Category Archives: Assignment 3 Diary: Putting Yourself in the Picture

Assignment Diary: 3 Putting Yourself in the picture

15 February 2016

Today will be the official first day of my Part 3 of C&N. Although I have already read through the notes and have started to keep a diary. I decided to do this as I was travelling to Paris this weekend and wanted to include that experience in my diary. I have also been thinking about “putting myself in the picture. This will be some experience as I hate photos being taken of me and very few exist. I assumed this was some sort of vanity but now I am beginning to think it has a deeper significance. Do I not want to be faced with the inevitability of my aging appearance. I have always claimed that age is of no consequence for me. But is this really true. The more I think about this subject the more I realise that with age

  • we become invisible.
  • we start to disintegrate
  • we loose our faculties

any one of these could apply to me. (I need a sad face symbol here!!!)

However I think I had better start with the recommended research. There should be no shortage of photographers to research for this part of the course.

17 February 2016

Lots of looking at self portraits online yesterday. Am fascinated by what has changed in society over the past number of years which now makes the ‘selfie’ – the norm?? Almost no one shies away from being photographed by a mobile phone held in front of their face while at the same time it is more and more difficult to get people to accept being photographed in the street by a photographer.

18 February 2016

Wrote up my exercise 1 of Part three Putting yourself in the picture. Have really enjoyed looking at this self portraiture. Then tried out some self portraits of ‘invisible me’… We will see what that gives.

23 february 2016

Am reflecting all the time about how to represent ‘invisibility of age’ in images. Read this this morning which I found sad(1). This one made me laugh (2).

Another idea for my invisibility – a portrait of me in black against a black background. Here is an interesting set of images.

Going to Africa at 51 meant a totally new life. People respect age. I was an elder, listened to and respected. This may have helped me to miss that move to invisibility.

24 february 2016

Am becoming addicted to looking at self portrait sites!!!!! There are so many inspiring self portraits out there it is daunting. Since I am away from home with my grandchildren I do not have a lot of opportunity to actually make any self portraits. But I do have time to look up other people’s work and to reflect. This is precious time.

26 February 2016

Yesterday I visited the Toon Teekan exhibition in the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. This is  beautifully restored building which has a permanent collection of Dutch Old Masters and host solo and collective exhibitions. This weeks exhibition was on the works of local artist Toon Teekan. It was interesting, especially to see the video in which he explains his work.


I visited the old masters also and was pleased to see the original of this Bruegel which I have never seen previously:



A Grayson Perry exhibition was due to open last night. While we were there Grayson Perry swept into the building dressed as a woman which he likes to do.


What caught my eyes were his shoes which I managed to snap before he swept out of the building again and disappeared into a black windowed taxi.


Grayson Perry is a well known British artist best known for his vases. However he is also known to be a transvestite and likes to appear, in public, in women’s cloths. He is a work of art himself…(4)

26 febuary 2016

My sons 43rd birthday. It is a lovely cold bright day here in Maastricht. We have a day planned in town and a visit to the photographic exhibition in the library of Maastricht, is planned.

Before going out I have done some research on Nikki S. Lee’s work. I have to say I m a little puzzled by it. I don’t find it either interesting or attractive. But I will continue to research her work to see if I can get behind her ‘raison d’etre’.

29 February 2016

We are flying back down south this afternoon after a week with our daughters family. I have not managed to keep my written diary every day but most days. I have found being here with three generations of my family, an interesting insight for this project. I have managed to visit some exhibitions and to do some research. It is always sad to say ‘goodbye’ but we will spend time together this summer in Ireland.

3 March 2016

I have been working on completion of my graffiti images for my exhibition in Ireland in August. I needed to have a couple more printed and I also needed to track down the alu-fix for hanging them. First thing I learned is that this is called Poster snap in Ireland and UK. I did locate a couple of places in Ireland but they only have standard poster sizes. Located one in UK. Will check before ordering.

I am now ready to take up my OCA research again. I have asked my sister to send me some photos of our childhood. There is one I remember very well. It is of my First Communion day – a very special day for a seven year old in the Ireland of my childhood….. She will send me a couple of photos which may trigger some memories. I have moved about so much, in my lifetime, that I do not store many family heirlooms. I like to travel and live light. I try to avoid accumulating ‘things’. My time in Africa taught me that I am happier when I am not burdened down with material possessions. I never felt the same sense of freedom in Europe as I did in Africa. Racing across the bush on the back of  a motorbike with wild pigs running alongside, it does not get any better…. But back to the project in hand.

