Our group Ealing London Independent Photography, has a groundbreaking outdoor exhibition of photography, which covers all five storeys of Ealing Police Station! The exhibition is called UNLOCKED; LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD. It’s a collection of 35 photographs reflecting on the surreality of the pandemic and embodying hopes for the future. It’s on now and through into 2022. Located at Ealing Police Station, 67-69 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SJ and viewable during daylight hours and free.
The photographers taking part are:
It’s kindly supported by Gogar Service, Fujifilm and Clarion Futures, alongside a crowdfunding by art lovers.
It's hard to believe that as a group we are still meeting online but due to COVID we are, but having said that the online meetings in the group have been really wonderful. They seem to work well though we'd still love to meet face to face again but no doubt that will come in due course. One of the things about meeting online is that we have probably all put more effort in to prepare some input/presentation and to share photos. Time whizzes by. We started January 2022 with a good turnout of 14 members. It was lovely to welcome someone new who had been inspired to join by seeing Unlocked.
As ever we shared photos. Here are three from sets that were shared
[Brighton pier on a bleak day by Frankie Mcallister]
[Winter Wonderland by Kyun Ngui]
[Caussois observatory in France by Dorota Boisot]
We then had a discussion on the Book of Veles and Trickster Makes This World and felt inspired to make some mischief. Rather than elaborate here I hope that will be a blog post or two in its own right...
We had planned to plot the rest of the year but didn't get that far but no doubt plenty will emerge.
November's group meeting was exploring macro photography. Barry Webb was invited by group member Ray to present his work. He shared an astonishing set of images and as he went through explained some of the techniques he uses. It was intriguing to find that 5mm he considers large for a subject. We were introduced to slime mould and Barry is getting quite a following on instagram for his photos of slime mould. The photo above is a metatrichia floriformis line.
A few group members then shared some macro photos
[Frankie McAllister macro image]
[The Translucent Pelikan Souverän M805 Blue Dunes Special Edition. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian/2021 Instagram: @fountainpenscribbles ]
[Dorota Boisot macro image]
And Sean presented his third book in the Living Lockdown series - see the previous blog post .
Sean McDonnell (group member) has published the third in his trilogy of photo books documenting lockdown. They are a terrific record. Below he reflect on the process which is lifted from he blog -
I'm writing this having just published my third selection of photographs from the streets of Ealing over the last eighteen months. I'm anticipating - hoping? - it will be the last, having reached the end of the official restrictions, in England at least, back in July. However I think there's little belief that this is the end of the impact on the mental and physical health of a large part of the population and will be felt by generations to come.
My motivation for documenting the symbols of these times as they unfolded was to find a way for me to comprehend the changes in our ways of living, working, even being. In a world where so much influence is attributed to social media, I've been struck by the intimacy of handwritten notes and signs. Shops have become time machines, fast-forwarding us into the future. Hairdressers going out of business, re-opening as COVID testing centres. Want to buy some shoes? How about an electric bike instead? Simultaneously we've been pulled back in time. Posters for cinema and theatre openings replaced by public information instructions. Take a Jab for Britain. Countered by Cold War cartoons on lamp posts, representing the resistance. The mask has become a touchpaper of division we'll live with for a long time.
It's been positive to turn these sideways observations into something of tangible benefit for people directly impacted by the pandemic, through making a contribution to Ealing Foodbank from the book sales. It's now set me on a path of working with other members of Ealing LIP to find ways to use photography to enable local community groups to express their own feelings about their experiences.
I was fascinated by my pivot from a lifetime of pursuing a passion for black and white photography on film of people on the streets of London's West End and other cities around the world, to a daily routine of using my mobile phone to record what I literally stumbled across on my morning runs around my local neighbourhood. So where does that leave me now, when I have the freedom to return to those streets? It's important to recognise the ideas and movements that have come to the fore in these febrile times. Rights of representation and the power of privilege are now impossible to ignore in everyday life and certainly in the practice of street photography. It's made me re-think carefully about my own ways of working.
