“Shared stories bring people together,” says Sophie Green who, over the course of two years, photographed the Aladura Spiritualist African congregations of Southwark in south-east London. Also known as “White Garment” churches, Aladura is a denomination of Christianity predominantly practised by Yoruba Nigerians. Even though the faith has become synonymous with parts of London – Southwark holding the highest concentration of African churches outside the continent – it has been rarely documented. Curious about what glues individuals together as a community, Green asked a passing congregation member if she could accompany her that Sunday. On invitation, the photographer proceeded to “watch the seven-hour service in awe.” “There is a joy and energy in these congregations that I have never witnessed before,” Green explains. “The services are collaborative, and there is a freedom for people to express themselves and their cultural roots.” Such powerful unification over a belief, and the moving shared experience, triggered Green’s desire to document what she had witnessed. As well as honouring faith, these services are a way for the community to …
Succeeding the museum’s founding director, Jean-Luc Monterosso, Simon Baker plans to open up both its collection and its programme to audiences, carving out a space for emerging artists, fashion photography, ideas on geography, and newer names to the city’s rich artistic ecosystem. “We have to think about what isn’t being done in the photographic landscape in France,” he explains. “We really want to support younger artists – particularly with solo shows. While there are amazing fairs and group shows, that’s something that’s been missing.”
What better way to start, then, than with a solo exhibition by Coco Capitán? Since she graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2016, the 26-year-old Spanish artist has become a never-predictable presence. Her work is always dynamic and often playful, but underpinned by a precision and a poignancy too – whether created for, and thanks to fashion, such as her ongoing artistic collaboration with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, or her diverse self-initiated series comprising text and paint along with traditional photography.
When Felicia Honkasalo’s grandfather passed away in 2009, he left behind boxes full of rocks and minerals, and stacks of notes, sketches, and fading photographs. “No one else in the family wanted them,” says Honkasalo, who never got the opportunity to meet her grandfather, “I was really intrigued by it all, but I didn’t really know what to do with it at first”.
Honkasalo’s debut book, Grey Cobalt, is an attempt to construct imagined memories of her grandfather, who was a metallurgist during the Cold War in Finland as well as an avid cosmologist. Published by Loose Joints, the book release accompanies an exhibition at the Webber Gallery in London, which will run till 15 February.
During the winter months in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana, fishermen park up on the frozen Ishim river, hoping for a bite beneath the ice. The tradition goes back for generations, back to when Astana was a small rural farming village, not the high-rise, futuristic city it is today.
When the country was part of the Soviet Union, fishing equipment was standardised and sold only at government-run hunting shops. But since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the fishermen have been constructing their own customised fishing tents, sewn together out of plastic packaging found in the city’s markets.
Aleksey Kondratyev’s new book, Ice Fishers, examines the use of this salvaged material, mostly originally used to import Western, Chinese, and Russian goods, as a means of protection against the harsh weather conditions. Kondratyev, who has lived in America for most of his life, but is originally from Kyrgyzstan, first saw the fishermen when he travelling through Central Asia in 2015 for his project Formations. “I wasn’t sure what they were, but as I got closer I could make out what was going on,” he says.
Lewis Chaplin and Sarah Piegay Espenon, founders of the publisher and design studio, pick out their top five of 2017 – including Torbjørn Rødland’s exhibition at Serpentine Sackler Gallery
“I admit didn’t really get the fuss about Hawkesworth when he first started to make ripples in 2010 with his portraits shot in Preston Bus Station (a centrepiece of Brutalist architecture set for demolition ahead of a successful campaign to have it saved and listed), and his signing to Julie Brown’s M.A.P agency, but I have been won over by the ongoing developments in his work,” wrote Jason Evans for BJP in 2015; two years later and the institutions are also catching on, as Hawkesworth’s forthcoming solo show at the Huis Marseille in Amsterdam shows