Month: March 2014

Watermarks.

Watermarks, are the pretentious or sensible?

I find that personally it’s the only way a photographer can protect their work from theft. We all see thousands of images floating around over the web day in and day out but unfortunately not everyone is as respectful to credit them, at least with a watermark it allows someone to view an image and if they admire it they can simply direct themselves to the artist/photographer within a web search.

Of course it seems a little pretentious and arrogant but you’re better safe than sorry, right? I’ve personally had issues in the past where I’ve taken photographs not thought much of them and posted them online, only to find a few years down the line they had been published in a magazine without any credit. It seems that a lot of photographs become more valuable over time, if we’re circulating them now without any tags they may become worthless, anonymous and overlooked.

Commercially it’s a great way to get your name out there alongside your images, it directs customers back to you for more work.

Things to be aware of is that your watermark mustn’t look tacky, it mustn’t be too big to overpower your photograph and distract from the piece but also not too small that it can be very easily removed!

I’ve found a happy medium within my own watermarks with the help of a graphic designer Zack O’Toole. Perhaps they are too distracting, perhaps they ruin the photograph but the way I see it is that if someone wishes to see more than they know where to find us… they can simply contact us to buy a print or the rights to an image. Photographers should be protecting their work, it’s not feasible for us to work for free forever. Besides I’ve never disregarded a great photograph because it had a watermark.

Controversy of Self Imprisonment.

The opening of our show, Self Imprisonment caused a lot of controversy.

We are aware that the idea was a tough subject matter to tackle, however we decided to proceed in a hope that it might create controversial debate and discussion, indeed it did exactly that.

The issues being  touchy subjects  depict a matter that a lot of people can relate to, unfortunately some were to be offended by how we had portrayed the issue. There was no intention to provoke any disrespectful intention but clearly when tackling such a huge issue it is hard to compromise with everyone’s interaction with the photographs. I now understand the importance of treading carefully when tackling a subject matter like this, it is important for there to have been a lot more discussions around the show before exhibiting it. Unfortunately motivating a group of students to do so proved harder than you’d expect as I have previously discussed.

Next time there ought to be a lot more discussion and preparation before dealing with such issues. Although creating debate and discussion is what we intended and I find the controversy exciting in some aspects. There should have been much more consideration before making any final decisions.

To clarify the idea was not intended to offend but more to portray how a certain mental state wether it be a mental illness or influence by drugs and alcohol can eventually take over and trap you within your own mind, leading to feelings of a captivity within yourself.

Self Imprisonment.

Self Imprisonment, Curation Show. 
24/03/14
Curation of a successful show proves much harder than you can ever imagine.
Knowing and understanding the opinions and preferences of the people you work with has a massive impact on the outcome of your show together. Sometimes decisions are not what you’d personally have liked but you compromise and work together as a team.
As a short brief within the unit there was no hope for a lot of students to take the workshop seriously, working with a large group of people proved difficult in equalling out the workload. It’s fair to say that only half of the group pulled their full potential weight whilst working on this project. Despite arranging discussions and prompting debate over our subject matter there was still a lack of response, as we were a team it was unfair that only half of us were to get on with the work while other sat back and took credit. The exhibition was not as successful as I’d have intended after waiting for others and then having to pull together last minute, however we eventually managed to produce an outcome.
The title of our show was: Self Imprisonment
Initially I was toying with the idea of alcoholism as a starting point and began to create discussion based around Richard Billingham’s work from the Ray’s a Laugh series. We agreed that we would each pick two images based around the idea. Once sharing our chosen images it was clear that we were exploring a theme of the line where drugs/alcohol/mental illness or any other issue that have the ability to take over your body and mind and have affect on the world around you, your friends, family, work, appearance, etc.
The idea is that a mental state especially under the self inflicted influence of drugs or alcohol can eventually trap you within your own mind and lead to feeling like a captive prisoner within your own soul.
Some photographs from our show, Self Imprisonment: 
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Ray’s a Laugh series by Richard Billingham. 
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Alcoholic Father with his Son, Unknown Photographer. 
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Another Family series by Irina Popova. 
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Shadow Chamber series, Recluse by Roger Ballen.
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Too Brightly Burns by Remi Rebillard.
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Below the Level Of Consciousness by Mark Edwards.

The Walk… in green.

Becky Beasley, The Walk… in green.

The Laura Bartlett Gallery, 4 Herald Street, London. 

22/02/14 – 06/04/14

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Becky Beasley The Walk…in green. Installation View, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, 2014.

Finding such spacious available gallery space in London is no short of a battlefield for artists and photographers.

The Laura Bartlett Gallery consists of a stunning rooftop open white space with an abundance of natural light and quality lighting surrounding throughout. For a minimalist this show is aesthetically stimulating, the spaciousness to conclude your own interpretations without being harassed by the artists preconceptions is a valuable experience. The space and light opens your mind to embrace the selected pieces of work within the room.

The work tackles the immensity of nature and how a human interacts with it. The show suggests the images are a reflection on Beasley’s childhood memories and a psychological analysis on the origin of nature and human relationship.

