All posts filed under: Studio 1854

Star Wars Families: The photographers

In advance of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and British Journal of Photography present Star Wars Families: an immersive photographic and editorial project that sheds light on families who have enjoyed the magic of Star Wars for nearly half a century.  This weekend, the 10 photographers selected for the commission will document the lives of families in 10 countries; Ying Ang in Australia, Carlotta Cardana in Italy, Daniel Chatard in Germany, Josh Adam Jones in the United Arab Emirates, Kovi Konowiecki in the US, Jason Koxvold in India, Piczo in Japan, Camila Svenson in Brazil, Pascal Vossen in South Africa, and Alice Zoo in the UK. Just as the Skywalker story arc echoes through the Star Wars galaxy, so our own family narratives bind us together across generations. Star Wars Families will celebrate the family unit in all its diverse incarnations through a series of images constructing a narrative around the idea of the family portrait. Accompanied by a videographer, the selected photographers will record the personal relationships and stories of …

2019-11-16T17:01:45+00:00

What is it like to live in poverty and struggle with mental health?

“My hope is to bring people into connection, into their heart,” says Siân Davey. “It’s a heart practice. With very real issues.” The photographer, known for her sensitive work documenting her own children, as well as tender reflections on the intimate relationships amongst families and groups of young people, has been selected for the Wellcome Photography Prize commission. Over the coming months, she will be producing a new body of work around the theme of mental health. This new project, entitled Testament, will focus specifically on the relationship between poverty and mental health, documenting the lives of individuals living in Torquay, Devon, and struggling with precarious living conditions and all the associated psychological states this produces. “How is it to be poor and struggling with mental health? And how do we manage that? What informs that?” asks Davey whose work will seek to address these questions by examining the emotional experience of lives predicated by uncertainty, and the toll taken by unstable living circumstances. The initial weeks of the commission have seen the photographer undertaking …

2019-11-11T11:21:41+00:00

Humour, intimacy, and sincerity: celebrating family photography

“I had learned that the best way to make meaningful photographs, as a photographer starting out, would be to document what I knew best, what I loved,” says Emma Hardy, describing the beginnings of her photographic career. “Hence my family.” Images of home and family have always been a compelling theme in documentary photography, from Sally Mann’s poetic black-and-white images of her children to Richard Billingham’s pathos-filled portrait of his parents from the series Ray’s a Laugh. There is the seductive sense of a lid being lifted, or a magnifying glass held over a subject as relatable as it is specific; photographs of families, like families themselves, can take so many different forms and provoke so many different emotions. This is the impetus behind British Journal of Photography’s new collaboration with Lucasfilm, Star Wars Families, a new commission that will see 10 photographers each create a narrative family portrait of 10 different families across five continents. The project will explore these families’ unique dynamics through the lens of Star Wars, and the impact that film and …

2019-11-08T11:15:17+00:00

Conceived by a sperm donor, a photographer travels across the United States to document the 32 siblings he had never met

The Wellcome Photography Prize 2020 is now open for entry, calling for submissions exploring topics of health and medicine. Its ‘Social Perspectives’ category asks photographers to examine these themes as contextualised by society. Eli Baden-Lasar’s work documenting his half-siblings is an extraordinary example of one such project. Eli Baden-Lasar had always known he was conceived using a sperm donor. However, discovering that one of his friends was a half-sibling was a decisive moment. He had always been interested in visual culture and in using a camera to explore ideas, and so he set out on what turned out to be a year-long journey to meet and photograph each of his half-siblings. The resulting project was originally published as the cover story of The New York Times Magazine in June, A Family Portrait: Brothers, Sisters, Strangers, Strangers (though the photographer refers to the work simply as his siblings project). Far from being a straightforward documentary piece about family discovery, the project is a multilayered exposition of an emotional, familial and political enquiry, taking in not only …

2019-10-31T11:34:16+00:00

Star Wars Families: A new commission exploring family across five continents

“It’s about family.” So said Carrie Fisher when describing the power of Star Wars, and that rings true on many levels.  In conceiving the cast of much-loved characters in that galaxy far, far away, and the complex web of relationships between them, Star Wars creator George Lucas had tapped into one of humanity’s most essential and formative preoccupations: family, in all its profound, joyful, and complicated forms. In advance of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and the British Journal of Photography present Star Wars Families:  an immersive photographic and editorial project that pays homage both to the saga and to the families who have enjoyed its magic for nearly half a century.   Star Wars is generational; for many, it is the movie equivalent of passing down family heirlooms. Star Wars Families will serve as a homage to fans by celebrating the families portrayed through the lens of ten incredible photographic talents on five different continents. These photographers will be commissioned to produce an editorial-style series of images, constructing a …

