Saturday, 18 December 2010

1000 Words Workshop: Anders Peterson


1000 Words have just announced their new workshop, this time with Anders Peterson in Morocco.
More information can be found here.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Pieces of a Song: It's Open

So HOST's 5th anniversary is upon us, and the exhibition celebrating this, Pieces of a Song, is now hung and open to the public, all the prints are also available online here...
It has been a collaborative effort with HOST and Ruth Grimberg, The show runs until the 18th, more info here.....

Friday, 26 November 2010

Ewen Spencer: Three's a Crowd

For those of you that missed the book launch at HOST, I have just been told that there will be an exclusive book signing of Ewen Spencer's THREE'S A CROWD at YOUTH CLUB pop-up shop off Carnaby St.THREE'S A CROWD is the first volume in a series of four celebrating Ewen's four year journey with arguably the last great rock n roll band The White Stripes.
Each page in this large format unbound book pulls out to form a full colour double sided A3 poster of previously unseen images from behind the scenes with the elusive duo.

Beautifully designed, each copy in this small edition of 500 is also hand numbered. Come on down to pick up your copy and get it signed by the man himself! Also on sale exclusive THREE'S A CROWD posters & OPEN MIC.
Where: YOUTH CLUB, 35 Marshall Street, London, W1F 7EX / When: 6.30pm, 3 December

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Rain, Floods and Photographs

Not too long ago I posted something about Seba Kurtis' Shoe box series, you can see them on his site here.
And then looking at Blake Andrews Blog (which is fantastic) I saw his post about the photographs Bryan Wolf showed him, I thought now they make a nice match, this is the start if something.. Also nice title for a show Rain, Floods and Photographs
You can see Blake Andrews Post here.
Top Image: Bryan wolf:
Bottom Images: Seba Kurtis
Also I cant recommend enough Blake's posts entitled American Prospects Revisited, a lovely investigation into Joel Sternfelds classic book. See them here

Monday, 25 October 2010

Maurice Broomfield, a Tribute by Jon Levy

As many now know Maurice sadly passed away recently, Jon has written a tribute to the wonderful photographer, gentleman and explorer of both the world and of life itself...
Read it here....

Monday, 11 October 2010

Infidel Tattoos

Your not really anyone these days, unless your are sporting a HOST approved Infidel Tattoo, now available free from the gallery to accompany Tim Hetherington's Show Infidel....

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Teller has landed!

Just delivered to my desk is the first issue of Teller Magazine, which is a really exciting venture. A Magazine of stories, both in pictures and words. Distributed and published by Trolley. We are going top have a launch party on the 29th Oct, from 6:30 so please do come along and see the magazine, and hear a couple of short readings over a drink.... Anyway more about the magazine from the editors Katherine Hunt and Ruby Russell....

""Teller is a magazine of stories. Stories told in pictures, in words, or in both: contributions are drawn from any medium or discipline that can tell a story on the printed page. They may report a real event, or be works of pure fiction. Often they are both and neither, combining fact and invention, documentation and imagination.

Issue 1 unearths the work of Charles Trotter, a commercial photographer based in Nairobi in the 1950s, whose pictures of high society show us the decadence of colonial rule in its dying days. Meanwhile Flavie Guerrand’s photographs shot at all-nighters in Paris and Berlin present a narrative of the ultimate party.
Other stories include Julia Hayes’s commemoration of a cleansing ritual held by 1930s London slum-dwellers, a savage tale of mortality by writer Lee Scrivner, and Swedish artist Nina Mangalanayagam’s exploration through words and images of the complex cultural identity of her Tamil family in Europe.

Issue 1 out October 2010. ....."

