BISCUIT – A group project led by Jess Thom

Group Project, Videos

This project was part of the 10 day low residency, where the online students joined us in London, and ran for one day. We started this project with an introduction and talk by Jess Thom, the artist behind https://www.touretteshero.com/ .

She spoke to us about Tourettes Hero, and also about her daily life living with Tourettes Syndrome, and then asked us to group up and create a video per group, inspired by her website, tics, and work. I was put into a group with Justin Lee Vervin, Paola Pinna, and Steph Bebbington, and together we created this piece.

We were initially interested in one particular tic that Jess displayed whilst talking to us- the word “Biscuit” often shouted. I had made notes of some of the verbal tics Jess had displayed during her talk and we used those as a starting point. After discussing our ideas we came up with a rough plan, and the first thing we did was to record ourselves with a sound recorder saying the word “Biscuit” over and over in various tones and differing volumes, to create the soundtrack for our video. Justin then took this recording and spent the day mixing it to create the sound you can hear in the video. Whilst he was doing this, Paola and I went on an adventure- we went into Sainsburys to take photos of objects mentioned in Jess’ verbal tics, such as sausages, different kinds of biscuit, pencils, and other things. We got told off by staff, after multiple attempts, and then decided to try our luck in the corner shop opposite uni. We then sent our photos on to Steph, who digitally manipulated the images via Photoshop, alongside other royalty-free images she had found whilst we were out taking the photos. We also typed up the word “Biscuit” as well as “risk it” “fuck it” “is it” and “fist it” as when we listened to the sound we recorded we could hear those word too (also “fuck it” was another verbal tic of Jess’). Paola then printed those out and collaged, sprayed, and wrote on the print outs. She then photographed these and sent them on to me.

My main role in the project, aside from being recorded with the rest of the group, and taking photos for the video, was to collate all the images, and later the sound, into the video above using Premier Pro, as I was the only one in the group with experience of this programme.

Overall I really enjoyed this project and am very proud of the finished piece- we worked well as a group and managed to combine our individual talents into a well thought out and put together video. I would have liked the video to be longer, but we had to finish it in the day we were given, and due to how long editing takes I did the best I could in the time we had. Also I feel the video could have lost impact and felt too repetitive if it were much longer, so it was probably for the best!

Low Residency- one day monoprinting workshop

river project, Work in Progress

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A one day monoprinting workshop during the Low Residency.
The photos above show the process of monoprinting- I started off with some large print outs of a few of the macro photos I took of the bones, and inked up a plate with a roller. To make the prints I put a sheet of paper down onto the inked up plate, with one of the print outs on top of that. I then carefully drew over the photo with a pencil, applying harder pressure to create a darker mark, and lighter pressure for lighter marks and shading. Unfortunately the first few attempts didn’t work so well, as the paper I had chosen to print on was too thick, so not a lot of the lighter details were picked up. I then experimented with different mark making techniques on the thick paper and also on newsprint, until I was happy.

The smaller print and ghost print* (rectangular shaped) were made by soaking the thicker paper in water and then making the prints, but due to the amount of detail I was trying to capture the paper dried before I finished the print, meaning it didn’t come out as well as I was hoping. I ran the plate through the press with the second soaked sheet any way, to make the ghost print (black print with white lines).

To make the larger, better print, and the ghost print made from that, I used newsprint, as it didn’t need to be soaked, and picked up even the lighter marks made on the paper. I spent about an hour and half on this print as I really wanted to capture all of the tiny details from the photograph, and overall I am pleased with how this came out! I then ran the plate through the press with a second sheet to get the ghost print. One of the issues with newsprint is how fragile it is, and also that it discolours over time, but this could work in my favour, as the gradual transition of the paper will mimic how bones discolour over time with age, which is quite beautiful.

For a one day project I am very pleased with how the prints came out, and I had fun with the process. I think based on these outcomes that the macro photos would look very beautiful if I photo etched them, so this is something I may consider doing in the future.

* a ghost print is a print made from the negative of the original print- in this case when you remove the sheet of paper from the inked up plate wherever you have made a mark the ink will have transferred to the paper, giving you a positive print. To make a negative you then run the plate through the press with another sheet of paper, and this gives you a negative or ‘ghost’ print.