All posts filed under: Exhibitions

From Stateside © Matt Wilson

Looking for America – Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography returns

Diffusion, the international photography biennale organised by Cardiff’s Ffotogallery is currently in full swing, hosting group shows, talks and photography-related events around the city for the entire month of October. The theme, Looking for America, was announced back in May 2013, on the last day of the previous edition. Despite the continuous barrage of American imagery, David Drake (director of Ffotogallery and curator of the festival) says that the theme is as pertinent as ever. “I was interested in the strange paradox that from outside of America there was still an allure around Americana and a lot of the things that become representative of the American Dream. But within America there was a sense of corrosion, that everything had gone wrong. The inside perspective on America was quite dark and dystopian whereas from a European perspective America was still the promised land, a land of opportunity. I thought that we could have quite a lot of fun exploring those notions through the festival.” The festival spans several sites around the city, in an effort to …


Crazy Legs Saloon. Watertown, New York, from Songbook

“Photography is a language.” Alec Soth on his first UK exhibition Gathered Leaves

“Everyone can take great pictures,” Alec Soth tells BJP at the opening of his first UK exhibition, Gathered Leaves, at London’s Science Museum. “What’s hard is taking a collection of great pictures and making them work together. It’s like language: everyone can speak but putting the words together is the real challenge.”  Gathered Leaves meets that challenge head on. This is his new exhibition in London’s Science Museum, displaying a comprehensive set of pictures from a photographer widely considered the greatest contemporary explorer of the American psyche. Derived from his four books Sleeping by the Mississippi, Niagara, Broken Manual and Songbook, the work combines portraiture, landscapes and interiors, presented with a smattering of inspirational material. Though the subject matter ranges from portentous wide shots of waterfalls to bearded men clutching model planes to naked Neo-Nazi hermits it’s easy to deduce Soth’s common thread: we’re witnessing the less-travelled America. Soth’s work has taken him across the whole of the US, though it’s what are derisively called ‘the flyover states’ that firmly hold his attention. This is …



WeTransfer announced as Media Partner for the IPA 2016


Valued by creatives across the globe for the speed and simplicity of its file transfer service, WeTransfer’s commitment to artistic vision is integrated into its design with full screen backdrops that function as both advertising space and a curated showcase of inspirational artwork. As official Media Partner of the IPA 2016, winners of the award will receive the additional prize of a four-week showcase on the WeTransfer homepage, reaching over 70 million users worldwide and providing an unmissable opportunity for exposure to the international creative community. Runners up in each category will receive WeTransfer Plus accounts, complete with long term storage, increased upload sizes and password protected transfers. For full details of this year’s International Photography Awards visit:


Julian Germain photographed classrooms in 19 countries all over the world

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Ethiopia or Germany”, says Julian Germain, the British photographer who has spent the last 11 years photographing children in their classrooms at school’s all over the world. “Each school is instantly recognisable,” Germain says. “A teacher standing in front of rows of children in an oblong space, with a blackboard at one end is the template of education throughout the world.” This universal experience is something that Germain has captured in his aptly named series Classroom Portraits, that will have its UK premiere at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne at the beginning of October. After starting the series in the north of England, Germain photographed in 19 countries across the world, including Russia, Taiwan, Bangladesh, the USA and Saudi Arabia.    The project began when his when his own daughters first started their education.  He realised that, despite this experience being universal, there were hardly any depictions of schooling in the photography world. “The way it worked was pretty random,” Germain says. “If I was travelling somewhere, I’d ask people I knew …


© Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, forty years ago, on the tour that made them

Forty years ago, in the months leading up to the release of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal Born to Run, photojournalist Barbara Pyle documented a band of young men on tour across America, unaware they were about to be catapulted from left-field obscurity to the forefront of American rock music. Pyle photographed Springsteen and The E Street Band in their native New Jersey habitat of Asbury Park to the Cajun splendour of New Orleans – where the band were touring the new material. She photographed them in her own family home in rural Oklahoma, and gives a broad mix of studio portraits, performance shots and travelogue images. “I first saw Bruce and the E Street Band by accident,” Pyle says. “I was blown away by their music. For the next year, I drove to as many of their gigs as I could reach. They jokingly started calling me their ‘official unofficial photographer’. I was just expected to be there, and I almost always was – on my self-imposed mission to document this little known New Jersey band. “I had the remarkable good fortune to spend most of …


Minty, Isle of Mull, May 2015. From the series Drawn To The Land.

