PDP: Reflection of the Year.

Just before I get started:

This year has been an absolute whirlwind. It’s safe to say the time has come and gone just as everyone seemed to warn me it would before moving to university. However third year for me has been the most important. I personally have had one of the hardest years to date, and that is due to losing my Grandfather in March this year, just before easter break. For me this was make or break time; I was at such a high and important point within my work and for me time just seemed to stop and disappear. I didn’t think that I could get anything finished in time, and I thought I would be graduating alone in November. But I managed to work through this, using my Grandfather as my inspiration and just wanting to get it done for him, but not without the help of Amelia. She has been my absolute rock through this immensely stressful time, being the one I could run to seeing as I do not have any family with me in Cardiff, so for that I am extremely grateful, because now I am finishing on time, comfortably and (kind of) calm.


I felt as though I hit the ground running when beginning this year. I had spent the summer reading for my dissertation and working on an intricate and detailed drawing of a baby in the womb. It was through this drawing that I realised that this is the subject matter that I wanted to be focussing on throughout my final year: The human body. When I began to delve into this subject matter, I mostly focused on how we are held together and all those tiny little details and systems in our body that we don’t usually give thought to daily. Beginning to draw away from the physical and delving into the scientific, I soon found myself focussing greatly on the cells that make us up. However, I didn’t focus too heavily on the scientific side of these subjects, instead I headed down the aesthetic road, trying to highlight the beauty of these microscopic critters. However, this work had no context, and all I was simply doing is telling you it was beautiful. I wasn’t until I took a day trip to London to visit the Hunterian museum that I realised just what my work was missing. I found myself looking at all sorts of specimens, but mostly cancer. There were masses of different cancers in jars that had been sliced in half. Being able to look inside of the masses, I had a glimpse of how they grow and live, and it was at this point where I knew this would be my focus point. From here onwards I found myself dealing with an extremely sensitive and delicate subject matter that I had to be conscious of as I go through with creating this work. As time developed I found myself working with materials that coincide with feelings of warmth, comfort and ‘home’, such as knitting together wools, threads and surface materials, hoping to combine this with the subject matter to create pieces that induce feelings of relaxation and calmness. By doing this, I hoped that my work would entice an audience that will further spark a conversation about the disease. My aim throughout this year was to raise conversation and awareness to further help with understanding the disease. I soon found that the materials I was using weren’t going to achieve what I needed, and I found it extremely difficult to create pieces of work. I attempted to knit and crochet ‘cuddly’ cancerous tumours, using the colours and patterns to create them in a way that made them approachable and not intimidating to the eye. But these materials just didn’t work well, and I found myself at a loose end.


After many tutorials and a christmas ‘break’, I seemed to have had an epiphany. I was extremely happy with the subject matter and it took me a while to find my ‘why?’ for the work, but I needed to work on changing my materials. I spoke with Amelia and Martyn about working with clay to create ceramic work. It was through the process of trying to work with wool that I realised I wanted to made 3D work, I just was using the wrong resources. Switching to clay seemed to be the right decision for the subject matter. When relating the subject matter back to my work, it grew extremely apparent how important this relationship is. Using ceramics gives the work a new level of value. Once fired and glazed, ceramics become extremely delicate and fragile, if knocked, bashed or dropped will end in breakages. When handling these objects you naturally handle them care in order to avoid any of the above, and this is a precious aspect for my work. I quickly learnt that this was what was missing from the knitted work. Still being able to work with bright and beautiful colours, I seemed to have found another important part of my work. Once all 6 of my ceramic tumours were fired, I began the glazing process. This process is extremely unpredictable yet on the other hand it is extremely unique. Having the rooted fear of the unknown and being very unsure if the tumours would survive the glazing process in the kiln, seemed to relate back to the human and having that fear of how badly this disease will affect you. Once they came out of the kiln they all have grown their own unique characteristics through the firing process. This is either where the glaze surface bubbled, flooded or pooled, they became completely unique. This as a process was extremely tedious, tiring and intricate but I am extremely happy with this route I decided to take. I then took these ceramic tumours once finished and photographed them in the everyday. I wanted to highlight that unfortunately cancer is a very big part of our everyday lives now, and for some follow you on your day to day routines, but I wanted to question just how much we talk, share and exploit the disease. Through a series of photographs printed into a A5 book, I captured natural movements with only slight snippets of human interactions highlighting how we handle the subject, either with somebody or alone. Through these photos I realised how important this project became to me. I began to realise that if this body of work could somehow aid someone in their recovery, or sparked a conversation they were yet to be able to share, my work will have done the job. I quickly understood that my ceramic pieces needed the book to be with it in the show as this gives it the context it had been lacking throughout the year, finally finding my ‘why?’.


Final Statment

Cancer has sadly become a very consistent part of our everyday lives.  But still the subject is taboo, hard to discuss, hard to grapple with.  Although it has become more visible than in the past, people are still very ashamed of the disease, ashamed of suffering, wondering what does it say about me? By placing these ceramic tumours in everyday scenarios, I hope to challenge perceptions and understanding of this frightening disease.

Creative CV


I wanted to make my CV personal to me yet still have a strong element of professionalism to it. Throughout my final ear I seem to have had a running theme throughout my sketchbooks with include details similar to the boarder on this CV. I thought this would be a nice way to introduce myself, with a little colour and pattern that represent something continuous about myself and my work. I spoke to Amelia and Dan Peterson about how I should go about creating the boarder, as I wasn’t sure how drawing it up before opening it in photoshop would work out, however Dan told me it was possible if I scanned in my image at 600dpi and made sure the background was completely white and remove and dirt spots. I then did the rest on photoshop. My photoshop skills are not great I will admit that it took a lot of playing around with to figure out which tool does which job, but it was quite a fun process. I tried to keep the colours simple and to a colour scheme which again is one that has seemed to crop up throughout my work in this final year. I have also published my CV on my website.

