Playing with Ideas

Playing with ideas towards Exercise 2.3 and then Assignment 2 

Having overcome my reluctance to play around with old photographs (well, at least partly) I felt more able to broach Exercise 2.3. The brief for this Exercise is to produce a piece of work that either explores the family album and its iconography or reflects on representations of the self in digital culture.  I decided first to experiment with forms of digital montage techniques to build upon techniques such as those I used in Part One Project 1 here   layering and merging images in different ways.

I had been looking at Alma Haser’s work here . She  is probably most known for her Cosmic Surgery series   and I had been reading how she had experimented with a particular form of origami to transform portraits into paper sculptures, using herself as her own model to begin with. If you link in with her news page you can see what a creative mind she has. I looked at her shop page and noticed that she offers a Fold Your Face Kit for a small price and so I sent for it.

Using a photograph of myself


I then created a grid image in Photoshop and folded as per instructions. After many attempts I produced this


and played around some more.

This was a theme I thought I could develop by placing photographs of me at various ages into the grid – fitting with self-identity and how it evolves over time, also with the concept of the “inner child” . It looks much more 3D-like in the real and so I need to find a way to photograph it more realistically.

Continuing with the theme of identity, I have had my DNA analysed on two occasions. Several years ago I obtained information on my mitochondrial DNA – that which is passed down unchanged by the mother to her children, both male and female, although it can then only be passed down further through the female line. Apparently I descend from Haplogroup H. I recently read an online article written by a photographer who had established how many well-known people belonged to her Haplogroup and then photographed herself as them but, unfortunately, I now can’t find it again.  This took me back to my concept of The Apple Tree and creating a project around the women in my maternal line-vwritten about here . Recent DNA analysis by Ancestry, which I think relates to the last few hundred years –  revealed that I am 73% native to the Great Britain Region whereas a typical person is 60% native. Maybe that explains why I just don’t feel ‘European’ even though I enjoy travelling there.  I had the idea of creating an identity document to show my roots and develop my story from there


The artist Daniela White has created photomontages and 3D structures from family photographs    and one Floating Memories  really appealed to me with its folding and layering of memories .  Thinking about my more remote ancestors and how they might have travelled to this Country, I created a boat from my identity document, and then used the Warp filter in Photoshop to elongate it further.


Obviously, this technique would need much refinement but I do like the idea of more experimentation with creating sculptural objects from photographs.

Turning back to something more traditional, whilst still thinking of ‘inner child’ I created a Gif. The link is below, once the GIF appears click on it again to reduce it.




  1. There is an exercise you can do to ‘speak with you inner child’. Stream of consciousness writing with your non writing hand. First have a go just letting stuff out. Then next time write down some questions you’d like to ask the younger you with normal writing hand. Use non writing hand answering the questions. Love those folded faces. I’ve been saving some on Instagram. Do you want me to email links?


    1. Yes – I used to do that quite often but I’d forgotten! Thanks for reminding me!
      I did enjoy the folded faces and it was relaxing as well (forgot to mention that) in fact I have quite a few Origami books now. I do have quite a few links on my Pinterest Board but further links are always helpful.


    1. I don’t recall it but it appeals to me with its apparent simplicity as does her other work.
      The difficulty I have is that there are so many options and they grow day by day. This is why it’s so important to be clear what I want to portray and then to choose a strategy that speaks to me. I enjoy experimenting and finding new ways but the problem is that this could continue endlessly. I keep thinking, “When I have some spare time I’ll ….”, but that never seems to arise! Still, I shouldn’t complain because I might feel frustrated fairly often but I never feel bored!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is thought-provoking, Catherine, and there are some great links her and in the comments. I think I might need to buy that kit too as a sanity saver on rainy weekends. Very much looking forward to seeing where and how you go next with this week.


    1. Thanks for your comments Kate. I really enjoyed working with the kit, why not give it a try. Alma Haser’s book was published through a Kickstarter Project (I think) which I missed. One of the ‘gifts’ offered was a Workshop with her. Hopefully she might offer it again though.

      Liked by 1 person

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