Anna Serafin

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about me

hi, i’m anna! a final year creative arts student, living in aberystwyth. my interests include photography – analogue and digital. recently, i’ve been interested in photography as a base for graphic design.
in this project i want to try and explore the animal consciousness, instincts, neuroscience and feel the inner sensations in the body through yoga and meditation. finally, i want to express that visually.

Semester Two

‘Animal’

week 1, jan 25th

~ lecture ~

i’m so excited to be back! in the first 3 hour session we talked about getting back into the creative process, doing something, being open, raw and vulnerable…

wildcat research

~ research ~

the cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal.

it is the only wildcat that cannot β€šroar’ and the only one who has adapted to hunting during the day. the black tear marks, also called malar stripes run down from their eyes down the sides of their face, attracting the sun away from the eyes.

they gain an acceleration going from 0 to 60 miles an hour in only 3 seconds.

cheetahs are able to gaze over a wide area, with a 210-degree field of view whereas people can see objects within only 140 degrees.

they use their vision to hunt, from spotting prey from 5 km away to locking their eyes on the prize during the chase.

cheetah retinas in comparison to other cats (which have a better vision at night) are expected to enhance their ability to discriminate colours.

national geographic shots:

tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength.

they live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals away.

they are hunted as trophies, and also for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps fewer than 2,500.

a tiger’s roar can be heard as far as 2 miles away.

national geographic shots:

animal awareness

~ book ~

when finishing the fantastic book ‘awareness’ by anthony de mello, i came across a lovely quote about animals, and how we as humans have drifted away from nourishing ourselves on the simple pleasures. sunsets, nature, a good movie, a good book, enjoyable work, good company. instead of making demands on ourselves, having constant expectations of ourselves, pushing ourselves, we must understand and live now.

tutorial, jan 29th

the first tutorial went really well, although i have no ‘plans’ yet of what i’m gonna be doing this semester, i feel like whenever i have a tutorial and i speak about the aspects, ideas, thoughts i have, it somehow comes together… and it feels good to talk about them. i told miranda of what i want to explore and that is wildcats, meditation, yoga, photography, neuroscience, the anatomy of the human body, the human and the animal body, how the body moves and what it’s capable to do. i also discussed the ideas of capturing yoga poses visually, trying to illustrate a feeling, sensation in the body through photography (?) there’s definitely a lot of research and exploration coming my way… but i want to take it easy, not be in control as much as i usually am, letting the work flow, and see where it takes me, not think about the final outcome…basically do more and worry less! i want to be more vulnerable (like cheetahs are at the moment) and make the project a bit more personal. Miranda listens very carefully and always suggests artworks, artists, ideas – like Japanese dance movement – Butoh, so these tutorials are always super helpful, useful and very thought-provoking.

week 2, feb 1st

~ lecture ~

today’s animal lecture has been a huge source of inspiration, starting from the lovely ‘becoming animal’ movie by filmmakers emma davie, peter mettler and radical writer and philosopher david abram. it was one of the best, most spectacular documentaries i’ve seen, because of how real, thought-provoking and spiritual it was. it wasn’t just science, but it was deeply immersed in philosophy. it talked about the higher states of awareness in nature, the animal and humanity. the fantastic meditation of the octopus left me feeling calm, relaxed, graceful, as if i were in the salty waters of the sea… other forms of art, such as performance, music, animal in human space, human in animal space was also presented. i am extremely grateful for the session today, my day has started magnificently.

new person, same old…

~ song ~

i recently rediscovered the song “new person, same old mistakes” by one of my all time favourite bands – tame impala. i’ve been playing them on repeat, their music is always so soothing, but vibrant and uplifting… in this particular song the bridge is just so good, so i thought i could document it here, just to come back to it…

