Thursday, 29 April 2010

If I have to listen to one more halfwit say, "I don't know really, my family have always voted LABOUR so I always have"
Here's my good self proudly showing off a couple of Seba Kurtis prints that I managed to blag off him. Sometimes being a cheeky fucker pays off! So if any more of you want to send me free prints (signed) that would be great. I have no pension plan and at 43 and a fecking great hole in the country's finances I'm getting twitchy. So donations of original cool artwork is my retirement plan. I shall of course in the mean time be enjoying Seba's brilliant work hanging on the walls of our house. You can read about one of Seba's more personnel projects HERE.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Dorothy Bohm @ Manchester Art Gallery.

Image copyright Dorothy Bohm.

I am very aware that in writing about 'A WORLD OBSERVED' (or 'The World Observer' as THE GUARDIAN reported it) the Dorothy Bohm retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery, that I am reviewing the life's work of an octogenarian. That said there's the work of a septuagenarian across town that needs no pussy footing around so hey ho.

The show is curated by Bohm's daughter Monica, and the first thing that struck me was the indulgence at around 200 hundred prints many of which really shouldn't have found their way past the contact sheet. A WORLD OBSERVED is a suitably woolly name for an exhibition which seems to have no rhyme or reason. Starting with fairly typical 1940's portrait shots (I've seen similar shots of my Nan) that came out of STUDIO ALEXANDER the business she had in Manchester for a while, which as far as I can see it's that geographic link that's the only justification for taking over Manchester's premier art venue for the next few months. The show works chronologically through Mrs Bohm's life's work. We get some Black & White 6x6 pseudo Bresson 'decisive moment'. We move through sections on men, women, children, Polaroids colour, leading through to some truly awful colour pictures of Manchester shot in the last couple of years. And why oh why must we always have to have a selection of the camera's used on display? Do they show brushes or chisels when it's painters or sculptors? It's no bloody wonder the rest of the art world won't take photography seriously.

Even if you are in the camp that believes that galleries and museums are there to entertain rather than educate, this show would have no depth. Take away the historical/travel interest and there's nothing left. A celebration of at best the mediocre. If it's raining pop in but don't travel.

OK so now you can add Granny bashing to my list of crimes.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Toshio Enomoto.

Images copyright Toshio Enomoto.

No one does blossom or 'Sakura' to give it's proper name like Japan. And no one can make images about it like Japanese artists. Lovely-ness by Toshio Enomoto.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

David Axelbank

Image copyright David Axelbank

Right then lets wash the shit from the last post out of my eyes with some flower pictures. Not what you would normally think of photographing flowers at night with a flash. Someone said that David Axelbank's pictures look like flowers shot by Weegee if Weegee was to photograph flowers. They remind me of Dutch or Flemish 17th century still lives. Flowers have been on my mind for the last twelve months or so as I've been working on THIS.

Below a film of David talking about his work and more HERE.

David Axelbank: On 'Flora' from Contact Editions on Vimeo.

Friday, 23 April 2010

This is where the
picture would normally
go, but I'm not contaminating
my blog with this shit.
How far would you go to get the picture? would you be prepared to do anything? How confident and sure of your power as a visual artist to foster change are you? Would you pay the mother of a murdered child money to dig up the mutilated corpse of that child so you could get a piccy let's say? Think I've gone mad? Oh shit like this happens.... Thanks to Benjamin for getting hold of this story and taking the fucker to task. The 'chattering class' blogs can debate the virtue and wisdom of such behaviour. I don't go in for all that, I mulled things over for about two seconds and decided Marco Vernaschi is a cunt.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

David Plummer

Image copyright David Plummer.