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Creative Habit

Currently dance artist, with a keen interest in photography, Hannah Buckley, has been helping out in the gallery. Hannah works with her photographer twin sister to combine the two art forms, and you can see their work at the negotiationofspace website, which is really worth looking at
The other day she told me about a book by Twyla Tharp called The Creative Habit, and it sounded pretty fascinating, so I asked her if she would mind writing something for the blog about the book, so here it is:

"I don’t give to charity very often, and a compensation for this if I read a good book I like to buy it for the people I care about and who I think will benefit from that particular book. My books for giving so far have been Og Mandino’s ‘The Greatest Sales Man In The World’, Patrick Holford’s ‘Low GL Diet Cookbook’ and Twyla Tharp’s ‘The Creative Habit’.

Twyla Tharp is an American dancer and choreographer, but so far, as well as a dancer, I have given it to a musician and a photographer. I also have a jewelry maker and fashion designer in mind as future Twyla receivers. The Creative Habit comes from th
e perspective of the dance world but it is a creative manual for all anyone involved in any art, and the world outside art for that matter.
In a nutshell Tharp believes that creativity, is not a gift from God but the product of hard work. She believes through structure and habit, the very things that people label the creativity killers, you can achieve the most freedom, be creatively productive and work your way out of blank spots on uncreative days. In The Creative Habit she shares her own creative experiences, methods and exercises that have helped her achieve running, and choreographing for, a dance company from 1965 until the present day, choreograph more than one hundred thirty-five dances, five Hollywood movies, direct and choreograph four Broadway shows, receive one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor and become a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Even if you disagree with the fundamentals of what Tharp writes about, (habit breeding creativity), I think every creative person, young or old, could learn something from her informative book. It is well written, with passion, intellect, experience and integrity dripping from its pages."
Hannah Buckley

One of the things this reminds me of is David Hurn in his, and Bill Jay's On Being Photographer talking about how it is so important to be strict when one is researching and shooting a body of work. He goes on about making check lists, in order to almost know what your going to shoot before you go out into the field. I think its often forgotten that being "Creative" can go hand in hand with having very strict rules....

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Quick Rant II: How Dare You!

Quick Rant....: How Dare You!

I sometimes do not understand why photographers don't have their phone numbers on their websites, it is really frustrating, why would one not?
Admittedly it's also an excuse to use these picture from the artwork for 10cc's record How Dare you !..... Which is a great record

Friday, 24 September 2010

Perpignan Now #11

Day Seven:6 September. 8p.m, London, England

Back in the rain, back home…
Is our mission, our search, completed?
Seems like it’s hard to tell…
Will the superiors be happy with this report? We don’t know...

But, one thing is certain, we will never forget the kindness of the Greeters of Maine in Paul Jeffers’ photographs, or the extraordinary story of Vissarion by Sergey Kozmin…

And so in that sense, the many photographs and stories we have seen here in Perpignan, have affected us after all… And maybe a few others along the way…
Stories we will never forget…

That was Perpignan 2010…..

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Perpignan Now #10

Day Seven:5 September. Perpignan, France

Perpignan is quiet now as we stroll through the streets…the accredited have left, flown home to follow the chase, both on their own turf and across the globe…

Now the exhibitions are open to the public, the civilians. We head back to the Couvent one last time…


It’s busier than expected, packed with locals and tourists…Surely that is exciting…that the work of photographers such as Stephanie Sinclair and Craig F. Walker is being seen on the walls of public spaces deep in the South of France…
The photographic stories, the photojournalism, that is on display here, in Perpignan, are studies of people and places, beauty and horror, and, like any study of this kind, they may not show the full picture, the whole story….

Hearts and minds....

They may even open a few Doors.....
To be continued...

Perpignan Now #9

Day Six: The Party. Perpignan, France Upadate: Counvent des Minimes

We return to a transformed Counvent…
A few days ago we were here considering the stories that hang on every wall… and now…tonight…there are just bodies, writhing, pulsating to a music that we both agree and thought had been dead for a long time…
And everywhere Mojitos…

Yes Mojitos…The smell of that tropical drink hanging in the thick air…

We try to stay calm, collected…
We try to speak to people we have met during our stay…But the music is too loud, the dancing too fast…
And then the Mojito paranoia kicks in…

…Everything is moving…



Faces from the week, whether known or unknown dance in front of us…

The Wolves dance with the Shamans, the Pioneers seduce the Hungry….

