Sunday, August 14, 2011

Touch and Trace: Kate Smith...

Touch and Trace: an exhibition by Kate Smith
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby
Exhibition runs until 30th October 2011

Kate Smith: Touch and Trace installation view

I've just got back from a flying visit to Derby and Kate Smith's exhibition. The show opened on Friday night, alongside Jayne Falconer's exhibition, 'Eighteen', both exhibitions run until 30th October. The two shows complement each other beautifully and both Kate and Jayne will be in conversation in the gallery on 29th September between 1-2pm. Kate also has a simultaneous exhibition at Deda, Derby which opens next week and also runs to the 30th October.

I met Kate whilst on the Jonathan Vickers' residency 3 years' ago. I first saw her work at an open studio event at Banks' Mill, where I waited ... and waited ... to be able to speak to her. I couldn't leave without discussing her work for which I am a massive fan. The works are very highly detailed and each piece takes months to complete. My photos here really do not do the work any justice. If you can, I would strongly recommended a visit.

Kate Smith: Touch and Trace installation view

"Kate Smith in particularly interested in the physical contact of the hand with the surface and the multitude of ways in which the activity and gesture of drawing can result in marks and imprints.

She examines indicators of human presence - a worn piece of fabric, a footprint in the sand, or a furrow in a field - as well as marks and residues left behind as the result of conscious and unconscious action or gestures.

Kate investigates the idea of drawing as a form of contact between artist and medium, artist and audience and audience and work. She is interested in the literal and implied connections made between individual pieces of work and how these are orchestrated through exhibition and installation.

She explores questions and thoughts such as: the difference between a mark consciously made or unconsciously recorded; impressions left with intent or as a result of spontaneous actions and gestures; intimate marks which imply the presence of another and those which do not. These are unravelled, examined and re-examined over a long period of time and represented through a variety of media, scale and dimension."

Kate Smith: Touch and Trace installation view

To find out more - Kate's website:
Kate's blog:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photographing artwork...

Optimised - Jpeg noise

Today I have spent quite a lot of time re-photographing my paintings. Although I have a very good Nikon digital SLR camera and tripod, I haven't been happy with the results. I'm not an expert photographer by any means, but I get by. I've been photographing the work in my studio / conservatory which has beautiful even daylight defused through a polycarbonate roof. I haven't been using any studio lights, just using daylight with the built-in camera light meter, using the 'auto' white balance setting.

My paintings had a very blue cast, and I wasn't happy with the adjustments I was making in Photoshop. So, I set about spending a lot of time trying different white balance settings, and finally through trial and error, I seem to have found a better setting (which has needed very little adjustment in Photoshop).

I have now replaced the images below of the road paintings, which are far more accurate colour-wise (although I know all computer screens will look different anyway). On to the next problem... I have been using Blogger for many years and I have always optimised my images for web in Photoshop before uploading. I have noticed recently that although the optimised photos look fine in Photoshop, that something nasty has been happening when posting to blogger, fairly significant colour and contrast changes and lots of Jpeg noise. However, I know that Blogger has made a lot of changes with the editing and designing options that have given far more flexibility - but I am wondering if they have added a built-in compression for images, as the only solution I can think of is that the images are being compressed again!

However, despite this - I have just been able to upload my full-sized images without any bother (I was never able to do this in the past) and this has really helped. Has anyone else had any problems relating to this. I would love to know?


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