Friday, 27 June 2008

Back Soon

I won't be making any entries for a while, (see last post) as I'm moving and my Internet provider say's that it could take up to 20 days to connect me! How this can be I'm not sure. Anyway I will still be checking emails/comments etc, so stay in touch. I'll see you all soon....................

Farewell India House............

India House by Pierre Valette

That's it after almost a decade, tomorrow I'm moving out of my flat at India House and going back to Salford. I shall miss the old place, it's the longest I've ever lived in one building, I think my folks preferred moving to decorating.
India House in it's own way is just as iconic in Manchester as Strangeways, Hacienda, Boddies etc. Once a mighty cotton warehouse it has been social housing since the early eighties.
India House by Mark Page
It's long had fairly "Boho" residents no doubt attracted by the city centre location and cheap rents, and it's been said that Noel Gallagher, and various members of The Doves have been past tenants. The first weekend that I lived there happened to be Mardi Gras and as the lift doors opened on that first Saturday morning I was shocked to find myself in the presence of a six & a half foot Cruella De Vil complete with two Chippendale looking fella's in fun fur shorts on leads! That kind of thing became common place, and after living there for a couple of years I would respond with nothing more than an "alright mate"
So I raise a toast to India House and all the crazy folk who sail in her.....................

Paul Graham

Images from the series "American Night" by Paul Graham

Paul Graham is only the third photographer to make it into my Gods section, and here's why.
He more than any British photographer (I'm aware of at least) is moving the art form on, leaving well and truly behind that thing that keeps dragging it back to it's early days, "The great single shot". The whole wow! single picture, decisive moment, craft skill, romantic baggage that even now in this brave new world, too many people, both critics and photographers alike are clinging onto, sadly especially here in the UK. Take his series above, a quiet series, each picture is no more than a word, a whisper even, but together it adds upto an uneasy sentence. His latest work "A shimmer of possibility" has not yet been uploaded to his website, but the book or at least a collection of twelve individual books has been published and can be seen here, if not bought as it's already sold out: An early clue to the importance of this work?

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Colin Pantall

Image copyright Colin Pantall
Colin Pantall has been featured here on this blog before. Well here he is again because, I'm a big fan of his work and it's my blog so I can. Colin also has a blog which is where I learnt about his new work "Flora" & "Life On Mars" that he had recently uploaded to his main website. I am loving how he has made his daughter, Isobel central to this body of work. The work has been described as, " exploring the psychological and physical escapism of childhood". I love these photographs, Quiet, reflective, no gimmicks. This is amounting to a powerful series, and it's proving my point that knowing a subject, really knowing a subject is the way to meaningful work.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Fall

Getting ready for Saturday night (28th) They have at last confimed that they are playing and I can't wait.

David Maisel

Image copyright David Maisel

A lack lustre post needs some monumental photography. Step forward David Maisel.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Image Melanie Einzig
Belowsky was the first person to approach me at The Tony Wilson thingy. Perhaps it was a mutual admiration for the bald skull, perhaps it was my less than subtle UNITED t-shirt that drew him like a moth. Whatever the reason this bald bag of manic Manc energy kind of set the tone.................

Monday, 23 June 2008

The Tony Wilson Experience......Experience

Well that was a pretty big weekend. I think I've recovered, just, and I didn't even do the full 24! What I gleaned from the whole event I'm not sure. It was entertaining, It made me proud of Manchester, well at least Manchester as was. Steve Coogan said we needed to maintain the spirit of the place and was a little worried about all the shiny new building's and lack of "Crisp Packets blowing about" which may explain why he's buggered off to Brighton to live. Frank Sidebottom who's like Marmite, was well, Frank Sidebotton. Sir Richard Leese was a bit bullish and nearly made some poor bloke cry when he complained amongst other things about The Free Trade Hall being turned into a Hotel. The fella went as red as his hair.
Phil Griffin was as knowledgeable as ever, Tom Bloxham freaked me the f**k out by guessing which one of his developments I'm moving too, and Shaun Rider and Bez made "cocks" of themselves as per.
All in all it was a good first event, "fine Art" for want of a better word was under represented as was photography, but hayho that's just Manchester and that point was put to Sir Richard by one of the great unwashed with which I include myself. I got a long list of Manchester's young creative's which I'm going to go through and show some of here. Oh yeah and a signed copy of a script from the film "Control" which may soon be winging it's way to Ebay...............

