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ATA KAK – TIME BOMB DOCUMENTARY
Words cannot express my love for Ata Kak! Originally from Ghana, Ata Kak self-released a few copies of this album on tape in the 1980’s.
Brian Shimkovitz, founder of the increadible blog Awesome Tapes of Africa discovered the tape amongst the vast collection he amassed whilst in Africa and spent a decade trying to track down Ata Kak with the aim of re-releasing the music to a new audience.
The story has now been captured in this documentary and is well worth half an hour of your time. The music is unique beyond measure and the story genuinely heart warming. Decades after its original low-key release, Obaa Sima is now in many peoples record collections and Ata Kak is touring the world.
If you are not aware of Shimkovitz’s work with Awesome Tapes, check out the blog for some of the best music you are likely to hear!
MARTIN PARR FOUNDATION – BRISTOL
Bristol’s legacy as a leading centre for Photography is set to continue to grow with the opening on the Martin Parr Foundation on the 25th October.
Originally set up in 2014, the foundation is a home for Parr’s archive and extensive photography collection. This new enterprise will form a permanent space to house the foundations work, located at the Paintworks in Bristol.
The space will house Parr’s print archive (estimated at 3/4 million images) alongside his collection of British and Irish photography. There is also a gallery space where 3 or 4 exhibitions will be held each year.
The foundation is due to open on the 17th October with the inaugural exhibition Parr’s ‘Black Country Stories’, originally commissioned by Multistory and exploring the West Midlands.
SLANT RHYMES – ALEX WEBB & REBECCA NORRIS WEBB
I happened across this release the other day and looking forward to getting my hands on the book.
Alex & Rebecca Webb have created the project ‘Slant Rhymes’ as a visual conversation between themselves. Each pair contains one image from each of them, placed side by side to create a visual rhyme.
I was initially struck by the concept as last year I worked with photographer Rob Macdonald on a similar principle, creating the exhibition ‘Harmonic Skeleton’ for the Brighton Photo Fringe. You can view our attempt at this visual dialogue in my portfolio pages.
RETURN TO AN OLD FAVOURITE – PETER FRASER
This week I have been mostly revisiting the work of Peter Fraser.
Whilst doing some research for a project I am currently developing ‘Postcards from Home’ (early stages are viewable on my Instagram account) I realised I was shooting certain images with a similar aesthetic to some of Peter Fraser’s work.
I have always enjoyed Fraser’s unique perspective and vision of the macro world that surrounds us with the intimate and unique ‘landscapes’ he offers up.
A large selection of his work is available through his website www.peterfraser.net
WEEK IN FOCUS – 4 OCTOBER 2017
The first of my new weekly roundup of items of interest from the world of Photography and the creative sector.
JIM MORTRAM – SMALL TOWN INERTIA
Jim has been photographing the residents of his home town Dereham for the past ten years, focusing on those facing social exclusion and disadvantage. Having started a degree in Art, he dropped out in his final year to become the primary care giver to his mother.
Since then he has produced an unparalleled body of work giving a voice to those who most need it, shooting a stunning body of Black & White, social documentary images and sharing them on his Small Town Inertia blog.
The project has finally got the recognition it dererves through the publication of his first book by Bluecoat Press. It is a powerful and poignant series of images and if you are unaware of his output, I would urge you to take a look.
Jim was kind enough to contribute an image to my project ‘The Shot I Never Forgot’ (pictured image) and I have been a keen follower of his work since.
AARON SCHUMAN – SLANT
This project keeps popping up in my various feeds this week and it is well worth a look.
Aaron is a colleague at UWE having just set up the MA Photography course this year.
The images are juxtaposed with local newspaper clippings in an often amusing and always thought provoking manner.
GRAYSON PERRY – THE MOST POPULAR ART EXHIBITION EVER!
EXHIBITION COMES TO ARNOLFINI BRISTOL
I was very excited to finally see the opening of the new exhibition at the Arnolfini, Bristol.
Grayson Perry seems to consistently create output that is both beautiful, timely and poignant. This show doesn’t disappoint with a mixture of older works and more recent works, including the Brexit Pots.
It was a pleasure to see the gallery busier than I have ever witnessed and given it is free and on until December, there is no excuse not to go and have a look!
RETURNED TO AN OLD FAVOURITE – TODD HIDO
This week I have been mostly revisiting Todd Hido’s exquisite images, as part of my research into the use of light in photography.
The image shown is from his series ‘Homes at Night’. Hido seems to have an uncanny ability to bend light to his own will within his images and seem to merge an almost snapshot aesthetic with a considered, atmospheric and film like quality.
