Saturday, 31 May 2008


Mr Smith brings you UNKNOWN

Blog's Birthday!

Today's this blogs first Birthday. The above photographs are some of the stuff that came up when I typed "blog's birthday" into Google images, how google work's makes my mind boggle.......And here's the first post I did 365 days ago and 19,734 hits ago..........

Friday, 30 May 2008

Hell Revisited.

The remaking of The Chapman brothers 2000 piece "Hell" which was destroyed in a fire in 2004, but which has now been remade and apparently renamed "Fucking Hell" and is on show at London's White Cube Gallery

Juliana Beasley

Image copyright Juliana Beasley

Two absolutely blinding pieces of work by Juliana Beasley. The picture above is from her "Rockaways" series which focuses on some of the characters that frequent a bar in the New York borough of The Rockaways. Her series "Lapdancer" was published as a book, and is an inside look at the work of nude dancer's as Beasley worked as one herself for eight years, travelling the length and breadth of the USA. Now I've always admired photographers that really get to know their subject. However please don't all rush out there and become sex workers.................

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Beryl Cook 1926-2008

As many of you have no doubt heard Beryl Cook has died at the age of 81.,,2282549,00.html Like many people I have grown up with her work. It would be given as calenders at Christmas or as greetings cards. My gran would see her pictures and exclaim "Oh that's cheeky" but said with a smile and a glint in her eye. Her work often set in pubs and clubs always portrayed people having fun, she once said that she couldn't paint "unhappy things" She portrayed her subjects, mainly The British with affection, something that today's more cynical artists seldom do. Her unique and cheery view of the world will be missed. To see more of her work:

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

We English

Is a new long term project by Simon Roberts. Simon's last book "Motherland" which was a extensive look at Russia carried out over a year beginning in 2004, was well received and has no doubt helped in finding funders (including Arts Council England, Fujifilm O2 The Caravan Club) for this, another long term study. This time though he is pointing his camera's at England. This then should be a whole different kettle of fish. I found this quote over on his blog for the project. “We must live in a country and work there in order to understand its ways and customs – to travel through as a tourist is to see only clichés.” It came from Tony Ray-Jones and in some ways goes to contradict Robert's work in Russia, but also heaps much responsibility on his shoulders for this latest work, being the view of a native.
Another quote found on Simon's blog was this by Jeremy Paxman, “The English have not devoted a lot of energy discussing who they are. It is a mark of self-confidence: the English have not spent a great deal of time defining themselves because they haven’t needed to.”
Now in fairness to Mr Paxman that quote was made in 1999 but I don't think it could, in 2008 be any further from the truth. Not since the 60's has this nation been in such a state of flux, or in the throws of such an Identity crises. So Simon Roberts you have set yourself a difficult but noble challenge. Looking at your "Motherland" work I think it's in safe hands. I wish you well.
"Cry God for Simon, England & St George"

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Tim Davis

Image copyright Tim Davis
Plenty of interesting projects on Tim Davis site including the series, "My Audience"

Well Done Ricky!

MA Photography, University of Cumbria

One of the best reasons I've always felt for doing an MA in photography, is to give yourself some space. Space to think and to focus your opinions and ideas etc. What better place for space than the edge of the "Lakes" and with tutoring by one of the UK's Finest photographer's John Darwell. Well that's whats being offered by The University of Cumbria's MA in Photography. Now enrolling for September.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Tom Rice-Smyth's Really Smashing London Photo Blog........

Image copyright Tim Rice-Smyth
Some interesting picture's from London Town over on Tom Rice-Smyth's photo blog. And a perfect example of a photo blog rather than what I do which is a blog about photography. Get it?

Friday, 23 May 2008

Kate Potter

Image copyright Kate Potter
The above picture is from Kate Potter's series "Portraits" a selection of head shots of cats. A proper rogues gallery of, well cats that look like rogues..... Lots of other interesting stuff as well,


68, 99, 08
Cristiano Ronaldo"We showed this season that we are the best team in Europe and in England and it’s a great feeling. Next season we will try to do the same. I feel very proud. It means everything to me - it is the happiest day of my life."

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

It's Good To Be Alive.

