Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Apparently THIS is going to be a 'frank & open' account. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Hans Op de Beeck

Some really interesting sculpture, photography, installation, film making and even water colours can be seen on the 'packed if slightly annoying website of Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck.

Savignano Immagini Festival

I have absolutely no knowledge what so ever of the Italian language. Not a sausage (or Salami) So I'm a little frustrated at receiving yet another e-flyer from the land of never ending tomato supplies. I wish I knew what it said, I think it's a festival. It features, I think the work of Roger Ballen, Mark Steinmetz and Simon Roberts, (well two out of three ain't bad to quote Meatloaf.) I know what ever it is, is happening on the 10, 11, 12 of September other than that...... If your Italian is better that mine check it out HERE.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Terra Project.

Image copyright Terra Project Photographers

I've found myself on the mailing list for Terra Project Photographers which is a collective/agency of documentary photographers from Italy. Very glad I am too, there's some interesting stuff on their site including some nice multi-media.
Image copyright Mark Page

No post as such to go with this piccy, I just love this photograph. I've always been fascinated by Joseph Beuys anyway. This picture is by LISELOTTE STRELOW (1906 1981) What a bloody picture it is..........

Friday, 27 August 2010


The last three posts. Modern lesbians, police brutality and now gospel music. Who needs the bloody ONE SHOW ?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Death of Ian Tomlinson: A Photographer's Account

By Michael Grieve Via foto8

The Modern Lesbian.

Image copyright Rachel Adams

Well it's that time of year again when all Manchester becomes 'Gay for a Day' well a long weekend actually. And this year at MANCHESTER PRIDE my old mate Andy Brydon from CURATED PLACE has curated an exhibition and series of events together with the documentary photographer Rachel Adams.

Details below

The Modern Lesbian Produced by Curated Place For immediate release: 12th July 2010Venue: 52 Princess Street , Manchester , M1 6JXExhibition Dates: 20th August - 4th September 10am-5pm weekdays, 12pm-5pm Weekends.
Event dates: 28th-30th August 12pm-5pm

Extending the Pride fringe into new territory Curated Place and Rachel Adams will be setting up a live photo studio with an open call going out to gay and bisexual women in Mancheser for Pride to add their images and voices to their Modern Lesbian project over the big weekend (28th August – 30th August). By creating a new lesbian space within the context of Pride, The Modern Lesbian examines the "guest status" of women within the male-centric gay community. To get involved women should visit http://www.themodernlesbian.co.uk/.

This year Pride celebrates its 20th anniversary while the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) celebrate its tenth birthday. Both organisations have been pivotal in breaking down the barriers of ignorance in the North West seeing Manchester recognised by many as the gay capital of the UK . However, women often fade into the background of this story with their voices and experiences being subsumed within a generic “gay scene”. The Modern Lesbian is a photographic project and live photographic event that seeks to redress the balance by presenting the stories of gay and bisexual women across four generations who have been instrumental in shaping the cultural, commercial and social history of gay Manchester . The Modern Lesbian is the first project developed and delivered by Curator Andy Brydon’s arts and cultural production company Curated Place following the demise of Urbis. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Pride’s Community fund and Bridge Properties it will feature as a central event as part of this year’s Pride Fringe with an exhibition at 52 Princess Street , Manchester . Three days of public events, where women can contribute to the project, will also take place over the Big Weekend.

The Modern Lesbian is an exploration of the hidden history of gay and bisexual women in the North West . Over the last year artist, Rachel Adams documentary photographer and resident lenswoman at Contact Theatre and Band on the Wall, has been interviewing influential gay women who have impacted on the Mancunian cultural, social and economic landscape. These interviews have informed the locations and tone of the photographic portraits she will be shooting throughout July. The resulting works will be exhibited as part of the Pride Fringe from the 21st August – 4th September at 52 Princess Street thanks to the support of Bridge Properties http://www.52princess.com/.