[Bridge]
Man, I know that it’s hard to digest
But maybe your story ain’t so different from the rest
And I know it seems wrong to accept
But you’ve got your demons, and she’s got her regrets
And I know that it’s hard to digest
A realization is as good as a guess
And I know it seems wrong to accept
But you’ve got your demons, and she’s got her regrets
But you’ve got your demons, and she’s got her regrets

animal poses in yoga

~ research ~

sourced from: https://www.yogafevergr.com/why-are-so-many-yoga-poses-named-after-animals/

finding space

~ experimentation ~

i tried finding a space in the house to practice my yoga positions and to capture it visually. the environment is just my room, it isn’t a studio or project room, it has quite a lot of things, so making it minimal was quite a challenge. i tried spaces like my room, my living room, i tried hanging up materials to cover up the wardrobes. i put myself in front of the camera as well to know how much space i have in the viewfinder and how far the borders reach. the space surely leaves a lot to wish for, but i’ll try to make the best of it. i decided to take the photos in black and white, to make it even more minimal and less busy. i’m sure i can arrange something in the editing process… experimentation in progress!

hmmm…?

~ thinking thinking thinking ~

week 3, feb 8th

~ workshop 1 ~

the workshop today was fantastic, a bit of scientific information (which i always look forward to) combined with the artistic captures: installations, movies, music… i was also stunned by all the amazing photographs and videos presented today, especially the close-ups of the octopus, the ants and even the tiny fig wasps! i’m really excited to come up with my very own species of animal! for sure it will probably have something to do with wildcats *surprise, surprise*. i have no idea what i’m going to put in the glasswork vile yet, but i’ll let my imagination lead the way. challenge accepted.

opening the parcel

i’m excited about designing my species and i wonder how i can put my animal in here!

p., p. and… p.?

~ experimentation ~

poses, photography and painting! that’s it. it’s what i’ve been experimenting with this week. i’ve started by doing a warm-up (for example sun salutations) in silence, then listening to the animal meditations and doing a yoga pose. i can feel it evolving… i felt relaxed. i wasn’t focused on capturing the image necessarily, but i like the outcome i ended up having. i think the sepia images look nice because of the contrast between my figure and the background, but the colour ones look quite interesting, more lively and warm.

video-call

i recently had a video call with Mai-lyng on teams, which we ended up recording too. we had fun talking about designing our animals and where our concepts are heading. we also exchanged thoughts, opinions and shared the ideas for our projects and where they might evolve. we touched on personal things too which created a sense of closeness :>

panthera auroris

~ preparation for workshop ~

my design of species turned out to be no other than a wildcat. the name comes from ‘aurora’ meaning the northern lights, which are formed by the solar wind coming the Earth. it can reach speeds of 900 km/h and temperatures of 1 million degrees celsius. panthera auroris in a species living in the arctic circles, they are a mixture of an arctic fox and a snow leopard. their fur is waterproof and iridescent, with dark spots. once a month they gather up in a circle and the spots on their fur start to enlarge and spread out, making their fur black, which ultimately attracts the sunlight. this way they capture the restorative energy from the sun, which helps them survive. they are plant eaters, they eat fish such as mackerel icefish and antarctic cods until they are 8 months old, but soon after their diet only consists of antarctic hair grass and pearlwort. the scent of their manure which highly consists of microbes, travels to the forests of taiga and serves as a ‘vitamin boost’. they are very friendly, independent animals, who love solitude, but can share emotional bonds with their mates and cubs. they are very creative creatures, who love to dream and are very good at meditating (as most cats are). they also have colourful visions thanks to the power of aurora, which also leads they way when it comes to finding food. their eyes changes: the colour (feelings, emotions) and the pupil (energy). the fox instincts represent its curiosity and the leopard instincts represent confidence and grace. they are fearless travellers, who are trying to make the best of their life on Earth, but without taking away from it. they try to be as eco-friendly as possible, because they are aware of global warming and the catastrophic results that come with that.

week 4, feb 15th

~ workshop 2 ~

everyone had such amazing ideas, and i really enjoyed every single animal presentation. the aquatic cat, the bulbo, the digger, the shark polar bear and the volcanic lizard-like creature who loves warmth! mine and ellie’s was quite similar actually :> it was astonishing how complicated, but thought-through and scientific they were. some were more unrealistic, but all were enormously creative. i’m really looking forward to the group proposals.

yoga photograms

~ research ~

with their β€œYoga Photograms” project, British artists duo Rob and Nick Carter, portray the yoga world from an unusual angle. the series captures the model’s weight and pose which are imprinted onto a large photographic paper via their movement across the light in a darkroom.