I took the above picture out of the upstairs staffroom window at Wetherspoons on Deansgate, May 1999, as we waited for The Mighty Reds to drive past showing off the silverware from a record breaking "TRIPLE" season.
I was a first year photography student armed with slide film, velvia 50! an OM1 and a futile hope that I wouldn't be Under-Exposed, either with this shot or in my later career. And as I look back on that spring evening I realise that I can be thankful for my life now. I still live in the city I love, I am still in love with photography and tonight my other love, United are taking me back to hopefully some similar feelings I had almost a decade ago.
And while I'm placing my match supply of cans in the fridge and battle the girlfriend and the cat for the best spot on the sofa, my heart goes out to David Beckham, because tonight even with all his money and fame, I know that deep down he will be a little sad and envious of that group of lads who will be running out onto that chilly Moscow pitch.............

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Martin Parr's British Cities-RELOADED.......

When I first started this blog one of the rules I set myself (and there weren't many) was that I would refrain from "slagging off" other photographers work. I didn't think it was fair, and anyway what's the point. No, if I didn't like their stuff I just wouldn't put it on the blog. As far as I know and correct me if I'm wrong, so far I have upheld that rule.

Until now that is. I figure though that Martin Parr is big enough and acclaimed enough that nothing I could write on my silly little blog could effect him or his career anyway.

I have already posted about his "British Cities" series last Sunday, but to be honest I only really skirted around the work asking Well what do you think? I've spoken to friends about it, (god I must bore them) and on the whole they were unimpressed, and then I got sent this comment on the post:
Mishka has left a new comment on your post "Martin Parr's British Cities.":
Mark, where's the critique of Parr's work on Manchester? I thought it was awful. I too looked forward to seeing it and he seemed to be way off with his vision. There was nothing to the images, nothing revealed, little humour, cynicism or incisiveness that characterizes much of his work. I keep going back to the supplement trying to work out why it's so awful. For a start, it's so lazy. There's so little to go off. The racquet club? What kind of a subject was that to pick? Or the guy reading a book along the canal? These images are so mediocre they would sit comfortably on Flickr, not in a well-paid Guardian commission that's trumpeted as something we should all be keenly waiting for or investing in a boxed set. I'm looking at these images wondering if Parr's lost the plot.Who's to blame? The picture editor who put it together or Parr himself? With Parr's reputation, I doubt it's the former.

I thought I would respond to these points and look at it in more detail, as I think the first time I had a nasty dose of the "Emperors new clothes". (By the way if you've not seen the work I apologise and I'll see you tomorrow because I doubt this will make any sense to you.)

When I first saw the work on Saturday I was very excited, wow Martin Parr has done a feature on Manchester, and what's more one of my friends has had her portrait taken by him and never said. So what of the work. Well it's not what we would typically associate with Parr. None of his usual wry humour, his cynical eye his great comedy timing bum,bum. Lets face it, it wouldn't be hard to find a rich seam or two of "people making arses of themselves" his usual subject matter in our fair city, would it?

So front cover of supplement on Manchester, Bury bus station. OK. Third picture, Stockport market. Fourth picture, at last Manchester, what? B of the fucking Bang! Nobody round these parts likes B of the fucking Bang, that's why they stuck it next to Cities "council House" Have you not read our papers or spoke to anyone?

"Yes Martin, I know you were only here for a week, first time in thirty-five years and now you've got to sum up our big stupid, complicated, historical, groundbreaking awkward, friendly, violent drunken, stinking, passionate and original city, in twenty-nine images, but you took the fucking job. We could have got a couple of our regular city photographers if we wanted dull unimaginative and safe pictures, (you know who I mean). I was glad you were over your making "the working classes look like c***ts" stage, when you brought out "Boring Postcards" loved it! and you were making a few quid with it, what with the reprints, but old ladies buying buttons? we're not pearly kings that's the bloody Eastend. Oh yeah and you know that picture of a lad doing that Manchester thing of walking and reading at the same time well just a small point but that's the Leeds/Liverpool canal not the ship canal, What kind of a ship could you get up there you dick. Every Friday night since 1457 hundreds if not thousands of Mancs have crossed the turbulent seething waters of The Irwell, heading to Salford to play RAQUET BALL. FC United?
When you took Ruth Ibegbuna's picture did you not speak to her? Did you not pick up on the fact that she is one of the most passionate, intelligent, genuine bubbly people you could meet. Or did you just tell her to "look sad" I don't know Martin, I'm asking you. Anyway it's done now.
However perhaps next time you could consider these, topics: United, City, drinking, posh shops, China Town, Trams, Piccadilly Gardens, no gardens, mugging, charity runs, The Gay Village. Castlefield, Mancunian way, The Arndale, old pubs, wank bars, Print Works, Channel & Aldi less than 500 yards apart etc etc etc. Well Martin it's no use crying over spilt milk. Maybe next time your here"

Well, said my peace and never mentioned Tony Ray Jones once. DOH!