We no longer know what time it is or why we are here…

The questions and answers…the search is slipping away, into what? Where? Another Mojito?…

Maybe there is an answer here, at this party…Maybe, in order to move this world forward we all need to dance together more…Maybe that’s it?…Or, just maybe, that’s the Mojitos...
To be continued...

Perpignan Now #8

Day Six: 4 September. 4 p.m, Perignan, France

Today, we continued our mission, our search, whose goals are becoming more confused and blurred as time goes on…
Photojournalism is alive here, we know that, we have seen it with our own eyes, but here it seems trapped…not able to move on….

The simple question is: Why has it not changed here at Visa Pour L’Image?…
In the search of clarity, of answers, we decided to head back into the old buildings of this town where the pictures hang.
To be Continued...

Perpignan Now #7

Day Five: 9p.m 3 September. Perpignan, France

So.. The Wolves…

Looking back at this journal.... This diary, we realize we may have been a bit harsh on these fellow pilgrims…

Yes, they hounded us at the CafĂ© de la Poste, but that’s because we have access to a portal... We have white walls, and blank pages... And they are hungry for all of that, and frankly, that’s just fair enough….
Today we sat ourselves in the burning sun of the Hotel de Pams, sweating not just from the sun but from the endless espresso’s that kept us going as we met photographer after photographer, one story teller after another…

A few things struck us as we sat there: yes, it may be true that many of the stories we saw today have been told previously….
But, nevertheless, we saw a lot of work that took us to places and introduced us to characters we hadn’t met before….


Paul Jeffers took us to Bangor Airport in the U.S State of Maine. Bangor is often the first or last port of call for U.S troops on American Soil before they head out to the war zones of Iraq or Afghanistan.
Paul’s photographs focus on a small non – profit organisation called The Maine Troop Greeters, who are based at Bangor Airport. These greeters’ role is to act almost as family to the troops that pass through the airport (whose real family, more often than not can’t be with them) offering phones, food, a shoulder to cry on and a cheerful face.

Vissarion is the title of a body of work by Russian Photographer Sergey Kozmin. Vissarion is also the self given name of an ex traffic cop formerly known as Sergey Torop, who after being made unemployed decided he was definitely the second coming of Christ….
Jeez! We thought, now here’s a story!
Vissarion and his Church Of The Last Testament lies deep in the Siberian Mountains and he currently has over 5000 followers, many of whom gave up their lives and apartments in Russia’s big cities to live as disciples in the villages that populate what Vissarion calls The Promised Land.

Moving on. We know many a photographer has visited and documented the utter devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused to both the landscape and people of New Orleans on August 29th 2005. One of them being photographer Jason Andrew , whose project Jazzland is a study of a specific place in New Orleans; a place that used to deliver happiness and sunny days out to families that have probably long moved on…This Place is Jazzland, New Orleans Six Flags Amusement Park.

Shot on square format film Jason Andrew captures this place of fun slowly becoming prey to the ever-growing swamp. Although there are no people in these pictures, there is poignancy in fact that one can almost hear the laughter that emanated from this site up until that fateful day.

So even after a long day, we feel refreshed, awakened…and it wasn’t just the espresso, we have seen some great work, some great stories by photographers, young and old…
And the above is only a small selection.


There is something new though: Multi Media…Sure it’s only another way of showing work but that is just it, it’s another outlet, and possibly an empowering one for photographers in this day and age….


But sadly the question remains…
There is this great work, but who is it for? Who is going to publish and exhibit it?

We have no doubt that the general public, the civilians want to see these stories, but as the saying goes:
"If a tree fall in a forest and there is no one their to hear it, does it make a sound?
"...
As we rest back at base this question stays in our thoughts, the taste of something unresolved…

The wolves are hungry but the hands that can feed them are tied…


To be continued...