FRESH FACED & WILDEYED is THE PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY'S exhibition of selected recent UK graduates. I had a little mince through this years crop and thought that David's work FEAST OF LOSSES was memorable. David introduces the project with a poem,

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

Emily Dickinson, Pain has an Element of Blank (1924 )

And then he writes more about it below:

"Feast of Losses is an ongoing series that documents the life of David Pembroke, who in 2003 was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare brain disease that causes nerve endings at the base of the brain to die. There is no effective treatment or cure and like other neurodegenerative diseases, PSP gets worse over time.
These portraits offer us a psychologically direct approach through the use of different coloured backgrounds, chosen by David Pembroke on a daily basis to help express his emotions after he lost the ability to use his facial muscles due to PSP. The effect is an increased intimacy to the subject matter and continuous interaction of metaphor by focusing on David’s emotional and physical changes over time. As a result the concerns voiced in these images are strongly biographical, wavering continually between intimacy and distance, tension and objectivity."

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Manchester Modernist Society.

MANCHESTER MODERNIST SOCIETY have been on my radar for a while. I've been meaning to find out more about them and spend some time at their website . So when they got in touch with me to ask the story behind a photograph that I had taken of THE ALBERT
VAULTS (another sad victim of the ongoing death of the British pub) I was prompted to mention them here.
There's lots of information about iconic Manchester buildings. Manchester is famous for the Victoriana but it certainly wouldn't be the place it is without some of it's more modern building's love them or loath them they all make Manchester home. So it's good that there are people helping to protect them. A proper living city has to have layers or you end up living in a theme park of a town like York or Bath. God bless the Mancunian way and all who fly over her.......

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Anothermountainman AKA Stanley Wong.

Image copyright Anothermountainman/Stanley Wong

Preview tonight at Chinese Art Centre Manchester. Sorry I've left it too late and now you've missed your free wine. Anyway opening night for a photographer with a great alias 'Anothermountainman' and his first UK solo Lan Wei/ Decaying End. I've not seen the work yet so I'll hold off commenting until I have. You can see his work on his website HERE warning though I found his site a 'right bastard' to use. Check out his 'Redwhiteblue' series. Looking forward to seeing this on until 12th June.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


"The image by it's self is not a thought. It cannot possess a wholeness like that of a concept. Neither is it interchangeable code like language. Yet its irreversible materiality-the reality that is cut out by the camera- constitutes the opposite side of language, and for this reason at times it stimulates the world of language and concepts. When this happens, language transcends its fixed and conceptualised self, transforming into a new language, and therefore new thought.
At this singular moment-now-language loses its material basis-in short its reality, and drifts in space, we photographers must go on grasping with our own eyes those fragments of reality that cannot possibly be captured with existing language, actively putting forth materials against language and against thought."
Ascribed to Nakahira, Taki, Takanashi and the poet Takahiko Okada for the first volume of 'Provoke Magazine' 1968.

Gil Scott-Heron.

I'm not going to pretend I've always been cool. No Gil Scott-Heron is a recent discovery for me but oh I'm glad I've found him. I'm expecting a long and happy friendship. Brilliant.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Going Dutch and then French

I am very pleased to announce that I am to be part of the MEATYARD ARTS exhibition and print sale at CAFE DE UNIE in Rotterdam launching 4th June 2010. This is the first time I've shown work outside the UK and to do so at such a top venue is a real buzz. This is to be closely followed in July by a show at Arles 2010 opening night for that 7h July @ RUE de FAVORIN just off Place de forum. Again buzzin. My work will be there together with that of sparrow, heike löwenstein, ed watts, gwen jones, simon barber, kristy gosling, tom hartford, rob rusling, alastair hall, rob evans and emil charlaff.

Latest Fraction Mag.

Image copyright Dalton Rooney

Edition 13 of FRACTION MAGAZINE is now online. Loads of great photography including Dalton Rooney's (no relation to our wayne) 'Long Island Interior' I really like his landscapes including his earlier black and white Sicily series. I have just finished reading THE ROAD I've not seen the film yet, but the above picture is so similar to the way I thought about the landscape in that brilliant book I know these pictures were produced before the film. It's easy to imagine an atmosphere so much harder to produce it in a photograph, I would love to see these images as prints I bet they are stunning.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Friday, 9 April 2010

Lauren Greenfield.