The Cover.

I had spent quite a long time decided what I wanted from my front cover of this book. I always find this part to be the hardest, along with the title as these are the two things that the viewer is greeted with first, and we should judge a book by a cover but we all know first impressions are important (and we do all secretly judge a book by its cover).

I played around in Photoshop for a long while before I got anywhere near close to deciding which to go for. I spoke to Amelia about this struggle and I emailed over her the screenshots of possible covers, as below:

I soon realised that I didn’t want a full image on my cover, as this was what I was originally thinking of doing, and also not including the title. However after looking through the studio shots I did of the pieces once glazed, I thought that the minimalistic route would be the most successful. I knew from this point I wanted to keep it simple yet enticing. I wasn’t too sure how I could achieve this, and I found myself struggling to find the right place for the title to rest also. It wasn’t until I began to use only parts of the image that I found myself onto something. The screenshots that show only half or part of one the of the ceramic pieces I feel are the most successful. This title also fits well accompanied with the meaning of the title chosen. Having the piece almost creeping up on you on the cover also gives you a good idea of what is to come, and begins the flow of narrative through my book. After speaking wth Amelia we narrowed it down to the below image.

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Chosen Cover

Once I had decided on this design, I began to play around wth the different fonts. I again wanted to keep it quite clean and in tune with the rest of the book, and I decided to go for Gil Sans Light. I then played around with the spacing between the letter and  kept it at 200pt. I feel like this works extremely well; the simplicity draws the eye to the object on the cover, and hopefully if you like that enough you should e encouraged to see whats to follow. I tweaked the colours of the font as I felt the black was too harsh and offensive, this also worked well as there are grey tones in the image used, creating a soft and approachable cover.

Once this was done and decided, I could therefore begin to get the design together in InDesign for the printers. I worked from a few sketches and written measurements I had collected from Dan at Abbey Printing in order the create an accurate cover. I thought I would really struggle to get this together as I am not to best with InDesign, but hey ho I really did surprise myself! I got it all together and then got it checked over by Ian, one of the graphic tutors (as Dan Peterson wasn’t around that day) and he gave me the all clear. I took it down the the Printers and we looked over it together. We made a few changes, like stretching the image over the spine I had created giving the printers more space to completely cover the spine without worrying too greatly about meeting the lines, just incase the spine turns out to be a little larger than we expected. I got the all clear once more and I left the file there to be printed. Now, we wait!



The Book.

Now the photos and title are all ready for the book, it’s just a case of getting it put together and sent off to the printers. I haven spoken with both Dan and Amelia a lot over this recent period relating back to the book a lot and just generally checking I am on the right track with it. I had a pretty strong idea of how I wanted it to be presented and how it will look, so when I proposed this to the both of them I was pleased when they agreed with me. By having a full image on the left hand side of the double page spread, the viewer is immediately drawn into that image and their eyes show flurry over the objects inside the image until they meet with one of my ceramic tumours. On the right hand said of the spread will be a centred square, and inside a cropped image of the one opposite highlighting the placement of the piece. This is drawing upon what I have been aiming for throughout this project. Firstly we have a full image showing my pieces in selected environments; these larger images highlight my aim of having them included in everyday routines and scenarios. Combining this image with the cropped and more focussed image then brings the viewer to question why have I done this? What is the purpose of doing so? This should then hopefully bring them to take a small step back and wonder how does this affect me? How are these pieces included in my life? Or in someone else’s life? From this I hope conversations are made, questions are asked and answers are shared.


Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.48.29

Screenshot of PDF

The above image is a screenshot of the exported PDF of my book (which is now all ready to be sent off to Abbey Printing). Obviously the pages would be side by side in the book, however for printing purposes this is how the PDF needs to be. The image is to give you an idea of how the two pages work together in bringing the viewer to an understanding of how to travel throughout the book. This is the most successful image from the series in my book so I have decided to have this image as the first in my book. Something I have always remembered Chris Glynn teaching us in the first year is to always start on a powerful image and finish on a powerful image. (Remember this little tip for when it comes to your VIVA VOCE!).

I took a trip down to Abbey Printers once the main body of my book was complete to talk over the appearance, paper and the cover. In their printers, they printer the inside of the book first and they print the cover separately, meaning I need to have 2 different InDesign files; one for each. As the inside of my book was complete I handed that over to them there and then, then we spoke about details. I have decided to get three A5 books printed, with hard covers and matt paper, with silk paper on the inside. We spoke about the specifications for the book cover so that I could bring that file to them in a few days in order to get that printed separately.

Title for the Book

It actually managed to completely slip my mind that I will need to give my book a title. I had been so wrapped up in the making that I had forgotten. Anyway, I took this concern to Amelia in a tutorial and we began to work up a title. We started with the word ‘Ubiquity’, meaning being everywhere all of the time. This is very fitting for my work, however just not right for the title of my book. So I began to research the word online to see what other options came up, when I found myself stumbling across everyday sayings. I eventually came across my title.

IN HOLES AND CORNERS; secret or hidden; not openly practiced or engaged in or shown or avowed.


It works extremely well when explaining just what my little clay pieces are getting upto in those images, and it has a good flow and ring to it. It also works rather well when you think about the shapes of my pieces, and how they have been made. Their surfaces are all rather misshapen and textured, all with unique details that you sort of have to move your body and bend to see underneath or around them, just like trying to peek into a hole or corner.