Thursday, 30 September 2010

Open Day.

Mirabel Studios will be having their annual Open Studios on the weekend of 9 & 10 October
2010. The studios will be Open from 3-9pm on the Saturday and 11am-4pm on
the Sunday. Details and website
cheers to Jenny Core for the tip off.

J T Chapman.

Doesn't he look the bollox? Proper gentlemen photographer proud with a bit of status, photographer as a respectable professional. You can take a trip back and learn more about the gent above at THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY over the next few months. The man in question is J T Chapman and he was a ground breaking Manchester photographic entrepreneur and inventor. He invented and maufactured a ready made 'Dry Plate' known as the 'Manchester'. You can read more about him HERE. The exhibition is on until 28th November and is free. There's also some events. I tell you what I'll let James Robinson senior photographer at the library (top job!) fill you in.......................


Following recent discoveries in the John Rylands Library Special Collections, UNDEREXSPOSED is an exhibition in Collaboration with MOSI, celebrating the life of one of Manchester’s early photographic pioneers, J.T. Chapman.

Chemist, inventor and photographer, Chapman invented some of the processes that were to become standard in early photography. However, he is widely omitted from history books as he published his formula under the pseudonym ‘Ostendo non Ostento’ (I show, not boast). Working from Deansgate, Manchester, Chapman also invented and sold his own cameras and projectors.

The exhibition also showcases a selection of glass plate negatives, recently discovered and linked to the Langford Brooke family of Mere Hall in Cheshire, which have been cleaned, re-housed and digitised by CHICC.

CHICC is The Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care, a JISC funded project to develop a Centre for Heritage Digitisation, based within the University of Manchester.

The John Rylands Library will be holding a series of events associated with the exhibition, for more information please contact 0161 306 0555 or email

Further Information:

The CHICC project has already created partnerships with several institutions including the National Trust, digitising a Chaucer manuscript at Petworth house in Sussex. The project has also worked with Chethams, MMU, Manchester Museum, publishing companies and private individuals, using the latest digital technology and conservation techniques to deliver the best possible output, while caring for the object during the process.

On Wednesday 3rd November, the Curators of the exhibition will be holding a close-up session, looking at the glass plate negatives, best ways to photograph the negatives and best ways to look after them.

Monday 8th of November sees the arrival of Professor Heard’s Peerless Magic Lantern show. At 4.30, Phantasmagoria! A family friendly show will begin, suitable for ages 7+. Featuring hand painted stories, sights, and frights from before the days of moving cinema. A later show at 7.30 will be a much darker affair, as the Professor introduces us to Victorian Ghosts and the Gothic. Both events are free, however booking is essential. To book please contact the events team on 0161 306 0555 or email

Mr P Speaks.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Jeffrey Milstein.

Like most lads of a certain age I went through a building 'Airfix' kits stage. I'd start to build them and had every intention of making them as accurately as I could. Nine times out of ten though, they would end up unpainted in the back garden having air rifles shot at them and bricks thrown at them. I was a troubled child.
Jerrrey Milstein's series "Aircraft: The jet as Art" is a grown up version of hanging planes from your bedroom ceiling and just looking at the form and beauty of an amazing piece of technology. All planes need to do is fly but as humans we also have a need to make them look good.
As with all technology there is a darker side to air travel and 9/11 amongst other things has underlined that and added a good dose of fear to something which is already a pretty scary thing to do. So Milstein's series "Black Boxes" is the other side of the coin to "Aircraft: The jet as Art" It's also educational. Who'd have thought that the 'Black Box' wasn't black?

Monday, 27 September 2010


Images copyright Mark Page

Ed was perplexed by the picture on his congratulations card his brother David sent him.

Kurt Tong

Image copyright Kurt Tong

I've probably picked the best known image by Kurt Tong to illustrate this post. I bet you've seen it, he is a bit of a 'hot ticket' at the moment. I am a big fan of his substantial body of work. I love the humour. HERE.

Of Time & The City.

Terence Davies absolutely brilliant 'OF TIME AND THE CITY' is currently on BBC iplayer. A master class in social documentary and multimedia. I apologise to you 'foreign Johnnies' who can't pick it up.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Dide Magazine.

