Monday, 20 July 2015

Part two of the quicky review of last year!

April, May and June, seem to have whizzed by but I am happy to say I have been busy, probably too much to think straight but here is a super quick review of the last few months.

April, a little crazy and busy with three events and prep for a larger one. It was the Gabriel Fine Art SLWA group show, the second I had been in and then almost at the same time came submissions for the "Curious Camera show" something I always try and submit to but never quite get there. Anyway this year I did submit and work was accepted and also to may great joy it received an "Honourable mention" absolutely over the moon or should I say sun!
Curious Camera is held at Arts eye Gallery Tuscon Arizona USA.

The piece was a solargraph, Urban Sunburn IV it had been left 'cooking' for three months Jan - Mar 2015

At the same time as this was happening I was prepping for the Format International Photogrpahy Festival to be held in Derby at The Photo Parlour. The exhibition was a group show with the theme "Unstable" 
We had all been preparing ideas for a while and mulling over what we wee to include and how it would be presented, the show featured work by Melanie King, Nettie Edwards, Anthony Carr, Jo Gane and myself.The exhibition could best be described as an exploration of works that were designed to change, to challenge the concept that a photo is a fixed record of a moment, as evidence of the existence of something as proof that there 'was' an event. This was to be a light hearted and interactive exhibit.

I decided, eventually to include Lumen Prints that would be totally unfixed, the paper would also be degrading by the very fact that I was using extremely expired fifty year old Kodak Bromide II paper that hadn't been stored correctly and I really had no idea how it would behave. I had done test prints but had not left any of them out in direct sunlight after exposure for such a length of time. It was determined that the prints would remain covered until the last minute before PV and then we would see how they would fair in the light. 

Surprisingly by the time I got to visit, there was still quite a lot to see and only aspects of some of them were diminishing quickly, considering they were opposite a window I was impressed. For the "playful" element to my piece I was to include an interactive exhibit. this after some deliberation became a print making kit that would allow the user to move "stencils" and laminated flowers over a length of Kodak Bromide paper which had been attached to foam board. The laminated sheets were then held on with pushpins, the results were really quite lovely, even if they were pockmarked with pin holes.

It was truly brilliant to be part of such a festival and I also got to meet Brian Griffin and see a preview of the film about him, I did like the packets of popcorn thrown out to us!

Beginning to catch up here and heading into May for a weekend long event at Stave Hill Rotherhithe South London.
Soundcamp and Reveil was held last year and I made pinholes and soalrgraphs in response to the brief. I wanted to capture the moments over the event from early sunrise to dusk and that would bmena long exposures. The time element was important to me, it hooked up with the duration of the event and the sequence of Soundcamp dawn chorus happenings that occiured around the planet in 24 hours.
Solargraph cameras were set up in four positions in London and due to the inclement if not dreary weather, it was decided that they would be placed for longer than the weekend in order to capture som efeint glimmer of sun on the paper. It sort of worked despite the rain and the gloom. Some of the positions here were just too dark and they didnt captur every much at all, others were better but still quite abstract and not as full of arcs of the sun or colour for that matter!

I also made a few pinhole photos with both my Da Vinci 4x5 and the Zero45, I obviously had some issues with these as I havent yet had a good print from the zero, which I am shocked at. it seems to have some leaking issues that I need to trace the source of befor doing more. either that or the paper was flookily fogged each time it went in the dark slide for that cam.

As part of the project htis year we, Grant Smith the head of the project, decided that the visual aspect to the event should be extended to all participating countries. I was to make soalrgraph cameras which would be postal tubes. these would act as the carrier for the rest of the project and they would also contain, amongst other things, a homemade matchbox pinhole camera that would be used for the duration of the event and then returned to myself for processing. I have had some baack already and the results are interesting and varied to say the least.

The solargraphs really are subject to the weather and luckily the one from Santorini was fabulous, depsite it being heavily creased in the return packaging. I have yet to recieve them all back and Im looing forward to seeing what was produced from sound artists. I do hope they had fun with them, as that was the idea as well.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Yikes, gone too long and lots to tell!


One year since I last posted, well I've been busy the last few months and I would have loved to share all the goings on with you in a proper sequential order but I dont think that will now happen. This post may be a bit of an event splurge so hold onto your hat!

I wont bother to catch up on the events of last year, I may drop them into the post as I recall them though.
Briefly here we go month by month!

