All posts tagged: photography

Kid criminals: tagged, tracked and cast off by society

“My dad left us when I was four or five, and I’ve been estranged from him ever since. Things were rough for my mum trying to raise two boys on her own,” says 28-year-old Zora Murff, whose series Corrections is informed in no small part by his experiences growing up disenfranchised, with a family diminished by low income, lack of opportunity and alcohol abuse. Born and raised in Des Moines, where one in three children live below the poverty line, Zora could easily have become a write-off. His mother was forced to take jobs out of town at weekends to provide for her two boys, often leaving them unsupervised for many hours. “My brother and I were very close when we were young, and I spent a lot of time following him around, until he got to the age where it wasn’t cool to have your little brother tagging along any more. When that happened, I had to learn to be alone – I started to read a lot and draw.” As Zora got older – with …

2015-07-06T15:26:20+00:00

Photographing the Patrulleros – the violent vigilantes of Guatemala

“Photojournalism allows me to get close to events on the ground, so that I may better understand them as they unfold,” says award-winning photojournalist Daniele Volpe, who left his birthplace of Priverno, a small town in Latina, south of Rome, and made his home in Guatemala. “This kind of intimacy allows me to share my reportage and maybe draw the viewers in, making them feel closer to the subjects.” Volpe, now 34, started his career as a news photographer but soon felt unfulfilled. “There’s often little continuity in covering news, because news itself doesn’t always allow for follow-ups,” he explains. “As a natural consequence, I felt drawn to reportage, which allows for a more thoughtful approach to image-making, enabling me to tell a story, to create a narrative.” Guatemala is one of three countries in the Northern Triangle buckling from the strain of the gang-related activity that permeates every aspect of society. It has long been besieged by criminality, much of it attributed to two prominent gangs – Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, and Barrio 18 …

2015-07-07T17:02:05+00:00

The female derobed: Neola McDavid’s untainted nudes

“Trust is very important when you ask someone to take their clothes off so you can photograph them nude,” says Neola Loretta McDavid, who will soon graduate from the University of Roehampton with a BA Honours in Photography. “Your subjects need to have confidence in you as a photographer, and they need to feel comfortable in themselves.” McDavid’s series of nude portraits, Denudate 2015, exudes strength – stripped back, it presents women in a state of undress, stoic in their own personal space, the only props being the intimate objects in their homes. Her series, like the meaning of the title itself, bares all – it strips women of the labels imposed upon them by society and returns them to their natural state, as “supreme beings” – equal to men, neither subordinate nor superior. “The women in my portraits signify empowerment. They are not obstructed by the mores of society or media in the way that influences how women are portrayed today. The women aren’t sexualised, nor are their poses meant to be suggestive. I’m not using the female …

2015-06-25T16:30:44+00:00

Hometown America: Chris Gravett’s undiscovered Arkansas

“I Googled myself, as you do, and accidently added an ‘e’ to the end of my name,” says 64-year-old recent graduate Chris Gravett. “The city of Gravette in northwest Arkansas came up. Wikipedia says it has a population of 2300 – 90% white, with 23 churches, in an area of four square miles. I thought it was such a bizarre demographic I wanted to know more.” And so began the making of Gravette The Heart of Hometown America, which is currently on exhibit at the Free Range Graduate Art and Design Show at The Old Truman Brewery in east London – a summer season of shows celebrating up-and-coming graduate talent in the fields of art, design, fashion, photography and architecture. Chris researched further and discovered that the city of Gravette was founded by a man named Ellis Tillman Gravett – without the ‘e’ – in 1893. A further ancestral search uncovered that Ellis Tillman was British, a settler originally from Steyling in Sussex, and that their ancestral lines cross in the early 16th century. Inspired …

2015-06-25T16:27:33+00:00

A photographer’s epic journey across India

“This story you cannot tell, only recording the work as it is,” says photographer Vasantha Yogananthan. In a black blazer, black jeans, black cardigan and a floral shirt, Vasantha Yogananthan is as mellifluous as his photography. Scans of these – slate and rainbow squares on cream paper – lie fanned on the table. The 29-year-old Paris-based photographer has just gained the resources to develop his epic seven-book project, A Myth of Two Souls, which we discuss at the BJP office in Old Street, London. He’s won a £5,000 grant in the international category of the IdeasTap and Magnum Photographic Award, after finishing in the top three of 823 applicants. He is in a good mood. “The challenge is: how do you tell this story for people in the West?” says Yogananthan, whose mother is French and father is Sri-Lankan. “People will see the pictures and miss what the project is about. We are working on finding an editorial strategy where we can invite the audience to discover India the same way I am discovering it.” The project is to …