Although not disappointed by the show I feel there is room for much more potential within such a stunning gallery. Personally the most visually appealing image was one hung in the corridor which seemed like no part of the show at all. It seems a shame and waste to have almost bland looking pieces of work hanging in the main space. For example the rotating twig, aside that within the press release for the show it explains the intention and meaning behind the brass cast, to most people it seems like abstract contemporary art has gone completely insane. Are we now just hanging twigs up in a white room and calling it art? It’s laughable to some but clear that this show appeals to a minority of people who indulge within the creative world, minimalists and those who over think a philosophical meaning within abstraction.

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.laurabartlettgallery.com/exhibitions/the-walk-in-green/

Response: On Landscape Project.

Wish You Were Here

Emma Wieslander, Wish You Were Here, 2010. 

Since visiting the On Landscape Project I have decided to responded in my own way to contemporary representation of landscape. During a history and theory workshop we were asked to use a shallow depth of field to explore what usually goes unnoticed in our everyday lives. Using a macro lens and inspired by works of Peter Fraser I have produced a narrative within an everyday object based around what looks like a landscape.

I have photographed this scourer in a way which looked most like a landscape to me. Using the yellow as a sort of cliff face and the green as the grass upon the top of it. Aesthetically inspired by the grassy cliff faces at Bridport Sands, East Cliff, Dorset.

Photograph of the cliff by Ian West available at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/jpg-Bridport/13BRP-East-Cliff-Full-from-Pier.jpg

I intended to explore an idea I had that objects can often look like landscapes within the right perspective, responding specifically to Emma Wieslander’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ series from On Landscape Project.

Available at: http://www.emmawieslander.com/home/wishyouwerehere.html

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On Landscape Project.

On Landscape Project. 

Guest Projects, 1 Andrews Road, London. 

7th/03/14 – 30/03/14 

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Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen. Distanced from nature, our experiences in large cities such as London are largely based on the landscaped, constructed environment. 

On Landscape Project is a landscape exhibition by a group of female artist who aim to challenge traditional representations of landscape.

Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor, Emma Wieslander and Minna Pöllänen exhibit a variety of work challenging what we believe to define landscape within the creative world specifically within photography.

The project addresses the idea within various mediums of photography including a self published book call. Some of which include abstract and unheard of ideas regarding landscape. The central platform holding the books aims to provide further debates around landscape as well as bringing more people to the show. The show as a whole really climbs in to your mind. The whole time spent in the space I found myself having internal debates of what I already preconceived landscape to be, the show expands and opens new ideas around the subject.

It’s unusual for the show to be fully curated by female artists, this however creates an atmosphere of fragility and sensitivity, each piece of work seems tangible to they eye and once your vision is touching the selected piece and it’s accompanied ideas you feel a sense of calm and wonder. Even within Emma Wieslander’s ‘Burnt’ series there is a sense of precision and lightheartedness by the small delicately burnt pieces.

Emma Wieslander’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ exhibits two romantic warm yet generic looking sunsets out at sea, however the closer you get you notice that they aren’t what they appear to be at all. The images are in fact lightbulbs hung in an empty room at different light temperatures. The pieces play with the idea of what we initially see, what we want to see, what we should see and what we really see.

The show perceives one of the most explored and interesting up to date debates on landscape as a medium and the conceptual approach to the representation of landscape as a whole.

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Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor. C-type prints made of collaged and montaged colour negatives. 

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.onlandscapeproject.co.uk/

Even This Will Pass.

Aida Silvestri, Even This Will Pass. 

69 Roman Road, London. 

12/03/14 – 26/4/14

Kidan

Kidan: Eritrea to London on foot, by car, by lorry, boat, train and aeroplane, 2013. Giclee print on fine art paper and red stitching, 84.1 x 59.4 cm (33 x 23.4 in)

Aida Silvestri tackles immensely colossal issues within one of the smallest galleries in London. The exhibition deals with the particular problematic issues refugees face when fleeing from Eritrea to the UK in hope of a better life.

Roman Road’s compact space is occupied with 10 black and white anonymous portraits surrounding the tight walls each facing the centre of the room. Every individual with the same hopes and aspirations of escaping their home in hope of a better life in the UK compared to their strict dictational run lives in Africa.

This haunting exhibition raises awareness of the incredibly horrific situations refugees find themselves in on their journey to the promise land. Aside each portrait is a short poetic statement from each refugee explaining in mostly blunt and shocking terms their experiences along the way of human trafficking, abuse, torture, rape and in some cases death.

A large map on the wall shows each individual’s journey across the globe, mauve stitching across each portrait enables us to see exactly what route the have taken to the UK. The accompanying text explains quite brutally the problems they faces within their journey. Linking every aspect of the exhibition together creates a tense atmosphere in making the exhibition feel much more real, if that’s fair to say. We often hear of these horrific stories but Silvestri had brought it to life and right on our doorstep which sparks feelings of fear, guilt, haunt and shock.

‘Even This Will Pass’ suggests how this topic is often overlooked. Silvestri hopes this exhibition airs the voices of those included. An array of appreciation is applauded to to Silvestri for one of the most bravados emotionally moving exhibitions I’ve visited in a long time.

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.romanroad.com/projects/aida-silvestri/