Self Evaluation

During this body of work i came across a lot of different obstacles, the main one being the amount of time i had to build a set and also the fact that i think i added more pressure on myself than i should have, the other being a cross between artistic values and the documentation style i wanted to show throughout my work and images. I found that this project was actually very taxing, mainly due to the fact that i had to follow the notion of the circular narrative which meant i had to finish on the image that i started on, as well as using the keyword that was given to me as the subject matter.

I was given the word ‘Lock’ as my keyword, i thought about how i could play with the word and not make it too obvious. I remembered an episode of Dexter i had watched just before we were given this assignment. It was about a serial killer who kept locks of hair in a book as their trophy, this was in order for them to keep the victims close to them even after the kill.

So with my initial idea down i had to create a narrative that circulated back into the first image, which was going to be a lock of hair in an old dirty book. I got to it and started researching about serial killers so that i could use examples to try and cross reference into my work. I found a lot of great yet extremely dark articles and accounts/ documentaries about various famous and in-famous killers from around the world. There were a few that had created cults and been found with satanic bibles and excessive scribbles in their dens etc.

After researching into this i got about actually building my set and creating a dark environment. I used maps and put crosses on them as well as pins to add suspense and make the audience ponder the reasons behind this. I even had a taxidermy alligators head placed next to some scalpels as a reference to the killer ‘Ed Gain’, who used to skin animals and make taxidermy, until he turned his skills onto real life humans. I had a lamp as the only light source, this was create a one and only light source so it could give the effect that there are still items or objects that are not clear or still hidden from the audience, thus hopefully creating a more tense atmosphere.

After carefully and purposely placing my objects i started photographing the scene in a circular narrative style fashion, starting at the main book then left to right, on the desk and up the walls. Finally ending with a zoomed out shot of the whole affair then back to the book to finish. The POV is from the killer looking over his stuff, then taking a step back to see his killing den in its whole entirety then going back to looking over his trophies.

I am proud of what i achieved and i like the work that i have produced, However i would have tried to shoot it a little more in depth and maybe not in black and white. However saying that, i am proud of my work and have enjoyed this experience.



Exhibition Mock-Up

We have been told to place our items in order in a virtual exhibition. I used a website called Artsteps. i placed them in order so you start as you walk in… follow the wall and back to the beginning. having finished where you started. creating a Circular Narrative..  Here are some shots in order….

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Initial shots

Here are a few initial shots from a few attempts i had made..

























Im not too sure about the exact order yet, but up to now this seems quit fitting and smooth to operate. The basic outline is as i said before its about a serial killers den, The who, what, where, and why will now follow.

I decided to to use locks of hair due to my keyword being ‘LOCK’. The view point is of a serial killer looking around his ‘den’ or work space. All of the objects signify different meanings such as the craft knives are for cutting out newspaper articles or precision whilst cutting and applying the locks of hair into the killers book of trophies. The maps are burial sites, this however will make the audience think what are they? are they places of interest for the killer such as places to pick up the victims. When you look closer you will see that all the crosses and pins are in forests or woods which would signify that they are however burial sites. The calendar with the square blocks and scribbles could represent days in which the killings took place or are going to take place. The crocodile head is a reference to ‘Ed Gain’ who used to skin animals and make taxidermy before he took to skinny humans. The eyes and scribbles on the pages stuck to the walls are to show an ‘unhinged’ side to the killer, The scribbles are to show that they have blocked out certain passages from books. This would make the audience ask why and create a uncertainty yet make the scene full of suspense. The later shot of the whole set is when the serial killer has looked around his den and taken a step back due to proudness etc. Then back to the trophy book to go over his filed victims so he can re-enact the kill.

I think i have created a great set for suspense in the way i had planned from the beginning.

