Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Skills: Blurb BookSmart/Blog

In order to publish my dissertation in a professional and unique way, I used the software, Blurb BookSmart.

I taught myself to use it as it was completely new to me. Some aspects of the software were frustrating. For example when pasting material from my word document, not only would it be terribly slow, but also the font size, colour and typeface would all change.

Despite these setbacks, however, I am really pleased with the result and am glad I have discovered this software and mastered a new skill!

I had never kept a blog before this project either. I have considered this blog as a diary for my development throughout this project, and I have found the process to be quite therapeutic. It will also be nice to have something to reflect upon once this project is over...

Mike Figgis

I am so delighted that I was able to get in touch with Mike Figgis, as his work was one of the sources of inspiration for this project.

Figgis was not in the country and so was unable to meet with me face to face, but he was willing to answer some questions I had regarding his short film, Tied up at the Office. We corresponded through e-mail, and he even asked me to answer the questions I had posed to him! This was really exciting, as he seemed to be taking a genuine interest in what I was undertaking.

When I first set out to do this project, I never would have dreamed of being able to be in touch with a Hollywood director! This just goes to show that if you want something enough, and with will and persistence, you can achieve it. This has encouraged me to think positively about my future.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Today's tutorial was for feedback on the first draft... It helped me to develop my understanding of the Literature Review, which I had previously treated with a more mechanistic approach. I now realise how important it is to demonstrate the originality of my work through this particular section, as this is where the interdisciplinary style of my research is so important and it also highlights my skills as a researcher.

We also discussed how important it is to make the abstract the selling point for my whole dissertation, and now I am keen to rework this section in attempt to really attract the reader!

In this way, the conclusion of the dissertation can be linked not only to the methods but the literature review too.

Friday, 30 April 2010


I conducted a photoshoot of my (very obliging!) friend to illustrate the different approaches that a high street brand, such as Ann Summers, and an upmarket brand, such as Agent Provocateur, would take in their advertising campaigns. I had done one test-shoot with her previously, and so this time felt a lot more confident. It was lots of exhausting fun, and I'm really pleased with the shots!

During the shoot my model described how she felt like an object but also felt a sense of empowerment, perhaps this was due to my re-assuring comments of how amazing I thought she looked!

Above are a few examples of my work............... (Can you tell which ones are in each category?!)

Questionnaires/Focus Group

Compiling the primary research throughout this project has proven to be quite tricky. Having distributed well over 100 questionnaires, and only receiving 48 back... I'm sure you can see how disappointing this was. The questionnaires were very short and straightforward so I can only assume it was the subject matter that was bringing down the response rate. This shows to me that perhaps sex and sexual adventure is still somewhat of a taboo subject which people are still embarrassed to talk about... I was also wary of who I sent it to, thus reinforcing this point! Luckily I feel that I have compensated for this in the other research I have done!

The focus group also proved challenging as I was unwell for the first time I'd planned to do it. The rearranged time was later into my research, and one of the participants was unable to attend as she was stuck abroad due to the Iceland Volcano mishap! The findings of this focus group contradicted most of what I had previously researched, so this shook me up to a certain extent! But then I also thought that perhaps the girls did not reveal their honest thoughts entirely as I was asking for their opinions on what is arguably soft-porn... in which case they may have been embarrassed to admit their true feelings about it.

These hiccups along the way have prepared me for the future in that I now know how much organisation and dedication is needed to succeed with such tasks! Particularly when you are relying on other people......

John Stoddart @ Coco de Mer


This exhibition was held at the South Kensington store, and featured explicit photographs exploring the art of female seduction...
The pictures were a spectacle in themselves, although the real fascination lies in the fact that these artworks by established artist John Stoddart are being exhibited in a space that is ultimately a retail store. This shows how much Coco de Mer relies on its association with art to create a strong brand image which is helping to redefine porn as classy and desirable. Stoddart's work has featured both in Vanity Fair and Loaded Magazines! This is a further demonstration of how pornography is re-interpreted depending on where it is accessed...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Infamous for turning filth into fashion, Terry Richardson's photography sits equally at home in the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Vice Magazines. In his book TerryWorld taboos are null and void. Richardson is credited with taking 1970s porn esthetic and making it fashion chic. Celebrities, supermodels and pornstars alike will do for his lens what they'll do for no other...

Terry highlights exactly what I'm looking at, the emergence of a form of porn-chic. Terry is re-interpreting porn as an art form... Creating a sense of exclusivity, style and sophistication.