Red Carpet Event

Tonight I had the amazing opportunity to photograph at the East Winds Film Festival for Enjoy Coventry!

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East Winds Film Festival is the biggest East Asian film festival outside of London and this evening saw the premiere of the action movie Loi Bao.

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The cast and crew were all in attendance including Cuong Seven (picture above), Victor Vu, Vincent Wang and Vu Ngoc Anh.

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Synthcurious @CETpopup

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Recently Coventry has been reclaiming disused properties and repurposing them for new and wonderful events.

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Shop Front Theatre was a perfect example of this last month, using closed down shops alongside spaces within functioning businesses, like Ikea and The Yard, to host live, seemingly impromptu performances.

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But a place that gets a little less coverage is the Old Coventry Evening Telegraph building in Coventry City Centre, or The CET as it’s more fondly known.

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For nearly a year now the building has been open as a Pop Up Art Space and Museum, offering self guided tours and holding host to many exhibitions including the Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art 2017, the BCU MA Show, Len Cattell’s Aboriginal Inspired Artwork and more recently the Urban Culture Preview Show.

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But it doesn’t stop at art exhibitions.

Mercurial Dance recently performed open rehearsals for #ReToldCov on the CET’s ground floor, Urban Culture held their Preview Show there, with graffiti artists taking over the publishing gallery, and this weekend Synthcurious returned with a live sound installation.

Taking full advantage of the rear press hall’s acoustics to wow visitors with their synthesiser sound.

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Music played alongside projections of stunning images from Coventry photographer tschock_tschock

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Sadly the building is only open to the public until 16th June, then it closes in preparation for The Belgrade Theatre and Mercurial Dance’s ‘Read All About It – Retold’  interactive, cabaret-style show, that will take over the CET’s foyer from 10th – 14th July – which will be the last use of the building prior to it’s redevelopment into a boutique style hotel.

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There are rumours that when the building reopens that some of the lower area may be kept as an art or cultural events space. This ideas seems popular with many local people, who have really embraced the work of emerging local artists and musicians, who the CET have helped to expose, within the heart of our city.

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Turning down work

This week I’ve had to turn down two paid opportunities in order to complete my coursework and despite my new ‘just say no’ policy, until the end of the month, I’m still finding it quite difficult.

In the back of my head I’m trying to figure out if I can just pull a couple of all nighters and get the coursework done so I can take the jobs!

The obvious answer to that is – NO!!!!!

Not without making myself ill.

I need to accept that saying no is not being seen as unreliable. I just have other commitments, and that’s okay.

In the meantime I’ve found replacements to cover the events until I’m available again.

I think I’ve finally learnt that it’s good to take as many opportunities as you can but, realistically, you can’t take all of them.

You need to be selective and prioritise.

Decide which opportunities warrant the biggest pay off, and I don’t mean financially. Sometimes taking a voluntary job where I have the opportunity to learn a new skill will be far more beneficial in the long term than a days paid work doing something I already know how to do.

Taking on too much because I don’t want to let people down or miss out on things will eventually lead to me letting people down because one person can only stretch so far.

I’ve learnt that scheduling days off, putting aside time to be creative and having time with my family and friends also need to be priorities.

Micro Bursary

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At Friday’s Artspace meeting everyone met up to discuss projects they’ve been working on and to ask for advice with any problems they might have.

I brought up my inability to say no to new opportunities and everyone warned me they had been in similar situations and suggested I cut back on a few things while I got on top of my coursework.

I agreed this was a great idea, until the end of the meeting when Ryan told us about an opportunity to apply for a micro bursary of up to £250 towards the cost of research visits or attending exhibitions and conferences for local artists within the West Midlands.

I’d been hoping to return to Dublin to look more closely at the work DublinCanvas had done within the city, gain a little inspiration and possibly talk to some of the organizers about their initial problems getting local authorities and government on board, as well as the traffic light box company. But with accommodation and travel within Dublin being quite costly I hadn’t taken the idea any further.

Reading through the application information it looked like the micro-bursary was for research trips just like this!

Not to mention my New Year’s resolution of putting myself out there more, entering festivals, applying for things and getting my work seen. The bursary fitted in with that too.

But….. of course there is a but….. the deadline was Thursday 12th April at midday.

Exactly the time I should be doing nothing else but getting my coursework completed.

I quickly surveyed the application. You only needed to write 300 words, upload 3 photos, and include your CV.

It sounded quick and simple. But my CV was way out of date and 300 words? Well, we all know how long it takes me to write anything. I was guaranteed to lose a whole day if I decided to apply.

So I had to find a work around, a way to apply in time but not lose too much time away from my coursework. The answer was to get less picky. I’d have to write the 300 word piece. Allow myself to re-read it twice and only make one set of alteration, and not show it to anyone to double check it before I sent it off, and make do with my slightly out of date CV.

Want the honest truth of how I got on?

I re-read it 3, possibly 4 times and made two sets of alterations and I added two recent jobs, that were relevant to the bursary, on my CV. But I managed to cull the urge to rewrite the whole CV and add everything I’d done since the summer, I only spent half the day working on the application and now it’s emailed across I actually feel really pleased and positive about applying.

Excavations at The Broomfield Tavern

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Today I photographed a local excavation by the Coventry & District Archaeological Society who have recently unearthed evidence of three cottages that stood behind the Broomfield Tavern in Victorian times.

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Among todays finds were a fireplace, remnants of pottery and segments of victorian clay smoking pipes that were very popular at the time with both adults AND children!

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The society also allowed me to help with the dig in between photos and taught me how to excavate correctly and how to label finds.

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Each layer of earth removed needs to be carefully recorded, finds grouped together, labelled and stored and soil/substance samples retained for further investigation.

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Broken segments of Victorian clay smoking pipes
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Labelled finds
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Fragments of slipware pottery