Exhibition – Holding the Baby (Museum of the Home) | Interview with Polly Braden

Exhibition, Museum of the Home, 12th June – 29th August 2021
Holding the Baby   

Header shot: Barbeline and Elijah, Holding the Baby, 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

A striking new exhibition of work by photographer Polly Braden opened at the weekend at Museum of the Home. Holding the Baby takes an immersive look at the lived experience, challenges and strength of single parents facing austerity.

We spoke to Polly about her interest in not only capturing the image, but capturing something of the person in the picture too…

Your style of photography gives a real insight into its subjects – what drew you to documentary work rather than any other genre?

I’ve always been interested in people. When I worked at the Guardian, the picture editor would tell me off for taking too long, I’d want to find out all about a person before taking their picture.

Gemma with Freya, Jack & Elsie
Holding the Baby, 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

What was your first camera, how old were you?

My first camera was a Canon. I took a small darkroom kit with me to China when I taught at a University in Yangzhou in my early twenties.

And are there any other photographers whose work inspired you?

I love Susan Meiselas amongst others.

Your latest project Holding the Baby highlights the lived experience of being a single parent – can you tell us how you came to be involved?

Three years ago I became a single parent. At the same time I saw a report by the UN expert on poverty, Philip Alston, who came to the UK to look at the effects of austerity. He concluded that single parents had been hardest hit by changes to tax and benefits since 2010. 

The overall impact of policy decisions taken between 2010 and 2017 has meant lone parents lose around 15% of their net income on average – almost £1 in every £6. By contrast, the losses for all other family groups is much smaller, from nothing to 8%.

Equality and Human Rights Commission research report: ‘Tax, welfare, social security and public spending: a cumulative impact assessment’, November 2017.

I started to look at some of the prejudices leading to policies that scrutinise and punish the parent who has stayed and decided to make a new body of work highlighting the strength and resilience of being a lone parent, in order to change the dialogue. One in four children in the UK live with a lone parent and over 90% of them are single mothers.

Holding the Baby, 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

Aaron with his children Esme and Kai and partner Chloe
Holding the Baby, 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

How do you build the trust you obviously have with people that allows you to capture quite personal aspects of their lives?

The first time I meet someone I very seldom take their photo. First we speak about the project, see what they think about it. Talk about how it might work, where the photos will be shown, look examples of other similar projects and previous work. Then they need sometime to think it through. From then on, as with all relationships, they grow, slowly sometimes, more with some people than others, openly and through dialogue.

For this project in particular, what were the things that stood out to you as being most important to the people who took part?

Having a sense of control and understanding about how much they wanted to be involved, what the point of view was, how they would be seen, looking at the pictures and letting me know if something wasn’t right. For example, with Jana, for the first few months she didn’t want to be identified, so I shot all the photos with her facing away from the camera. Then she decided she wanted to show her face. One of the photos in the first edit was really strong but Jana spotted her bra strap showing. We reshot the image in a different outfit. The new image is one of the main images in the exhibition. She’s become really involved in the project, helping with research and we’ve spent a lot of time together.

Jana with Yaana
Holding the Baby 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

How do you select and prepare your images for exhibition?

I make a first edit, then print lots out. I have a magnetic wall in my studio, so I put them up and live with them for a bit. Some keep resonating, others less so. Then it’s great to see other peoples reaction to the photos and it tends to be quite a quick process of pulling the best ones out. Sometimes you go back to files years later and realise you missed good ones but generally the ones you pick start to have a life of their own, if they have that magic, their power grows.

And how does it feel to be able to have your work seen again in person with lockdown restrictions starting to lift?

It’s really exciting to be working towards showing this work at the museum. I can hardly even let myself image a lively opening with people in the gallery, it feels a world ago that we gathered in for exhibitions.

Holding the Baby, 2021, courtesy of Polly Braden

************************************************************

A series of portraits and interviews conducted over a year long participatory project, Polly’s images are accompanied by text from Claire-Louise Bennett and Sally Williams.

The exhibition will tour to Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool and Arnolfini, Bristol, as part of the Museum of the Home’s new dynamic contemporary programme and mission to reveal and rethink the way we live in order to live better together.

Holding the Baby runs from 12th June – 29th August 2021

Museum of the Home – 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA (the museum entrance is opposite Hoxton Station, on Geffrye Street)
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Entry is free but, for now, all visitors, including babies, children, Friends and Patrons, need to book a timed ticket in advance. Please check the website for any updates before visiting.

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Flint Culture and are under the copyright of Polly Braden.

Interview by Siobhan

15th June 2021

Exhibition – On the Outskirts of the Toy Box (The Market Place Theatre)

Exhibition, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh, 28th May – 17th July 2021
On the Outskirts of the Toy Box  

Previously on Breaking Glass, we’ve featured the photography of Seb Akehurst, aka Jolly Bearded Promotions. Now we’re absolutely delighted to see Seb launching his own exhibition featuring his meticulously detailed brand of toy photography.

He explains, “Think back to your younger self and delve into memories of your favourite toys. Do you remember taking them on adventures? In this body of work, I explore the joys of play and imagination, using childhood toys to forgotten toys from charity shops to toys passed on to me by friends.

These toys can be recognised from all different toyboxes in movies, cartoons and comics. By intertwining these toy storylines, I have sought to recreate the limitless imagination which we had when we were kids playing and creating our own worlds for these characters. My hope when viewing this collection is that you are brought back to a time without rules and restrictions, to a time when you wrote the storyline about what happens outside of the toybox”.