Thursday, 19 June 2008

NPG Portrait Prize, Portraits & Conundrums......

Images copyright Mark Page

It's that time of year again. The National Portrait Gallery, Photography Prize, and each year I like to throw away at least £16 on entering. This isn't sour grapes, I find portraiture hard, I try, but I'm sure that the reason I never get anywhere with the competition is just the fact that my portraits just don't make the grade. However each year if I've been commissioned to take a portrait I'll enter it. Which leads me to the two pictures above. I was commissioned to take pictures of Ruth Ibegbuna, who is the leader of The Reclaim project here in Manchester and last years recipient of The Peace Activist of The Year Award.

Martin Parr had taken Ruth's picture a couple of weeks before, for a Guardian supplement about Manchester, (I won't reproduce here, I'm in enough trouble with The Guardian as it is) but let's just say he missed by a long chalk, and I'm sure Ruth won't mind me saying, he made her look like a "black Ena Sharples" complete with a two up, two down terrace backdrop, no doubt representing Manchester. Now for me the picture from the two above, that I like best of Ruth is the bottom one. It's the one she likes best, and probably the one that will get used for press releases. However when it came to me thinking about submissions to the NPG photo prize, it's the top one I know will have more chance. It's because she's not smiling. Even though smiling is a big part of Ruth's personality, in the art photography world it's a big no no. Just take a look at previous years winners and finalist's if you don't believe me. Thing is if I had took a picture of Ruth where she wasn't smiling it would not have been true. How many so called great portraits are the same? why do we not like pictures of happy people? What ever happened to "Say Cheese"?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Images Mark Page

Edward Burtynsky

Image copyright Edward Burtynsky

Now I would never describe myself as a "Green" and eco warrior I am not. Mark "Swampy" page is a nickname I'm unlikely to ever be called. My other half is forever telling me off because I've left the bathroom light on. However last night watching Newsnight's article on mining in Peru, made even an old sceptic like me think. Now this is nothing against China, they are only doing what we in the west have already done, but it does make you wonder how long dear old planet earth can continue taking this abuse. These are big questions that need to be asked of course, and I'm glad that an artist of the caliber of Edward Burtynsky is one person asking those questions. monumental photographs of monumental issues if you like.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Carolyn Lefley

From the series "Semi-detached"
From the series "Belonging" Images copyright Carolyn Lefley

Finding the work of Carolyn Lefley was a great way to start my day! Exploring themes such as memory and home, there is for me, a dark edge to much of her work, subtle though like just adding the right amount of salt to an already delicious meal, say perhaps porridge (see "Belonging") Read and see more at

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Peter Ainsworth

Some interesting projects on Peter Ainsworth's site His work deals with found objects in a fresh and interesting way. He says of his work,
"I have been working with gallery professionals; art handling technicians, conservators and registrars. Within the photographs exhibited, art handling technicians are asked to perform in the landscape as if they were in a gallery space, treating detritus as they would a work art. The technicians are depicted mapping an object; a stuffed bird found on a bank of the Thames at Crayford Ness, documenting it so that it could be re-installed within a gallery space, carefully wrapping the object for transportation."

