Personal Reflection and Evaluation – mid point

Currently, I have been working on building figurative sculptures around my chairs as I have been trying to the combine readymade with human attributes, such as bone and skin. I have drawn inspiration from Marina Abramovic, as she uses the human body as a medium to create an unusual and thought provoking space for the viewer. The reason behind this combination of different elements of clay bone and readymade objects  is because I want to stress the physically of the human body, and show us for what we actually are when all is said and done. We are nothing more than animals trying to create structure and idealised ways of being like the  unrealistic nature of Altruism in its truest form for example, a concept created by our society that is unattainable.

I have come to some kind of conclusion from the research that I have undertaken and the questions that I have asked various people, about what type of person displays the most altruistic qualities, how likely it is to achieve an altruistic mindset and also the particular reasons why people are likely to help. I have found that overwhelmingly, women would preference a human charity over an animal charity, whilst a lot more men would be inclined to support animals, which tells me that women might accept helping and working as a part of a community much more than men would.

I also found, particularly in the older generations that any kind of relationship that they have with a charity would have been instigated by the charity continuously pestering them.

I think that it is important for my final piece that I include anonymity as a main part of the project, as I have found that the more anonymous someone is when they do something helpful in society the closer to being altruistic that they are, as the only pleasure they can derive from doing the act comes from inside themselves and they can’t get any gratification from any source other than themselves.

I think that it is important for me to stay focused and make sure that I am testing out as many different variations for each of the sculptures as possible as even the slightest change to one object can make all of the difference.

I do think that at this point in the project there is still a lot of work that I must do if I wish to realise my final piece to its fullest potential, this just involves a lot of experimentation so that I can get all of the objects to the most harmonious place as possible, making the sculptures as effective as possible.

 

 

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Week 6

In the first week back after Easter, now that I have all of my chairs painted white, I have begun to turn to all of the sculptures that I wish to create, and what I want to incorporate within them.  I turned to artist research to help try to inspire my ideas.

Firstly I looked at Marina Abramovic, who is a performance artist who uses her body as a medium for the art. I wanted to look more in depth into why Abramovic allowed the public to pick from a table of different objects (including a loaded gun) and then let them do whatever they liked to her. I am inspired by the way in which she breaks down the societal barriers in her work and forces people to stop thinking within the bounds of society if they want to interact with her work using her body is a vessel to help connect with people on levels that they are not accustomed to in normal society. I think that the very physical use of the human body has helped inspire my own work as I am very keen to represent the physical presence of the human body in my sculptures, for example with the bar stool I would like to connect a spine coming out of the stool. I want the human physicality to be an unavoidable truth when people see the installation with all of the chair together.

To make the spine I first took reference photographs of a model skeleton in particular focusing on the spine. I obviously want the spine that I make to be a representation, and not a direct copy of an actual human spine. The spine has lots of different small parts connected together and there is also a natural bend in the spine. I bought some air drying clay and started experimenting with how I could make each of the piece of the spine. When I had come up with the shape of each piece I started to make lots of them all varying in size. I then used acrylic paint to first paint then white and then paint them with another layer of an off white cream colour that I had mixed together with the paint, to give the bone a deapth and add a realistic quality.

I then went to the technician and melted and bent a piece of metal so that it had a similar curvature to how you might find a spine. Attaching the metal to the bar stool had to be a well thought out process as I ended up using a block of wood that was screwed to the stool which I could slide the metal in and out of. Once the metal was on all I had to do was slide the pieces of clay that I had made onto the metal and they would stack up.

I am pleased with how the spine has turned out, because I think the simplicity of the piece is very effective and the combination of the tall bar stool with the spine coming from it appears very balanced and the piece has that undeniable  human quality to it whilst also being so simple.

I wanted to incorporate bones in another one of the chair sculptures as it was so successful with the bar stool and the spine. I decided to use the wicker chair as I had already decided that I wanted to draw from the reference photos of the working class woman; her brightly varnished nails clutching an oversized mug of tea. I think that this one element can suggest so much about a person. I thought that it would be a good way to incorporate the bone as a sceletal arm bone attached to the chair at the angle her arm would be if she was clutching a cup of tea, I also bought some bright pink acrylic nails to place onto the mug where her fingers would be. Originally I was going to use a large mug that said ‘hug  in a mug’ as I think that that phrase holds a lot of connotations of average decor in an average house, which has signs like ‘home is where the heart is’, however I ended up thinking that this was too over complicated and could become confusing to someone viewing the work, as the link was slightly too tenuous, so I used a plain white mug instead.

