The past month or so has been a time of change for me. A new job, thinking about my blog in a different way, doing more things that make me happy.
I really loved being at the V&A for a year & a half but in the end I was happy to leave. I had gained a whole lot of different experiences but that came from doing an internship that was quite general for a whole department followed by covering 4 or more different roles. I am grateful for that as it has given me what was needed to get a new job, but it did wear me down and sometimes made me feel like I wasn’t valued as much as I deserved to be.
Wonderfully I am now working in Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts. The job is permanent (throw two years of worrying out the window) and everyone is so lovely I am just so happy to have finally found somewhere to belong! As with the V&A I am now obsessed with the history of the RA (which is older ha!) and works in a completely different mindset. It may be almost 250 years old but it has always been quite contemporary, governed by the living Royal Academicians, which is where I see the main difference to the V&A that is still very much set in its ways. Joining at a time when the galleries are always full and theres people enjoying the RA so throughly it is really exciting to be involved.
I mentioned those two years of worrying. When I started at the RA, contract signed, I was left feeling a bit empty. Now that is not the feeling you should have when you start a new job but I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons. Reason one is that I have been only living for six months ahead in my mind at any time since I moved to London. My course at Sotheby’s took me from August to December, then I had enough money to live until February. I got my internship at the V&A which was 6 months, then I covered a job for 3 months, then I covered another role that they said would be 2-3 months but turned into six and then in May I was told I could stay until the end of September. I pretty much lived in constant fear of being suddenly unemployed (although, as my Job Centre advisor told me, I am extremely employable) and that is something that took up a lot of my mental time. The second reason for the emptiness was moving. Yet again I had to move, leave friends behind and start all over again. Even though the best friends I made at the V&A I keep in regular contact with it just felt like yet again I was all alone. No-one to go have lunch with, not in on the in jokes. It is tough to start again. That said, I have been given a (positive) nickname at the RA so I feel like I’ve been accepted very quickly.
The security I now have of a permanent position on a healthy wage, and having found a place to live that I am comfortable in has led me to finally explore the things I couldn’t do when I had neither of those things. Most importantly, my photography had suffered. I couldn’t really afford to get film developed so I didn’t shoot any. When I did it was one roll over a long period of time, and then I would procrastinate developing it. Now, I am trying to do more project focused photography. I am throwing around ideas about making zines from the photo projects which I think will make me actually do them. I have finished one project, developed and almost ready to print & share, and today I have finished photographing the second to be developed this week.
That brings me to this blog. Over the past 5 years it has been sporadic and loosely focused. Was it vintage clothing, photography or general life that I was writing about? Who wants to read all those things? I think it would make me happier and make it easier for myself to keep going if I really focus what I post. So it will mostly be my film photography, which in turn gives me the opportunity to share other things I love (the magic of images!). I look forward to sharing more of my photographs and thoughts, maybe more frequently now that I have finally settled down in London.
Both images taken on my Olympus Trip 35 with Agfa Vista 400 film.