Monday, 19 May 2008

OUBE want you.

If your an aspiring architectural photographer, this may well be of interest to you. Its from OUBE which is a North-West Architects forum/resource.
"We'd like to invite photographers to contribute images to our website, for the top of each page. Images need to be jpgs sized 620 x 100 pixels. They must have an architectural theme, and be of places in the UK. If you send us 5 images, we'll give you a years free advertising on our directory page (a maximum of one free listing per individual or company, in any preferred category). Deadline for submission is 30th May 2008. Oube reserve the right to use images. All entries must be entirely the entrant's original work, not defame any person or corporate body nor breach any rights of copyright. Please email images to"

Hereford Photofest 2008

Image copyright Amanda Jackson
Hereford photofest is now in it's 18th year. On between 17th May & 14th June This years Theme is "Here and There" with work from the UK and Africa, including the legendary Roger Ballen

Pieter Hugo @ OpenEye Gallery

I've already featured the work of Pieter Hugo before on the blog I love his work, so it's with great excitement that I can tell you that he's got an exhibition of his work at Liverpool's OpenEye Gallery. It starts on 30th May until 5th July. from the OpenEye blurb "Self-taught photographer and film-maker Hugo makes documentary projects in locations around the world but has a particular interest in developing countries. This exhibition focuses on three bodies of work, all of which use portraiture to call into question our understanding of who we are and how we see others." MORE HERE:

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Stuart Whipps

Image copyright Stuart Whipps
Stuart Whipps is a Documentary photographer based in Birmingham UK. His work is concerned with the Birmingham/West Midlands area.

SUN awards 2008

This years SUN (Shot Up North) awards, now in it's twentieth year are calling for entries you've got till 30th June to get your your stuff in.................

Martin Parr's British Cities.

The Castle Inn on Oldham Street Images copyright Mark Page

Did you all see Martin Parr's "British Cities" Manchester supplement in yesterdays Guardian? He is doing it for 10 British Cities, although I don't know which one's as I have been unable to find out anything about it online. Did we like the work? He seems to retain fond memories of the city, but I expected more, and he was up here for a week, which is not a lot of time to re-acquaint yourself to a place. He says that he enjoyed his night at The Castle Inn, on Oldham Street, (see above) and who can blame him? I love that pub, so much atmosphere. I can't see it being there much longer though, as it's in such a sorry state of repair. Parr's releasing all ten supplements from all ten cities later in the year as a box set.

Friday, 16 May 2008

"The Albert Vaults" Chapel St, Salford.

Images copyright Mark Page

Sarah Pickering

Abduction 2007 from the series "Fire Scene" copyright Sarah Pickering
Sarah Pickering is a British photographer who is showing her work at NYPH08 More of Sarah's work including "Explosions" can be seen on her website at

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Perhaps the leader's of our city should be looking at laying on something like this: I can't see photographer's smashing up Town after a couple of drinks....... HEADLINES: MARTIN PARR GOES ON ONE MAN RAMPAGE! no I can't see that.....................

I Told You So........

Image copyright Mark Page

Well no, I was pissed off that our council apparently make all this effort for this game and F**k all for us Reds. And then the council make arses of our city by screwing up the screening's and Rangers kick off and to be honest (even as a Red) who can blame them. Manchester City Council should be ashamed. Oh and by the way as a struggling photographer one of the ways I keep a roof over my head is security, and I 've done some of the biggest events in the roughest boozer's in the town over the last decade, and this was a FUCK UP................... I want heads to role............ but they won't... Will they? HERE:

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The Rangers fans are here.

And so the rangers fans are here for the UEFA cup. Manchester council are welcoming them to the city. It's good for the city, more money for the city Hooray! Council hear this: Why will you put all this on for Scots & Russians and a Mickey Mouse cup, and next week when The Mighty Reds are playing for the real thing, a club that is this cities single biggest asset, you will do fuck all?

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Turner Prize 2008

Still from film by Mark Leckey. (Above)
This years shortlist for The Turner Prize has been announced today. They are in no particular order, Mark Lecky is the one that The Guardian are cheering for.
Non Verbal 2005, by Cathy Wilkes
Cathy Wilkes who's work feature's shop mannequins sitting on a toilet, is the one that the press has picked up on already, as the "bloody modern art" example.
Film still from "Rapid Eye Movement" by Runa Islam
Runa Islam produces film & video installations
"A Time To Live A Time To Die" by Goshka Macuga
And Polish artist Goshka Macuga is described as a "Cultural Archaeologist"
More info on this years show here: here: & here: It's back in London this year and as Liverpool is "Capital of Culture 08" I'm struggling to understand why?