2019-10-25T15:53:28+00:00

An uncompromising depiction of the effects of endometriosis

In this intensely personal series, Georgie Wileman spent years documenting her own and others’ experiences with the condition, aiming to raise awareness about the brutal and misunderstood illness. “I always knew I needed to photograph what was happening to me,” says Georgie Wileman. She is the photographer behind This is Endometriosis, an unflinching exploration of the condition via wrenching depictions of her own, and others’, suffering. This kind of project is championed by the Wellcome Photography Prize, currently open for submissions related to the themes of health and medicine. Like Wileman’s, work is encouraged to be personal, exploring illness with intimacy. “Endometriosis is an incredibly lonely disease,” Wileman tells me. She didn’t recognise the mediafied, search-engine version of her illness; it felt irrelevant, feeble, vaguely describing things like “painful periods”. “They’re words that do not come close to the impact on my life, one of heat-pad burns and morphine, wheelchairs and walking sticks,” says Wileman. Her outrage and isolation incited her to take action, using her camera to explore the precise process of surgeries and …

2019-10-25T16:48:08+00:00

Documenting the initiative helping disabled people explore sexuality

Six years ago, Simone Cerio came across a newspaper story that made him sit up and pay attention. Referencing an organisation called LoveGiver, the article was about the practice of sexual assistance in Italy, and its controversy in the context of the law. Sexual assistance is “a holistic practice of massage and erotic stimulation”, says Cerio, one designed to help disabled people develop their sexual identity as well as a sense of their bodies both within the context of a relationship and for themselves alone. “Sexual assistance is confused with prostitution,” the photographer continues. “But the difference is that there is no penetration or oral sex. It’s very different from prostitution, but there isn’t, so far, a clear way to get this practice legalised.” Cerio started to research the subject, contacted the organisation (whose name he adapted as the title of his resulting project, Love Givers) and was subsequently introduced to both practitioners and clients. His work explores, with startling intimacy, a transformative practice that for many people remains unknown. One of the most striking …

2019-10-17T15:15:17+00:00

A photographer’s intimate portrayal of her brother’s autism

A boy lies backwards across a bed, his back arching over a cushion beneath him. His hand reaches towards the viewer and begins to blur; underneath, a handwritten caption reads: “I feel relaxed when I play with string.” This is photographer Erin Lefevre’s brother, Liam, who has autism, and who is the subject of her project Liam’s World. The project was the winning entry in the 2019 Wellcome Photography Prize, and was selected for its intimate portrayal of Liam’s life, made up of tender portraits taken by his sister, and his own reflections on the moments depicted. “I decided to photograph my brother because for years growing up I didn’t understand him,” says Lefevre of the beginnings of her project. She was studying photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, and exploring methods of photojournalism and documenting life around her. “At that time in my life I was starting to see photography as a way to understand the world, and I wanted to use it as a way to better understand my brother, to see …

2019-10-02T10:09:03+00:00

A new open call for powerful visual stories on mental and physical health

Health is a universal topic, no matter your age or demographic. Its impact is transformative, and its challenges can mean life or death. The Wellcome Photography Prize, now open for entry, aims to take this familiar theme and explore it through visual language. While international questions of health, science, and medicine can often feel abstract, photography has the ability to visualise them, provoking a direct and intimate awareness of the issues that Wellcome supports. Wellcome is a global charitable foundation that funds over 14,000 people in 70 countries, supporting scientists and researchers in their work to address contemporary health challenges internationally. Initiated in 1992, and originally aimed at clinical imaging specialists, its annual Photography Prize relaunched last year. The new incarnation aims to celebrate contemporary visual narratives about health and science and bring them to a wider audience, raising questions and awareness through powerful and personal visual storytelling. Last year’s edition of the prize explored Outbreaks — capturing the impact of diseases as they spread. This year’s central theme is Mental Health, inviting entrants to …

2019-09-25T13:33:32+00:00

Stories for Change: Frederick Paxton

Stories for Change is an ongoing collaboration between British Journal of Photography and Panasonic LUMIX that celebrates the power of photography in driving positive change. This summer, three photographers will each be awarded a grant and a LUMIX S Series kit to create a new body of work around the themes Inclusion and Belonging. Below Frederick Paxton discusses what he has planned. “Often, complex systems of government and geopolitics dominate the narratives of certain countries and sport can offer an unexpected window into these worlds,” writes Frederick Paxton, a photographer and filmmaker based in London. “Through sport, you see expressions of both national and personal identity. By understanding the subculture of the sport you can begin to understand the society that it reflects.”  For his Stories for Change project, Paxton, who is represented by Academy‘s new stills agency, will immerse himself in one sport, in one country. The project could take a number of forms. Paxton wants to be led by the people he meets and the things he experiences — he is is open to the focus being …

2019-09-18T15:00:35+00:00

BJP Staff