“It was a different time to now, it’s hard to remember just how scarce images were,” says John Myers. “Now you can get things on screen, in the early 1970s there was only a smattering of images available. When I give a talk, I often start by handing out a sheet of paper with a list of interests and influences in 1972-75. The names run across just half a side of A4. There aren’t that many on it, and it includes people I was interested in on the basis of one or two images.” But for Myers, this scarcity was part of the allure. After studying Fine Art with Richard Hamilton, he got into photography in 1972 “because I had never done it”; initially only familiar with Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work, as photography rapidly gained recognition in Britain he soon had access to much more. “I was so excited to come across people, when photography suddenly started emerging from the shadows and books were being published,” he says. Myers started shooting with a Mamiya but, finding it “odd” to be looking down at his waist, moved to a 5×4 plate camera and soon found his stride.
Inspired by personal identity, the natural world, and the fear of dying, the three young artists in this year’s Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition are presenting very different work. Picked out as winners in January 2017, all three have received a year of mentoring on their work from industry specialists such as photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Paley. They each also received a bursary of £5000 and access to a production fund of another £5000, to make new work which goes on show in London’s Jerwood Space from 17 January-11 March then tours to Bradford and Belfast.
Think of Oxford and it’s the world-famous university that will probably spring to mind first; the ancient city is not necessarily one you would immediately associate with photography. But that may be about to change with the debut of a new fortnight-long “celebration of photography” from 08-24 September, curated by Tim Clark and Greg Hobson. With a focus on the medium’s “potential to conceal and reveal”, the programme is small but convincing, with work carefully matched to specific venues in the city centre. For example, Oxford’s old fire station, now a thriving public arts space, will host an exhibition of photographs devoted to Russian prison tattoos.
Peter De Haan, the founder of IdeasTap, has blamed government austerity for the impending closure of the arts funding and education charity, which provides funds for young creatives at the start of their career. After announcing this week the charity will close in June, with the loss of seven jobs and an end to a community-based website of almost 200,000 people, De Haan has described himself as “bitter” for the perceived lack of support his charity have received from the Arts Council and other government departments that deal with the creative industries. “I’m bitter because I see other organisations that play the politics, that get the money and waste it. They’re appalling,” he says. [bjp_ad_slot] “I can’t even get a response from Ed Vaisey,” he says of the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. “It’s unbelievable.” The charity has received more than 90 per cent of its £13m total funding since its creation in 2008 from De Haan’s philanthropic trust, the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust. But De Haan, who inherited from his father …