Image copyright Sanaz Mazinani

Dide (Persian for 'Glance') is an online photography magazine from Iran. An absolute wealth of archived material on the site including some really interesting essay's.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

I 'Signed On' Today.

Toads Revisited
by Philip Larkin

Walking around in the park
Should feel better than work:
The lake, the sunshine,
The grass to lie on,

Blurred playground noises
Beyond black-stockinged nurses -
Not a bad place to be.
Yet it doesn't suit me.

Being one of the men
You meet of an afternoon:
Palsied old step-takers,
Hare-eyed clerks with the jitters,

Waxed-fleshed out-patients
Still vague from accidents,
And characters in long coats
Deep in the litter-baskets -

All dodging the toad work
By being stupid or weak.
Think of being them!
Hearing the hours chime,

Watching the bread delivered,
The sun by clouds covered,
The children going home;
Think of being them,

Turning over their failures
By some bed of lobelias,
Nowhere to go but indoors,
No friends but empty chairs -

No, give me my in-tray,
My loaf-haired secretary,
My shall-I-keep-the-call-in-Sir:
What else can I answer,

When the lights come on at four
At the end of another year?
Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

David Wilkie Wynfield (1837-1887)

Above, self portrait of David Wilkie Wynfield (1837-1887)

A major influence on a young Julia Margaret Cameron, D W Wynfield was as close as you could get to a Pre-Raphaelite photographer. He is perhaps one of the early practitioners who were guilty of setting photography on it's 'inferiority to painting trip' as he seems to have used the then new medium as a way of replicating painterly effects. More about him HERE. And examples of his portraits HERE.


HERE for the BLOG, below for more info.


6:30pm - 9:30pm Thursday 30th September 2010

‘36EXP.’ is a photographic exhibition involving 36 artists and 36 contact sheets. The concept of the exhibition is based upon a standard 36 exposure photographic film. Over the past six months, ‘36EXP.’ has been accepting submissions from artists, photographers and students from all over the world, some as far as Canada, India, Israel, China and Australia. The outline of the brief was simply to return to photographic film, whether 35mm, 120mm or slides, and to produce a contact sheet from the roll of film used. The exhibition features a selection of photographs from each artist as well as their contact sheet, providing an unusual combination of ‘finished photograph’ alongside an accompanying contact sheet.

Commissioned and curated by Jack Howard
Assistant curator: Sarah Hill

Participating Artists:

Jon Austin / Marsha Balaeva / Philip Bedford / Ben Bishop / Jessie Bond / Samuel Boxall
Chris Butler / Katarina Thölin Chittenden / Nadia Connell / Ashley Cullen / Graham Darlington / Sophie Determann / Mark Devereux / Victoria Erdelevskaya / Helen Flanagan Robert Flynn / Sam Francis / Ayse Hasan / Sarah Hill / Simone Hodgson / Jack Howard Simon Jones / Scott Ramsay Kyle / Carita Laamanen / Eleanor Marechal / Katarzyna Perlak Lucy Ridges / Vidisha Saini / Helen Smith / Chris Spackman / Matthew Thomas / Darn Thorn / Al W. / Liz West / Alexander Williamson / Frances Wilson

'Freaky fadey in and out photo facey films' to give them their technical name have been around for a while. This one though using the photos of Jock McDonald and the animation skills of Paul Blain is a particularly fine example.

Via Lens Culture.

Monday, 20 September 2010

A Right Rousing Sermon.

I'm an atheist and I suppose Art is the nearest thing I have to a religion. So hearing Ben Cameron's talk (albeit perhaps more about Peforming Arts) posted on TED, made me feel like a Southern hick Christian after a Billy Graham rally. Hallelujah!

Via Curated Place

John Humble

Image copyright John Humble

Some complicated compositions in John Humble's series 'LA Landscape' Better off looking at his work via google images though as his website is a bit crap. Shame because I would have loved to look at his work in more detail. I bet the prints are a bit special.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Image copyright Mark Page


Always worth keeping a list of independant publishers. These are London based and called MACK.

MACK is an independent publishing house focusing on working with artists, writers and curators to realise intellectually challenging projects in book form, ranging from sumptuous physical objects to ground-breaking digital editions.

