Iranian deserts, London streets, waterways and protest marches

For those of you wondering what we get up to at our monthly meetings we'll be adding some blog posts following meetings to give you a flavour.

It's proving to be an exciting year for the group with three group exhibitions lined up - at the Dominion in Southall in June on London Waterways; as part of BEAT in September at St Mary's in Ealing; and in Artisan coffee shop in Oct-Dec. On top of that Chris Moxey is taking part in Thirteen in May-June (see below). So we caught up on those. More details will follow.

Then a key part of meetings is always looking at photos and giving feedback and encouragement. This month...

Dorota shared photos from her recent visit to Iran.

Irandesert

Sean who is relatively new to the group showed a selection of his black and white street photography in the West End over a 20 year period (which is stunning). And then some of his more recent work venturing into the same streets but with a mobile phone camera rather than film. His practice is to shoot and not look at photos as he goes which keeps the mystery alive. It was great having this juxtaposition.

Sean McDonnell_LIP_1

Sean McDonnell_LIP_2

Brig has been protest marching and showed photos from those - this one is from Unite for Europe demonstration

Unite4Europe_01

Chris showed some of her work that she will be exhibiting in the Dominion exhibition and you cen see the previous post for one of her photos for the Thirteen group exhibition.

Moxey2


Thirteen Exhibition

Moxey1

Chris Moxey is part of a group called Thirteen who will be having an exhibition at the Croatian Embassy, from May 25th until June 26th. The Embassy is at 21 Conway Street, London W1T 6BN, about 7 minutes walk from Warren St underground.


Infinitely more important is the looking!

Eggleston

There is a William Eggleston exhibition of people just started at the National Portrait Gallery (see here for a review). On Thursday evening several of us in the group had the privilege of going to hear a conversation with him about his work. The conversation was between Bill (if I may call him that), the curator of the show and Sean O Hagan, writer on photography for the Guardian and Observer (and clearly a fan).

William Eggleston was described by Sean O Hagan as the greatest living photographer. He is now quite frail in a wheelchair but whilst he took a while to respond to questions his wit was biting - it was both an informing and hilarious evening. The work looks amazing. I am sure you don't need me to tell you that Eggleston is celebrated for the way he embraced colour photography as an art form, both causing a huge reaction and controversy in his show in New York in 1976. He is not thought of in relation to portaiture so this is quite an original representation of his work I think.

What was entertaining about the interview was that a lot of the questions were leading Eggleston to explore deeper meanings in his work or photography in general but largely he was having none of it. So to give a couple of examples he was pressed whether Warhol had influenced his work - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Was his work symbolic - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Looking back on it was it symbolic - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Exploring the significance of his first moving image film looking for its significance he responded "We got practically nowhere". When hanging out with various celebraties whose pictures are in the exhibition, again looking for deep conversations he responded that with Joe Strummer "Don't know what we talked about - nothing important!". It really was laugh out loud funny, as well as a lesson for those conducting the conversation into perhaps asking a few more open rather than closed question. But there were a few threads that flowed much better such as when he was asked about his friendships. 

As a photographer he only takes one frame - he can't see the point of more; he doesn't take time to set up - it's not an issue; and he doesn't crop (another "no!" answer). As he reflected on travelling he suggested 

As one wanders round the world often one doesn't know the next place you're going to be. It's usually some kind of suprise, mostly of a happy kind.

And when asked about the writing on various photographs in the show it seemed to get to the heart of the matter. He said the photographs speak for themselves. If you look they say a lot. 

More than words it's the looking at the results that's important, not the writing or the talking. Infinitely more important is the looking!

So get yourself down there and do some looking!


Portraits

From time to time the group take on a challenge. The latest one was to pick names at random so that group members were put in pairs. The challenge was simply to come up with a portrait to bring back to the group. It was both a great way to get to know group members, stretching (especially if portraits is not particularly your area of experience), and good fun. Here is a selection of the results. From top to bottom they are:

  • Angelika by Marie
  • Chris by Fabrizio
  • Dorota by Ray
  • Fabrizio by Chris
  • Marie by Angelika
  • Jonny by Mel
  • Mel by Jonny
  •  Ray by Dorota
  • Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika
    Angelika

Thirteen

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Group member Chris Moxey is exhibiting in Thirteen: 

A Photographic exhibition in the Gallery of the Embassy of Croatia, 21 Conway Street W1T 6BN

20 May - 30 June 2016

Mon - Thurs, 11am - 2pm Fri, 10am - 12pm


Something for the weekend! It's only about 15mins long - about the right time for tea and cake :)