January 2015

This year started in a great way with an invitation to exhibit in Berlin at Karibuni as part of the Anlogue Now Festival, I said yes and then of course wondered what I would exhibit... thankfully that was taken out of my hands by Jan who chose the work and he decided he wanted to see three prints from my "Shots on a cold beach"series from 2010. I wanted to make them something to remember and so got the hand printed by Mike Crawford, a genius in the darkroom master printer and wonderful person. He incredibly managed to pull from the 35mm negs something rather beautiful and these were printed at about 7x7 on a 10 x 8 sheet, I can't quite recall what the paper was but I'll edit once I recall.

The space was marvellous and the promotion work equal to none, I believe 5000 visitors went through in one night!

February and March 2015

February brought more interest and I got engrossed in work for another exhibit, "What is Urban" this was a group show with the SLWA, South London Women Artists and the show was held at Brixton East in Brixton South London. A marvellous venue and large space. The work this time was to be a series I had been working on anyway but when the theme presented itself to me It was perfect for it. The solargraphs are extremely long pinhole exposures using BW paper. The exposure is long enough that the sun will burn its trail across the paper and leave a record of its passage across the sky. I wanted to have elements of this passing between buildings in an urban city setting and also in a suburban and wider setting by using gardens and allotments. The resulting images became a series called "Urban Sunburn I-XII"

These are small examples of some of the pieces, they were produced as Giclée's for this exhibit and kept to a small size due to exhibition constraints. I did however produce large C-Types of them also. The exhibition had a marvellous response and very good feedback for all involved. This was my first exhibition with SLWA and I am very happy to be a member of a diverse and dynamic group of artists.

March to April 2015

Format International Photography Festival 2015

This month was amazing also and I wsa extremely fortunate to be invited as a member of the London Alternative Photography Collective to exhibit at The Format International Photography Festival in Derby. The show was displayed at The Photo Parlour and the theme was "Unstable" The concept being the all the works were fugitive, unfixed ephemeral. 
I was to include Lumen prints and also an interactive piece which the visitors would be able to handle and create their own works. I had been doing Lumen prints for many years and exploring the relationship between the fragility of the image capture with this method. The Series would be plant based and the lumens would be made in my garden and at my allotment. I wanted to capture the brief moments between the plants fullness of life and the moment they are picked the obvious and inevitable withering and decline. The images would be unfixed and would be hung as they were made unframed and pinned to the wall through the existing holes I had used for the skewers which attached them to the ground. The addition of the extremely expired Kodak Bromide II paper added to the equation, the delicate purple colour that was created with the unfixed prints was much more pleasing than a fixed brown that this paper would produce. It was fascinating to visit them and see how much they had either faded or darkened.

Below is my description for the pieces which became known as, "Evernescent Growth"

“Unstable" as a theme, was perfect for the ephemeral processes I use. These Lumen prints are made on extremely expired Kodabrom II RC paper, they are not fixed, they will change during the duration of the exhibit. The conscious decision to not fix them reinforces the already unstable nature of the process, the variables that exist in the making of the image, it’s dependency on ultra violet light to make the image and to also destroy it. The subject matter is based around the allotment I have, I grow the plants not just to eat but also to use as emulsions in other processes. The need for good levels of light whilst growing also applies to the creation of these images, the organic and inorganic matter that is laid upon them, the times of day and the duration of exposure all have a significant effect on the results. 

Below is the interactive piece and a detail.

I was delighted to be able to take part in such an important an internationally recognised photography festival and to be exhibitiong with some incredible photographers, Melanie King, Nettie Edwards, Jo Gane and Anthony Carr.

April 2015

London Pinhole Festival Doomed Gallery Dalston 24-26 April

The weekend started with the opening of the pinhole show, fabulous range of pinholes from many countries, There were some beautiful prints from Mike Crawford and Sheila Mckinney, James Webber, Amy Rockett-Todd, myself and many others. Curated by Melanie King Director of LAPC and Ken Flaherty, Director of Doomed Gallery. The PV was rammed and it was great to see so many turn up form other countries including Nancy Breslin, delighted to meet her in person.

This year I was doing the Pinhole day workshop and the plan was to make matchbox pinhole cameras, introduce the group to the world of pinhole and the variety of cameras that can be made from many objects and then to make the images and get those processed and reviewed all in one day. The ten participants all seemed to have reasonable results considering the drab weather conditions and many have gone on to make their own cameras after this. it was great to receive feedback and exciting to see the images that had been produced even if some where quite abstract. 

 I decided to exhibit some work from my visit to New York and included three related frames showing pinholes of crossings, bridges such as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. It wsa also a great pleasure to finally meet Nancy Breslin a fantastic photographer from the USA and someone I have known online for a while thanks to flickr.

The workshop was great and busy, some images below from the day.