Linking women’s stories across the generations the exhibition will trace how gay women have shaken up the mainstream across activism and politics through to club culture and entrepreneurism. Participants include: Jackie Crozier, Pride Director; Mary Murphy, long standing Manchester Councillor; Steph Kay, Vanilla proprietor; Rosie Lugosi, activist and burlesque artist; Josie Pickering, septuagenarian dominatrix; Carol Ainscow, the original Village developer; Yvonne Edge, Pankhurst Centre director; Philipa Jarman, Piccadilly Records; Joey Hately, third sex performance artist; Jayne Compton, music entrepreneur; Claude Cunningham, Black Angel promoter; and Kath McDermott, legendary Flesh DJ.

Selected on account of their reputation as groundbreakers in the gay and lesbian scene and the role they have played in shaping Manchester's cultural sector beyond that community, these women tell the story of how underground lesbian culture has quietly, but radically, influenced the mainstream.In addition to the exhibition of notable women, Adams will be setting up an event space inside the exhibition over the big weekend (28th August – 30th August). By creating a new lesbian space within the context of Pride, Adams ' project examines the "guest status" of women within the male-centric gay community. To do this she is inviting gay and bisexual women attending Pride to contribute their portraits and voices to the project at a pop-up photo studio over the Big Weekend inside the exhibition. To get involved women should visit http://www.themodernlesbian.co.uk/ .

Leading academic Sarah Green, of Manchester University , comments:“Public spaces, including gay ones, tend to be dominated by men. The sense of ‘culture’ tends to include a sense of belonging to a relatively publicly visible group of people, but lesbians have rarely been as socially visible as gay men. This was something Manuel Castells noticed even in the 1970s. In his study of San Francisco he argued that lesbians actually did not form a community or social group as a result of that lack of visibility in public spaces.”

Rachel Adams comments:“With this project I want to highlight the unrecognised achievements of gay women in and around Manchester , especially those that have dared to act ahead of the curve in politics, activism and culture. To bring their achievements into the present I want to create an exciting and dynamic cultural space during Pride – where everyone is invited to explore the history of Manchester lesbians and where women are given the chance to take part in a truly representative project.”Photo opportunities of Adams ’ shooting portraits are available throughout July. While shoots are still being finalised please contact Curated Place for up to the minute details tel: 0161 408 1814 or info@curatedplace.com.

Editor’s notes 52 Princess Street will be open daily for the Modern Lesbian exhibition from 12pm-5pm from the 21st August until the 4th September.Rachel Adams’ photographic studio event will take place on the 28th, 29th and 30th of August. Both the exhibition and event are FREE but women wishing to participate in the event must register on http://www.themodernlesbian.co.uk/ The project is produced by Curated Place , Minshull House Innospace, 47 Chorlton Street, M1 3FY .Tel: 0161 408 1814 http://www.curatedplace.com/ Curated Place (http://www.curatedplace.com/) is a production company and blog set up by Andy Brydon following the closure of Urbis. Adams and Brydon were in the early stages of producing a major Gay Manchester retrospective exhibition when the venue was closed. The Modern Lesbian, supported by Pride, is an element of the original idea that has survived that closure.

  • Andy Brydon is the curator and producer behind Hacienda 25: Fac 491, Reality Hack: Hidden Manchester and HomeGrown: The Story of UK Hip Hop.
  • Manchester Pride is one of the longest running pride events in the country and attracts thousands of visitors to the city's Gay Village , which centres around Canal Street , each year. This year over 50,000 people are expected to buy tickets. The first "gay pride" event in Manchester was held in 1990 seeing this year mark 20 years of Pride in the city. EuroPride was hosted in Manchester in 2003, and since 2004 the title "Manchester Pride" has been adopted. The event comprises a Pride march and several days of various arts, music and cultural events all over the city as well as a festival during the August bank holiday weekend within the gay village itself. Original objectives for the birth of Manchester 's Pride celebrations were to raise awareness around the legal and political struggles faced by the LGBT community and to raise funds for local charities.
  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) is a charity based in Manchester . It was formed with the merger of Healthy Gay Manchester and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard Services in April 2000. This year the organisation is celebrating its 10th birthday. The organisation provides more direct services and resources to more lesbian, gay and bisexual people than any other charity of its kind in the UK through services, advocacy, information and research. They deliver accessible community, health and support services such as face to face counselling, clinical services, a helpline and a range of support groups. In addition, The LGF aim to provide high quality and accurate information and advice, including a range of leaflets and booklets, a monthly magazine - outnorthwest - and regular updates via their online news pages and email newsletters. Their initiatives include campaigns to end homophobia in schools and strengthening the LGBT community by establishing business and strategic partnerships.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Lucy Steggals