I used the same kind of air drying clay like I had used for the spine, although it took a couple of attempts to get the arm bone to the standard that I wanted it.

I do think that this piece is relatively successful, however it does not possess the same natural simplicity of the spine and the bar stool combined because it does not possess same balance of objects however, overall I am pleased that I was able to incorporate another representation of human bone into my work.

Now that it has come to the end of week six, I am pleased that I have been able to incorporate representations of  human bone into two of my pieces , as I think that it has been a successful venture as the presence of the bone forces the viewer to consider the human form whilst coupled with the sound of peoples opinions towards helping others and conforming to societal norms.

Week 5 

I started of the week by thinking about the different categories that I would want to incorporate into my final piece, making sure to think about all of the variety that I wanted to present though the chairs. I think that I decided upon the types of people that I wanted represented in the sculptures based on who had the most interesting things to say when I spoke to them and I want all of the different sculptures to represent different groups that are all very different from each other, I had initially wanted 16 different categories represented through the chairs but then I made the decision that having only 9 chairs would mean that I would have more time to focus on all of the chairs individually, so that every detail was exactly how I wanted without having to worry about having to spread my time to thin and all of the sculptures not being to the same standard. In the end when I started painting the chairs I and I started to create a square shape which had been my intention all along I discovered that I would not have enough room to fully display all of the sculpture in the way that I would want if I created a solid square of 9 chairs, and so I thought that if I had 8 chairs instead, and I put them in the shape of a square with a space in the middle this would actually look a lot better, because would seem as the figures were almost interacting with each other and having a conversation.

The final categories of people that I wanted to represent through the sculpture were:

  1. Middle Aged Men who have had a career and now they have the resources to fund a comfortable life style
  2. Indecisive deep thinkers, like Laura who is the sculpture that I have already created, basically she represents individualistic people who are reluctant to make black and white decisions
  3. Older Lady – someones Grandma who is stuck in the past and can not fully comprehend the changing times and is therefore not always politically correct
  4.  Middle aged women, who have children and are at the center of family life, they may have done some work here and there but they are not the main breadwinner
  5. Young boy who has not developed a fully fledged understanding yet about societal norms, still sees things in black and white and who comes from a generation that has grown up with technology so that their mobile phone and play station have become extensions of themselves
  6. Young working woman who had children very young, is not with the father of these children and is working hard each day for little reward
  7. Young man who is a bit of a ‘Lad’ likes to go out a lot, have a good time and party hard
  8. The last category is a is a middle aged farmer/ country dwelling person who lives of the land and has chickens in their backyard

Although I have obviously missed out big groups in society, what I really want to get across in this piece is the diversity of people who all have different priorities in life based upon their upbringing, their socio-economic factors and so the list goes on. The group that I have brought together cover age, class, ignorance, education levels, gender and many other factors. In other words, it wouldn’t matter how many different types of people that I talked to there would always be someone else with a different opinion on the matter. This is something that I would consider in more detail if I had a longer time to complete the project as I would try and talk to more people and create more sculptures to try and encompass the idea that the subject, Altruism, is a topic that covers the whole of society on many different levels, but what I want to do is put across the point that everyone interacts with people slightly differently and will have contrasting opinions.

Firstly I thought about the category of middle aged men that I wanted to create based upon some men that I have met in pubs and through my dad’s friends and my uncle. They all answered the questions similarly saying they would prefer to give money to an animal charity because humans have the ability to help themselves, and on the whole  they would all rather give a gift because they have the means to buy what they want. When it came to selecting the chair that I wanted to use, I noticed my dad who is also a middle aged man sitting on an old wooden deck chair in the garden one day when it was warm weather,  I noticed the sturdiness of the deck chair, with a strong build and I also noticed the fact that it was very square shape it immediately made me think that it would be the perfect fit for the chair that I wanted to use to represent a middle aged man.

The next chair that I decided to use was an old wooden school chair which I found in the garage of our house. It has a very square shape to it but is also a fairly petite chair which I think would much more likely be associated with a child than an adult the shape of it made me think that it would be perfect for the young boy sculpture that I wanted to create.I also found an old kitchen chair in the garage that I thought would be perfect for the middle aged country/ farmer sculpture that I wanted to create. It has a round shape to it whilst also being very simple and functional, which I think would fit in perfectly with the character of a farmer.

