All posts tagged: Wales

Photographing Masonic Community in South Wales

In his latest exhibition, David Barnes explores community and social identity in South Wales – a topic that has fascinated him for 20 years. Taking its title from a quote by cultural critic and historian Raymond Williams, Barnes’s In Solution is the culmination of four years’ work made with the support of Ffotogallery. Barnes, who grew up in South Wales, immersed himself within the small, tight-knit communities in the Valleys and neighbouring border regions, observing and recording everyday life and rejecting the romanticised vision associated with the region. “The whole idea of Wales as depicted in How Green Was My Valley? and all these things is a myth,” he says. “The things I want to look at aren’t being looked at, or aren’t very fashionable to look at. When I go into places like Tesco or Halfords, I see a community of individuals. Modern Welsh culture is not this homogeneous idea of people standing on the hills singing and drinking pints of warm bitter. The real experience includes places such as retail parks as sites …

2016-11-03T13:10:39+00:00

How to Shoot the Perfect Portrait: Clémentine Schneidermann

Portrait of Britain is inviting photographers to submit images that reflect the unique heritage and diversity of our country and show the face of modern Britain. 100 winning portraits will be selected for a public exhibition showcased nationwide in September 2016.  We’re asking portrait photographers what goes into making the perfect portrait – this week we hear from Wales-based photographer Clémentine Schneidermann.  In your view, what makes a compelling portrait? It is a fine combination between the subject, the light, the colours, the framing, the tension and the distance between the photographer and the model. It has to be perfect without looking perfect. What attracts you to a potential subject? The personality of the subject  – how does this person stands out from the crowd. I find my inspiration in the everyday life, I don’t work with professional models. I pay a lot of attention to the clothes, the efforts people make to stand out and take care of themselves. I am interested in the fragility and the vulnerability [of the subject]. What makes you turn to …

2016-06-30T14:53:19+00:00

Buying items off an Amazon Wish List in exchange for a portrait

“All of my sessions require a tribute, but a good slave knows that tribute in itself is not enough,” Mistress Jezabel writes on her wish list. “A submissive who goes out of their way to please Mistress is one who is remembered affectionately by Her. Expensive is often good, but what’s more important is to find something that pleases Her.” Mistress Jezabel, a London-based dominatrix (willing to travel to America and across Europe), is one of many women 23-year-old Sophie Skipper, from Long Melford in Suffolk, photographed for her collection entitled He wants to see my Amazon Wish List.       Speaking from her Cardiff home – she graduated from the documentary photography course at the University of South Wales last year – she tells of being interested in gift-giving and “whether it can ever be a selfless thing”. She noticed women using a hashtag on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest – #myamazonwishlist – with a link to a list of exclusive items on the shopping website Amazon. “I realised the wish list idea is …

2015-11-25T13:35:39+00:00

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 …

2015-10-19T10:44:54+00:00

The creative collective bringing Welsh photography to the forefront

While Scotland has formed a modern sense of civic nationalism and England publicly grapples with its own ideas of self-definition, the contemporary Welsh identity hasn’t been as thoroughly excavated. The creative response from artists can often be the most potent, yet the most famous writer to hail from Wales wrote, “Land of my fathers, and my fathers can keep it”. Dylan Thomas, now revered as a Welsh cultural titan, loved Wales but was ambivalent about Welsh nationalism. Perhaps then, referencing him is as bold a way to nail your colours to the mast as any. For A Fine Beginning, the Welsh photography collective who take their name from Thomas’s unfinished novel, it’s a signal of intent. The collective’s second group exhibition, Made in Wales II, will be showing at Cardiff MADE from the 9th to the 19th September, going on to London in November and finally in North Wales in March 2016. The Welsh photography collective and eponymous blog was brought together by Swansea-born James O. Jenkins as a platform for people to share work …

2016-02-08T12:39:20+00:00

Ken Grant – No Pain Whatsoever

BJP

I was in Ken Grant’s MA class when he was teaching Documentary Photography at Newport in Wales. You’d bring out an unedited mess of pictures and Grant would start talking in his mellifluous poet’s voice, his thoughts weaving in and out of the pictures, connecting music, literature and photographers to them. He touched on places where life shone, where soul came through, and left the rest alone; it was never about you, or the images, but about the wider world, the quiet moments, what you might do and what you could do. Then you’d leave the room, never quite sure what had happened, but always knowing that what mattered was the meaning and the rhythm and the soul, and that what you could do was what you hadn’t done. It was the gentlest of eviscerations. The same poetic thoughtfulness infuses Grant’s photography, much of which is based around his hometown, Liverpool. It is work that, through acclaimed shows at the Format Festival in 2013, and the publication of two books last year, No Pain Whatsoever …

2015-05-11T11:05:19+00:00

BJP Staff