Mock curating and spoof collections is something that seems to be a pretty popular vehicle for artists and photographers at the moment. Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin's fig springs to mind along with THE INSTITUTE OF CRITICAL ZOOLOGISTS. Lucy Steggals work seems to fit in with this tendency. I'm not critising, I love this kind of stuff, I'm just fascinated with how an idea or concept can seem to engage so many artists at a similar time. I think Steggals work, work's so well because this kind of thing succeeds best when there is a healthy dose of humour and a light touch involved.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Annalisa Brambilla.

Image copyright Annalisa Brambilla

I came across Annalisa Brambilla's series 'DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER' which looks at London cycle couriers and the culture that surrounds them, through purchasing the continually brilliant magazine that is THE RIDE. If you have even a passing interest in cycling or indeed magazine design and illustration then get yourself a copy, It even smells amazing! They still had a couple of copies left on Sunday of volume 4 down at Magma books on Oldham Street.


DASH SNOW real deal or bag a of shite? It's been just over a year now since his death. Do you believe the hype?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Nelli Palomäki

Image copyright Nelli Palomaki

Nelli Palomaki is one of the photographers included in REGENERATION 2 which I mentioned a couple of posts ago. It's nice to see that Black and White classic looking portraiture is still holding it's own. I do think these are some cracking portraits. She says of her work;

"I search for the perfect picture, but it escapes. In the end, a portrait is always different from what I expected. Other pictures surprise me with their strength, others merely disappoint me. Disappointment, however, motivates me to continue. Excitement after each shoot is always as great, the fear of failure always as fascinating. I sit on the trolley and study new negatives. Against the window they look successful. But I know the pictures will end up different than I expect. Something has changed. Perhaps the person´s eyes are just about to close, a child has moved or there is a trace of an irritating artificial smile. A picture planned beforehand changes through coincidence and surprises and escapes from the photographer. If I succeeded in taking the perfect picture, I would hardly continue shooting."

Friday, 20 August 2010


Image copyright David Dunnico

Don't forget you can catch David Dunnico talking at THE WHITWORTH GALLERY tomorrow as part of THE ALTERNATIVE CAMERA CLUB. Starts 10:30 costs £3.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Is It Worth It ?

"As a photographer it's important that my hair looks good. After all it helps keep my head warm. However making photographs outside takeaways in Salford can often make my hair dull and brittle. That's why I shampoo each morning with................"
Sorry I'm just practising. I keep getting emails asking me to review products on the blog. Don't knock it, some of them will pay as much as $20 ! All I have to do is register and send them an example of my writing style......

Just in case

anyone was under the illusion that bulls actually enjoy themselves in the ring and that it is a noble way for them to die and regardless of what that otherwise pretty bright lad Picasso thought. No, this is the noble thing for them to do, take out a few of the blood thirsty inbreds who came to watch them die. Good on you fella..

Lets Get Together.