temperature and the body

~ experimentation ~

i took my brother’s microscope and decided to take a look at the human body from a closer perspective… i was amazed at the various textures, shapes and patterns in our veins, lungs, arteries and blood, so i took some shots. i also edited my previous pose, and played around with the hues and colours, which reminded me of the ones taken from a thermal camera.

chasing consciousness

~ research ~

Susan Aldworth’s installation ‘Out of Body (2009) is a series of large monoprints, in which visual imagery taken from brain scans and electrical charges is used as a catalyst for exploring the nature of human consciousness. combining a subtle use of tone, line, mark and impression, it exudes both abstract and ethereal qualities.

β€œSusan confronts us with images of tunnels of consciousness and unconsciousness, passages between life and death. Like Narcissus we are staring into a deep abyss. We are looking at ourselves looking at ourselves.” – Chris Orr, RA, MBE

art in neuroscience

~ research ~

Dr. Greg Dunn (artist and neuroscientist) and Dr. Brian Edwards (artist and applied physicist) created ‘Self Reflected’ to illustrate the nature of human consciousness, bridging the connection between the mysterious three pound macroscopic brain and the microscopic behavior of neurons. it offers an unprecedented insight of the brain into itself, revealing through a technique called reflective microetching the enormous scope of beautiful and delicately balanced neural choreographies designed to reflect what is occurring in our own minds as we observe this work of art. ‘Self Reflected‘ was created to remind us that the most marvelous machine in the known universe is at the core of our being and is the root of our shared humanity.

lead me…

~ experimentation ~

i’ve recently been interested in drawing and painting from the subconscious mind. i’ve been doing this after yoga. drawing from my feelings, but letting the brush lead me, absolutely not thinking about the outcome. i’ve just been enjoying the process of subconscious mark making, trying to illustrate the sensations in my body after a certain yoga pose. it has been enormously therapeutic to visually illustrate them and represent them with a colour. it’s not as easy as i thought! but it just feels good.

i really enjoyed 2 videos explaining the concept of ‘automatic drawing’. one of them, which has shown me how to ‘let go’ was with Tim Gula, who presented applying meditation to art with the exercise and explained the benefits of including it in your routine. the other one had some useful tips such as:

1. don’t have a destination in mind.

2. draw as long as you can without stopping.

3. experiment with various ways to make marks.

joan mirΓ³

~ research ~

Spanish artist Joan MirΓ³ revolutionised subjective art in the 20th century. he worked in painting, printmaking, sculpture, tapestry, and ceramics. his art is known for invoking a childlike sense of expression. his explorations into the subconscious mind changed modern art forever. his studio in mallorca, which i was fortunate enough to visit back in 2016 is absolutely breath-taking.

tutorial, feb 19th

the tutorial today was very quick, clear and easy but enormously motivating! learning through doing and doing through research and persistence… i’ve been enjoying this way of working, it’s not my typical route, but letting the work flow through the process has been so rewarding and lovely to do! i’m excited to see where the work ends up at.

the creation of ‘bopledict‘ (?)

~ preparation for workshop ~

the ‘creation of bopledict’ is a group workshop focused around designing a species for our group, made of the species we already created last week. it’s getting in touch with nature (the walk) and with our imagination and creativity. the outcome are the responses coming from any medium and reflections on the process and the workshop itself. i wanted to do something most of us would enjoy and something that would bring pleasure to us all. the idea isn’t very sophisticated, but the simplicity in which it is embedded, can often illustrate the most exotic parts of our subconscious mind.

week 5, feb 22

~ workshop 3 ~

today we proposed our ideas for the group project! we had: a zine and manifesto, audio recordings and performance, echosystem, bopledict cell and letter of apology. and the winning project was… ‘the creation of bopledict’! i’m very happy that my idea is the one which will take place in workshop 5! i’m also happy about the fact that my explanation was clear enough to understand. i used to struggle a lot with getting my ideas across (which i still do), but today i succeeded ^.^ i wish we could do all the projects… it’s so sad to see them go. i’d love to see them come to life, perhaps during the summer we could pursue them?…

cutting

~ experimentation ~

i have tried to cut my figure from the background using many *many* many software… my laptop cannot handle photoshop, but i’ve managed to find alternatives :)) and yes far from perfect…

