Publications we loved, and the big news stories from the last month in photobooks – including the nominees from the 2019 Mack First Book Award and an interview with photobook collector extraordinaire Manfred Heiting
In the early 1900s, Paul Thulin’s great-grandfather settled on the coast of Maine, reminded of his homeland of Sweden. Thulin’s family has returned to Gray’s Point each summer ever since, and Thulin has been working on a project there, called Pine Tree Ballads, for over a decade. Initially inspired by his grandfather’s photographs, he hopes it has “a subtext of struggle and hope that mirrors my narrative sense of self and heritage”.
BJP: How did you first get into photography?
PT: My journey into photography started as a way to rebel against my growing contempt and frustration with the limits of language to effectively communicate. In 1996, I returned from a stressful year of studying Philosophy in a Master’s program at Syracuse University and I remember wanting to escape into the mountains to possibly join a Zen monastery. I wanted to meditate and remain silent in an effort to really just experience the world.
This desire led me to discover the writings and images of photographers Minor White, Frederick Sommer, and Emmet Gowin, as their mystical and spiritual use of photography intrigued me. Before I knew it, I borrowed a 35mm camera to try to make meaningful images of my own and I was hooked.
Some 43 photographers have been shortlisted for the Gomma Grant this year: Alvaro Deprit, Antonio Faccilongo, Arko Datto, Baptiste Giroudon, Carla Kogelman, CJ Clarke, Damien Daufresne, David Favrod, David Molina, Demetris Koilalous, Dolezal Antone, Elena Anosova, Esa Ylijaasko, Gael Bonnefon, Geert Broertjes, Gianluca Abblasio, Harit Srikhao, Irina Popova, Irina Zadorozhnaia, Jean-Marc Caimi & Valentina Piccinni, Jessica Eve Rattner, John Feely, Julie Glassberg, Kaja Rata, Laura Thompson, Leafhopper Project David Simon Martret & Blanca Galindo, Lily Zoumpouli, Lua Ribeira, Luigi Cecconi, Marcus DeSieno, Marilisa Cosello, Marina Black, Matthew Arnold, Mikael Hellstrom, Michal Siarek, Nicola Zolin, Paul Thulin, Panos Kefalos, Piotr Zbierski, Qian zhao, Sarah Pabst, Yurian Quintanas Nobel and Zackary Canepari. The winners will be announced on 15 February, with the overall winner awarded a €1000 cash prize, second place €500 and third place €200, plus a host of other prizes. The grant has been running since 2014, and the two previous winners are Javier Arcenillas (2015) and Ksenia Yurkova (2014). The Gomma Grant jury this year included Matt Shonfeld, executive director of Institute; Michael Itkoff, cofounder of Daylight …