The sale of Ali Moosavi’s photograph, Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame, this week has benefitted Ealing based charity BEfriend. The charity matches friendly and reliable volunteers with people who have become lonely and socially isolated. Volunteers provide company and companionship and help those they befriend feel engaged with the world again, either through bringing hope and warmth in with them or by helping people get out. During recent months their services have been even more important and they have extra pressures in delivering the required help in a safe way.
For the popular Borough of Ealing Art Trail (BEAT) exhibition, Ealing LIP photographers created a collection of work entitled Oblique Strategies (taking inspiration from Brian Eno) back in 2018.
One of our group, Ali Moosavi, donated his print from the BEAT exhibition to the OPEN Ealing gallery earlier this year, and worked with them to find a charity based in Ealing to benefit from the sale,
OPEN Ealing released an update on their website last week:
Rachel Hill, Director, commented that all the money raised from the sale of Ali’s photograph will go towards sustaining the service.
Jonny Baker switched form discussing interventions in the current Covid19 crisis to a reflection on three interventions he had reflected on during a visit earlier in the year to New Zealand.
The first intervention was colonialism and the way that had exported almost a total environment to recreate England. The parks in Christchurch for example look like a park in Ealing and to find the indogenous trees you need to visit the New Zealand section of the botanical gardens! He has blogged about that here - am I in England?
The second intervention was about street art and contrasting the statues of the English settlers and their coloinial swagger with the street art that often included Maori women and indigenous birds. We discussed this before the current wave of protests about statues of slave traders but it now seems very prescient! There is blog post here - smug statues and street art saints
And then lastly by way of dramatic intervention Christchurch had an earthquake which is a pretty serious intervention. And nine years on there is a combination of new growth and building buit also plenty of visiuble signs of the earthquake inlcuding whole areas of the city which are like a ghost town - the red zone where the ground level has lowered so it's no loner habitable but there are garden plots and streetlights of neighbourhoods that are now a trace. Jonny suggested an intervention like that whilst being terrible does create some opportunity for change and newness and used the cathedral as an example - see his blog post when church collapses.
[ see post 1 life in lockdown ]
Photos: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2020
At the Urban Interventions evening Edmond Terakopian showed a set of photographs that were still being put in order as we began the meeting - they were that live. He has documented the intervention clap for carers which took place every Thurs night from 23 March to 28 May 2020 showing appreciation for those in the NHS on the frontline. These are a selection of the images. He reflected on the denial of access to photographers inside hospitals keeping from view the real impact and cost of Covid19 contrasting it with other countries like Italy where images have been in the public domain with significant impact.
We set the themes for group meetings for most of the year in January over a coffee. One of those themes was "urban interventions". This is inspired by the book Urban Interventions - see a review and several images here - of artists playfuly intervening in the landscape whether through graffiti or installations or often subtle rearrangements of signage. Some of them are poignant and some simply good fun! We looked at a few such as making a car parking space into a lawn with deckchairs and sun loungers, or turning a skip into a skateboard quarter pipe.
At the time we had no idea that interventions would become such a big theme in all of our lives through coronavirus. This made for a brilliant evening with lots of members showing photographs and three presentations. Rather than pack everything into one long post I will post a short series.
First up group members photos are here. This is a page we have created each month as an easy way to share photographs on the evening without continual switching of screen sharing. I have picked three examples below from Frankie, Richard and Richard but do go and have a look at the page.
Then the first presentation was from Sean McDonnell. He loves street photography in the West End but in life during lockdown has found his attention drawn to streets closer to home. Taking his phone on a daily run he shared a compelling record of scenes that we all recognise but will be the kind of thing we look back on years from now and reflect how strange this time has been. Sean has blogged about it here and includes some of his photographs. I have added three below and you can see the album of photos on flickr. The project is ongoing and no doubt will end up as a book or something.