Our first project is a collaboration with Thomas Demand and Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. La Carte d'apres Nature takes its title from a short-lived art magazine created by René Magritte and adopts the free association of ideas Margritte applied. Demand selected work by eighteen artists connected by two ideas: tamed nature and Surrealism as an artistic form influenced by Magritte. The book, designed by Thomas Demand and Naomi Misuzaki, combines the wide range of works into an elaborate exploration of the disjuncture between the representation of art and the representation itself. Christy Lange's engaging essay traces this idea that a representation of nature is always a simulacrum through the work of the different artists, for example, relating the Surrealist resonance of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri's 'impossible landscapes' to Margritte's playful canvases and Demand's photographs of his paper sculptures. Texts by Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Luigi Ghirri and Thomas Demand are threaded through the segue of images and the object is completed with a separate book in an envelope, a facsimile of a Luigi Ghirri manuscript for a small book of photographs.

The scores on the Doors & The writings on the walls...

So tell me about this Jedward...
Apparently the ticket sales for This Popes visit are down on the ticket sales for the visit in 1982 by the last Pope. I'm not being funny but at less than 55, 000 for some events, it's down on a mid season wet Wednesday match at OLD TRAFFORD, which of course begs the question why are we as a nation spending 15 million quid on the visit if we need to make all these cuts? Now I know he loves a bit of penance, so maybe he could save us a few quid by crawling here on his hands and knees for covering up the fact that a lot of his foot soldiers are kiddy fiddlers.....

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Preview of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's 'RECORDERS' @ Manchester Art Gallery.

This may prove to be the show of the year as far as Manchester is concerned. Bit of a coup getting Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's RECORDERS, a show by a proper and current big time international Artist, something we don't always seem that fussed about in Manchester. RLH is a leading Digital Artist having shown all over the place including The Venice Biennale. The show takes up the two galleries on the top floor turning them into a kind of biometric/surveillance theme park. Serious questions about sinister topics brought to you in a kinda fun accessible package. You can have your heart beat read and used to create your own light display in the piece 'PULSE FIELD'. You can have your finger prints read and used along with the stored prints of other gallery goers to produce a changing image in the work 'PULSE INDEX' (see above)
Your words will be recorded, your image will be recorded, your finger prints will be recorded and even you heartbeat will be recorded. Hey if your going to do something!
Of course it's obvious comment is the surveillance world we live in, privacy is dead even in an Art event and as RLH said in his introduction to the work, "There are few countries doing this more than the UK so get over it. I may not like it but it's a fact of life". My favourite piece is a new commission called 'PLEASE EMPTY YOUR POCKETS' because I did the wiring for it. Check out my cables, a work of Art in their own right....... RECORDERS by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer opens Saturday 18th September until 30th January at Manchester Art Gallery and is free. You can read an interview HERE.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Save The Arts (although to be honest I don't care that much about community dance groups)

You may have already seen this. It's one of those things that snowball in Internet land. It's a good cause, on the whole. I do think though that a lot of Arts organisations have been pissing money against the wall for the last decade or so. Too many freeloaders, too many hangers on, too little money going to makers and too much going to people with made up jobs. We need some weeding and a bloody hard frost. If the Arts continue to spend money reinventing it's self as a poor imitation of social work and family/education services, people are bound to start to wonder why they are paying twice. If the people in our Art world who decide how the hard fought funds get spent, think so little of Art, that they believe that unless it has some kind of social purpose it has no use then perhaps they should leave it to people that think Art can and should be made for no other reason than for Art itself.

Having said all that still sign this petition I'd rather the money go on a Dance group called 'Street Moves' made up solely of ex crack whores than it go on the Olympics. HERE to sign.

LEGAL NOTICE: 'Street Moves' is not in anyway meant to represent any crack whore dance act either past or present and is entirely fictional.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

I'm a 50 year old man and I like it...I'm a 50 year old man what you going to do about it?

Image from The Guardian.
"North Manchester is full of hard livers with hard livers" Miss quote from Mark E Smith. Watch THIS for some other pearls and some nice footage.