I've also been struck by the range and brilliance of creative response to these times. I confess to having found it hard to resist buying books and zines, often for good causes, as well as attending fascinating virtual talks and exhibitions about peoples' ways of dealing with lockdown and loss. I'm proud to have been part of Ealing LIP's own contribution through the Ealing Unlocked exhibition. Platforms have been taken by marginalised voices and opportunities seized to innovate and share ideas with new audiences. I hope to see that the channels of production - as well as the work - will not be forgotten too.
Lockdown has been a portent of the pace and impact of disruption that will become more common as we face the realities of social and climate disruption. Photography's response will inevitably draw upon its history of documenting, but I feel its tradition of activism will become more vital. Those shifts in the balances of power can be amongst the positive changes we can take through the other side of lockdown.
Another Ealing LIP meeting, another wonderful evening! When we meet, whatever else we do you hope people will come and share photos and talk about them. This month did not disappoint. Here's a selection below of photos people shared. We also heard how some of the Unlocked workshops with community groups had gone so far which was very moving.
The penultimate protestor to be taken off the open top 'wedding bus' was dressed as a bride and had her hand glued to the glass on the bus’s front door. She was arrested and put in the back of a Police van’s secure prisoner cell. Extinction Rebellion protestors block off the southern end of London Bridge. London, UK. August 31, 2021.
Chris Moxey is taking part in Thirteen at Lauderdale House. Details of opening times are on the invite above. The private view has happened so ignore that part!
Photo: Edmond Terakopian
There is an article on London's tallest outdoor photography exhibition in Amateur Photography magazine. Of course that exhibition is ours - Unlocked! Group members Edmond Terakopian and Jonny Baker are interviewed about it in which they relate how it came about, the curation process and working with Ealing Police to get permission for it.
We made it! Thank you so much to everyone who supported our crowdfunding campaign for Unlocked. Amazingly we have reached our target so Unlocked is going to happen. Thank you to everyone who donated and especially two sponsors FujiFilm and Gogar Services who weighed in with generous support. We are now working to line up printing and installing of images in time for BEAT 2021 which runs over the weekends of 11/12 and 18/19 September 2021. The images will of course be available to see at any time once up as they will be on the exterior of Ealing Police Station and will be left up we hope for a few months. We’ll be having an opening on the afternoon of that first weekend - details to follow.
As a group we have planned an exhibition as part of BEAT 2021. Given all the uncertainties due to Covid we had been exploring outdoor options for exhibiting and through a series of connections have ended up with Ealing Police Station agreeing we can use the front of their building as a canvas for our next exhibition! It is huge so will have quite an impact. The exhibition is called ‘UNLOCKED – looking back, looking forward’ and is a reflection on the strange times we find ourselves in, the things we have noticed over the past year and our hopes for the future.
Of course it is going to be more costly to pull off so we are in the process of raising funds for it. On contacting Ealing Council they now have their own crowdfunding page for community initiatives and projects and steered us in that direction. As part of that they will consider backing a project but like to see a group raising funds and demonstrating commitment themselves. So whilst we hadn't anticipated it this means we have ended up with a local crowdfunding page for Unlocked. Do go and have a look and if you'd like to support the group then do pledge. We are 10% of the way there at the time of writing this post.
Sean McDonnell has been documenting life in the locale through lockdown. Having published a book of photographs for the first lockdown he has now published a second volume of photos taken between August 2020 and January 2021. You can order here and half the proceeds go to Ealing Foodbank. He presented this to the group at our June meeting.
[shooting blind by Jonny Baker - June challenge]
Sorry for the lack of updates on the web site. I suddenly noticed 6 months has gone by without an update - ooops. The group has continued to meet on zoom and we've had some really good and stimulating evenings.
January was a look back on photos from the previous year and we planned the year ahead.
February combined words and images inspired by Flip magazine
March was a presentation on workflow from Edmond and photos in response to the challenge Upside Down or One Colour
April was a presentation from Angelika on portraits and self portraits and...
May invited people to bring back their responses to that with some really great photos shown
And June we were 'shooting blind' with a range of responses to that theme from randomising how to take photos, to not looking where to take photos or finding ways to lose clarity. All these were ways of losing control. Sean also shared volume two of his book series Living Lockdown (see separate post)
And every month we have been discussing plans for the exhibition Unlicked as part of BEAT 2021 (see separate post)
So that brings us up to date!