Notes from Individual Tutorials

On Tuesday I was able to get two individual tutorials one with Gemma and the other from Caroline.


After my discussing my idea she suggested the following things:

  • Maybe serve the cocktails at the exhibition
  • Think: who is the audience? And what is the project for? Even if you choose something as it is a reference point to come back to and access your work from. It will dictate the whole project. This can be a made up audience.
  • Think about presentation, might be best to work backwards as presentation is very much key in creating cocktails.
  • Look at visual language of cocktail menus and photography
  • Deconstruct cocktail photos and still life photos.
  • Maybe using the illustrations of cocktail menus.
  • Look at Marion Drew‘s work
  • Use as many search terms to find people to look at as possible.
  • Wendy Ewold’s work with scratching on negatives.
  • William Yang


Research in Response to this:

I started to look at costings for serving drinks at the exhibition itself, as at the moment I am focusing on different cocktails I will need different glasses to serve them in. I would only have tasting sample glasses such as this martini glass or these glasses. I assume that around 100-200 people would turn up for the opening night so I would need to make a high number of different cocktails. If I did 5 cocktails I would probably need to make around 20-30 of each cocktail. So the martini glass alone would be £3.99 x 2 = £7.98 not to mention the alcohol I would need to buy. But this can be thought of nearer the time.


After having a think about what my project is for I decided it would be to inform this could be both the recipes of the cocktails and the history. The history could either be represented through the photograph(s) and text or just the photograph(s). This left me to consider whether the photograph would have to be less conceptual if it is the only way it is telling the story.

The audience of this series would be those amateur drinks enthusiasts. I thought the project could be presented in a book, almost for the coffee table. I am thinking along the lines of Fictitious Dishes, a smallish sized book with beautiful photographs and a light amount of text for easy reading. Or it could be in bars for people to read as they wait for their drinks. I know a bar in Leicester called the Parcel Yard had strange books on the table for drinkers to thumb through.


Marian Drew is an Australian photographer who looks at death within photography. Her series Still Life / Australiana (2003-2009) was inspired to create the project after going to a exhibition in Germany on dead animals. In Australia there is a number of road kill and was reminded of the project she saw.

These photographs were taken on her table, this resembles the intimacy that we understand in our lives. Also to decontextualise the animals and remind us that death is always around us. The photographs were taken with a slower shutter speed on a medium format camera. I really light the tones from the photograph, they are almost reminiscent of Rembrandt.
I like how she has decontextualised the animal from the scene, something I have been wondering about my project is where to place the cocktails – studio? bar? my home? I really like the use of colours in the work too she has thought abut contrasting and similar colours to pair with the animal. For example the yellow sheet with a blue bird or the orange and green from a mango next to a colourful cockatiel. This is similar in current cocktail and food photography of today that the photographer will pair the subject with a contrasting or similar colour to help stand the object out.



She suggested the following ideas:

  • The idea might be too literal but it is good to start photographing
  • Find a way to respond to the histories of the cocktails, break down
  • Look into semiotics and psychoanalysis of photos – one book to look at is Practices of Looking An Introduction to Visual Culture, Marita Sturken and Lise Cartwright.
  • People who look at people taking a idea and photograph around it.
  • Look at David Levinthal and understand what he is trying to do & say – could this be helpful for me.


David Levinthal uses toys in his work to depict various scenes. At first glance you see the toys and you smile, it might be reminiscent of toys you once played with. Once you realise what the toys are doing the darker side of the series is shown. In the images Levinthal uses images with a wide aperture, potentially so you look closer into the images. This also then makes the viewers consider the innocent of child’s play. A lot of the time children immitate the world around them and with access to toys that have guns etc what impression are we giving them?


I like his work because of the way it makes you think. It is something I would really like to do with mine so I can make the viewer think “okay, I’m looking at a cocktail photograph… oh wait there is more to it than that” or “what am I looking at?”.


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