Scotland’s wild, untameable countryside and the women who work it

“The land was forever, it moved and changed below you, but was forever.” These words from Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s literary elegy to the world of Scottish farming, echo loudly in Sophie Gerrard’s lyrical photography series Drawn to the Land, which captures a similarly fierce bond between Scotland’s wild, untameable countryside and the women who work it. Gerrard began the project two and a half years ago, when she moved back to her native Scotland after years based in London, as a way of exploring her own relationship with her home nation. “When you’re a Scot living away from Scotland, a lot of the questions you get asked about your home country often reflect on the image of this bonny land, the picture-postcard setting and the heather,” Gerrard told us by phone from her home in Edinburgh. “I realised I didn’t know Scotland any better than that, so I wanted to get to know my landscape as it is a real symbol of our national identity for many people.” She couldn’t have chosen a …


The first American contingent of the War, briefly in Wellington Barracks, 1917

Soldiers and Suffragettes: A glimpse into London at the start of the 20th Century

Christina Broom was Britain’s first female press photographer, breaking out of the photographic studios that women in the profession were confined to. Supporting herself professionally by selling her images as picture postcards (growing rapidly in popularity at the time), she also documented London views and noteworthy events. Her images, taking in parades of First World War soldiers, Suffragette processions, royal occasions and sporting events provide a unique snapshot of life in early-20th Century London. One hundred years later, a new exhibition of her works at the Museum of London Docklands reveals the story of the self-taught novice who turned photography into a business venture to support her family. We spoke to Anna Sparham, Curator of Photographs at the Museum of London about Broom’s pioneering career. How did a civilian woman obtain the role of photographer to the Household Division of the British Army? Her role was instigated by an event in 1904 when Broom and her daughter were out photographing the streets and stumbled across a Scots Guards sports event taking place in Burton Court, Chelsea. The …


House of Chino I © Werner Pawlok

Photographing the disappearing homes of Castro’s Cuba

Werner Pawlok’s Cuba is curiously melancholy. Though his interiors pop with primary colours, golden sunlight and the scuffmarks of generations, they’re all infused with gentle sadness. Life in Cuba is changing: as the country’s relationship with the United States begins to normalise, decades of economic restrictions are beginning to ease. Now Pawlok, who’s been photographing the country since 2004, has returned for a new series of photographs exclusively for LUMAS gallery, Mayfair, London, in advance of the exhibition Viva Cuba!, opening this September. Pawlok’s fascination with Cuba stems from his experiences in East Germany: “I was the first Western photographer who did a series in East Berlin, shooting for Helmut Lang and Weiner magazine,” he says. “What I found were morbid places, they didn’t have the money to do proper renovation. It’s the same situation in Cuba and it’s this atmosphere that I fell in love with.” Pawlok has never been tempted to make a social project out of this work. “It’s much more interesting to take pictures of these empty rooms,” he says. Yet every picture …


Amira and her Children by Ivor Prickett © Ivor Prickett/UNHCR/Panos Pictures

Shortlist for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 announced

Four photographs have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, the major international photography award organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London. Beginning in 1993, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has become the National Portrait Gallery’s signature exhibition, attracting contemporary photographers around the globe and offering extensive exposure to seasoned photographers and talented amateurs. The prize will be announced on the 10th of November 2015, with the first prize winner receiving £12,000. The shortlisted portraits include: Hector by Anoush Abrar is inspired by the dramatic chiaroscuro lighting of Baroque paintings. The Iranian-born Swiss photographer was strongly influenced by Caravaggio’s work, particularly his painting Sleeping Cupid from 1608. Abrar explains: “Somehow I needed to make my own Sleeping Cupid. I found my portrait of Hector so powerful and iconic that it inspired me to continue this project as a series called Cherubs.” Ivor Prickett’s photograph Amira and her Children, of a displaced Iraqi family who had fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area. The documentary photographer has …


A street preacher in New York appeals to Wall Street to repent; 2011
© Christopher Anderson / Magnum Photos

Examining the 1% through the lens

With defiantly left-wing political candidates all over the globe sweeping to prominence on agendas condemning inequality, issues such as gentrification, wage disparity and the allocation of resources have moved from the academic lecture halls to the streets and living rooms. With the public discourse beginning to reach fever pitch, Time associate photo editor Myles Little’s ambitiously international group exhibition One Percent: Privilege in a Time of Inequality grapples with this era-defining issue by depicting those at the top of the pyramid. The group exhibition will be touring all continents, taking in Pingyao, Dubai, Berlin, Lagos, Lishui, Guatemala City, Sarajevo, Sydney, Chicago, Aberystwyth and Addis Ababa. Photographers exhibited include Zed Nelson, Christopher Anderson and Juliana Sohn. “It’s a topic that’s hard to avoid these days, whether you’re interested in photography, or politics, or economics. The Pope has spoken very eloquently about it, even billionaires have spoken out against it,” Little says. “Living in New York City, it’s in your face everyday. It’s Dickensian here, you see the best and the worst of everything very close together, …


BJP Staff