2016: not entirely awful?

The 2016 that we collectively experienced was a pretty dispiriting one. While I want to acknowledge that, I don’t want my review of the year to be a political commentary. I’ll admit that I’m not well informed enough to do that anyway. Instead, this is a reflection on what the year has meant for me personally. A fair amount of censoring was needed this time to produce something publishable. You know, just in case someone actually reads it. The result – a less juicy but still painfully long recount of my year, enjoy!

New Year’s morning (afternoon) started with a text asking when I would be arriving to move into my new house share. This set my pulse racing for a couple of reasons. First, I had no idea that I was expected yet and was completely unprepared. Second, because even after three years of it at University, moving in with complete strangers never stops being scary. Especially for a shy introvert who likes her space.

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Chatham Placemaking Project

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Everyone likes to knock their hometown. The grass is always greener, as they say. But Chatham’s degeneration, particularly over the last decade, has left me feeling like my criticisms aren’t completely unfounded.

I came into the world in Chatham, in the middle of what is now a housing estate. I studied at Fort Pitt. My Granddad docked there when he was in the Navy. Like all of its (former) residents, Chatham has been the setting for some of my favourite memories. Even so, I simply couldn’t divorce myself from the place quick enough. (I won’t pretend that had nothing to do with wanting to recapture my freedom after uni though)

As much as we love to put our towns down, there’s also a small part of us that’s quite defensive of them. I’d love to see the town get better and to be proud of where I come from. It would be great if Chatham could be associated with it’s history rather than unfortunate stereotypes, news headlines and a high street of transient discount shops.

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A day in Brighton

I spent last Saturday in one of my favourite haunts; Brighton. From Street Photography to Street Art, my first stop was Cassettelord’s Fast Forward exhibition.

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Casettelord earned his name after rocking up head to toe in cassettes for an all-night fancy dress party in Brighton. Now, his colourful markings on the cityscape have quite a cult following across the UK. “Cassettelord is perhaps a secret ‘Time Lord’ – aiming to transport us all back to the visual world of our childhood. Where brightly coloured characters, objects and shapes collide with a super-hero comic book world”

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A Gruesome Initiation

This week marks 6 months since I started at Squiders, and the end of my probationary period! I haven’t really documented my experience so I thought I’d take the opportunity to log a journal entry.

The first thing I’ll address is how I’ve adjusted to no longer having an active designing role. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly and a couple of people had me questioning what I was doing at the time. Thankfully, the past few months have only confirmed that I made the right choice – I’ve let go quite easily in fact. Still, I also know I wouldn’t be happy to  completely divorce myself from an inspiring working environment. Observing the design process and being passionate about what we’re working towards has kept me happy and motivated.

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Double Take – Street Photography

This weekend I visited Adam Harrison’s Double Take exhibition in Maidstone. On show was a selection of his street photography which captured the extraordinary everyday.

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I really liked the way the photos were exhibited. They were spread around the walls, undulating over the raised levels at the back of the room, always remaining in the viewer’s eye line. This made it feel like you were walking around the street and witnessing these moments in real time. The prints were also placed directly on the wall. It wouldn’t have made sense to have such raw and honest images framed and presented in a formal way.

My photographs of the work don’t do them justice, so please visit his website to see a collection of them in their full glory. After reading of course 😉

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Words

So I let the blog slip a little these past couple of months. However, I’ve been itching to get back into writing for quite a while now. I tend to fall into the trap of thinking that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. But, I started this primarily for myself and have missed the rather cathartic process. So here I am. I have a couple of ideas in the pipeline but I wanted to get back into the swing of things first. So rather aptly, I’m going to share what I’ve read this month that had me itching to put fingers to keys.

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