Merrie Albion: Landscape Studies of a Small Island is a concise compendium of Britain over the past few years and is an excellent visual survey of the run-up to Brexit. The photographs examine rich and complex variations of Britain that are now even more poignant after last year’s vote. Images of election campaigning in clean and tidy suburbia, protests, the aftermath of riots in London, diamond jubilee celebrations, rock concerts, a family enjoying Brighton beach, computer screens of the trading floor of Lloyds – the list goes on. Roberts has managed to capture all the major events in juxtaposition with minor situations that are large with meaning, from the dead of the Iraq war being saluted by Army veterans through Wootton Bassett to an depiction of impoverished mothers and children at a youth club in Blackburn. Contained within each photograph are mini dramas, cheap-looking high streets with pound shops set against Victorian architecture. Roberts shows a Britain at odds with itself. Rather than a harmonious society, we sense fragmentation and awkwardness and a yearning for a glorious past that never existed.
The Warsaw-based photographer picks the top five projects from Eastern Europe in 2017 – including Alexander Chekmenev’s Passport
The Madrid-based photography correspondent reports on the Spanish top five of 2017 – including Álvaro Laiz’s The Hunt
Laia Abril is no stranger to themes of distress. Bulimia, coping with the death of a child, the asexual community, virtual sex-performer couples – these are all topics that the Barcelona-based photographer has explored and attempted to demystify with her multi-layered, story-based practice. The subjects she tackles are complex and provocative, but ones she is able to connect with by way of female empathy, “where I can be involved emotionally”, she says.
Tormented by a traumatic past and challenged by a difficult present, Sicily is still haunted by the destructive presence of Cosa Nostra. In Terra Nostra, Mimi Mollica shows this problematic entanglement, focusing on the legacy of the Mafia in Sicily. Born and raised in Palermo, Mollica says the series was a labour of love on his homeland, and he tells BJP how he created it, and how he got into photography in the first place.
“Arlene had a unique vision of the world around her,” says gallerist Daniel Cooney. “She was kind and compassionate and she had a wonderful sense of humour, and all of it came through in her work. That’s what made her images so beautiful and unique.” Born in the Coney Island district of New York and growing up in the Crown Heights district of Brooklyn, Arlene Gottfried studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and initially found work with an advertising agency before going freelance for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Life, and Newsweek. But her true passion was for portraits shot on the fly, and often on the street, and it was for this work that she became celebrated.
Photographers and publishing experts spill the beans on how to fund and promote your photobook.
So you’ve thought long and hard about whether the time is right to make a photobook, and you’re sure there is an audience for your project; what’s next? If you want to make a book then you have to start physically making it, says Dewi Lewis, whose experience in publishing stretches over more than 30 years. “If someone is working on a project they are convinced is a book, my view is they should be continually putting together a dummy in its loosest sense – something where the work is sequenced,” says Lewis. “You need to see as you go where the gaps and strengths are. So it’s a case of continually printing out the images, putting them in a sequence, and living with it.” There is a lot to think about when deciding the look of your book, such as choosing which images to show, finding an effective way to translate those images to page, and refining the edit. Photographers should have their final selection of images ready and organised well in advance, advises …
To mark the launch of the Bob Books Photobook Award, a new competition from Bob Books, the UK based on-demand photobook printer, BJP is publishing a three-part series featuring advice on how to make and promote a photobook. In part one, publishing experts and photographers who’ve successfully made the journey share invaluable advice on what to think about before diving in. Producing a photobook is an important milestone in any photographer’s career, demanding a huge investment of time, energy, and resources. With so many photobooks being published every day and the bar to entry lower than it has ever been, how do you make a book that does your project justice, stands out from the rest, and most importantly sells? Publisher Dewi Lewis, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years and has worked on books with photographers including Martin Parr, Edmund Clark, and Stuart Freedman, says the starting point has to be for every photographer to ask why he or she wants to make a book. “Not enough photographers ask themselves …
If there is a photographer who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, it’s Dougie Wallace. For more than ten years, the East London-based Glaswegian photographer, has been turning his camera on everyone from stags and hens to Shoreditch hipsters, Bombay taxi drivers, and now the super rich. Getting uncomfortably close to his subjects with a double flashgun, Glaswegee as he is known creates colourful unforgiving images that reveal the unedited reality behind his subjects. We see stags trussed up like turkeys, scantily-clad women cavorting around London, and yapping dogs snarling into the lens. Few photographers get closer than this. In particular, Wallace’s Olympus-shot images of the global super rich in London’s elite districts of Knightsbridge and Chelsea paint a telling picture of glut and greed. This so-called ‘one per cent’ is the subject of Wallace’s Harrodsburg, a project recently published as a book by Dewi Lewis. It is nothing less than a visual satire on the ultra affluent elite and their exorbitant spending habits. Wallace, who is represented …