5 March 2016

I have been struck down with a horrible cold and am struggling about. Doing some reading online, mostly of other students blogs. Ordered some books having read a fellow students review. Made some contacts of my self portraiture on ‘invisibility of age’. Printed out the contact that will form, I think, at least part of, my final assignment submission. Decided to convert some to B&W. Made contact of these. Cut this contacts up and will paste into my physical log but as yet I am still unsure which images I will go with in the final selection. Am moving them about to see which hang together as a set. Am quite interested in how the photographers, we were asked to research, made their final selections. I never seem to have the perfect sequence. I am still all over the place with a million ideas I would like to try out……

7 march 2016

Got assignment 2 feedback. So right I need to push my creativity. Have been trying to do this today with my self portraiture. Loving it. Trying writing on the images – found an interesting pen on Photoshop. Tried all sorts of modes but ‘normal’ worked best!!! So much to learn. Have been re-reading my diaries from Africa with the idea of including some pages in my present diary for this assignment. They read so normal and life was anything but normal in the heat and poverty that was the Gambia…. I suppose this was our way of dealing with it all. Interesting that my husband got an email from aGambian  friend today to say he has started his own bakery in The Gambia. He was fired from GamTel, the telecoms company, because he was getting near retirement and they did not want to give him a pension. He is a wonderful, kind, honest  man – a rarity among Gambian males. But he is naive and we must resist the temptation to try to help him as he has to make it himself. Nothing to do with OCA and creativity….

10 March 2016

I am not happy with the image I created of my present self and my childhood self. I will revisit it.

14 march 2016

Redid my images and am now satisfied. (sort of…) Spent a wonderful day on Friday last in Marseille visiting my printer and La Friche. There was an exhibition of Ostkreuz agency photographers. The space is wonderful, the whole concept so french. I wrote a review of the exhibition which underwhelmed me…. This was because I had looked at an interview with Steve McCurry just before I wrote it and was blown away by his portraits.

While I was in Marseille I saw a lovely man reading a very old newspaper so I stopped to talk to him. He was the owner of the antique shop, outside which he was sitting and he was reading through a box of old newspapers that someone had just delivered. He was 84 years young and quite happy to be photographed. A lovely encounter.

Marseille antique dealer

Marseille antique dealer

On the bus on the way to and from Marseille I read “Ways of Seeing” and apart from the annoying print I really enjoyed it. I’ll write a review as soon as I have looked at the TV programmes from which the book was written.

16 march 2016

Wrote the Berger book review. This is a book that will stay with me. I keep thinking of snippits and nodding my head. Just received my “Auto-Focus” by Susan Bright. Am very excited. However today is the eve of St Patrick and I have invited a load of people for drinks and bits at mid day so will not get much else done.

21 march 2016

It was a busy but very enjoyable weekend. My husband is an MG sportscar enthusiast and we are part of the MG Club du Sud. This weekend was the “Sortie des Truffles” which is a regular springtime event. I am not a classic car head but because the trip offered a visit to a private collection of old airplanes “de chasse” (war planes). I liked the possibility of photographing some of these.

It turned out to be a super weekend. The sun shone and the food and company was great. French outings tend to be very boozy affairs and this was no exception…. The ‘gendairmes‘ tend to ignore a string of ancient voitures on the roads so  no one has ever been breathalized….. The sortie set out from Sault which is on the north of the Luberon and is best known for its lavender fields. Our first port of call was to a truffles farm and restaurant where I have never eaten so many truffles. I also got a chance to make a little video for a project one of my fellow OCA students is engaged in. I have no experience in video and am looking forward to learning something about this technique from my little effort.

I also looked for opportunities to take some self portraits for thou shalt not age….

22 march 2016

A day of cleaning printer heads and installing ICC’s. Also I tried to work on the short video clips I made for another student’s Spring project…. Not very successfully as I have never done this before. I really want to know how to edit videos.

24 march 2016

A whole day spent with Victor Burgin……… My head is spinning but pleasantly so. I also made some collages of childhood images which I used to cover my diary.


Frightening how I can see my grandson, who looks so like my son, in myself….

28 march 2016

There is more to this video business than I had realised. I made simple videos years ago and it all seemed to be easy. I think iMovie have complicated things.. Now having done this .MOV is not allowed by WordPress I’ll have to put it on YouTube or something….



  1. Boomers’ cloak of invisibility continues to grow as they age | The Spokesman-Review. 2016. Boomers’ cloak of invisibility continues to grow as they age | The Spokesman-Review. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2016].
  2. Denise Snodell: Women of a certain age often don the cloak of invisibility | The Kansas City Star. 2016. Denise Snodell: Women of a certain age often don the cloak of invisibility | The Kansas City Star. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2016]
  3. The Invisible Age:Photographic Self-Portraits by Women Aged 50-65 – Curated by Jan Potts and Beth Keintzle | LensCulture. 2016. The Invisible Age:Photographic Self-Portraits by Women Aged 50-65 – Curated by Jan Potts and Beth Keintzle | LensCulture. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2016].
  4. Sketchbooks by Grayson Perry review – from bikers to Little Bo Peep | Books | The Guardian. 2016. Sketchbooks by Grayson Perry review – from bikers to Little Bo Peep | Books | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 February 2016].