the last of their kind

~ research ~

the ‘Last Of Their Kind’ is a series by photographer Joachim Schmeisser, which focuses on the beauty of african, endangered animals as well as on the creation and its fragile transience. “the images can be interpreted on different levels: as depictions of a distant past, or as iconic memories in the not too distant future in which we can only admire these majestic creatures in zoos. they are both a homage and a final warning – visual revelations that sharpen our clouded view of nature in all its infinite complexity as well as recognising what treasures we might irretrievably lose”. i love the compositions and how detailed the images are. we can admire the textures of the skin, scars, fur. the fact that they are in black and white evokes sadness and a feeling of loss that is yet to come if we do not keep these animals safe.

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week 6, mar 1st

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funfunfun

~ experimentation ~

i’ve playing around with different backgrounds. looking if the simplicity would look best or perhaps a pattern of some sort… i’m enjoying the process and getting the most of it.

the ccc

~ experimentation, and yet again another letter shortcut ~

the cow (Bitilasana), cat (Marjaryasana) and camel (Ustrasana). i’ve been trying to capture the moment after letting go from a pose, (which is usually a couple of minutes) and seeing how my body reacts after. sometimes it was painful or hard to ‘let go’, but what fascinated me is how it bent, released – and went straight to drawing. that’s what i’ve trying to capture although the documentation itself has been quite tricky. having the thought at the back of my head to actually document and capture the moment successfully has been taking away from the process itself. i think i might just do this, and hopefully document it – at least once successfully.

Semester One

Nature

week 1sept 28th

~ teams meeting ~

time mentioned: ~ 5 weeks of workshops, 32 hours of taught time, 15 hours a week, 168 hours in total.

some things that stood out:

β¦Ώ practice – means ‘doing something a lot, repeating something, reaching the potential of it.

β¦Ώ your goal keeps moving, it never stops, so you’ll never catch it.

β¦Ώ the idea will lead.

β¦Ώ letting go of definitions, of the ‘what is what’, breaking down things, finding out what you want to be doing.

β¦Ώ creative practice = process + documentation

β¦Ώ being obsessed with documentation, it’s an ongoing partner to everything.

β¦Ώ moving around: experimentation + research + reflection

β¦Ώ being vulnerable makes you feel creative – doing it, because you can, you’ve got time.

β¦Ώ motivation.

β¦Ώ doing something until it grows.

β¦Ώ workshops are there to help you, inspire you.

β¦Ώ a total accident (salt puffs) can become your guide.

β¦Ώ it should have meaning – find it.

β¦Ώ dance with limitations.

reflection…

i am so glad to be back in aber, the people, nature, the atmosphere… despite the circumstances, i really want to bring out the best throughout my final year and enjoy it just as much. it already started off amazingly – getting involved with volunteering, peer guiding and being the vice-president of the creative arts society! (which also comes with designing weekly posters – a place to train my graphic design skills). i’m really looking forward to exploring this new side to photography – as a base to graphic design. i want to start off with doing research about this relationship. my very loose, initial idea is connected with exploring colour and linking it with nature. today’s fantastically led introduction to the module by miranda has really put me in a joyful mood and motivated me to get up, get involved and start ‘doing’.

about me

hi, i’m anna! a 3rd year creative arts student, living in aberystwyth. my interests include photography – analogue and digital. recently, i’ve been interested in photography as a base for graphic design. along with nature’s delicacy, this is what i’m hoping to explore during my final year at university. i want this project to be a passion, obsession and visual pleasure.

