A look at a shoot for Mad Made Metals.Read More
Last weekend, I stopped by the recipe testing taking place for an exciting new bar set to open on King Street next month. The Getaway will offer Latin American inspired cuisine from former Warehouse Chef Emily Hahn (lovingly known as the Empanada Mama on social media) and delicious cocktails from connoisseur Genevieve Mashburn. Expect pisco sours, tropical tees, and perfectly charred appetizers that will truly feel like a getaway.
For more information on the new spot downtown, check out the Charleston City Paper's feature from earlier this year.
Last month, I spent an afternoon by the pool with the band members of Grace Joyner. You may be familiar with the Charleston, SC - based group if you're a local music lover on this side of the country. If not, give them a listen on Spotify.
Lead singer, Amber Grace Joyner, had moved away from the coastal city for about a year to bide herself some quiet time in the mountains of North Carolina. After the hiatus, she found herself moving back to be surrounded by the local scene. In the midst of the move, she had teamed up with Asheville musician, Joe Chang (Gold Light), to perform small stints under the name Grace & Gold - or Gold & Grace, however you prefer. She welcomed Joe into the band earlier this year, and they've been touring across the East Coast off and on ever since.
I've had the joy of being good friends with Amber, and only a few posts back are the photographs I took of her in North Carolina last summer. It's always funny to look back and see how much time has passed, as that only feels like a few weeks ago.
Here is to the rest of the hot summer in Charleston. I have to admit though, I'm completely ready for the cool fall weather.
Last week, I drove up to Buchanan, Virginia - just outside of Roanoke - for a wedding. The bride and groom were kind enough to put me up in The Natural Bridge Hotel for the night, considering it was a twelve hour roundtrip drive to and from the location. While I only had one night before the wedding to explore, I took the chance to walk around downtown Lexington and the Washington & Lee college campus. The mountains were beautiful and made for a gorgeous sunset I witnessed from the picturesque downtown.
Early the next morning, I drove out the family farm where the wedding would take place. Unlike most conventional ceremonies, they opted to have theirs outside in the morning. A brunch reception was hosted afterwards in their outdoor pavilion. It was beautiful and made the first wedding I've shot alone much easier than anticipated. Not to mention, there was only one best man - their dog, Rusty. He was really the center of attention.
I'll be available for weddings beginning next month, September 2017. Send an email if you're looking for someone to capture your big day.
As of May 12th, I am officially a graduate of the College of Charleston; a certified alumni, complete with a Bachelor's Degree of Arts.
Without falling into too much cliche, I'll say that it felt both long and short. Four years certainly does fly by, but I have to admit that I am happy to be finished. I will, however, miss the photography lab and my mentors who've shaped my practice so much in the past year.
As a final farewell, I hung my solo exhibition A Record of How I Felt Then in the Charleston Music Hall. The opening was officially April 12th, and Hunter Park of She Returns From War performed an acoustic set to complement the Southern Americana portraits. The show will be coming down later this week - May 20th - but the photographs are on my website to view, and prints will be made available on Saatchi Art soon.
The Halsey Institute was also kind enough to honor my artwork with the Best In Photography award in the Young Contemporaries 2017 group exhibition. My three submissions were included in the show and untitled (girl with watermelon) won the award. That photo can be found on this website in the i. gallery, and the other two are included in this blog post.
The anticipated plan, as everyone has been asking for the past few weeks, is to remain in Charleston for a little while longer and continue working with Garden & Gun magazine. As well, I will be spending time taking my own photographs, and doing projects for clients and friends.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to venture up to Asheville, N.C. to spend the day with Charleston musician Grace Joyner. The photoshoot was on occasion of her debut album Maybe Sometimes in C that was to be released the following weekend. The album is a long anticipated follow-up to her Young Fools EP, which I reviewed some time ago for a local Charleston publication. Joyner is charming; she is modest and lovely, humble in her quiet town in the mountains - a starkly different community from that of the raucous socialite coastal community she had previously called home.
It is no surprise that her time in Asheville led to her completion of the album, and immense reflection on her self - her wants, needs, dreams. A historian and stylist at heart, music will likely always be a side project for Joyner. I highly recommend a listen through the album, and I thank Grace and her dog Trixie for their time and hospitality.
I know its a little cliché but I think anyone who has lived in Charleston gets permission to have at least one photo of them overlooking the bay. It really is beautiful and makes living in this city that much better.
Now that I've taken up film courses at the college, this shoot actually has some black-and-white companions that I may one day be able to share online. Of course, I covered my bases and brought the digital too.
Yeah. That Greenville.
After being MIA in Europe for the past six months, I've enjoyed the strange abnormal normality since my return. Nothing has really changed but the small things I forgot about that were different in Europe still catch my attention - U.S. coins weigh so much less than the U.Ks.
Of course, Hayden picked me up from the airport (surprisingly, not jet lagged) and the next day we went out to shoot. I think we have a real talent for finding the perfect shitty backgrounds for photos - much to my mother's amusement. As a disclaimer, the old fashioned vacuum cleaner was just out on the sidewalk.
Hatfield, United Kingdom. AL10 9UW.
I'll admit, there have been a few hiccups and unexpected expenses during my study abroad semester. Yet I do not regret the experience, nor will I ever. The chance to live in another country has, as they say, changed me. Or rather, my perspective at least. I'm too stubborn to really change.
As I described it to my tutor (equivalent of teacher in the U.S.), there are so many small differences that add up to make you feel foreign. It's the first time I have ever truly felt away from 'home.' I suppose as a kid who moved houses a few times and went through a divorce, I began to disassociate comfort with an exact home or city. All those moves, however, did not involve a reintroduction to society: new currency, outlets, slang and grammar, even some items took on completely different names. Even the zip codes are different; my first thought being "why the hell are letters in there?."
