Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


October 9, 2010

It has been a while since I updated my blog.  I have been concentrating on pulling an exhibition together which will combine my photographs, the young offenders’ artwork, and a short film that they created about the dangers of M-CAT.  This will be at Project Space Leeds from 6th November to 4th December, Wednesdays to Saturdays 12-5pm, with a Private View on Wednesday 10th November, 6-8pm.

I went to a celebration event as well, where the young offenders got their arts awards.  It was wonderful to see them all again (well, nearly all of them; one didn’t make it and two are in prison.)  They had brought their friends and families – all apart from Ting whose Dad didn’t come (break my heart).

I was, yet again, wrong about the event.  I had (very wrongly) assumed that the parents must be a certain type, to have kids who have strayed so far off the ‘normal’ path, but at the end, a lovely lady came to talk to me.  She was one of the kids Mum.  She said she had been a photographer for 15 years before she had had her daughter and gave it all up.  She was well-spoken and presentable, and said that “you don’t plan for this to happen.”

This made the experience all the more poignant for me – anyone’s child could end up in this situation.

But, I know that you are still wondering about the kids in prison.  I don’t know the details, but two of the lads are now inside for charges that they were awaiting sentencing on, or were convicted of consequently.

One lad is on the run, and I worry about him daily.  He hasn’t done anything terrible as far as I can work out (which reminds me of one of my first blogs when I was talking about which crimes are more or less ‘acceptable’ than others).  He must be very scared.  I hope that he hands himself in, or is found soon.

I have sent the 35 images that I have selected for the exhibition to print.  I am very excited.  It was a very hard process to whittle them down from 3500.  I visited the venue last night as there was someone else’s Private View on, so it was good to see the gallery in full swing.  It is exactly 4 weeks until it opens!


The news just in…

August 20, 2010

Coverage of my photographic project has really gained momentum – it is featured in today’s Yorkshire Post


He’s getting killed…

July 28, 2010

The first thing that I heard when the kids arrived was ‘do you know Jonny X?  He’s getting killed.’  I thought this was more ‘banter’ but it seems that they were talking about a lad who was in for it.  This conversation was stopped.  It brought me sharply to my senses – remembering that these now familiar faces have a very different set of life experiences to me.

They all completed their records on the previous day and then Craig arrived again.  He quickly got the kids engaged, including those who weren’t there yesterday.  What followed was, once again, incredible.  He got the kids to write a song called ‘A Different Window.’  Well, he did this in stages.  I wouldn’t have thought it possible at the outset, but the kids were contributing great lyrics, especially one I am going to call MC (I am allowed to use Christian names, but I think it better to keep them anonymous).  I must remember to get a copy of the lyrics.  MC was asked to draw on his talents and create an MC version.  He took this really seriously, going into a separate room to concentrate.  He used a tune on his mobile to check that his words met the rhythm and he came up with something amazing which captured the whole story, even rhyming ‘methadrone’ with ‘telephone.’

He was helped by today’s new guy, who I will call Ting.  He quickly found his feet, was very confident and keen to let everyone know who he was.  By the end of the morning, ‘That Poetry Bloke’ was being interviewed by a girl, on the difference between poetry and MC’ing, with MC and Ting holding a debate.  Incredible.  The answer, by the way, is that MC’ing is ‘ghetto,’ ‘street,’ ‘grime,’ ‘negative’ – “you wouldn’t get someone MC’ing about flowers.”

Energies went up and down again, with snoozes aplenty, and ‘play’ (?) fighting aplenty (though including biting today).

In the afternoon, the kids settled down to creating some artwork.  The pace noticeably changed, as most of them worked on their own and concentrated on their pictures.  One lad created a wonderful picture using bright pastels.  Turns out his grandfather is an artist but he doesn’t have much to do with him.

We had our photo taken for the Huddersfield Examiner!

I’m printing out shots so far for the kids’ profiles.  Will be interesting to review which I have taken the most photographs of.  It is a certainty as there are particular faces and characters that I find more interesting.  I also need to review how the work is shaping up so far and where I want to focus (if you pardon the pun), as my photography needs to show what I think about what I am seeing.

Visited ProjectSpace in Leeds this afternoon.  They have a great venue by the canal, near the train station.  They have a room which is like a white box which would be ideal to host the photography, artwork and film together.  They are going to discuss the idea and let me know if they can support me.  Fingers crossed.

By the way, the chains with a crucifix on are from prison.  If they go to two services they get one.  At least three of the kids are wearing them…

27 July 2010 – photo

July 27, 2010

 27 July 2010

Lucky stars

February 10, 2010

Lucky stars

It is such a perfect day.  You know, the one where everything comes together.  They are rare, but when they happen it is worth just stopping and giving yourself a pat on the back, particularly when you are self-employed as there aren’t many people about to do it for you.

I have had an amazing week.  The one thing I love about working for myself is the unpredictability of it all.  The one thing I don’t like about it is the unpredictability of it all!

At the end of each week, I plan out what I would like to achieve in the week to come, but this week it all changed (for the better!).  I had had a meeting at St George’s Crypt.  They are a homeless charity in Leeds and I am keen to work with them to create images that challenge peoples’ preconceptions about the ‘clients,’ – the people that they support.  I am a great believer of synergy though, and there are a number of people from different walks of life who are interested in helping the Crypt as well, so I am trying to get everyone together as I am sure that we could create something far better if we work together than if we work alone.  I will keep you posted.

I have also been working on my social documentary photography – capturing images that tell a story, and have meaning.  This took me down an unexpected path when I met Michael.  He has been homeless in Leeds for years.  I learned something from him though.  He reminded me how lucky I am.  He was happy for me to take photographs of him though I sometimes forgot as I listened to his story.  He is an amazing person; he doesn’t take up beds in hostels as there are people worse off than him such as the elderly and young runaways.  He counts his blessings that he is healthy and not disabled.  I was freezing as I spoke to him, but he had slept out in the snow.  I bought him a cup of tea as I left, remembering to count my lucky stars.

As I write, I have had an enquiry through my website from someone interested in commissioning a piece of artwork based on two flowers together.  This isn’t meant to be a record of how well I am doing (this week), but to inspire those of you who are sat pressing send/receive, as I know how that feels, but by holding your nerve and getting out there, it will come.  Good luck.  Kirsteen x

Creating contemporary photographic artwork to match an interior design

February 10, 2010

This time it was easy.  I was contacted by someone who has recently finished redeveloping their home, and what a home! A beautiful property with even more beautiful interior design.  They wanted something to finish off three spaces, and simply had a look at my website and chose the images that they wanted.  I took a tape-measure around so that we could pick the right sizes and hey-presto, three canvases are on the way to them. 

It isn’t often that easy.  I have an enquiry at the moment where someone wants to commission something specific to match their decor.  I love this kind of a challenge!

Leeds market (West Yorkshire, UK)

June 30, 2009

A fascinating collection of people struggling to make a living and a community of faithful shoppers.  I am a photographer and never get tired of it