His work needs to be seen in print to appreciate its real genius, but a full archive is available on his website here.
GENERAL ELECTION 2017 MANIFESTO SPEACHES
With the 2017 UK General Election set for a week from today, I present ‘Manifesto’, a visual experiment exploring the visual noise that is the bombardment of imagery and information we receive from both the political parties and the media.
Through the visual cacophony of the 2017 general election, the importance of soundbites, both visual and aural is increasingly evident.
Rummaging through our echo chambers and searching for the truth between the well choreographed consumable episodes with which we are presented, it is easy to be lost in the swarm.
Whilst watching the policy launches for the key parties, I wondered how many people read and how much detail from each manifesto the general public consumed. These presentations and the accompanying publication are the best insight we have into our prospective leaders intentions but can be easily overshadowed with the ever moving machinery that is electioneering.
These composites are a visual expression of the noise that is the election; created by layering thousands of still frames from each of the manifesto launches of the six main UK parties (by 2015 vote share).
More information about the project and the images can be viewed in the portfolio section here.
PHOTOGRAPHIC DIALOGUES – NEW JOURNAL FEATURING LATEST WORK
Photographic Dialogues is a new annual journal produced in collaboration with the Photography Research Group at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
I am delighted to have a feature on my current project ‘Studies in Colour and Light‘ published in the inaugural edition, which concentrates on ‘moving stills’ and artists who shoot moving image or explore the connection between still and moving image.
For more information on the journal or to purchase a copy, please visit:
These four images come from a collaborative project to create artwork to accompany The Reverse Engineer’s 2017 album ‘Elusive Geometry’.
Responding directly to the music and the themes it explores, these images were initially shot in the studio as a performance, creating and photographing sculptures, which evolved alongside the music.
Using a Mamiya Leaf digital medium format camera, large format images were created focusing on different areas of moving sculptures. These images were then layered in post production to create a series of unique images.
For more information and to view the images, please click here.
Found negatives: I am a prolific liberator of film.
I cannot help myself. If I am in a charity shop (thrift store for my overseas readers), I compulsively check cameras to see if there is film left in them. If I find an orphaned film, I liberate it from its musky prison and unleash the visual treats it contains.
So the other day, whilst rummaging through my drawers, I happened upon a roll of 35mm film by ‘Bonusprint’, which I suspect was from the 1990’s judging by the branding etc. I have no idea where the film came from, so assume it was one I had previously rescued and totally forgotten about. The colours on the negatives have bled considerable, which would suggest it is quite old and has been lying around for some time. Some of the banding also looks like the result of scanning at an airport.
I took it to work and processed then scanned the more interesting negatives, some of which you can see below. I have no idea where it was shot, it looks like America but beyond that I did not recognise anything. However, one frame appeared to be of a ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’ attraction so I set about my best detective work. It looks very much like photos of the Orlando, Florida venue they have.
What I cannot establish is whether this a film from a holiday or someone who lived in America – the photos of the gym are a bit of a curve ball. I love the limited knowledge about someone I get when I adopt a film, the only insight into their lives is the few shots they took that I get to look at. A limited window into a life I will have no connection with otherwise.
Take a look at the images I managed to rescue from the rather damaged negs below – personally I really love them, the distortions and accidental double exposures are fascinating.
Any theories on the origins of this film would be most welcome!
NEW SIGNED EDITION PRINTS AVAILABLE FROM MY LATEST SERIES
As the exhibition at the Royal Academy has now come to an end, I am happy to offer edition prints of two photographs from my latest series ‘ Studies in Colour and Light’
A perfect Christmas present and available at a reduced rate until the New Year.
The prints are available from a signed edition of 25, measuring 132.5 cm x 35 cm, Giclee archival digital prints.
MY NEW FRIEND – OLYMPUS 35RC
Whilst I often have some form of camera with me to take images of anything that looks intriguing, it usually tends to be something digital for convenience or my phone where the images end up on my instagram @ourworldmyeye.
Despite occasionally walking round with my Hasselblad, it is not the most convenient tool for the commute to work or daily life. Keen to do a bit more film photography, however, I decided to raid my camera museum and see what might fit the bill for a pocket sized 35mm camera I could use as a visually diary.
It was then I remembered about my trusty Olympus 35RC – a small, manual, range-finder with a great lens and enough quality and control to not frustrate me!
So I have been travelling around with it in my pocket and snapping away a few rolls of film and getting back into the darkroom to make some prints.
I thought I would share a few of the first images to come out that I quite like – hopefully the first of many!
NOTE – these are photographs of B&W darkroom prints, so forgive the less than perfect reproduction of tones!