY NOT translate well in the context of a web page. Characters such as curly quotation marks (single and double), em dashes, ellipses and ampersands.
It is important therefore to check the following: 1. Each student’s introductory text should be formatted as a single block of text with no carriage returns. 2. Web addresses and email addresses MUST NOT include any trailing spaces! You need to be vigilant about this when entering this information into the submission facility. 3. If in doubt, the safest way to deal with problematic special characters is to substitute them with safe alternatives. Replace curly quotation marks with straight quotation marks, replace em dashes with short dashes or hyphens, replace ellipses with three periods and replace ampersands with the word ‘and’.
You should also take this opportunity to correct any typographical errors in the student text.
The best way to go about preparing word processor document text for submission is to first of all paste it into a plain text editor and then once you have made any changes save it as a plain text file. Then copy and paste from the plain text file to the submissions facility.
You will be asked to select a category, from the list of categories below, for each participating student’s work:
There has been much debate about these categories over the years of running Graduate Photography Online, you should not get too hung up about whether there is a category that precisely describes a given set of images, simply choose whichever category comes closest. These categories are primarily for the benefit of the Selectors – to provide them with a number of broadly-defined paths into the project as a whole.
Finally, even when all your material is correctly prepared, on the odd occasion you may find yourself unable to submit material due to network slowdown – there are a lot of links in the chain between your computer and the Source server most of which are beyond our control. If this happens don’t panic! Simply quit the submission process and return to it later. Give yourself a decent amount of time to complete the submission, rest assured, if you do have any problems we’ll do our best to ensure you are able to complete the process.” (Hull 2018)
Once all the images and text were collected in and in the correct format (there were no issues thankfully), I uploaded the submissions in alphabetical order (as required). Philip collected in the fees and paid for the whole cohort once the upload was completed.
Upload site images:-
We now eagerly await the release date 🙂
Fractured Identities: The endless electronic messages and stimulus we receive from social media and other visual sources cause us to analyse and judge ourselves extensively through the eyes of others. Our idea of self is eroded and broken down. As a result, we find ourselves changing who we appear to be to meet the expectations of others. Fractured Identities uses performance and self-portraiture to explore the ways in which social media affects the ways in which we present ourselves. Through our ever-increasing use of technology, we are invited to rewrite our identities and present ourselves as someone else. Using a series of often comical props and cosmetics designed to enhance appearance, Sutherst explores the world of the media generated selfie
Hull, S. 2018. “Re: Graduate Photography Online 2018 – MA Course”. Outlook.office.com [online]. Available at: https://outlook.office.com/owa/projection.aspx [accessed 23 July 2018].
Hull, S. 2018. “Source Photographic Review: Graduate Photography Online Submission Guide – What We Provide”. Source.ie [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/graduate/submission/index.html [accessed 23 July 2018].
Hull, S.. 2018. “Source Photographic Review: Graduate Photography Online Submission Guide – Your Submission”. Source.ie [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/graduate/submission/submission.html [accessed 23 July 2018].
Graduate Photography Online Submissions Facility. 2018. Source [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/gradute/2018/course_skip.php [accessed 31 July 2018].
Graduate Photography Online Submissions Facility. 2018. Source [online]. Available at: http://www.source.ie/gradute/2018/view_course.php [accessed 31 July 2018].