I wish that 'm' stood for Manchester but alas this gallery is in Shanghai. Still, thanks to this here box on my lap which is currently leaking small doses of radiation into my groin I can spend some time looking at the work of some excellent Chinese photographers. HERE for m97 Gallery. (God they're getting warm)

Semi-Detached Mapping by John Donaldson.

Below is an essay on my series SEMI-DETACHED written by John Donaldson from MEATYARD ARTS.

Semi Detached Mapping
The Photographs of Mark Page.

"Mark Page’s series of photographs, an inventory of the ‘semidetached’ form, I regard as part of what can be described as ‘visual anthropology’, providing as this series of pictures does, an opportunity to reflect upon the significance of the semi detached house within England’s social narrative in the 20th century.
In a letter to a BBC producer in the late 1960’s, John Betjeman likened the suburbs and the semidetached housing that typified them, as places where ‘Everybody aspired to a little country house of their own’.
The enduring attraction of ‘the semi’ owes much to this near mythic status it holds within the English narrative – a diminutive fantasy drawn from the same potent bottle as castles, baronial mansions and gentrified weavers cottages."

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Image copyright Alejendro Gonzalez

There's plenty of good photography and articles over at VISURA issue 10 including ALEJENDRO GONZALEZ's timely piece on the Cuban gay scene.

SEBA KURTIS TALK @ THE WHITWORTH GALLERY, MANCHESTER. The Manchester based and internationally acclaimed photographer will be giving a talk and answering questions at the gallery on Saturday 18th September at 10:30. He will also be conducting informal portfolio reviews for anyone interested. Cost £3, To book call 0161 275 7450 or reserve by email

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Gallery Envy.......

Much as I love Manchester, it's shows like SHOMEI TOMATSU & DAIDO MORIYAMA at MICHAEL HOPPEN GALLERY that make me envy London photography fans. I'll have to make do with watching a film about SHOMEI TOMATSU on YOUTUBE, in Japanese, and save my pennies for his book 'SKIN OF THE NATION'

Images copyright Mark Page

Images Copyright Mark Page


If you missed THIS then you are a bit of a knob.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Virgílio Ferreira

Image copyright Virgilio Ferreira

Atmospheric night portraits by Virgilio Ferreira. They remind me of being really really pissed and staggering around town after a night out. If town was in China that is.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Why not follow The Pope's visit to the UK on twitter ?

Robert Knoth

Image copyright Robert Knoth

No bullshit documentary work by Robert Knoth.

Back to school,

The nights are drawing in and the morning's are getting chilly and it's that time of year when Colin Pantall a photography blogger who has longer summer holidays than both MP's and the French put together is back and blogging and blogging good. It must be nearly Autumn.

Friday, 3 September 2010

You Serving mate?

So according to RECENT research, Manchester is one of the worst places in the UK for drunkenness and alcohol problems. Well fucking done Sherlock! The fact that the regeneration of the city since the mid 90's has basically been centred on bar culture has paid off then. And in the spirit of the great British knee jerk they are going to introduce minimum pricing. And of course if there's a fucking stupid idea needs testing Manchester is always the first place to volunteer. Remember the ID card trials anyone? I know Manchester is always desperate to be first at stuff but can we just limit it to good idea's?
So making sure that old Me has to pay at least £5 for my twice a week bottle of wine that's the way to cut the local NHS bill. Never mind the fact that I can go on line 24 hours a day or now, thanks to the tatty business card that came through my letter box last night at 23:30, ring a mobile phone and get some scally to bring me round some cans. Now forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought you needed a licence to sell alcohol? I'm also intrigued to know what 'Plus much more' means? Skunk anyone?
No I'm not giving you the bloody links.... Oh go on THEN.
PS Anybody know where that scene of Manchester on the above 'Booze Manchester' banner is?

The Terry O'Neill Awards

Well worth a punt this one. It's £7 to play but hey you could win £3000, £1000 or £500. You also get a show at THE HOTSHOE gallery and a feature in THE SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE. So £7 for £3000 not as good as a 'scratch' card and no doubt worse odds but probably better for your career.... HERE to enter.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Rob Ball.

Image copyright Rob Ball.

Not the first time Rob Balls work's been shown here but he has got a couple of new projects over on his SITE. The above picture is from the series IN SILENCE. Also take a wee peek at THE OLD LOOKOUT