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(this a photo of the Kitchen chair after paint)

I began to paint all of the chairs white. Firstly, I would sand down the chairs to give them a key and then I washed them all with sugar water to get all of the dust and residue dirt of them. I then painted a layer of primer on each of the chair and began to paint them white. To get the full effect of the white that I wanted I had to paint them with more than one layer most of the chairs required 3/4 coats.

I found a bar stool at the local pub which I was allowed to use, and with this chair I thought that it had specific qualities that would mean that the chair would immediately have connotations of a specific type of person without the need for extra explanation as bar stools are found in less places than most chairs.

(bar stool before and after being painted and the photo on the left was also used as a reference photo when considering the size  and height of the spine that I screwed onto the stool)

I knew that I wanted a big chair with a lot of character for the chair representing an old lady, so that it would have a presence and a certain kind of grandeur to it, so that it would command respect,  like older folk often try to do.  I decided that I wanted to use a wooden rocking chair that is a fairly large size, and has a commanding presence in comparison to some of the other chairs that I am going to use.

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(after the rocking chair had been painted)

For the Middle aged women, I found a chair that my next door neighbors were going to put in the tip, which I thought would be perfect as the middle aged woman chair, as it has a lot of soft circular shapes within it that give it a feminine quality. I also was considering this chair for the the young working class woman but then I found a wicker chair at a second hand furniture shop, which is very full bodied, with intricate weaving, and I felt as though the chair had a kind of comforting supportive feel to it corresponding with the way in which the young working class mother takes pride in making her surroundings as comfortable and supportive as possible.

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(chair to be used for the middle aged women sculpture after being painted white)

After deciding upon all of the chairs that I want to use, and once I had finished painting them all in the last week of the Easter, I am now finally ready to start constructing the rest of the sculpture on each of the chairs and making all of the key decisions through experimentation about what will work with the sculptures and what won’t. I think that as it comes to the end of the Easter, I have completed an important step of the project, so that now I am ready to move onto the next part of the project, and although I still have got a lot of work to do, I have also completed a lot of processes that are key to moving onto the next stage of building my sculptures.

 

Week 4 

On the the first week of the Easter break I decided to focus on collecting interesting opinions and ideas surrounding supporting charities and how different individuals would prioritize one group over another. I wanted to collect sound clips that I could then bring together to complete my installation.

I used the research and data that I had collected earlier in the project to compose questions to ask different people and also record their voice whilst I was doing this.

The first question was:

‘Do you prefer giving or receiving a gift?’

With this question I wanted an opener that people would find more straightforward, and although the question does not give me any responses that directly speak altruism, as both choices involve emotion as you are choosing which one makes you feel better, the question can give a suggestion of the type of person that you are talking to as the answers suggest how people like to see themselves or how much they care about others gratification and feelings.

The second question that I asked was:

‘Would you prefer to give money to a charity supporting animals or a charity supporting humans?’

The purpose behind this question was to see if each person would be more likely to participate and take an active role in the community versus favoring much more individualistic values, as from my initial research, it seems that those who are more involved in a community or group of people are much more likely to support human charities whilst those who are more on the outside are much more likely to favor animal charities, for example, according to the Guardian newspaper and the list of the 1000 most donated to charities, the Donkey Sanctuary received £18.5 million which makes up most of its income ‘in legacy giving from supporter’s wills.’ Therefore I felt like this was also an important question to ask as it addresses how people view community and everyone helping each other in society, however this question is not 100% asking people if they like being a part of a community or not, it is simply an indicator a lot of the time.

The third question that I asked was:

‘If you had to pick only one charity to support and give money to, which charity/ organisation would you choose and why?’

The reason that I choose a much more open ended  question as the last scripted question is because I wanted to try to see the variety of answers that people may give which means that I can potentially get a variety of different responses.

Deciding who to ask, and thinking about the range that I wanted and needed meant that I did decide to go out on the streets and ask as many people as a could and as wide a variety of people as I could. I am aware that one of the main drawbacks of this project is the fact that the premise behind it means talking to as many people as I can from all socioeconomic backgrounds, all genders and all ages, which can add a lot of variables into my research that I can not necessarily control. I traveled down south to Kent to see family which meant that I was able to talk to my Grandma and my Nanna, and ask them all of the questions that I wanted to, I also took photographs of everybody that I spoke to, like the photograph of my Grandma, which I will use as a reference point to help inspire one of my installations.

