All posts tagged: Jon Tonks

Showing Invisible Britain

Invisible Britain, a forthcoming book of portraits, shows people who have been left out of the media narrative and left behind by government policy – people who for whatever reason fell on hard times, and found there was little or no support, beyond what they might be able to set up for themselves. Running through the book are references to austerity, the programme of public spending cuts introduced in the UK after the recession, and the impact it’s had on the people here – whether it’s in the lack of support for the full-time carer Greg, who ended up committing suicide, or the patchy probation offered to Matt, who’s spent the last decade falling in and out of prison. The spectre of Brexit also looms, and the uncertain future, but all too obvious intolerance, it’s brought in its wake.

2018-11-16T13:44:00+00:00

On show at Format – Jon Tonks’ Cargo

On the eve of the First World War, the British Empire accounted for over 23 percent of the world’s population: some 412 million people spread across nearly a quarter of Earth’s land area. At its very furthest reaches, the map of the Empire showed what looked like a scattering of tiny dots on the great blue expanse of the Pacific. Named Vanuatu, they make up a one-nation archipelago of more than 80 islands stretching across 800 miles of the South Seas. Located more than a thousand miles northeast of Australia, it has a population of less than 300,000 people. It’s a place few Britons have heard of but in Vanuatu, independent since 1980, the idea of ‘Britishness’ has weaved itself into the islanders’ ancestral, and even spiritual, beliefs. “Stories flourish in isolation,” says Christopher Lord, the Istanbul Bureau Chief for Monocle magazine, who has been collaborating with photographer Jon Tonks since the pair worked together on a story in Algeria as the Arab Spring was erupting. The island country has long been a source of …

2017-03-22T13:02:02+00:00

#BJP 7857: Habitat

“I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on the planet,” Louise Clements, director of the Format festival, told BJP of its theme this year – Habitat. “Climate, migration, technology: they all seem to be accelerating and the consequences are quite momentous. “We are impacting the geology of Earth. It was important to me to do something vital. As a festival, we’re not just here to celebrate the achievements of the artists: we also want to have some kind of impact.” She’s gathered together work by more than 300 artists that fits the theme – along with Hester Keijser, co-curator of the lead exhibition Ahead Still Lies Our Future – and BJP is proud to have partnered up with Format to present our take on some of their shows. We interview Clements and Keijser about the thinking behind their investigation of the Anthropocene; we interview the photographer John MacLean about his project Hometown, which saw him tracing the origins of image-makers such as John Baldessari, Richard Long, William Eggleston and Ed Ruscha. …

2017-02-02T15:31:29+00:00

Images from the faded and forgotten last outposts of the British Empire

For six years, Bath-based photographer Jon Tonks worked on a long-term personal project, culminating in the book Empire, published in December 2013 by Dewi Lewis. He travelled to a series of remote British Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic Ocean, which included St Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands, documenting the people and places from these last remaining pockets of the empire. “On each of the islands, I would spend the first week not taking many pictures, discovering who and what was most interesting, and getting to know people so they would understand why I was there,” he says. “This was particularly important on Tristan da Cunha, a remote British territory in the South Atlantic with a population of 259. They were a little shy and wary of random people turning up on their island with a camera.” Tonks would drive around the islands looking for locations to shoot, and arranged times to take people’s portraits. Yet within this self-imposed structure, he also allowed himself to record what he stumbled across by chance. “Studying photojournalism …

2015-08-28T13:36:39+00:00

BJP Staff