2015 off to a good start!

It ‘s January 8th A belated Happy New Year!

It seems like this year is going to be interesting and possibly full of surprises and a lot of work. Last year I tallied up all the main exhibitions and I had 13, now I don’t know if that’s good or bad, for me it was continuous so I suppose that’s a good thing. I would hope that this year is much the same, if not better as venues go, it does already look as though it may be that way as I start with the first exhibition in January and the work is on its way to Berlin for the Analogue Now Festival “Super Contemporaries” I was delighted to be asked to take part in this show and I’m getting quite excited at the thought of going to the opening next week.

Analogue Now

I am also working on three other forthcoming exhibitions/projects which will take me toward March. I have the opportunity of exhibiting at the Quad Gallery Derby as part of a collective for the Evidence Format Festival 2015, this will be a fascinating show and entitled “unfixed” as you can imagine the subject matter will need to be recorded in some way before it disappears! I expect there will be a number of other smaller submissions made during this period as well. I just hope I can hold focus on all the different aspects of my work that are involved in these. The subject matter sometimes overlaps though they are all quite individual projects.

I’m hoping I get to explore using a number of new techniques which I want to bring in, so I can marry up my printmaking and my photography, time seems to be the factor here, I have to be able to explore these processes in a continuous manner in order to develop coherent thoughts and tests. The two processes are Gum Bichromate and Photopolymer Gravure both of which I am aching to get to grips with, I can really see the potential for both in my work.

Another hope for this year is to get the studio finished and working, it’s been a laborious journey and it has still quite a way to go.

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Matchbox Pinhole Workshop at Gunpowder Cherry Pie

I was expecting six people at my last workshop, which due to the last minute advertising was pretty reasonable. I got set up in lovely eclectic surroundings and covered the mid mod furniture with cutting mats and hoped that those coming were dexterous enough not to have an accident!

 
Once everyone had arrived and introductions were made we began to make our little cameras. I never who may come along to my workshops or whether they have any knowledge of film or understanding of what they are making but I certainly hope that by the time they  leave they will know just what they are going to do with that camera and they may even go on to make up their own designs.

Mark the proprietor of Gunpowder Cherry Pie supplied some nice wine and we all decided to do all the technical cutting before getting stuck into that. We were to make a very simple matchbox pinhole cam with possibly a variety of interior masks, though I think for the most part people went for the full frame rectangle that is most familiar.

Everyone managed to finish the evening with a working camera, after a few issues with the clicker. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from the cameras.

 

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Sydenham Arts Festival Review

 

All work was hung in plenty of time and I managed to clear out the space to the point where you would never have known that it was for children to play in. I was lucky to have this particular space as the back wall of the room was strangely covered with wallpaper with a moth motif, It seemed meant to be. I hung the four images from my Ephemeral Moth series on that wall and they took on a different life to what they would have done if presented just on a simple white wall.

As part of the show I had made some small digital negatives which I was going to use for the Lumens. These I also used as part of an installation. The shelves had jars hanging form them and I wanted to present the small ‘Moth negs’ in these, like captured insect in a collectors jar. They were subtle but worked well in that it made people stop and really examine them.

I was also showing other pieces of work, more lumens but these were part of my “Flora and Fauna” series. Some of these images have been greatly enlarged from the original and it makes them quite abstract. I had some great feedback on these, to the point where it has got me a new exhibition for the autumn.

The workshops were fantastic, I had almost full attendance and one was completely oversubscribed (Lumens, as usual).

The Camera Obscura Workshop

The idea was to make a working Obscura which could be taken away and finished with your own decorations. I tend to make quite elaborate external drawings on the surface of mine and was not sure up to which stage we might get. Those attending spanned all ages and abilities. I find it interesting when I get adults that are not particularly dexterous at the beginning of the workshop but they manage to overcome this and produce a working piece. This workshop was great fun, as once finished at least to a working point, the cameras were then used to do some TTV work.

 

The Matchbox Pinhole Workshop

I was looking forward to this workshop a lot, it is so rewarding to have finished cameras and to see people using them, especially when they are made out of such a simple household item. Everything went smoothly and all cameras were put together in about an hour and half, not bad considering the temperatures we were having to endure outside, it was in the 30’s and rather hot!

The workshop was very relaxed under the heat of the day as we sat under a large parasol. Everyone managed to complete their cameras and then they all eagerly went off to make pictures around the gardens. I saw some of the results and they were lovely dreamy, typical pinholes. A good result!

 

The Lumen printing Workshop

This workshop is always extremely popular and was seriously oversubscribed but I bought in extra frames and materials and had plenty in the end. It was again glorious weather and absolutely perfect for Lumen work outside. I love the way people are so enthusiastic when they start this and the results nearly always delight. I had prints made from a selection of plant life that was available in the gardens as well as some found objects and ephemera. The light was certainly strong enough for all of these and we got some beautiful results. Ilford was used, grades 1 & 2, each person got one of each so they could compare the difference between the tones,  which on some plants was significant.

 

 

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One more day to Prep!

It’s Thursday and I have one more day before I am supposed to hang my exhibition and prepare for my workshops. So far I’ve framed twenty pictures but there are more to come. This year the majority seem to be Lumen Prints or at least C-Types of the original Lumens after they have been enlarged to enormous proportions.

Camera-Obscura1

 

 

 

I’m looking forward to doing the Camera Obscura and the Pinhole workshop this weekend, there is something satisfying when faces get an enormous grin spreading across them or there is an ‘Oooh’ or an ‘Ah’ as they first see the image inside. I plan to make matchbox pinholes this time and then they can take them away with them or hopefully photograph the gardens and buildings that we’ll be working in.

 

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Toycamera.es featured photographer

I’m really honoured to have been asked by José Manuel Madronna to be featured on his new website Toycamera.es. This will be a wonderful resource as it grows and will highlight the work of some great photographers, using these incredibly simple cameras with all their challenging quirks. It is well worth a look and make sure you follow it as you never know who will be coming up next.

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Sydenham Arts Festival 2013

It is that time of year again and I’m pulling my work together to show at the Sydenham Arts Festival 2013, South London. The festival has grown over the years and supports a diverse and extremely creative community in this quarter of London. I shall be returning to the Grow Mayow site in order to use this space as part of the “Little Greens” The gardens are perfect for providing resource for a number of my workshops this year.

The first workshop will be on the Camera Obscura, where I shall demonstrate how light travels by getting everyone to make a Camera Obscura of their own. This will be held on Sat. 6th July 1-2pm, £5 and there are 10 places available.

The second workshop will be on the Pinhole Camera and we shall make a small camera and I shall show everyone how to recycle old containers and convert them into new cameras. Sun 7th July 1-2.30pm £10 there are 10 places.

The third workshop will be on the popular Lumen Printing Process, these workshops have always been very full and very rewarding, especially when the sun shines! learn how to make beautiful ephemeral images captured on photo paper. Sat 13th July 1pm end is variable. £5 15 places available.

For more details, please see the pdf  Little Greens section. bookings can be made via my contact page.

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Acceptance to Show Plastic Fantastic IV USA 2013

Bellis Perennis

Bellis Perennis

I have the great Honour of again being included in the Lightbox Photographic Plastic Fantastic IV Show in Astoria, Oregon. The work chosen by the brilliant Susan Burnstine is called Bellis Perennis and is a Pinhole.

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