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I also spoke to some men in a premier inn Beef Eater who were sitting by the bar. I also had a long and in depth conversation with my Uncle, who lives in Lincolnshire and is also fairly wealthy. I found that the middle aged men that I asked often had very similar answers, and so I decided that for one of my installations I could combine the middle aged men into one category, as they all believed that they would rather support an animal charity over humans as humans are able to ‘help themselves’ and they all said that they would rather give a gift because they have the resources to get all of the materialistic things that they could want or need in their lives.

When I came back to the north at the end of this week I spoke to a woman who works at a Bargain Booze, and I learnt a lot about her priorities about supporting and helping others which can always directly come back to the fact that she is fiercely protective of her children, and anything that she would do to help others would have steamed from something she had done to help her children. I also spoke to her son who is 11 who said that he would want to help other people like him who have dyslexia. What I learnt from these two is that helping those in your wider community comes directly after helping your immediate family which I felt could become another interesting viewpoint.

I also spoke to various 16/17 year old boys who mainly gave uninspired answers without thinking about the questions that I had asked them, giving brief responses that they would not expand upon. But one of the 16 year old boys that I asked was very passionate about English and history, and when I asked him if he thought it was possible for a human to do a truly selfless act he said no because it has been proved throughout history that humans are ultimately greedy, and that this is how nature has built us, therefore we cannot change that, another type of person with an interesting viewpoint.

I also talked to a middle aged woman, a self employed architect, who lives in the countryside and owns hens that lay eggs, she is very middle class and liberal, and I particularly found it interesting comparing her responses to that of the woman’s from Bargain Booze, as whilst the Bargain Booze woman was very much focused on her immediate family, especially her two boys, the countryside women gave her money  to the red cross for a long time, which is a charity that supports people in crisis wherever they are around the world. I felt as though it is interesting to compare two people from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds, and how this may impact on the ways in which they might choose to help others in wider society. For one it is all about being very hands on and thinking about things that  have a direct impact upon them, and for the other they are perhaps just donating money to those around the world who are suffering injustice, without a particular focus.

Whilst I was talking to my Uncle he pointed out a couple of ideas that I felt it might be important to note. Firstly, his beliefs about true altruism, sparked a conversation regarding the anonymity of celebrities like George Michael who did a lot of charity work without anyone knowing until he died. This reinforces the idea that the closest that people can come to being altruistic is when they can only feel pleasure or benefit from themselves when helping others and they can derive no pleasure from third party sources praising them.

The second point that my uncle made that I thought was insightful, was to do with the fact that by asking the questions face to face and reccording the answers that people gave, this  could potentially gove contrasting answers than if  I had asked them to simply fill in an online questionaire. An online questionaire would have perhaps taken away the pressure of wanting to give ‘the right answer’ with me sitting there recording them. Also the potential for anonymity with an online questionaire could also produce more honest answers. However, I do not think that asking people face to face is the wrong way for me to go about gaining information on peoples opinions and attitudes surrounding helping other and altruism, as even if they have lied or twisted the truth slightly with their answers in my final outcome their opinions and stories will be made anonymous, and they will lose any chance for third party appreciation which is a consept that I am trying to put across in my project; the idea that they will be punished in my piece by loosing their identity, as they can not claim their verbal opinions and thoughts as their own.

I am planing to spend the next week of the Easter organising all of the chairs that I wish to include in my final piece so that I can think about and visualise how I wish to structure the final outcome.

Week 3 

After having a conversation with one of my peers about how she felt about choosing between charities and prioritising different causes, she said that she would rather just ‘not help or give any money at all than have to pick just one’. This made me start to think about the multiple people that I know who would have a similar response or attitude to my friend. This then made me think about finding a way of  categorising individuals into a representative sculpture that would incompass many different types of people, almost like a cross section of society. I was particularly thinking about all of the different ways that people like to present themselves in society through their styles and the materialistic possessions that they own. I thought back to a previous project when I had referenced Marcel Duchamp who was the first champion of ‘readymade’ art, as he took objects that had an everyday function like a mass produced urinal and put it in the context of a gallery space, turning it into a piece of art. I think that in my project I am keen to use readymade objects and re appropriate them to try to create figurative sculptures.  I decided to use chairs as the base of the sculptures as chairs can already have a lot of figurative qualities to them.