2015-05-12T16:18:07+00:00

Smoke and mirrors

With just a couple of weeks until his exhibition opens at TJ Boulting Gallery, Dominic Hawgood is hard at work finalising the prints. His project, Under the Influence, is a deliberately stagey look at the theatrics of modern-day Churches, so he’s creating a carefully controlled, immersive installation to show it off. “The priority is finding a way to control the lighting in the room, to make sure we can create atmosphere for the work to sit in,” he told BJP earlier this month. “It’s about using a few elements in the space, just to change it enough to create a certain feeling.” Hawgood won the show after scooping the series category of BJP‘s International Photography Award, and is working with competition sponsor Spectrum Photographic to create it, making two lightboxes and five large black-and-white vinyl prints that will be stuck directly to the wall. “I’ve worked with LED panels, dim reflectors and bounce light, to try and contrast the glossiness of the screens and the matt finish of the vinyl,” he explains. “Hopefully, when all …

2015-04-17T14:12:56+00:00

The art of perfect coverage

A retired electrical engineer from London started to publish images of himself  ‘fully veiled’ on Flickr, wearing clothes found across the Muslim world, hoodies, headscarfs and more. “This new idea translates the idea of perfect coverage as understood in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the English high street, for anyone who enjoys anonymity, luxury and a sense of drama,” he writes. “It’s easy; all it needs is a sense of adventure and courage.” A selection of these images have now been published by Here Press, the small publishing house behind Edmund Clark’s Control Order House, David Moore’s Pictures from the Real World, Ben Roberts’ Occupied Spaces and Seba Kurtis’ Drowned. Working with the anonymous gentlemen behind the veil, they have produced a slim but thought-provoking book, 2041 – named after the author’s online identity. The book features a small selection of the 60,000+ images the author has made of himself – or maybe other people – swathed in fabric, and was a collaboration between 2041 and two editors, Lewis Chaplin and Ben Weaver. BJP asked Chaplin more about the project. [bjp_ad_slot] BJP: How did you come across …

2015-04-17T14:15:10+00:00

Mean streets

On 25 January Greece goes to the polls, for a snap election called when the parliament failed to select a new president at the end of 2014. It looks like Syriza, the far-left, anti-austerity party has the clear lead, and the outgoing prime minister, Antonis Samaras of the centre-right New Democracy party, has described the vote as a referendum on Europe. Whatever the outcome, the economic crisis of the last five years, and the austerity measures put in place in 2010 after the IMF/Eurozone’s €110 billion bailout loan, have radically changed the country. Greece has been in recession for six years and around 3.9m people – more than one third of the population – now live below the poverty line. At the peak of the crisis unemployment stood at 25%, rising to 60% among the young; now an estimated 50% of young people are unable to find work (figures taken from The Guardian’s report). These figures are comparable to America’s Great Depression of the 1930s and have left a visible mark on the landscape, as Georgios Makkas’ series The Archeology of Now shows. “Tens of …

2015-04-17T14:15:30+00:00

New Japanese Photography at the Doomed Gallery this weekend

What do Daisuke Yokota, Go Itami and Kenji Hirasawa have in common? They’re all showing work at an exciting but fleeting exhibition of emerging Japanese photographers at Doomed Gallery this week. Featuring a photobook showcase, a projection of images by nearly 100 photographers, and installations by Itami and Hirasawa plus Daisuke Nakashima, Hiroshi Takizawa, Mai Narita, Naohiro Utagawa and Yukihito Kono, New Japanese Photography opens with a private view and party from 6pm on 22 January, and closes on 25 January. The gallery is open from 4pm-8pm on Friday and from 12pm-8pm on Saturday and Sunday; Naohiro Utagawa and Yukihito Kono will be at the gallery on the opening night for a book signing. [bjp_ad_slot] The exhibition is curated by Space Cadet, an online gallery launched by Masayoshi Suzuki in 2011, and Stay Alone, a platform and publishing house for artists launched by photographers Suguru Ryuzaki and Yukihito Kono in 2013. The curators hope to show the vibrancy of the contemporary Japanese photography scene, they say, moving it out of the long shadow cast by the 1960s Provoke movement. Doomed Gallery is based at 65-67 Ridley …

2015-04-17T14:15:43+00:00

The Dodo Effect

In June 2008, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin swapped their east London studio for Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Embedded with the British Army, they arrived during the deadliest month of the entire war – the day after they arrived, a fixer for the BBC was dragged from his car and executed, then nine Afghan soldiers were killed in a suicide attack. The following day, three British soldiers were killed on patrol.The celebrated conceptual photographers left their cameras at home, however, instead ‘documenting’ each event by rolling out 50m-long pieces of photographic paper at 7m intervals and exposing them to the intense Afghan sun. “The results deny the viewer the cathartic effect offered up by the conventional language of photographic responses to conflict and suffering,” the pair claimed, exhibiting the end result with the title The Day Nobody Died. Broomberg and Chanarin, both 43 and from South Africa, have become increasingly interested in the depiction of war – last year they won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for War Primer 2, a repurposing of Bertolt Brecht’s …

2014-11-26T23:37:48+00:00

BJP Staff