& I'm not sure if it's because of the recent graduations or whether there is finally a genuine ground swell street up of photographic art activity in this fine city of ours. But there has definitely been a a load of new and exciting looking collectives, blogs, workshops and other wotnots springing up around town in the last couple of months. What we have to do now folks is support and keep them going. Two more to add to the increasingly long list. CHEMICAL TEA ROOM & CAUSE AND EFFECT.
"The best defence is to take charge of your online presence. We suggest making sure that if an employer does search for you online, the first things they see are wholly appropriate and useful for your career, such as a LinkedIn profile, professional blog, or Twitter feed full of intelligent and non-sweary insights"
So says GOOGLE boss HERE.
Bollocks, well that's me fucked then....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

REGENERATION. VOGUE for Photographers ?

"Too much artspeak, too few images in this article. Nothing edgy, no passion, staged/sterile/constructed photographs. Better work on Flickr by those not boxed in by the need for 'critical grounding' and artist statements prevalent in art academia. Hope these few images and those on the websites belonging to these photographers are not truly representative of the 'future'. Musée de l’Elysée imply they were seeking the most ambitious rather than the most inspiring so perhaps this is a fair reflection of those that can talk the talk."
A comment a commenter left on the comments section of BJP's article about the second installment of REGENERATION a book about who's 'proper' cool in photography. I would just like to say that the above image is from Richard Kolker and I bloody flagged him up back last year.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Image copyright Mark Page



John Bulmer (again x 2)

John Bulmer a true, if not appreciated as much as he should be..... Great of British photojournalism. This is HIM and this is HIM in an Old Manchester. And no it's not the first time I've mentioned HIM.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Duane Michals

A few years ago I used to have a lodger called Duane. He liked science fiction, came from Blackpool and thought Dragons were real. He was very boring and when he left he stole my Iron and a 'Passion of the Christ' DVD. But you can't " tar all Duane's with the same brush" as the old saying goes. No I like my Duane's with less dragon and odd tastes in DVD pilferage and more trailblazing Art photographer and entertaining old queen. The brilliant Duane Michals on a proper old fashioned talk show.

Slide Away........

I was blown away when our kid sent me a link to these 'slides' dating back to the early 40's and from the FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION. Always been used to seeing the Walker Evans & Dorothea Lange stuff, not familier with the work of the photographers featured here though. Look at the quality, even on screen, stunning. There's loads, so take your time. (IMAGES PROPERTY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS).

"These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress"..... HERE for more

Friday, 13 August 2010

Mr Yoshi

Image copyright Mr Yoshi

The film Trainspotting was the starting point for Mr Yoshi's series on the Muirhouse estate Edinburgh, called Plastic Spoon. The American photographer Yoshi Kametani has spent four years exploring the scene that had inspired the film. 'Smack' and the deprivation that follows in it's wake, has to be one of the most photographed subjects in the history of photography but I do like the way that what could be thought of as a tired subject has been handled. There really are some very strong images here. I also like the sub plots that are within the larger project like the one that the above image is from, Flat 15. The work is heading to book form and I think if it's put together well which I suspect it will be, it may be something a bit special and may say as much about photography's power to document as it does about life on one of Britain's many 'sink' estates. Read more about the work HERE.
And now I post a photo of her and I blog about it and add a link?
I'm sorry sweetness.
Image copyright Mark Page

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Coming Up.

As some of you may be aware I am together with Ed Watts helping to develop a series of talks and workshops at The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester. THE ALTERNATIVE CAMERA CLUB
as it's called will take place every third Saturday of the month at the gallery between 10:30 am & 1pm. These mornings will see different guest photographers talking about their work, answering questions and hanging about to take a look at and discuss your work should you bring it along. So a talk and an informal portfolio session all for £3 ! Now come on......

First two speakers lined up are DAVID DUNNICO talking about his REALITY TV series. David will be there on Saturday 21st August. Then on September 18th SEBA KURTIS will be talking about his recent work. You can book HERE and remember if you would like to discuss your work bring it along either on disk or as good old prints........

Janet Taylor

Image copyright Janet Taylor

Janet Taylor's series 'Significant Presence' focuses on illuminated street advertising.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Summut Fishy

David Icke, mad as fish.
I'm more of a miserable pessimistic old git than a paranoid conspiracy theory kind of a bloke but there's been a couple of things that recently have made me wonder.