I looked at the artist Nicole Wermers who combined chairs and coats in her 2015 piece ‘infrastruktur’, as she has the lining of each of the fur coats sewn over the backs of the chairs so that the two ready made items became one entity. Through this art piece Wermers was commenting on the way in which people claim public chairs by placing their jackets over them. I think that this piece of art is very interesting and I am also very interested in combining readymade objects with a chair so that they become one entity, as I would like all of the chairs to contribute to the figurative qualities not just act as a dumping ground for multiple objects.  I want to make a solid square out of the chairs so I will either have 9 or 16 chairs. I want them to all be a different kinds of chairs. I am going to paint them all pure white to connote the purity and ultimate simplicity of true Altruism and then contrast that with the physical human elements that I am going to use to build around the chairs and suggest specific characters.

I have spent the week trying to construct one of these sculptures so that I can see how it will look with a solid white chair. I used Laura as the subject for the chair, as the category of an indecisive deeply intellectual person is to be modeled off Laura, as I want this sculpture to be less generalised and seem more individualistic, to act as an encompassing  bracket for ‘the individuals’ category. I took many, many reference photos of her to use as inspiration for how I wanted to put together the chair.

I ended up focusing on three elements that I think best showed of her particular personality, I looked at her make up because she always puts a lot of glitter on her cheeks, and iridescent stars. I also focused on her slouchy oversized knitted jumper and the last thing that I focused on is her love of oranges.

I started of by taking one of the chairs that we have in college and placed her jumper over the back of the chair so that it almost looks like it is engulfing the chair in a similar way to Laura, when she is sitting on a chair she always slouches back into it, and this is a key physical representation of her own personality which is very reserved.  I also added a bit of stuffing to add a small amount of volume to the jumper. I then positioned her arms in the way that she often holds them. I debated adding some wire to the inside of the jumper to position it in a certain way, but then I decided that Laura is so slouchy that it would not lot look quite right adding some rigidity to the jumper.

I then decided to get Laura herself to peel an orange so that it would be completely random in the exact way that Laura would peel an orange. I then put some of the peel on the chair and some on the floor to make it seem as if it had fallen naturally.

I painted the chair white, added the jumper and the orange, and then took some face glitter and placed two strips on the chair in a way to represent the way in which Laura puts glitter on her face. The white paint lifts the whole sculpture and ties it all together very well. DSC_2077

I am pleased with the overall outcome of the sculpture because although it is simple it represents Laura very well but it is also figurative which means that it could represent any number of different people in that type of category.

Whilst I was making this first sculpture I also started to consider  how I could incorporate the verbal opinions of the people I spoke to as a part of the final piece.

I looked at the artist Gillian Wearing, and her 1997 piece ‘2 into 1’. The video shows two boys talking as if they have the voice of their mother and visa versa. Although her reasons for creating this piece are very different from what my project is  about I really liked the way that she contrasts the image and the voices and it got me to thinking about how I could possibly use sound clips of voices in my installation so that each sound clip would correspond with one of the categories of people represented on the chair. But in a way that the viewer of the piece would be unable to tell which sound clip was for which chair, which would tie in with the idea that the closest way to being altruistic comes from anonymity.

Week 2

After spending the first week of my project conducting in-depth research, by reading various books and articles, I began to consider how I could put my research into practice by creating some kind of fake campaign that would spark a reaction from people, so that I could then ask them questions about how they feel about helping others and their thoughts and opinions on various charities and campaigns.

I wanted to try to think of some kind of campaign, which had a ridiculous message, but that people would buy into if they only looked at the campaign on a surface level. One idea that I had was ‘save horses from being forced to sleep on itchy hay ’ although this may not have been the best message, as it is fairly obvious to a large proportion of the population that hay is not uncomfortable to horses the principle of the example suggests someone on the street telling a story about the harsh reality of horses living conditions whether real or not, would draw some people in to support the campaign, even if this is just through a simple signature. I think that this would prove a point or at least give me more insight into the ways in which people support campaigns or charities, by either, ignoring it altogether, stopping and signing up without questioning or stopping, questioning the charity or campaign and then deciding whether  it is a cause worth supporting or not. I think that it is also important to note that asking people to support a charity out on the street is one of many ways that people are approached or targeted by charities, and that my method would only culminate curtain responses, as for example, whilst someone might walk past you on the street, if they received a leaflet through the door they might take a look and invest time and money into the charity. However, for my specific project its success somewhat lies in me being able to go out and talk to a wide range of people from different classes and cultures so that I can see if it is possible to categorize, find trends and come to some kind of coherent conclusion about altruism, and its realistically as a concept, and learning all of the individual opinions that people have.

