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.
Following last month's inspirational talk on zines the theme continued in May's online meeting as Sean McDonnell showed a video of a zine he has been working on New Europe. He says more about it on his blog here. Can't wait until we meet again to see it in print...
We also explored the theme of abstract photography and took as our launch point the wonderfully curated London Independent Photography's Instagram account's stories which are really well curated collections of LIP members photos. There are five sets of abstracts (so far) - scroll along the top. For example this is the first set.
Various group members showed and talked about some of their abstract photos. Here are a few by way of example from Jonny, Richard, Dorota, Frankie and Ray.
And members showed a few other things they were working on in lockdown. Jonny showed some of his photos from a trip to New Zealand just before lockdown - see flickr album here.
For the forseeable future unsurprisingly the group will not be meeting together physically because of Coronavirus. But we will meet online for our monthly gathering still. Information about that goes out on the group email list. If you are not on it get in touch.
Last night was the first and nineteen group members showed up. Using zoom technology worked really well. It was great to connect. Fabrizio and Angelika hosted the evening with a wonderful presentation on zines and books. The idea was to spark peoples imagination to have a go at producing one. It was certainly inspiring.
This month due to not being able to use our regular venue we went to visit the Photographers' Gallery on Thursday night despite the rain, train delays and other reasons not to come into central London! We almost had the place to ourselves so it was nice to be able to take some time to look at the work of the four nominees for the Deutsche Börse prize.
We agreed they covered an interesting range of styles and ideas from the traditional documentary work of Mark Neville, the more innovative Mohamed Bourouissa making use of augmented reality, Anton Kuster's powerful and quietly emotional Blue Skies project and an intriguing concept by Clare Strand which had some of us thinking about our next group exhibition (watch this space)!
We did well to find a quiet place nearby to pick out the themes of the show which lead us to a really interesting discussion on women and power in photography, a great topic for a meeting in itself. Looking forward to next month's meeting on zines and putting a book project together.
[posted by Sean]
Please note that the next group meeting is not the usual time and place. This is due to us not being able to book the venue for this month.
So we are now meeting on Thursday March 5. We had discussed using this month to go to an exhibition and reflect on it. So we will meet at the Photographers Gallery. It is open Thursday evening until 8pm. So try and get there by 6pm if you can, take a look at the two exhibitions and then rendezvous in the cafe.
The first meeting of the year was a great start to the year.
[Monika at Pride by Chris Bellinger | Ray by Jonny Baker | Alyssa by Chris Bellinger | Propect Wood by Jonny Baker]
Various members brought favourite photos from 2019. See above for a few examples.
On instagram and twitter there was a popular hashtag #decadechallenge - where people posted a photo of themselves 10 years ago and now. A few members joined in and brought their own decade challenge which was good fun.
Then we also planned out the year ahead. Whilst there may of course be changes this is what it currently looks like
- January - planning and share photos
- February - BEAT ideas, team and planning - Jonny facilitate
- March - visit exhibition and discuss related theme (exhibition yet to be decided)
- April - Zine + presentation on putting book project together - Fabrizio facilitate with Angelika
- May - abstract/impressionist - Chris B and Richard M to facilitate
- June - urban interventions (and treasure hunt?) - Jonny to facilitate
- July - making strange - Arun and Fabrizio to facilitate
- August - travel - ?facilitator?
- Sept - BEAT launch/opening
- Oct - the Corners (book in which layered photos are constructed) - ?facilitator?
- Nov - show zine (or book) results that we have produced from inspiration in March - ?facilitator?
- Dec - Christmas meal
We also had some things that were discussed that didn’t land on LIP evenings. These were:
- Large format workshop - Robin to organise and host
- Woodland visit - Jonny to organise and host (round May time?)
- Instagram takeover - ?needs thought but could tie in with exhibition or a particular hashtag?
[photo from Aritmia by Fabrizio Quagliuso]
Fabrizio also brought a copy of Aritmia to show which has been a two year project in the making of a beautiful book. You can read about it and purchase copies on his web site.
We usually meet on the first Weds of the month but as it is new year's day we won't be in January. We will meet the following Weds - Jan 8th. Our usual venue is booked so we will be meeting at a group member's home instead. We have emailed all members to let them know but if you are planning to come and did not get that please get in touch via email - see contact email in the sidebar on the right hand side of the page. Hope to see you then!