Perpignan Now #6

Day Five: 3 September.10 a.m Perpignan, France

Yesterday afternoon was spent searching and then grilling the inhabitants of the Palais Des Congres. We mentioned earlier that, in terms of agencies, many friends and acquaintances are missing, or are, sadly, dead….
The last ten years have been tough for many of them, and we just hope, some day, this war is going to end…

But we stayed positive and happily met some old vets of the field, albeit that their role here, down in Perpignan, has somewhat changed…
A lady now working for L’agence Vu, told us that in previous years they were here to be told the stories, to see photographers work….
But now their presence is just for their clients, to sell the stories of their signed photographers, to meet new costumers and to meet the faces behind the emails….

Click here to see some footage we took along the way...

An Aside: When we headed south we were expecting change in Perpignan, but that change is proving hard to find. The Walls that surround us, enclose us even, in the numerous exhibition spaces look and feel exactly the same, the frames… Those endless frames…the same.
Back home there are ongoing discussions on where photojournalism meets documentary meets art photography, and these discussions take place on the pages of magazines, limited edition books, on blogs, on the walls of galleries and even in the decisions of photographers on how to show their work…
And all this because of the sad death of the extended photo story in newspapers…
Photographers back home have to re-invent what and whom their photographs are for…
And yet here, in Perpignan, the walls are unchanged. There are no conceptually crafted installations, there are no handmade fibre prints in beautifully constructed frames, varying in sizes to make ones gaze glide across a body of work…

There is just uniformity…but that is the point…
Visa Pour L’image do this on purpose, and in some ways it makes sense, maybe Visa isn’t trying to be part of that discussion, they do what they want to do…and what they have always done…
And lets not forget that uniformity brings equality and makes one look under the skin…to search beyond the frame…(and price)…
And that brings us back to that old, established friend Magnum. Maybe Magnum isn’t here in this Catalan town, deep down South, because Magnum is busy exploring the different avenues mentioned above and discussing and arguing where they now belong?
Maybe Magnums haunts are now the exclusive galleries of New York, Paris and London, and on the bookshelves of art collectors…. Maybe they just didn’t fit into their Visa Pour L’Image uniform anymore….
To be continued...

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Perpignan Now #5

Day Four: 12a.m. Perpignan, France

This morning, at the Couvent Saint Claire, we were offered a very close insight into the life of Ian Fisher, the young American GI, by Craig F. Walker. The intimacy of this project is touching, and makes one think about the informative and educational nature of such a simple, yet thorough body of work, similar to Sinclair’s.It reminds us of the great words of Henry Luce, when he founded LIFE Magazine:
“…To see man’s work – his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed.”
But then one has to remember that those great words were written quite some time ago…

As we continue with our mission, it strikes me personally that nothing much has changed since ten years ago.

It’s still alive, for sure…
But thinking about it that worries us, surely it should have changed? Matured? Evolved even?
But then again it’s only day four…
This afternoon we continue our search, our investigation. One thing that strikes us is that someone seems to be absent. An old friend, drinking partner and even neighbour back in London: Magnum, you probably know him too…

With this in mind and the worries mentioned above, this afternoon we scale the Palais Des Congres to corner and question the Getty’s, the Corbis’s, the VII’s,…
The Dream Makers’…
The Shamans…

To Be Continued…

Perpignan Now #4

Day Three: 6p.m., Perpignan, France.
We have spent the day wandering the streets, seeing the many exhibitions, which take us temporarily out of Perpignan into other territories and cultures. Tomas van Houtryve's Behind the Curtains: Stories from the Last Communist Holdouts investigates the contradictions of Marxist ideology across the globe from Cuba to Moldova and from Laos to China...

