Monday, 21 February 2011

Well after almost four years, 1,517 post's and 182,352 unique visitors I've decided it's time to hang up the blog. We've had some laughs, pissed plenty of people off and hopefully shone some light on some tip-top photographers and artist's. The time is right for me to call it a day. Nice one It's been a fucking laugh..............

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Back Soon.

Image copyright Mark Page
Just trying to find a little peace after the house move, clearing my head and resting my feckin back......

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I'm hanging up the blog for a couple of weeks as I'm moving house. I will be off
line so answering emails/comments will also probably not happen for a while. I do have a Blackberry but the things tiny buttons and my fat thumbs don't get on so well. Not sure how long it will take to get back up and running, hopefully by the end of the month but as it's in the hands of BT, fuck knows. So until then.....

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Great British Minds.

Can there be two greater intellects? Two minds with a greater sense of rhetoric and a more rigorous logic? This is how it must have been in ancient Greece.

Old Goat.

Chinese New year today which is always a big event in Manchester. Found out that I was born in the year of the goat which apparently makes me fun to know but prone to pessimism. imagine me prone to pessimism? Anyway suitable occupations for me include gardening which I like a bit and beachcombing. Not many beaches in Manchester but then I thought whats photography if it's not a form of beachcombing?

Obsolete Studios

Obsolete Studios is a new blog by photographer Rob Ball. I featured Rob way back in 2008 and it's great to see his new work along with the new blog. It's also great that we are still in touch albeit online. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have made some great contacts and got to see some really interesting work over the years through blogging.

Amy Stevens.

As it's nearly my Birthday and I will be off line due to the house move on the day, I thought I would celebrate early with the work of

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Image copyright Susan Burnstine
I've noticed in the last couple of years a lot of photographers 'tipping their hats' to pictorialism. Is it the recession? Is it a bit like the growth in knitting, allotments and wearing tweed while cycling? Are we harking back to a more Innocent time? Are we after a big photographic kiss off our Nana's?
The images over on the latest edition of FRACTION may have been shot with plastic camera's and pinholes, which is nothing new but unlike earlier HOLGA photography that shot colour and looked for happy accidents however samey it ended up looking, this new wave seem to be reaching back as far as Fox Talbots 'Window'. Although I enjoy looking at this type of thing in much the same way as I enjoy looking at a nice water colour, I'm a bit surprised at FRACTION for dedicating almost ( I really enjoyed 'Trailers Collected' by Nan Brown) a whole issue to it. The chaps at FRACTION normally give you with something a bit meatier to get your teeth into.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

If anyone has anything (except Airport parking) that they want me to plug over the next couple of weeks get it in soonish cos I'm on the move again next week and will no doubt have to make several thousand telephone calls and wait weeks to get my broadband back on......

James Robinson.

I've mentioned James before here on the blog in his capacity as Photographer at the John Rylands Library (you can check out much of the collection online HERE.) James has also recently put online some of his personal projects. The above image is from one of my favourites, VOTE. I think James has really captured the apathy that so many Brits feel towards politics. Even when people are trying to campaign there's a sense of 'can't really be arsed' about it.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I was thinking of making some kind of work out of rejection letters from all the submissions, competition entries, exhibition proposals etc. But then I remembered that the arrogant bastards never write back to you anyway.

Monday, 31 January 2011

11 tips for 2011 brought to you by


If you like your Art blogs full of bile and cynicism, and I'm guessing you do try THIS.

Grayson Perry @ MAG

Photo; fuck knows I tried to find the author but......

I love Grayson Perry. Not in the biblical sense, middle aged men dressed as small girls ain't my thing. No what I mean is I love his work. I like that whole British post war gloomy eccentric yet ordinary thing. A bit like if Philip Larkin and Lily Savage bred.
So as I like his work so much it's a good job then that a Grayson Perry exhibition opens at
Manchester Art Gallery tomorrow. A small but perfectly formed exhibition, it showcases two recent acquisitions bought by the gallery along with two other pieces. There are also other items selected by a group of 15 to 18 year olds collectively known as The Creative Consultants, which they feel have connections to the Grayson Perry aesthetic. Amongst these bits n bobs is a really nice Paul Nash print and a big pair of pants. Eclectic.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

As the name suggests CHINA SQUARE Gallery represents Chinese artists. Based in NY it's no good to pop into but luckily they have a decent website that let's you see stacks of work by Artist's from the big country that manufactures plastic shit by the ton and is obsessed with the colour red. Oh yes there is a separate photographers section full of refreshing stuff. Happy early Chinese New Year. HERE.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


This is one of them proper Arty events. An Artist's Bonfire. Twenty odd Artist's burning work in a symbolic thingy. You could have submitted work to burn but it's a bit late now. You can though still go and watch other people burn their stuff should you wish. There will be food (BBQ I presume) and a party late into the night with people dancing naked around the fire and barking at the moon. I made that last bit up. Tomorrow night HERE.


