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!