Monday, 12 May 2008

Unpopular Culture.

Image copyright Eric Great Rex
something beautifully English about being a transvestite artist, good god no not me. I'm referring to Grayson Perry. I love his work, again very English and now he's been given the pick of "The Arts Council Collection" from which to curate a show. Featuring photography from amongst others Martin Parr. More Here: Starting off at Bex-Hill-On-Sea it will be at The Harris Museum, Preston between 19 July & 14 September. It's been said that Morrissey would not look out of place at this show.............

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Kaylynn Deveney

Image copyright Kaylynn Deveney
Kaylynn Deveney's work is concerned with ageing and domesticity, and this is explored in her touching and increasingly well known first book, "The Day-To-Day Life of Albert Hastings".

Wigan 0-2 Man United!!!!!!!!

Manchester United pipped rivals Chelsea to clinch their 17th title triumph with victory at Wigan.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for United from the spot after 33 minutes following Emmerson Boyce's
Read More:

Saturday, 10 May 2008

So What Is It With Petrol Stations & Photographer's?

Enrico Sacchetti won the 2006 "Fujifilm Distinctions Award with the above image
And even the mighty Alec Soth has got in on the act. with the above picture from the series "SLEEPING BY THE MISSISSIPPI" but why? It really is a popular motif both sides of the pond. Is it the romance of travel? perhaps our love affair with the car? a symbol of the open road and freedom? Discuss.

Jeffrey Brouws

From the series "Freshly Painted Houses, AmericanTypologies"
From the series "Strip Malls, American Typologies"
Images copyright Jeffrey Brouws
The American photographer Jeffrey Brouws also published a book in 1992, entitled "26 Abandoned Gasoline Stations" which was a tribute to Ed Ruscha. for more from Jeffrey Brouws although not that series funnily enough, go to:

Friday, 9 May 2008

Ed Ruscha's 26 Gasoloine Stations.

From 26 Gasoline Stations by Ed Ruscha
I could not leave the last post without of course mentioning this classic, rare and now priceless photo book from 1962. In all fairness to Frank Eye he acknowledges this book as inspiration for his own work. Here for more of Ed Ruscha's work including his painting's.

Frank Eye.

Image copyright Frank Eye
"444 Former Filling Stations" by Frank Eye, I think is a great bit of work. It is just that, 444 images of the sites of old petrol stations around England. Over a six month period the work was shot on dull, overcast days which, adds to the sense of melancholy for times before globalisation. The fact that it's shot with a 6x6 in B/W also helps to set the tone. A limited edition Artists book is also available intitled "24 Former Filling Stations" My tip is to buy it, I am, I think we may have a mini classic on our hands.........Here:

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Andrew Brooks @ Salford Uni,

Image copyright Andrew Brooks
"Honestly you can wait all year for a photography show and then two come along at once" Last post Gill Moore, and now Andrew Brooks at The University of Salford. Here's the blurb:
"A University for the 21st Century"
A photographic exhibition telling ‘The University Story’.
Sat 17th May – Sun 17th August
Since its genesis in 1896 the University of Salford has sought to serve the needs of industry, commerce, the professions and society – locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.Innovative local photographer, Andrew Paul Brooks has created a series of images to reflect the University’s transformational change project called ‘Realising our Vision’. Through his own photography and his selection from the University archives, Andrew creates an experience not only of the sense of history but a vision of a university fit for the purpose of teaching, research and enterprise. “What marks us out in national and international arenas is our engagement with local and regional communities – this will remain core to our values as a University” – University of Salford.

Now having seen Andrew's work before this is sure to be a "Tour de Force" as they say in Chorlton........................................

At Salford Art Gallery, (next to Maxwell Building, The Cresant, Salford)

I Love It When,

Images copyright Gill Moore

I get to plug a new show by a local photographer, who's doing work I find interesting. Step up Gill Moore & her new show "The Chorlton Bench Project"
@ Chorlton Library. Free Beer, 6 till 7:30 (If you RSVP) Friday 16th May. Show opens Saturday 17th May and on till 30th May. Gill will be uploading some of the images to her blog Some of the images can be seen @ And I've looked through them and no, BEZ ain't a sleep on any of them................................................