Image copyright Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield's work looks broadly at female body image and it's a large body of work, absolutely no pun intended. I found her website a bit complicated to navigate but there's a great series HERE. I love the way that photographs of fashion shoots and models are inter-cut with images of plastic surgery and prom queens and young girls already hooked on fashion and celebrity. It's some brave and interesting editing.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

WARNING! fotosense are shit.

I should have known better they can't even spell fucking photo and then Mavis the tea lady answers the phone or should that be fone when I ring the sales hotline. I was getting nowhere with the hotline. "Shall I order online?" "Yes luv" So I order my printer Epson r2880 the website says it's In stock! I've got the next day off work so I pay another £15 for before 12 nextday delivery and order online. They ring me to say not a chance. They've not got any in stock and are not sure when they will have. They have of course taken payment first though. Wankers.

Review of JAPANESE PHOTOBOOKS OF THE 1960's & 70's

Fucking buy it, it's mint. If you want a proper review try HERE.

1000 WORDS PHOTOGRAPHY have teamed up with Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata and are putting on a workshop in Fez, Morocco. If you are interested and have £1250 you can submit HERE. Now OK £1250 is a lot of money but hey this is one of them once in a lifetime kind of experiences and it's in Morocco so you don't have to worry about disaster/war exploitative tourism issues. On top of that you get Tim from 1000 WORDS and one of the more interesting Magnum photographers as guides and teachers.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Thank Fuck Someone,

Told Me............. A funny fat bird and a bloke who's not been funny for 20 years..... "My name is,
Winston Spencer Churchill, Heath, Wilson, Thatcher" Yeah? But he's done so much for comic relief... Not as much as he's done for PREMIER INN.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Simon Roberts has got the commission to be the 'Official Election Artist' for the HOUSE OF COMMONS! So expect, well judging by Roberts last foray into 'Old England' I wouldn't be surprised to see street parties bunting and possibly even a picture of Clement Attlee having a picnic. You too can get involved (Don't you just love these members of the public submitting their pics type projects) and should you have an over whelming desire to have your picture of 'The Campaign' exhibited at THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT or THE CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY as I like to call the Old place, you can send them HERE.
There's a gable end near me that's just had BNP sprayed on it, perhaps I should make the photograph and send that. I wonder if it would get exhibited?

Monday, 5 April 2010

North to North.

The Documentarian John Perivolaris is working on an interesting collaborative project that is to be exhibited at THE CORNERHOUSE, Manchester;

What is North to North?

North to North is a month-long journey from Manchester via France to Algeria that Perivolaris will undertake 5 June – 5 July 2010.

Despite Algerian independence in 1962, after more than 130 years of French colonial rule, the relationship between France and Algeria continues to play a defining role in each country politically, socially and culturally through migration, post-colonial antagonism, and memories of a shared colonial past. At the same time, the current decade has seen an intriguing shift in Algeria’s geopolitical significance, as it became a favoured diplomatic partner in the American-led ‘War on Terror’, and an increasingly privileged trade partner of the United Kingdom, thanks undoubtedly to its large reserves of Saharan oil and gas.

Structured around a series of encounters with people connected personally to both France and Algeria, and via visits to key sites of memory that underpin the display of the Franco-Algerian relationship in the public sphere today, North to North will comprise walks and interviews with participants, subsequently uploaded along with images made by Perivolaris to his

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE. This is something I shall be keeping a beady eye on. Always looking at ideas to pinch when it comes to "Documenting" and this looks all very interesting. Cheers to Joe for pointing it out.

Good to be back after Easter.

Looking Up The River Irwell Towards Salford.

Image copyright Mark Page
Land that was once covered with houses and factories.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Happy Easter From The Vatican !

As a child I never really liked Easter. I couldn't understand why the baby Jesus three months after Christmas was getting crucified. Of course as I've got older I now understand to never put anything past religion.. Happy furry Easter Bunny!

Clearing the palette.