Nick Rhodes

Image copyright Nick Rhodes
Have just been introduced to the work of Nick Rhodes, who is an illustrator and poster designer from Manchester. Nick's work has been on display at Urbis as part of a two day exhibition entitled "Firehouse- UK poster Explosion Tour 2008" which also featured work by the legendary American poster designers and silkscreen stars Ron Donovan & Chuck Sperry. All three of them had produced stunning handmade posters, for bands, nights etc.
The bad news is that you've missed it, as today was the last day at Urbis. The good news though is that you can see and buy Nick's work here in Manchester at The Richard Goodall Gallery here: and Ron Donovan & Chuck Sperry are showing their work around the UK, dates below.
  • June 17 & 18, Archipelago Art Gallery, Sheffield.
  • June 19 & 20, Studio Y Gallery, Birmingham.
  • June 21 & 22, The Basement, Brighton.
  • June 23 Nottinghill Arts Club, London.
  • June 25, Inn on The Green, London.
  • June 28 & 29, Hyde Park, London.
  • July 4 & 5, The Croft, Bristol.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

New for you.......Vewd Magazine

Another new online magazine, Vewd. This time specialising in documentary photography, which is good. They say they are looking for fresh perspectives and new ways of story telling which is also good. They are also calling for submissions, which again is very good. I had trouble registering but it's probably just me being a stump. Anyway go take a look there's already some interesting stuff on there.

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Tony Wilson Experience

I'm very pleased, and in truth, honoured, to have been selected for the "Tony Wilson Experience" I've listed this post under blags which seems appropriate. My main reason for wanting to attend, is to try and raise the profile of photography/Art here in Manchester, and find out why our council are a bunch of corporate whores, and why the scouser's have more going on in their town. I promise I will also try to wind up the great and the good. So if any of you have any questions or points you would like me to raise, email me and I'll do my best to put them forward.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Sold Out, new show by David Dunnico

Image copyright David Dunnico
Announcing a new show @ The Kiosk Gallery, Manchester, between 20th June & 3rd August 2008. from David Dunnico. I have no doubt it will be well worth a visit, as Davids last show at Salford Art Gallery last year was a knock out. A short film from that show entitled "Duppies" can be seen on the Big Screen in Exchange Square, Manchester until 14th June, brought to you by The Cornerhouse's Big Screen project, So a busy time for the excellent David Dunnico.

Ian Parry Scholarship

Image by last years winner Ivor Prickett who has set the bar at a right old height!

I've just had this in, (not long left) and thought it may be of use to you younger lot. It's a great opportunity, just look at that list of judges!

The Ian Parry Scholarship 2008 deadline is Friday 20th June 2008. All applications must be digital. Our FTP instructions and the application form are available from

Ian Parry was a photojournalist who died whilst on assignment for the Sunday Times during the Romanian revolution in 1989. He was just 24 years old. The Scholarship was set up by the Sunday Times and Ian’s friends and family in order to build something positive from such a tragic death.

Each year we hold a competition for photographers who are either attending a full-time recognised photography course or who are 24 years old and under. Entrants must submit a digital portfolio of their work to our FTP and a brief synopsis of a project they would undertake if they won the award. Currently the prize is £3,000 towards their assignment and £500 to those awarded highly commended and commended.

As you can imagine this is a significant prize for a photographer and coupled with the continued support of The Sunday Times Magazine, which > publishes the winner's work, the scholarship provides an excellent launch into a professional photography career. Year after year, the award has highlighted the work of some of the industry’s finest emerging talent, all of whom have progressed into professional careers and still support the award.

We are delighted to announce that World Press Photo have again agreed to automatically accept the winner onto their final list of nominees > for the Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. This is because of so many of our previous winners having attended this prestigious event in recent years.

Our 2008 jury are: Don McCullin Patron, Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos & 2002 Winner, Tom Stoddart Getty Images, Tony Chambers Editor-in-Chief Wallpaper* magazine, Cheryl Newman Photography Director Saturday Telegraph magazine, John Downing Trustee, Steve Blogg Getty Images, Stephen Reid Art Director Sunday Times magazine and Ian’s family. Judging will be held on the 1st July at the Frontline Club in London Once again, our extremely popular and well-attended print exhibition will take place in London at the Getty Images Gallery. The exhibition will run from the 7th August to the 16th August 2008. Our key sponsors are The Sunday Times, Getty Images and Canon. Our thanks to all our other sponsors and the Frontline Club, British Journal of Photography and the Getty Gallery for their generous support. Rebecca McClelland, Deputy Director Ian Parry Scholarship Tel: 0207 5020310

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Richard Prince

Image copyright Richard Prince ?