Unbelievably, I only have a month left until the semester ends and I am back in the United States. Am I beginning to miss Charleston? Yes. After being gone since August, it's going to feel strange arriving back. There are three major projects and one test waiting to be finished in the next four weeks, which is going to make the time fly by.
So here's to the last few weeks of 2015, let's make them memorable.
I made a last minute decision to venture up to Glasgow this weekend, on the suggestion from a man on the train who was from the Isle of Arran. While I had marked the city as a possibility earlier on, I think meeting someone from the island of my interest was the odd omen I needed to buy a train ticket.
Arriving on Friday afternoon, I spent the rest of the day wandering through the city and managed to come across the best tiny overflowing bookstore, Voltaire & Rousseau, strolled through Kelvingrove Park and picked up a few yummy bits from a cafe right alongside the river. The general area near Voltaire & Rousseau had a variety of little coffee shops and restaurants with a bohemian aesthetic - likely thanks to the nearby University campus. In general, the West End of Glasgow is a great place if that's the scene you particularly enjoy.
On Saturday, I devoted the day to exploring the city and perusing the vibrant arts scene; Center for Contemporary Arts, The Modern Institute, and GoMA. All of which I highly approve, and I didn't even make it to the extensive collections at the Kelvingrove Museum. Honestly, I can only take in so much art in one day. The CCA and the Modern were easily digestible though, seeing as there was one primary exhibition. CCA was presenting the 'The Shock of Victory' which weighed the results and opinions of the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18 September 2014. Admittedly, I am not familiar with the history but felt compelled by the exhibition to do some research.
Inside the Modern Institute, I soaked up the one-room 'Sorry Had to Done' exhibition from Michael Wilkinson. It was the last Saturday viewing, and I had actually picked up one of the leaflets inside the Camden Arts Centre the weekend before. Enticed by the graffitied black and white photo of the title, I couldn't resist - I guess I'm a sucker for bad grammar. An exhibition that carried it's own political and social roots, I was in awe of the monolithic lego structure and loved the center floor-piece of the Bluevale high rise rubble remains. I have to also extend a special thanks to the museum assistant who pointed out McCune Smith for lunch. Five minutes up High Street, the cafe was a bright recluse from the rain and full of yummy salad/sandwhich options for omnivores and herbivores alike.
Finally, ducking out of the rain and into the GoMA - but not before snapping a photo of the statue outside clad in his traffic cone hat-, I was confronted with the perhaps the oddest and most abstract exhibitions on the first floor. Comprised of leading local contemporary artists, there were sculptures of guard dogs, a witness stand and multi-colored stacked chairs. As well as films, of children holding their breath in tunnels and a man running to catch the train.
While the arts definitely kept me entertained and out of the rain, I believe the highlight of the city is the architecture and mood. Glasgow gets a reputation for being 'rough' but as I found it, not so. Of course, I stayed away from dodgy areas and wasn't out very late. As a girl whose wandered alone in London though, Glasgow felt about the same. However, less people which was probably the best thing about the city. I forgot what it's like to be alone on a street, let alone one with gorgeous architecture and town homes. To be lost in the streets of Glasgow was honestly the best part of the entire weekend.
On Sunday, though, I chose to get out of the city and trekked the two-hour commute to the Isle of Arran. Situated right off the coast from Ardrossan, you can hop on a train at Glasgow Central and arrive at the harbor in 45 minutes. From there, you easily walk out of the station and onto a ferry which drops you off at Brodick in an hour. The isle isn't very large, but very mountainous so a car is ideal. Since I didn't have that luxury, I went for a bike instead and managed a two-hour loop past the Brodick Castle and to Corrie. The route is fairly flat, unlike the opposite direction to Lamlash or the middle road, the String. October made for a chilly day, but I can imagine the island is an ideal low key summer getaway for those who want to enjoy life outdoors and away from the rush, with small cottages dispersed among golf courses and nature trails.
Oh, and duh. I almost forgot to mention the whole reason behind the title. I treated myself to a movie at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday night - my first time in a theater ever in Europe. Nestled in with red wine and dark chocolate, I opted to see The Lobster. Directed by indie-notable Yogos Lathimos, it's an odd story of a world where if you're single then you end up in a hotel with a month to find a mate or get turned into an animal. If you enjoy unconventional love stories and twisted humor, this one is for you. I still can't get over the scene, "Are you short sighted?!" and the ending had me squirming in my seat. The animal to be though is apparently a lobster, unlike the common choice of a dog (you may end up the victim of a psycho lover).
In a real review sense though, I thought the film was really well done. I'm not a huge film buff but I felt intrigued the entire time, the pace was consistent as was the general tone. Even in a generally bleak plot outline, there were several moments of subtle awkward humor that were even more profound because you needed the laugh. Not only was the film entertaining but it rose several questions on the roles of men and women, and relationships.
This was really hammered in hard as I had been asked just the day before what it's like traveling alone. And I have been asked this question numerous times. Are people that afraid of being alone? Yes, it can be a much more quiet experience than if you're with a group or even just one other person. And it definitely does feel astoundingly lonely to eat alone. But I think time with your own thoughts is good for the soul, and the months I have spent traveling alone have definitely had a huge influence on me. You really get to know yourself when all you have is yourself.
The movie also took on another dimension on my walk home, when two missionaries approached me and struck up a conversation. I gave them my attention long enough for the 'gay rights' topic to emerge, to which they answered their belief is that God put us here to procreate. A family as defined by the Christian religion: man, woman, children. In the movie, Lathimos included at the beginning, in the interview, that people admitted to the hotel had the option to chose their orientation as heterosexual or homosexual. Who knows whether it was covering any chance of criticism or if it was another jab at social structures.