But from these more exotic countries we turn to what can be a more familiar place, although often stranger than fiction, the USA with a photo story on the plight of the Californian redwoods by Michael Nichols. What’s staggering about this work is the one, immense composite photograph of a 300 ft redwood that’s over 1500 years old. After closer investigation we learn this work was shot for, and published by, our old friend, The National Geographic... Although physically walking across town to the Couvent Des Minimes, our minds and attention stay in the U.S. We see Stephanie Sinclaire's study of Polygamy in America, a body of work she has obviously spent a lot of time on, and also the access she has been given is astonishing considering the subject. In terms of looking "Behind the Curtain" this ripped the damn blinds down...

Next we are in the Bronx with a set of pictures by Antonio Bolfo. One can't help thinking of the T.V series "The Wire" when looking at Bolfo's photographs of young and discontented cops of the NYPD's Operation IMPACT. These officers are sent into the most dangerous and violent areas of New York, the Bronx, at the earliest stages of their careers, talk about Trial by Fire...
We have seen a lot today but it's too early to draw any conclusions. We also must remember what we saw and heard last night tells us that Perpignan is not just about the photographs, there is more... Something that brings people back…
There certainly is something that is alive here, but what it is we have yet to pin down, yet to fully understand...

It's familiar but let’s not forget we are on foreign ground...

But as mentioned already, it’s late, and there seems to be a place where our questions may be answered.
The city is now dark and we are about to head into the heart of the town,.. One could almost call it The Heart of Darkness...The Cafe de la Poste...

To Be Continued…

Perpignan Now #3


Day Two Update: 1a.m, Perignan , France...
Having just returned from the Bar De La Poste, The memories are flooding back fast. The characters; the pioneers and the figures that can make a photographers dream come true. And then these wolves. The wolves that surround them...

That part of this war is still raging...


Strangely many people seem to be here for the same reasons we are, hunting, or rather searching, albeit each for their individual reasons...


We met a young photographer who was told Perpignan can be a lonely place if you don't know what your here for. You have to find your targets, research them and hunt them down.... She mentions her need for a mentor, she mentions a name, a prominent agency director but insists that they are not ready yet. What worries us is that she was referring to the director rather then herself...


We leave early as for some reason we don't feel part of the gang, the pack, almost like right now we don't have the right accreditation. But I'm sure the morning, and a new day, will change all that...


We digress, but what we can report is that there is definitely still a hunger here, and a thirst...
A Thirst of the kind that I don't believe the Bar De La Poste can ever quench...

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Perpignan Now #2

Day Two: Monday 31 August 2010, London, Stansted:
"Today we leave... We board a Boeing 737 chartered by Ryanair, the last time I flew with that outfit I swore I never would again, yet here I am.....
Waiting at the airport and watching all the people returning home as I prepare to leave gives me time to think.....:
There is a character in a novel by David Mitchell who runs a film shop and he muses that the quality of any movie in directionally in-proportional to the number of helicopters in that movie… So gets me thinking of how this could relate to photographs.....
But they just called the flight, so for now, that will just have to wait….."
To be continued..

Monday, 30 August 2010

Perpignan Now


Day One: Thursday 26th August 2010, London:

"As I lie here listening to the rain, I think back to the past 10 years... To the last time I was there.. ..

The heat, those hot sweet nights, the crowded bars, and dark lonely alleys.... and then the images, images everywhere, in convents and on buildings..

I never thought I would return.... But I saw it there, alive, definitely alive...

But then I hear a rumour going around. Whispers, and murmurs, spoken out there on the web, that its died, yes,it's is truly dead…. Dead….

So I realize as I lie here, that I have to return. To go south once again... To see for myself if its true and it really is dead, maybe it’s just in hiding, retired or simply in disguise.

I cant believe its dead, I know that in my bones....

So I know I have to return, to head back again..

South......

To Perpignan"

To be continued...
(Disclaimer: If you have not seen the film Apocalypse Now, or not seen it recently, then the following diary will probably make me sound like a bit of a fool, on the other hand if you have not seen, or not seen recently the film Apocalypse Now I cant recommend it enough..)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Zuzana Salajkova

Zuzana now has a new website with more images to be added soon......
I'm a fan of just how subtle she can be...
Well worth a look here...."After more than seven years living in a different country I started to question myself about where my real home is. Each time I go back to see my homeland I start to feel more and more like a stranger...."
Zuzana Salajkova

Bad Backs and Death....