I said you buy one and you get one free! I don't normally do product plugs here but CALUMET Manchester do have a good offer on paper at the moment. It's not BOGOF actually, but buy two and get one free. Still saves you £30. OK I'll shut up now....

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

You're not kidding are you?

I got an email today from a bloke asking me if I could link back to his and I quote, "My Manchester Airport parking page" Now I thought interesting photo project, a bit of a Martin Parr 'Parking Spaces' rip-off but heyho I've never seen it narrowed down to something as specific as 'Airport parking' before. So OK that could be interesting what with the fact that you leave your car there longer. Perhaps he is photographing the residues that gather on the car windscreens or perhaps he's collecting notices or flyers (No pun intended) that are being left on the cars OK nice one I'll check out the link. No. It's just a website about Airport parking spaces. So anyway Matt HERE you go you cheeky bastard.

Monday, 24 January 2011

David Williams.

Recently I have been studying the work of David Williams and wondering how I can rip it off, sorry take inspiration from his series 'one taste: (n)ever-changing
(88 Places)'
to inform a little project I've been thinking of doing myself. These are some beautiful pictures. Powerful at expressing a kind of peace. I love them and they make me feel happy. So last two posts, Zen and old men's balls. I love photography........

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Dalia Khamissy

I received this, today from Benjamin over at DUCKRABBIT. And HERE to see more of Dalia Khamissy's work.

About 18 months ago I had an idea to bring the important stories some photographers tell to a very large audience. My dream was to combine a radio documentary presented by a photographer, combined with a photofilm of their work. The biggest audience I could think of was the BBC World Service, so I took it to them and they decided to pilot the idea.

Since then I've been working with the Lebanese born photographer Dalia Khamissy (thanks to Joerg, at Conscientious) and American Joseph Rodriguez.

Today the first documentary and photofilm were published (it will be played worldwide seven times on the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4). Its about the estimated 17000 people kidnapped during the Lebanese civil war and never seen again. Its a genuinely brilliant piece of presentation by Dalia Khamissy (the documentary) ,with some great photos and video for the film (which is really meant as a teaser for the documentary).

Few know about the Missing in Lebanon, which is why I think it's an important story to be heard. Not because the broadcast will change anything dramatically but because memory is resistance against the same atrocities being repeated.

Please take 5 minutes to watch the film and if it moves you,
download the podcast of the documentary. For those with blogs the film is embeddable. And a tweet would be much appreciated or a link on Facebook. Dalia deserves enormous respect for this work. It was a brave story for her to take on.

Hopefully the BBC will commission more programs of this nature, which would be great for photographers working on important stories who would like to reach a genuinely large audience.



Blurb. I've self published two books myself the Blurb way. I don't know what it is but it's just not, I don't know, not satisfying enough. A bit like buying a microwave kebab from Tesco's instead of a kebab from Kebabish (I know, my body is a temple) So for a while I've been thinking about different ways of putting POMONA together in book form, and binding it myself is probably the way I'll go. Besides it fits more with the inspiration for my POMONA the HEREFORDSHIRE PONONA.
So I was very interested to see that Colin Pantall had also gone down the DIY bookbinding route. Sofa portraits is the title of the book. Colin says of the work.

"Sofa Portraits is a series of images showing my daughter, Isabel, as she watches television.
These portraits portray the flawed physicality of childhood and its mental and physical freedoms - but also the constraints that are applied by the adult world - the furnishings Isabel is so often pushing against, the dress determined by the educational system she is now part of, or even the attitudes to her physical self-expression as she watches television."

Should any of you be interested in having a crack yourselves at book making HERE'S a PDF on the Japanese Stab Stitch which is the method Colin chose to use. And here locally we have a complete firm dedicated to Bookbinding and oh yes you can learn how to do it HERE.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Naomi Kendrick.

I'm crap at drawing. Oh I can draw say a flower, and get a passable resemblance and I can draw a portrait and make people laugh and the sitter all pissed off, "looks fuck all like me" they would whine. But when I was at Art School and it came to 'mark making' and really trying to express something in a say, Cy Twombly kind of way I was crap. Too anal. I think that's why photography suites me because it is a fairly anal activity all that 'collecting' and organising into 'a series'.