#1 Britain's sudden Athletics success.

We British are shit at sport, or at least at sports that you can't sit down to do, "games" other than rowing or driving or fishing. So don't you think that it's bloody strange that just before we are to host the next Olympics or 'Twenty twelve' as people insist on calling it, we suddenly get really really GOOD. It's either a conspiracy or the drugs tester was off sick that day.

#2 Chats with the Taliban

Now I don't claim to be a four star general although I was a sixer in the cubs so I could have been but. My understanding of warfare is that the idea is to find the enemy and then shoot or blow the fuck out of them, not find them and then make a documentary about them. If SKY NEWS can find them how come the Army can't ? I don't imagine that during the second world war that PATHE news sent a newsreel crew into the bunker to see what Hitler had for his tea.

I packed in the 'skunk' years ago but these two make me wonder.

Odette England.

Image copyright Odette England

Interesting take on the landscape genre by Odette England.

Foto8 Summershow 2010

Foto8 Summershow 2010

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Laura Pannack

Image copyright Laura Pannack
I love this picture by Laura Pannack. I've not always been that keen on some of her other portraits I get a bit bored of pictures of gorky looking teenagers, but I love this one. She won Foto 8's 'Best in Show' which as an award title always makes me giggle. For that title not only did laura have to produce this great picture she also had to sit, fetch and walk to heel.

That'll Do For Starters!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Introduction to Pilgrims by John Fitzgerald.

When my Dad first took me to Old Trafford on a Sunday afternoon in the mid-1970s it wasn’t to see a game. We just walked slowly around the ground. He knew what he was doing. These peaceful Sundays gave me, aged six or seven, a wonderful opportunity to get a feeling for the history and tradition that makes Manchester United Football Club what it is.

Much has changed of course, but the sense of heritage around Old Trafford remains every bit as potent. This suite of 52 photographs by Mark Page focuses principally on two statues – the tribute to Sir Matt Busby erected in 1998 and 2008’s United Trinity, a suitably stylish celebration of those United icons - George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton.

But history is just the starting point here. It’s the human factor, the human element, which makes these images so richly evocative, so poignantly suggestive. As in much of Mark’s work, this sequence explores the relationship between the built environment and the men, women, boys and girls who act out their lives within and around it. It is the visitors to Old Trafford featured here, these flesh and blood people, who bring the statues and the ground alive. Without people none of it would mean anything.

And these pictures are about exactly that – people – and about Manchester United and the impact these two words can have in people’s lives. As the Tottenham Hotspur legend, Danny Blanchflower, famously remarked: “Football is about glory, it’s about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”
Manchester United, for all its perceived faults, has never lost that. The names of Busby, Best, Charlton and Law are synonymous with this ‘style’ and ‘flourish’ – a way of playing remembered and cherished long after the final score is forgotten.

We need this in our lives. It’s why I became a Red way back when and it’s what I sensed and felt in the fabric of the ground as we walked around. There’s something special about Manchester United and I say that, please God, without any arrogance or superiority. Because it isn’t about trophies or money or how many “fans” you have. It’s about people - about speaking to and connecting with people.

At a deep level. The level of their hopes and dreams.

Look at the visitor in photo 39 jumping for joy in front of the old Scoreboard End. Look at the young lad in photo 6 reaching out shyly, almost reverently, towards the United Trinity. Look too at the variety of facial expressions, tending so often towards the thoughtful and the contemplative. Sometimes the human figures seem dwarfed by statues and stadium, but in every image there is this sense that their visit isn’t just another tourist ‘tick in the box’. This moment of connection with Manchester United is so much bigger and wider than that.

And this is the great intangible that Mark captures so sensitively - that fleeting moment when these many and varied people fulfil their pilgrimage and become part of a family, part of a rich, ongoing heritage and tradition.