Firstly I need to apologize for not posting of late, and I'm not going to moan but its because I have had real bad back problems...... But as the saying goes " It could always be worse!" and damn right it could be!..
Which brings me onto a new book by Canadian Photographer Jack Burman's new book " The Dead" and yep as you can see my back problems pale in significance to some of the subjects of this fine book..."The Dead" published by the amazing Canadian Magenta Foundation, is basically a study of long deceased but painstakingly preserved bodies, or bits of bodies.....
Its well worth a look and the special edition comes in a beautiful wooden box ( coffin!)...
Its available from Magenta here....
and there is a good article here....

Friday, 23 July 2010

It's been a blast I must say ... Jason Royce

Now here is a story from Jason Royce, I saw this work at one of our carousel evenings, I wont say much as I think Jason says it just fine:

"These colour photos are from a series shot on Fuji Velvia & black & white film back in 1994.

they depict the Environmentalist Non Violent Direct Action scene that burst into existance just a coulple of years earlier. I had just finished A one year photography course at the St. James The Less School In Pimlico. And someone I met In the Samuel Peyps pub in Hackney suggested I get my arse down there.
Well That was It - The first time I saw that street I was Hooked. I decided straight away that I was going to photograph the Undergound Environmental Movement properly . That Is to say becoming an Activist as well as a Photographer & ignoring the press .

So after a couple of visits of photographing the street & 1 day pulling nails out of bits of wood. I was prepared for the Final Eviction of Claremount Rd . I was on the roofs & In a cargo Net strung between treehouses & the victorian terraced houses before I knew It . And It was the best day of my life. I was published In the Crusty press & that was it - I met the Underground.Where I was asked ' What I wanted to do next " ? And my reply was photograph the tree camps " Fairmile & Trollheilm " In Devon .

That was It - next come Reclaim The Streets - The 1st proper big one was In Camden Town In the Early 90's - And no one has seen those pictures ( apart from the Police who raided me about 5 years ago ) false allegations were made against me - relating to another Photographer. My first proper audience who sitting on my bed going through my photo's exclaimed " This Is Another World " . Oh And there was A section back In 1999 the Underground scene got pretty hectic with the squat scene back in the day - there was a lot of drugs & lot of Pisstakers In the end. And a lot of pressure was put upon me to publish. Everyone saying " When are you going to Do Something with your Photo's " at the same time not really offering any help or advice.
So after being " Jacked Up " & then released from the Funny Farm I went travelling around the world - my thinking being " If I'm going to be miserable anywhere it might as well be abroad. So I went travelling ( without a proffesional camera ) to many different countries & got into all sorts of scrapes & adventures , but that's another story.

So returning home After my 3rd trip abroad I put an Exhibition on at the " Foundry " entitled " Demand The Impossible " & printed up 1000 flyers and leafleted various places ( lot's of pubs in the East End , The Guardian Newspaper & areas in Hackney where I knew A lot of the Underground would be - very low key .

The Exhibition was a wild success and I got a rave review in Focus - Fine Art Magazine by Bill Troop & The rest they say is history as they say. Well apart from me continuing " Shooting " & Training both at Climate Camp & over In Eire' more recently.
It's been a blast I must say .
And I must give A Big Shout Out to Alll those selfless Eco Warriors & Worriers out there. With paticular attention to those whove passed on . Namely Dolly The 93 year old " Protester who was born in Claremont Rd " And to whom there was a 100 foot scaffold tower erected in her honour - That was 1 Hell Of A Climbing Frame .

And of course I must not forget The Police & MI5 / MI6 who have been monitering us for years and lastly of course - The Press & All those Paps.
Tou You I can only say
Feck You .

Thankyou everone else .
..."
Jason Royce