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reflections in nature

i was walking in the park with my friends, it was a gorgeous, autumn day with a beautiful blue sky. it was warm, the air smelt like cinnamon and dried leaves. i came across a reflection in the pond. the blue really stood out to me out of all the warm oranges surrounding it. the colour investigation has begun.

colour theory research

an introduction i’ve done to colour theory is research. i have looked at what colour really is, at scientific research, followed by practice not only in photography, but also in painting. i have also looked at the ‘polish school of posters’ which is one of worlds biggest homes to poster design. japanese art and animation – for example ‘studio ghibli productions’ have also been a source of inspiration. they have created outstanding magical realities, but which a real feel at the same time. hand drawn illustrations with the most beautiful colour combinations.

week 2

nature lecture, oct 5th

nature has always been an inherent element to humankind. it has many sides, it’s a form of delicacy, but can also come across as a powerful threat. across the years we have started to take it for granted, underestimate its legacy and manipulate it. the session started with a meditation, a very calming intro. i felt as if the lecture was an interdisciplinary journey presenting the various relationships humanity has with nature. the mediums included – painting, photography, performance, installation and film. i had a repeating phrase – ‘we are one with nature’. we talked about how the relationship with nature has changed – how it was once united, but across history we became more and more separated with it. the artists that stood out to me were: andreas gursky (photography), agnes martin (painting emotion), simone kenyon and lucy cash (‘how the earth must see itself’), ludwig berger (‘melting landscapes’), walter de maria (‘earth room, 1977’). a fascinating element with this semester’s topic, is that everyone experiences nature differently, it is such a wide and diverse subject. i can’t wait to see everyone’s interpretation of it.

vulnerability and delicacy.

raspberry sunset

a calm autumn hike seemed to take my mind off things. the warm sunlight, the cool breeze of fresh air and my camera lens. being in closure with nature, but having my eyes open to all the rich colours it hides. i’m always most drawn to shades of red and purple, so this little raspberry caught my attention right away.

a violet touch

taking a magnifying glass and looking at the abstract side of nature is what i’ve been doing lately. it keeps amazing me how much there is to discover and what colour combinations it holds within. all the tones accidentally fell next to one another , but all play so well together.

cinnamon aurora

the abstract photo reminds me of the polar lights, which is also referred as ‘aurora’. the green peeking through and the shades of oranges and reds, making it reminiscent. i want the word ‘cinnamon’ to emphasise the warmth and autumn atmosphere, which is really one of a kind. autumn has always been my favourite season, the candles burning, the warmth, the sun shining lower than usual across the horizon, pumpkin spiced coffees, expecting halloween, getting ginger tea and cozy wool sweaters, beach walks in orange light… all this builds the uniqueness of October.

a passion, obsession and visual pleasure.

week 3

workshop 1, oct 12

today was truly a beautiful workshop. beautifully put together. at first, the lecture – a combination of science and art about trees. and after planting an acorn. the waves of delicacy, care, purity flew around the class and between all of us. what struck me most about going to the woods to collect the acorns – was observing the cycle the tree has with its fruits – the acorns. where did they come from? how did their journey to the ground look like? nature lives by its own rules and conditions and we don’t have an impact on it – if we choose to stay back and help it be biodiverse. this is what i am hoping to bring forward to the collective group project.

nature’s secrets

some of these photographs remind me of paintings, it’s been great looking at all the little details. we will never be able to acknowledge all of them. they remain vulnerable. only if you stop and look closely, will you be able to discover someone has not seen before – a look into nature. it is impossible to notice every pinch of soil, every leaf, every tree, every flower, every grass blade, every little root… that is why i enjoy exploring and looking at all the different perspectives with my lens – perspectives no one has seen before.

reflection..

the ‘titles’ i’ve been using for some of these photographs are put together very loosely by me. i wanted them to bring together the dominant colour and something the photograph reminds me of. one of my favourites so far and also i think the most accurate and humorous one has been ‘elephant’s trunk’. (:

week 4

● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● ● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍ ●● ◍ ●research reading reflecting ● ◍ ● research reading reflecting ● ◍

reflection..

not only for this module, but also for photography i’ve really been looking for inspiration everywhere. it might not even be connected with the topic of my project, but just something that keeps me going. i’ve been loving a book my friend connor gave me called ‘siddhartha’ by hermann hesse, it’s been quite eye-opening. the susan sontag essays on photography have also given me knowledge and a new perspective on photography as an art discipline. being back in the darkroom has also felt amazing, even though i messed up one step when developing my film.. as i poured out the water during the first step it was all green/black (it was a nice colour though) and i was debating whether or not continue developing.. but i decided to give it a shot, and got quite interesting results… something actually showed up on the film, but looks quite smudged. so remember not to agitate the canister with the water agent.. :)))))

🍏