Anyway back to Naomi Kendrick and her music drawing. Naomi is a Manchester based artist who draws to music and is asking people to join her for a workshop at THE BAND ON THE WALL on the 27th January. So to get an idea what this FREE event is all about watch the above film (nice little film by Mark Morreau with a great little tune by Ronnie Ronnie) below for full details.

Drawn to the Beat

By Naomi Kendrick

27.1.11 7pm Band on the Wall Manchester
To reserve your free place follow this link

Drawn to the Beat is a participatory music drawing event using Silent Disco technology. This event is a chance for anyone to try out music drawing by drawing alongside artist Naomi Kendrick in the Band on The Wall club space, which will become both silent disco and enormous drawing surface for the night.

The fascinating method of drawing music Naomi Kendrick has developed has the act of listening and physical response is at its core. Through drawing in this way she attempts to bring an immediate connection between mind and body that results in a drawing. This process often involves working with her eyes closed sitting on the drawing surface, and while drawing around herself using both hands, building up an energetic drawing of layered marks. Listening intently, she moves both in response to the layers and speed of the sound heard and the emotional response it evokes in her. Naomi’s method of drawing music has recently been documented in ‘Drawing Music’ a film by Mark Morreau, commissioned by DaDa Fest International, and screened on BBC Big Screens Nationally and BBC2’s The Culture Show Nov 2010.

This event is to encourage other people to draw and respond to the music in their own unique way. The silent disco technology will silently deliver an eclectic mix of music, selected in collaboration with musicians, to headphones worn by the participants and myself as we draw. Two different channels of music can be chosen from via the headphones meaning you could be drawing classical music whilst your neighbour draws reggae! Every now and again the music will be 'played out' to be heard by everyone, connecting peoples movements and drawings with the music. This will create a playful space where the idea of a solitary, internal perception and a shared act of creativity can be explored.

About Naomi Kendrick

I am an artist based in Manchester and currently Artist in Residence at Salford University. I am interested in creating work that, by engaging people with the senses, offers a ‘full’ experience and personal connection to my artwork. My artwork includes multi sensory installations, sculpture, drawing and participatory events, where people are invited to explore my work through interaction and encouraged to respond, through creating something themselves.

My practice is currently dominated by drawing music. This began in 1999 when, as part of research into creating and experiencing art without focusing on the visual, I spent a week wearing special glasses that gave me the effect of having severe cataracts. Drawing music began as an outlet while briefly starved of vision, and has grown to become an investigation into the act of listening and response, and I have recently collaborated with musicians and dancers to expand on these ideas.

The drawings themselves have an aesthetic I can never exactly predict, as so many factors depend on their outcome. There is always a fine line I have to tread, between really listening, and therefore to a certain extent letting go of visual awareness, and using the eye to edit and control the drawings. My position in relation to the drawing surface, the materials, and how long I choose to draw for all influence the outcome. However the key to each drawing is the music itself. Music that I find ‘works’ to draw varies enormously from Gorillaz to Shubert and Miles Davis to Brian Eno. I find music with more complex layers of sound the most evocative. Rather than attempting to map the sound (directly translating the audio into visual), I want my drawings to be a record of the experience of listening. They are the visual evidence of how that particular piece of music has moved me, physically but most of all emotionally.

There is a performative aspect to the drawing, when I draw I am lost in the moment, only slightly aware my body is engaged with my mind in the act of drawing, however to the observer my body has become more literally entwined with the drawing as it develops. One person likened it to watching a crazed spider building her web, which I particularly like, as once I am drawing a piece of music I am on an intuitive mission, one I cannot stop.

In addition to the drawings I produce alone, I have drawn music with friends, colleagues and during workshops on many occasions and am often moved by the response it evokes in people. Responding to music can be so many things, personal, yet something we often do in groups, fun, thought provoking but most of all a release. Ultimately the incomparable experience of drawing music, of listening in this unique way, is one I want to share, which is why I have created the event ‘Drawn to the Beat’

My artwork is also informed by my workshops. I have been running ‘Elephant Workshops’ multi sensory & inclusive workshops popular with visually impaired and blind people, at galleries nationally for 10 years. Throughout my practice I aim to create opportunities, for a broad audience, to experience and respond to high quality art, allowing people’s interests and passions to dictate their encounters, rather than their social ‘category’.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Thursday, 13 January 2011

G & G @ WC

Photography Benjamin Westoby
Love this pair of old weirdo's. Good old fashioned British (well .5 Italian but we'll have him) eccentrics. Two tweed clad 'nut nuts' who have successfully navigated the photography/art art/photography no mans land. HERE for an interview to coincide with their new London show.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Flower Power.