I wanted to try to gauge how likely it is for someone to support a campaign in order to clear their conscious, without having any kind of real vested interest or concern for the charity or cause.

I feel as though what I really want to express and show through this project is that to some extent there is as systematic failure in the way that our society treats charity work.  To me there is a sense that as a society we manage all of the charity work so that people can feel better about themselves for donating or raising a certain amount of money and then not worry or think about that charity for at least another year. I am particularly thinking about ‘Children in Need’ and ‘Red Nose Day’ as our country seems to celebrate those for raising any amount of money. But I think why should we celebrate this person? Should they not want to help children in need without any public celebration or mass counting of money. Of course, this is a massive generalisation, and there are many people who truly are invested in helping others and supporting charities, but I am trying to see how people’s attitudes towards charities differ from person to person depending on their personality, their socio economic factors, and suchlike.

To gather information in the most effective way, about people’s priorities when it comes to helping in society, I began to create a series of campaigns and scenarios that I  was going to ask people to compare and rank in order of importance. I hoped that this mightgive me clarity on which idea to use in a fake campaign.

They were:

‘Giving horses itchy hay must stop now’

‘Raise MP’s salary to £100,000 per year’

‘Help those with paedophilic thoughts get the support that they need’

‘Gain awareness, respect and support for those with mental health issues’

‘ Help women travel to worn torn countries and support women who are less fortunate than them’

‘Stop letting people walk across sand dunes as they are destroying birds homes’

‘Make drama, music and art compulsory on the leaning syllabus in school instead of maths and physics’

 

The reasons that I choose all of these scenarios, as fake campaigns are very specific, some of them seem like obvious choices over others, but this is simply a diversion to see how people view all of the other ideas for campaigns, which fall into a bit more of a grey area. I included examples of animals in need, along with humans in need as the contrast between the two and which people choose can bring up interesting suggestions about their personalities, like wether they are more community minded or not. The inspiration for choosing animals vs humans as examples came from me reading the Guardian’s ranking list for the ‘top 1000 charities’ based purely on ‘donations’. I was surprised to see that the Royal Society  for the Protection of Birds was 15th on the list, above the British Heart Foundation and Marie Curie Cancer Care.  I thought that is experiment would also suggest something about each individual’s personality, conscience and intelligence levels.

However, after counducting this experiment a few times,the results from various people were not as inspiring or interesting as I thought that they would be.  I began to feel as though I had no clear direction for the project, interms of an artistic response. My aim for the next week is to start to formulate a way in which I could turn my concept and detailed research into a piece of physical art.

 

Week 1

The initial reasons for me wanting to do this project is based around my increasing dissatisfaction with the way in which the collective society of this first world country I live in deals with helping those in need. I was watching a documentary on the BBC, where the investigative journalist Stacey Dooley travels to Japan to look into the underage pornography problem in that country. I felt frustrated by the way that Stacey was talking to the people there and the undeniable judgmental tone of voice. I was thinking, why is she creating an investigative documentary about a topic that she clearly does not have a passionate vested interest in. Especially when I compared this video with  a previous series of documentaries that she created about the lack of women’s’ rights across the world, where it was clear that she had a vested interest in these women’s’ rights. This then led me to think more generally about our society, and the ways in which we ‘manage’ charity work. So we will dedicate one day of the year to Children in Need where people are publicly praised for raising £300 in a cake sale, and after that day they do not think about the charity again for another year. I wanted to think in more detail about Altruism and the possibilities of people being able to actually do selfless acts, with no gain to them what so ever, and if doing ‘selfless’ act should even be considered a important or highly regarded ideal in society when we are animals and have extremely primitive roots.

In the first week of this project I have spent a lot of my time doing in-depth research into Altruism, as I have tried to gain a deeper understanding into the viability of individuals being altruistic. I have read a book called ’50 psychology ideas you really need to know’ written by Adrian Furnham, and in the chapter called ‘Self-Sacrifice’ Furnham suggests various different reasons why someone may be likely to help someone else. For example, both men and women are just as likely to help someone in need but the reason that men help people is different from the reasons why a women might. For men they will help because they want to be seen as heroic and chivalrous, whereas for women they are likely to help people because they are more caring and nurturing. There are many factors that make up a person including gender, race and religion that can contribute to the reasons why someone is more likely to help someone selflessly, or not help at all or even help someone to benefit themselves in some way.

My next step in this project is to start researching artists and different schools of thought about Altruism so that I can start to conceive an idea of what road I might want my project to go down ultimately.