All posts tagged: Art

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+01:00

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+01:00

BJP #7829: Creative Alchemy

“I love photography passionately, and want to feel it’s a vital and viable medium for today, not an historic artefact. So I struggle to make images that excite me by both exploring the world and the medium itself,” says Paul Graham in an interview with Gerry Badger in the October issue of British Journal of Photography, explaining some of the thought processes that went in to the creation of his latest book, Does Yellow Run Forever?, which follows his acclaimed trilogy, American Night, a shimmer of possibility and The Present. “I don’t wish to explain this work away, but […it…] approaches head-on some clichés: photographs of rainbows!; and here’s one of my girlfriend! Any thinking person will be aware of the dumb ridiculousness of that proposition, but in fact, the surprise is the depth you can find in something that seems so superficial: dreams; love; hope; magical wonders versus the clear-eyed reality. The alchemy you can work, with a few basic elements.” [bjp_ad_slot] This last sentiment sums up the theme of issue #7829, which also features …

2015-05-28T16:00:37+01:00

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+01:00

An English Landscape

“I have written about surveillance, and am critical of it, but I don’t think images can make arguments,” says Trevor Paglen. “They can only draw attention to things and help people learn how to see. They can only hold things up for consideration – but holding things up for consideration is very powerful.” Paglen was speaking at the opening of his installation at Gloucester Road Underground station – a 62m photograph of an idyllic English landscape which extends along the whole of one of the platforms. Slotted in between 19 brick arches decorating the wall, the image creates the trompe d’oeil effect of looking out into the countryside – a vista that includes the white domes of an American Surveillance Base. It was commissioned by Art on the Underground and will be on show for one year; it has also been included in 75,000 leaflets that will be distributed in all zone 1 Underground stations in London. “Other people have tended to work with each space between the columns; I thought the columns create a very nice Arcadian view and wondered what would happen if I thought of them as …

2014-08-27T15:20:40+01:00

Musée de l’Elysée relaunches major photography award following 2011 Lacoste controversy

The Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland has entered into a partnership with watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier to relaunch its Prix Elysée contest. The competition is open to photographers and artists of all nationalities. “There is no imposed theme or preference for any particular photographic genre or technique,” say the organisers, who hope the prize will help support photographers in the evolution of their careers. “We think […] it’s as important as preserving their art for future generations,” says the Musée. [bjp_ad_slot] “Photographers must be recommended by a reputed professional in the fields of photography, cinema, fashion, journalism, publishing or contemporary art,” the institution adds. “The Musée de l’Elysée will select eight nominees based upon their entry portfolios. Each will receive a contribution of CHF 5000 (£3400) towards the initial presentation of their project in a dedicated edition of the Prix Elysée magazine. This magazine will accompany the nominees’ complete portfolios in the final consideration before the jury of experts. The winner will receive CHF 80,000 (£54,000), to be divided between the completion of the proposed project and …

2014-02-07T11:41:17+01:00

Eugenia Maximova’s Associated Nostalgia

“Kitsch and the human propensity for exaggerating have always fascinated me,” says Eugenia Maximova, who was born behind the Iron curtain, in the Bulgarian city of ruse on the banks of the river Danube. “Many of my childhood memories relate to kitsch. It was on open display in almost every household growing up – crystal and ceramic dinner sets, vases and figurines, hard-to-acquire foreign objects, plastic fruit and flowers. They were showcased behind glass and were the pride of the house.” But it was only when she started working on the design for Kitchen Stories From the Balkans – her self- published photobook, available this month, based on her much- published series of modest interiors – that she began to think about how to include “some of those incredible plastic tablecloth patterns so beloved in these latitudes”. Then came the discovery that the garish tablecloths have been manufactured in her hometown for many years; all the serendipity she needed to forge a new project, Associated Nostalgia. [bjp_ad_slot] From plastic cats to brightly patterned wallpaper, nothing …

2013-12-11T11:18:59+01:00

Magdalena Kmiecik’s Hair: in the relationship with…

In her latest project, Polish-born photographer Magdalena Kmiecik explores our relationship with hair – how we cut and style it to feel better about ourselves, and how our hair grows with us, and ages with us. The project is a continuation of her previous project, When The Hair Grows, which considers hair as a reflection of a person’s personality and character, or cultural status. “A typical reaction many women have when they want to change something in their lives is to visit a hairdresser to cut their hair. They believe that in this way they will [sever] the past from the present, and a part of their history will become detached from them. “I started to work with this theme and after a while realised that hair had become my obsession – a harmless fetish,” she says. [bjp_ad_slot] While this project looked at hair as a sign of vitality, or a form of expression, her latest, Hair: in the relationship with… [above], focuses on the relationships and influence between people, nature, animals and other objects, …

2015-05-12T14:08:57+01:00

David Watson’s Works on Paper

“Around the middle of last year, I found that the compositions and motifs in my work tended towards flatness,” says David Watson, who is based in Essex. “So it was a logical step to explore that flatness on its own terms, stripped of anecdote or external reference. I started by photographing a single piece of paper and then adding a crease and reshooting it. The result surprised and intrigued me. I had imagined I might make a handful of images, but I quickly realised a huge range of possibilities was opening up.” In his ongoing series, Works On Paper, Watson, who was named runner-up for the Series Award in this year’s renaissance Photography Prize, folds and photographs a range of A4 sheets of blank paper (squared, graph, isometric dot, everyday photocopier paper, black paper) square-on, under raking light. The images are then enlarged and printed to mimic the scale of painting when exhibited. It is important, says Watson, that the images are not enlarged to a point where any degradation is evident. While some images …

2013-12-11T11:19:23+01:00

Gerwyn Davies’ Beast

BJP

“Beast was created specifically for a solo exhibition at the Spiro Grace Art Rooms in Brisbane,” says Australian photographer Gerwyn Davies, who graduated from Queensland College of Art last year and is inspired by the experimental potential of fashion. “The procedure of getting dressed is a transformative process. We are able to build narratives on to our physical selves and fabricate the person we project,” he says, explaining his fascination with fashion and identity. “There are limitless opportunities for reinvention and play, but generally we stick to the safety of the norm.” Beast is a challenge to that norm. “These are self-portraits in which I abandon functional, comfortable and socially accepted dress forms in favour of the imaginative.” [bjp_ad_slot] Davies created his costumes using everyday materials – astroturf, laminate flooring, mini disco balls and feathers – some of which were easier to work with than others. “I start in my studio, building a structure to wear before walking around in it for some time and getting a feel for it, allowing it to kind of …

2013-12-11T11:22:54+01:00

BJP Staff