Flower pressings from POMONA. I'm a big fairy......

Voices Exhibition @ The Peoples History Museum.

Recent graduates from the MA Photography at Bolton uni have a show called 'VOICES' at the very excellent PEOPLES HISTORY MUSEUM. Starts 15th January and runs till 27th February 2011. Launch night is Thursday 20th of Jan?? Anyway launch night is on the 20th and you can book yourself in for some free wine HERE. Well recommended this one. Some good photographers featured including Percy Dean and Neal Andrews both of whom have been shown on MANCHESTER PHOTOGRAPHY before.

Monday, 10 January 2011

As Rik from The Young Ones used to say, "never trust a hippy"

Tim Edgar.

So there I was reading a back issue of SOURCE from a couple of years ago, reading about the work of Tim Edgar and then fuck me I'm over on the smashing Harvey Benge blog and he's just posted about Tim. Spooky eh? I'm agreeing with Harvey, I do like this work and would love to see more of the series 'Rookery' So Tim if you're reading this my address is ..................

Nicholas Grider

Some proper interesting work over on Nicholas Grider's website. Would have liked a little bit of info about it though.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Matthew Sleeth.

This has got to be one of the best websites I've seen! Bleedin well wish I'd thought of it. His work is right up my street as well. Matthew Sleeth.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Invitation from the Shpilman Institute For Photography

I know MANCHESTER PHOTOGRAPHY readers are a clever bunch. I know that even now as I speak, some of you have recently finished your Master's and may be looking for your next challenge? Is there some burning issue to do with photography that you feel needs the time (and money) for some serious academic study? Read the below email go and have a look and I'll stick a link at the side for you if you decide to have a pop........ Good luck my fine MANC brains..............

Dear Mark ,

My name is Anat and I'm a researcher at The SIP - The Shpilman Institute for Photography.

The SIP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote an open discussion about the meanings and functions of photography and related media. The SIP aspires to facilitate, promote and initiate research, open debate and creative work in the fields of photography.

I invite you to browse through our blog institute's blog, (which is really interesting: Mark) which we consider as a conceptual hub, dealing with visibility through community based cultural exchange. We welcome visual and conceptual collaborations as part of our ongoing activity.

We have been disseminating our first annual calls for research during the first weeks of December. As we are well familiar with the contents of your blog, we thought these calls for research may be of interest both for you and for your readers.

We will be more than happy to send you our calls, so that you will be able to distribute them to "Manchester Photography" members and readers.

All the best,

Anat Movshovitz
Research assistant!/thesip

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

So who was he again?

I had this overwhelming desire today to start signing and dating my entire archive of prints. Not because I think this will add any value to them, it's just that I was thinking that if I got hit by a bus they wouldn't be complete orphans and if someone was to do a Google they would be able to put two and two together and at least I would have left some kind of a legacy. This is what having too much time to think and reaching your mid-forties does....
Now if I do get hit by a bus in the next couple of weeks you will be able to point to this post and say "fucking spooky".

Note to self; Start work on a MOMENTO MORI.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Carey Young at The Cornerhouse.

Featuring photography, Carey Young comes to the CORNERHOUSE from the 5th of February.

PORTFOLIO: contemporary photography in Britain.

Over the crimbo holidays I became aware of the demise of PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE. It has been on my magazine purchase list for years so I'm gutted to see it go. Not the cheapest at a tenner, but it only came out a couple of times a year and was packed with some good writing and production values as good as any. If I had one criticism, and hey it's me so of course I have, it was that they sometimes played it a bit safe with the photographers chosen. I rarely came across the work of a photographer I was not already aware of and not seen in plenty of other publications or online. I think it's safe to say 'emerged' rather than 'emerging' was order of the day. Still going to leave a big whole on the shelves of quality magazine shops.

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year sad start.

Pete Postlethwaite 1946-2011

Happy New Year, and all of that.

Christmas done. Back to work, both photographically and keeping a roof over one's head type work. Well how have you been? Did you have a good one? Have we all made loads of resolutions? Make more work. Get more shows. Make better work, that type of of shit. I think one of mine is play more. Have more fun and experiment more.

And on that topic, above is a book I got for Christmas. Keith Arnatt is ridiculously overlooked on the world photography stage, perhaps because he is so hard to pin down he is in my opinion a hugely important photographer and a bridge between photography and conceptual art. Take a peak HERE.