It seems like a good time to look at the work of Richard Prince, after the last couple of days. What do we think? Art or just copyright infringement? Now before anyone gets on their high horse, I'm NOT saying that blogging is the same, I'm saying "A times they are a changing" (copyright Bob Dylan) and keep screaming "It's the Law" is not a valid argument.....................

For you Charlie Boy With Love xxxxxx

If a photo says a thousand words, that portraits piss funny...............

Monday, 9 June 2008

"Another Place" by Antony Gormley

Image copyright Mark Page (but Charlie Arthur can use it if he wants)

You know I'd had a really good weekend, I finally got off my arse and made it to Crosby, Liverpool to see Antony Gormley's "Another Place" and then getting an email from that clown brings you back to earth. (see last post) In a way though it ties in nicely with Gormley's work, an average middle age man stands stoically, embedded in the here and now, facing all that both nature and the modern world can throw at him. I urge you to go see, it's inspiring.

Getting Bullied By The Guardian.

I suppose I should be flattered that somebody representing a national newspaper thinks that my little blog using the same image as them, is a threat! It's a bit worrying though that their technology correspondent doesn't know how Google images works....... Below an email received from Charles Arthur who writes for The Guardian, God what a news hound!
"Charles has left a new comment on your post "The Whole Dangerous Photographer Saga, Again.........": Hi - you're a photographer, so why are you stealing that photo? Use the one from the Guardian site - we have the rights and you don't. Simple, really. Potentially actionable, if you don't.Charles Arthur, editor, Technology" What a Dick, here's a link to his column as I'd hate for him to throw his "dolly out the pram"
As they used to say on Hill Street Blues,"Be Careful bloggers, there's wankers out there" (or something like that)

Friday, 6 June 2008

Which Famous Photographer Are You?

Apparently, according to this link I'm Ansel Adams! A bit of fun found on Jonathan Gitelson's blog which can be found here: And here's the quiz..............................

How Do You define Gimmicky?

"A Series of Disappointments" A new book by Stephen Gill

This post is in response to a piece I read on another blog, 5b4 to be more precise. It was a review of a new book by British photographer Stephen Gill, The article by jeff Ladd can be read here: It basically was less than sympathetic to this work and also some of Gill's other work. Here's the gist:

"For me Stephen Gill’s books have mostly amounted to illustrating well thought out and somewhat entertaining gimmicks that suit the idea of a book whether it is buying a cheap camera at a flea market and using it to photograph the flea market and surroundings (Hackney Wick) -- burying photographs of Hackney Wick in Hackney Wick and then burying the books too (Buried) -- photographing street workers wearing yellow safety jackets (Invisible) -- or photographing folded toilet paper (Anonymous Origami).
Christoph Schaden called Gill’s strategy ‘form follows technique follows topic.’ For me this naturally leads into the dangerous territory of gimmickry. To pile a lot of backstory about a camera bought for 50p from a man selling items out of his car boot in Hackney and then using that camera to photograph the place somehow makes these images more interesting? As much as Hackney Wick was touted as “one of the most important photo books,” do the owners of that book pull it frequently from their shelves for the actual pictures made with that 50p camera? I don’t know the answer obviously but I suspect that most of the copies need a good dusting".