So, pop down to Old Trafford if you can and have a good look. But bring this book with you. These 52 images will tell you more about Manchester United and more about the human condition than anything to be found in the club Megastore!
Introdution to PILGRIMS by Manchester based writer and historian John Fitzgerald.

Le Editing.

I don't know why I called this post Le Editing there's absolutely nothing French about it at all and no doubt some smart alec will say it should have been La Editing anyway. And it's not even editing really, I've already decided what has cut the mustard this is more sequencing. But I'm waffling and I just wanted to say that my new series SEMI-DETACHED is now online HERE.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Brian Morrison.

In amongst the high quality paper pages of the latest SOURCE MAGAZINE you can find Brian Morrison's excellent series 'Our Aim Is To Survive'. Brian is a recent graduate from the mighty Blackpool & Fylde photography, who seem to turn out way more than their fair share of top photographers. Below Brian explains the work and below that a piece by the eminent sports historian Mike Huggins. Text copyright Brian Morrison & Mike Huggins, Photographs Brian Morrison.

“Our aim is to survive is the result of an exploration into the area of masculinity and social stereotypes. As a documentary photographic essay the work opens the doors to a lesser-seen area of society in an attempt to challenge pre-existing British stereotypes surrounding male identity and firearms.

The Blackpool Pistol and Rifle club as been running since 1948 and is a typical example of what you would find in many shooting clubs throughout the United Kingdom. After a 1997 firearms amendment outlawed all but muzzle loading and single shot pistols, the membership to these clubs dwindled. As with many things within contemporary society the unfashionable quickly becomes lost and the
traditions of old soon turn to nostalgia. The walls of this club speak of a time gone; the faux wooden panels and the photographs proudly displayed offer an insight into “the good aul days”. However they spoke as much about an acceptance of their fate as it offered a reminder into the past. The unfashionable has already become nostalgic whilst still in existence. To emphasize the idea of ever shifting social opinions I have offered a critique on the normative opinions associated masculinity and firearms. Throughout the work the viewer is encouraged to draw off there own pre-existing opinions before eventually having these opinions subverted. By using masculinity as a focal point, symbolic links are drawn between the continually changing view of masculinity and the decline in popularity of those things that
do not fit within today’s society.”
Brian Morrison.

The following text was written by Mike Huggins for issue Number 63 of Source Photographic review (July 2010) to accompany the photographic piece, Our aim is to survive.