Starting on the set

As i explained in a previous post, i  was going to build my entire set from scratch. after researching into serial killers and films about serial killers i finally felt ready to try n attempt to build a set. In this i put maps on the walls with red pins in them to signify burial sites, i also added lots of books that suggests to the audience that there are a lot of victims. the main book containing the hair is in the central position…. basically these are a few starting points to the set that i have built (full explanation of items and meanings will follow in my evaluation post)…

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(photos taken on phone – thats why not great quality)

To get the pages in the books look worn i used tea bags and crinkled the pages…


Looking into Decay & Dismal settings

For this assignment i decided to look into decay and the down trodden element to the darker sides of life. The reason behind my initial idea of researching dilapidated homes was due to finding that certain serial killers live in absolute poverty/squaller, yet they dress well when in the outside world. This is what deceptive minds can signify. So in order for me to understand this i had to go out and see similar dwellings for myself. I got permission to look at some  abandoned homes and old decaying houses that were going up for auction, some selling for virtually nothing. I took some quick snaps on my phone for research purposes. Here are some of my findings….

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Im glad i did this, but my god it was depressing….

Cults & Secret Sects

The Dark & Dangerous.

whilst brain storming for this assignment i found that a few real serial killers were, or at least thought they were, part of some sort of cult. Some had crazed drawings and scribbles, some even had pages of the bible ripped out and highlighted certain words or phrases. This to me must only be because of what they would think were ‘ hidden meanings & messages’. Just like Mark David Chapman and his shooting of John Lennon on the 8th December, 1980 – who would then blame the book ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ as the reason for his part in the killing of John Lennon.

I researched about cults and serial killers- i found one from the 1980s which was about the ‘Chicago Rippers’… Here is the snippet from the page in which i found it…..


”The Chicago Rippers

Robin Gecht (second from left), 30, a former employee of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, and three other men, teenage brothers Andrew (far left) and Thomas Kokoraleis (second from right) and Edward Spreitzer (far right), 21, formed a satanic cult and gang called The Chicago Rippers that is suspected in the 1981 and 1982 disappearances of as many as 18 women. One victim, a teenage prostitute they had left for dead, was able to give a description of her attackers, which led to their arrest. Once in custody all but Gecht confessed to the murders and to having removed one breast from each sacrificial victim, having taken turns raping the open wound, having masturbated onto the breast, chopped it up and eaten it while Gecht read verses from The Satanic Bible. Though the others were willing to implicate Gecht, investigators were never able to definitively connect him to the murders. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison for kidnapping, rape and mutilation of the prostitute. Andrew Kokoraleis and Edward Spreitzer received the death sentence for their roles in the strangulation murder of Lorraine Borowski, 21, a secretary whose mutilated body was found in a cemetery. Andrew Kokoraleis was executed in 1999. Spreitzer’s death sentence was commuted in 2003. Thomas Kokoraleis received a life sentence and may be released on September 30, 2017.”
The darkness from this extract and the Chicago Rippers is unbearable. The cult or sect would be seen as a satanic ritual from the satanic bible etc.
I researched the book and found it be have been written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey. The book is a collection of Versus, essays & observations. He discusses the required mindset and focus for performing a ritual, and provides instructions for three rituals: those for sex, compassion, or destruction. there has been hundreds of thousands of petitions to ban  the book, some successful but most unsuccessful, especially in prisons which i find interesting due to the nature of the convicts that are actually situated in prisons around the world.
The next thing i found about cults (best known cult being the illuminati) is that there seems to be an all seeing eye and triangle in logos and signs e.g…..
Vietnam Cult Divine Eye il_fullxfull.302346549 masonic-all-seeing-eye eye-of-horus-tri 7405659124_094bfb822c_o
Here is one theory of the illuminati in day to day life…
This is situated on the American Dollar.
Another thing that i found was this obsession with people thinking that celebrities are involved with the illuminati due to certain signs that they have pulled, which ‘signifies’ that they are part of this extremely secret sect.  – a few examples…
People would believe this due to the fact that they are all only showing on eye (the all forever watching eye).

The Born To kill Documentaries

Whilst i was researching the psychology behind serial killers i came across the best documentaries i have seen. They are a series spanning over 3 en counting. They cover a huge range of different killers including cults like the Charles Manson family and big named offenders like Ted Bundy & Ed Gain.

Here is a couple of episodes i watched:

What drove me to watch these documentaries was due to the man who appears in some as one of the criminologists. The mans name is David Wilson – i have been following Wilson for a year or so when i first starting showing interest in criminology, he is a british criminologist and author about books including british serial killers from all the ages starting to Jack the ripper in the 1800’s to Colin Norris in 2008.

i am going to try and somehow contact Wilson to try and ask him a few questions from the point of view of the countries top and most thought after criminologists.