Ladd, who's own work can be seen here: appears to take a swipe at Gill's oeuvre implying, no actually saying that there is little substance, just novelty to his work.Now that's got me wondering how you would define a Gimmick? What's the difference between a brilliantly simple idea and a mere Gimmick when it comes to Art? Are say Bruce Gilden's pictures gimmick or technique? I don't know, I'm asking a question here as much as anything. I do feel that Jeff Ladd is just missing the point, (Not to mention the idiots who left comments on his blog about the post). I think Gill's work is original and exciting, Perhaps a little too English for Ladd's American sensibilities. I will again repeat the quote by Evan Williams, co-founder of twitter:
" The best ideas are always those that are obvious in retrospect. It's not about being clever, it's having the breakthrough to see the obvious thing that wasn't obvious to everybody"
And that for me, is the beauty of Gill's work.

Thursday, 5 June 2008


Image copyright Mark Page

1000 Words

Image copyright Candida Hofer
Another new photography web-magazine. This time it's, it's first edition so you can join it at the very beginning. Already they have features about Martin Parr, Candida Hofer & Li Wei.

One For The Ladie's

Image Robert Mapplethorpe

Now I've got your attention I thought you may be interested in this. It's been fairly well publicised in blog world so you may have already seen it. Found at Conscientious and I quote,

Women in Photography
The new website Women in Photography launched today with its first post. Amy and Cara told me they're still looking for more photographers to add, so there really is no excuse not send send them an email!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Purpose Webmag

Claude Cahun Self portrait "I am training don't kiss me" 1927

Funny, I had to discover a French online photomag to discover the work of Charlie Meecham see (yesterday's post) who lives just up the road at Todmorden. Anyhow glad I did on both counts. Charlie's work was a gem to find and Purpose Webmag is one of those resources I just know I'll be going back to time and time again, if only to discover work by photographer's long gone, like Claude Cahun, who I think may have been Cindy Sherman's mum.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Redeye Network Meeting Tonight.

I'm getting worse than Redeye themselves at leaving announcements to the last moment, so I apologise, Tonight! 3rd June 2008, 7:00 pm at MDDA, Lower Ground Floor, 117-119 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6ED.

Charlie Meecham

From the series "The Oldham Road" 1986-8 copyright Charlie Meecham
God what a place Manchester Polytechnic (now MET) Photography department must have been in the early 70's! It must have been buzzing. If anyone knows who was running the show in those days I would love to know! Martin Parr, Daniel Meadows, from yesterdays post Kate Mellor, and featured here today Charlie Meecham. There is some great landscape/Documentary projects carried out over the last thirty years or so over on his site.

Charlie together with Kate Mellor also run Mellormeecham Handprinting which is based in Todmorden, Lancs and offer some quality services to artist's, so anyone, like me, who is still reeling from the loss of Pro2Col may find this the answer.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Kate Mellor

Image copyright Kate Mellor from the series "Une Semaine De Bonheur"
Not normally a big fan of photography, used with other materials/mediums as I often find it a bit gimmicky and a prop for weak ideas. However I do like Kate Mellor's work as behind it there's some rigorous thought.
Kate Mellor talks about this work: "Like the work Close to Home this is a personal project and represents an attempt to document what is near to me. I took the photographs while on holiday with friends and family in Provence and Normandy. It's the story of quite ordinary people in search of happiness. I deliberately chose to use the photographic vernacular of the holiday snap because this is a genre of photography which is accessible to most but is generally not given any significance as a photographic document" Read More:

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Oh The Irony....

that on the right hand side of this blog Google ads are advertising Martin Parr at The Rathbone Gallery! (see post from 20th May)

John Duncan

Image Copyright John Duncan from the series Boom 2
Besides being the Editor of Source Magazine (one of my favourite reads) John Duncan is also a fine documentary photographer. Evan Williams co-founder of twitter once said that "The best ideas are those that seem obvious in retrospect" and I felt that when I saw Duncan's Boom 2 series and could have kicked myself for not thinking of it, and applying it to the regeneration of Manchester. I love the way that Duncan's work runs between pure Documentary and conceptual photography, and that his work is rooted in a place, Belfast, that he know's well.

Good Times Go Down The Tube.........

George Sampson

Well done to George Sampson ! Footage from Manchester's market Street