April - May 2015

My second exhibtion with SLWA was held at Gabriel Fine Art near Waterloo, a fantastic location set in what appears to be an old Victorian school type building and located in Old Paradise Yard which is full of pop up workshops and studios and a large café restaurant. There also appears to be allotments on the way!

The show catalogue featured part of my Lumen piece and I was honoured to have that on the cover

The actual piece was called "Evanescent Growth II" and was just under a metre square. The work was  reproduced as a Giclée due to the fact the originals were unfixed.

My statement relating to the piece.

The Death and Decay Series explores the relationship between the essence of the former life of the subject and the chemical breakdown and transition into another form. Captured using long exposures, these images portray elements associated with death and new growth through transformation.

April, May June and July are equally busy but I shall do those in a separate post just to save your sanity!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Doomed, we're all Doomed!

The Saturday following the opening night of the London Pinhole Festival was interesting. It was a sunny day, perfect for some Pinhole Portraits in Ridley Road Market. The tent was erected just outside from Doomed Gallery. I was amused to find that they were actually going to be made slap bang in the middle of the market, so not for the easily embarrassed or the faint hearted as plenty of people were watching and trying to get past as the camera was set up.

I had some of my family with me and a friend and fellow photographer had come along to also get a portrait made. The camera was a Chinese 4x5 with double dark slides, I'm afraid the name escapes me.

We stood and the portraits were made and the negs taken into the gallery, sadly we haven't seen the finished results yet but a contact sheet was made of some of the images. Below are some shots from during the session and also a couple of them from the contact taken with an iPhone.

I was due to go back the next day to collect the work and hopefully see the portraits up, unfortunately they weren't, such is the nature of analogue, expect the unexpected!

In action digital shots of the event.

The results

The Camera

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

London Pinhole Festival 25-27th April

I am really happy to say that I have work in the London Pinhole Festival which will be shown at the Doomed Gallery Dalston in collaboration with The London Alternative Photography Collective.

It's all been completely manic and a bit of a fast turn around but I shall be exhibiting "Sharing the Moment" as an example of Pinhole. I am amongst some amazing photographers including Becky Ramotowski who is ultimately responsible for my knowing about the festival at all, so here's a shout out for her and to Melanie King the organiser.

Sharing the Moment was made a while ago as part of a series based around the beach of my childhood. It was a serious lesson in nostalgia, growing up and away and the passage of time that all life must endure, the series looked into the transience of the figure in the landscape both at the coast and further inland. The draw of the coastal setting was important to me because I needed to capture moments in time that reflected the ephemeral nature of the figure against an ever changing background.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Things with Wings Exhibition at PhotoPlace Gallery USA

A few weeks back I was delighted to receive notification that I had been successful with my submission to this particular exhibition. The title caught my imagination, much like the net of a lepidopterist and I knew which photos I had to submit.

I had been doing a series of Lumen Prints and after my death and decay series with the mouse I had followed with the moths, The Ephemeral Lumen Moth I-IV

This will be going on show soon at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury Vermont USA and I'm very honoured to be amongst such wonderful photographers and some amazing images. There will also be an exhibition book/catalogue to support the exhibition, this is sold through Blurb.

It is also good news to hear that, regarding Blurb photo books they will now also be available through Amazon, certainly more scope for distribution and exposure. It has been a long time coming and as long as the details and costs aren't prohibitive it may actually be very useful!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The last of the Festival shots and workshops

The last weekend of the Sydenham Arts Festival went by without a hitch and I did two days of workshops instead of the one. I can't believe I actually managed to do them considering I had been admitted to hospital during the week with a ridiculously aggressive reaction to an insect bite of some description. Anyway drugged up and raring to go I got on with the rather oversubscribed Lumen print workshop on the Saturday and to be honest I was quite relieved when I had a couple of cancellations due to the intense heat. Needless to say these were filled within moments by casual visitors wondering what we were up to.

The weather was perfect for printing and very soon there were a number of makeshift tables and low brick walls covered in contact frames cooking in the sunshine. It was stifling and I was amazed how people stuck it out, though the run on ice creams in the café was stupendous. The day was very relaxed with people making their images and then going off to look at other things or just hanging around and talking about the processes.

I had discussed doing Lumens on film as well and a couple of eager photographers who had some expired film with them took the challenge and decided to try it on some Ilford. I would love to see their results.

Talking about results there is a lovely blog entry by a friend who took part in a number of the workshops, here you can see some of the results.

I was very fortunate to have a number of enquiries and requests to do more workshops which I shall follow up and also a 'demand' to have my work exhibited, Looks like it may be a busy summer!