Since guns were invented their owners have taken great pride in their keen eyesight and their ability to shoot straight and true. So-called ‘sporting shooting’, whether for game, or wildfowl, grouse, woodcock or pheasant has long been popular amongst the better off. Not all now approve. Clay pigeon shooting gained followers after 1921, when wild-pigeon shooting competitions were banned. But the pictures shown here are a reminder that competitive target shooting is a much more cross-class sport. It too has a long history. Formalised club beginnings lay in patriotism and national defence. Queen Victoria presented the Queen’ Prize Contest with prize money of £240 when the National Rifle Association was formed to encourage skill in rifle and pistol shooting so Britons would be better able to defend the realm overseas. The sport got another boost in the early twentieth century, when Lord Roberts called for civilian rifle clubs to be formed after British soldiers struggled to defeat the Boers in South Africa. The sport lost members during both World Wars, though a few clubs, including the Havant Rife and Pistol Club, were formed by home defence ‘Dad’s Army’ groups during the Second World War.
Havant was in the south, and even today about two thirds of gun clubs affiliated to the National Rifle Association are south of Birmingham. But these pictures of Blackpool’s Gun and Rifle Club, now in existence for over twenty-five years, are a reminder that there are clubs right across the United Kingdom. Weapon ownership is difficult and expensive, and clubs allow a cheaper form of shooting practice.
Some readers will recall the publicity surrounding the Hungerford killings in 1987 and the 1996 Dunblane deaths. The police had granted both men firearm certificates for their weapons, but neither man was a member of a rifle club. Indeed, several rifle clubs had turned down Thomas Hamilton, the man responsible for the Dunblane events, when he applied for membership. But the events caused a media anti-gun frenzy, and following the Cullen report on Dunblane, the government passed legislation to ensure that here in Britain we have some of the strictest gun legislation in the world. In 1997 a Firearms Act banned the private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns, regardless of calibre. But the government took the view that it was right to allow the sport of target shooting to continue in some form, and allowed clubs, operating under a very high degree of security, to be licensed by the Secretary of State.
Shooting is an increasingly popular recreational activity, and encouraged by the free publicity of the shooting competitions which begin the Olympic games. Most people who enjoy it now shoot at rifle clubs. Pride in their equipment is a feature of almost all sports clubs, of whatever sort. In these rifle and pistol club photographs members are shown in a relationship with their smallbore, fullbore or air rifles and pistols, cradling them in their arms, pointing them proudly towards the sky, or more safely, towards the ground. Some may be owned. Others, ranging from target rifles, sporting rifles and air rifles to air pistols and black powder pistols, will belong to the club.
With an increased emphasis on health and safety, far more sports have turned to some form of protective covering for the head. Protection is a feature of some of the photographs shown here. The sound of shots can reach up to 140 decibels, so shooters wear ear plugs and ear mufflers to save their ears from damage. Eyes can need protection, and strong polycarbonate safety glasses are worn to save the eyes from potential problems such as a sheared firing pin. Expert shooters can use high magnification scopes for more precision, and these provide better focus, clarity and eye relief. The sand on the ground absorbs spent shots and sound.
We get a sense too, of the club membership, which attracts women as well as men, though men still predominate. Young people can take part, over the age of fourteen, under careful guidance and supervision. In return for their initial membership fee and monthly subscription members get instruction as well as regular practice opportunity, though they also have to pay for the ammunition they use. A key feature of most sports is competition, and many members certainly enjoy the competitive element of club membership. Gun clubs can compete at various levels, from internal club, through local, county and national leagues. And of course, just as with other sports clubs, there is the conviviality and sociability of shared interests, which for many is a greater pleasure than competition.

What attracts the members to these target-shooting clubs? I don’t know Blackpool personally, but talking to members of other such clubs, it doesn’t seem to come from film or television fantasies, though it may be that an atavistic memory of hunting kicks in, but in a modern, safe form. Shooters themselves tend to talk more about the thrill of holding a weapon, aiming it and successfully hitting a target. How the adrenalin rush that comes from the sense of control, looking down the sight, squeezing the trigger, can be quite electric.
© Mike Huggins

To keep upto date with the comings & goings of Brian Morrison check out his blog shutteritis.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Nicolas Ferrando.

Image copyright Nicolas Ferrando

Nicolas Ferrando recreates iconic photographs with added paper bags. Find out how and why HERE.

The Wandering Eye.

The Wandering Eye are a grass roots photography group who are running a two day photography workshop at Fred Aldous. Their ultmate aim is to set up a community dark room in the city centre which I think is both noble and ambitious so goodluck to them. More details HERE.

No it's not that stuff that makes your willy go hard. VAGA stands for Visual Arts and Galleries Association and they have just sent a letter to the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt urging him to go steady with the cuts. Jeremy Hunt, is that rhyming slang?

“Across the sector there will be wide spread unemployment, closures, decline in public and economic benefit from past investment and consequent loss of established cultural and social capital within communities, including opportunities for volunteering and skills development.”

Visual art is a British success story and has transformed the fabric of local communities in recent years. Visitors to galleries rose throughout the recession: the Banksy exhibition in Bristol last year was the eighth most visited contemporary art exhibition in the world. The Liverpool Biennial in 2008 had an economic impact of £2.66 million a week over a ten week period. The 2009 Frieze Art Fair welcomed over 60,000 visitors in five days." Continued

Of course some arts cuts would be welcomed, if it means there will be one less 'Community dance troops' peddling their sorry asses on Britain's got talent.