The opening event will be held on Friday 28th May, and limited capacity viewing slots can be booked here. Thereafter, from Saturday 29th, the exhibition is free to the public. Do get along if you’re in the area, this is sure to bring back some memories and put a smile on your face.

On the Outskirts of the Toy Box runs from 28th May – 17th July 2021
The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Market Street, Armagh, Co. Armagh BT61 7BW
Please check the website for further information about your visit

You can find Jolly Bearded Promotions on Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook

Images © Daniel Fagan

17th April 2021

Exhibition – Phantoms of Surrealism (Whitechapel Gallery)

Exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery, 19th May – 12th December 2021
Phantoms of Surrealism  

Header image: Sheila Legge as Surrealist ‘Phantom’, Trafalgar Square, London, 11th June 1936. Photograph attributed to Claude Cahun, courtesy Jersey Heritage Collections.

Performance art in public is a familiar scene nowadays with Fringe events and street theatre regularly popping up across our city centres. Perhaps not so common though in 1936, when artist Sheila Legge strolled around Trafalgar Square in a bridal gown, her head covered in red roses. Catching the eye of passers-by and the press, her tribute to Dali’s Women with the Head of Roses created just the buzz needed to launch the London International Surrealist Exhibition, held at the New Burlington Galleries in Mayfair.

And now some 85 years later, she is one of eleven pioneering women celebrated in a new exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, featuring a wealth of talented Surrealist artists from the fields of painting, collage, sculpture, photography, fashion and poetry.

Left: Max Ernst, poster for International Surrealist Exhibition,
Burlington Galleries, London, 1936.
Colour Lithograph, The Murray Family Collection, UK & USA.
Right: Corella Hughes, scale model of the London International Surrealist Exhibition 1936 (detail). 2021 © Corella Hughes.

After a year of lockdown it’s heartening to see galleries preparing to open up again, and surely a trip down the road of escapism is just what we need right now. This exhibition is set to be a pleasure and an education at the same time. Take a look through the visitor information for this and other events on the gallery’s website, details below.

Elizabeth Andrew – Swan, undated lead.
© The artist’s estate, Towner, Eastbourne.

Extract from press release

Whitechapel Gallery’s new archive exhibition, Phantoms of Surrealism, brings together artworks, photographic scrapbooks, press cuttings and original correspondence from the London International Surrealist Exhibition (1936), including a new scale model. Coinciding with Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy, the show reveals the pivotal role of women as artists, behind-the-scenes organisers, editors and animators of the Surrealist movement in Britain.

The exhibition features eleven artists including Ruth Adams (1893–1949), Eileen Agar (1899–1991), Elizabeth Andrews (1882–1977), Diana Brinton Lee (d. 1982), Claude Cahun (1894–1954), Ithell Colquhoun (1906–1988), Sheila Legge, Grace Pailthorpe (1883–1971), Elizabeth Raikes (1907–1942), Edith Rimmington (1902–1986) and Stella Snead (1910–2006).

Also presented are artworks from an anti-war exhibition staged at Whitechapel Gallery in 1939 by The Artists’ International Association, dedicated to the ‘Unity of Artists for Peace, Democracy and Cultural Development’. The exhibition is co-curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator: Archive Gallery and Head of Curatorial Studies, Whitechapel Gallery and Cameron Foote, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

Grace Pailthorpe – Sea Urchin/The Escaped Prisoner,
7 May 1938, water on colourboard. Private collection.

Phantoms of Surrealism runs from 19th May – 12th December 2021

Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm. Free entry to this exhibition, other displays may be paid entry, booking is required for either.

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Whitechapel Gallery and are copyrighted as listed.

Intro by Siobhan

27th April 2021

Exhibition – Marge Bradshaw: Front of House (Online)

Front of House: A documentary photography series by Marge Bradshaw which aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on musicians in Greater Manchester and Lancashire

It’s been a tough year for the music industry and, whilst events are gradually opening up, the struggle is still very real. Photographer Marge Bradshaw told us how she is compiling a thought-provoking collection of images of musicians alongside their own individual stories…

Jo Byrne

“A world without live music feels like living in a house with no windows. Live music is uplifting, it’s nourishing, it’s social glue. It’s well and truly missed by me.”  – Rob Young (header photo)

According to the Music Venues Trust, over 550 grassroots music venues remain under immediate threat of closure, representing the potential permanent loss of over 5,000 jobs, over 100,000 concerts, over 300,000 performances by musicians, and over 1 million temporary employment opportunities for gig economy workers.

This evolving photographic series and resulting online exhibition aims to raise awareness of the scale and impact of this situation, and support musicians’ work. As someone who works in culture, music and events photography, I know the devastating outcomes faced by musicians, production and touring crews as well as everyone who relies on the grassroots sector.

Alongside each portrait you’ll find the personal stories of each musician, as well as links to their work and projects. Take a read, give them a follow and show your support.

 Conal Duffy

All photographs were taken working within Covid-19 restrictions using social distancing.

Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved in the series: I’m particularly interested in photographing those who are under-represented in the current gallery, especially women and people of colour. View the full gallery, including portraits and stories here.

 Geraldine Green

About the artist

Marge Bradshaw is an emerging documentary and social photographer based in Bolton. She started her photography career in 2018 after spending 20 years working in marketing and audience research roles in the cultural sector. Her artistic practice predominantly focuses on exploring people and place – often with a hidden story to tell. Drawing on her background in ethnographic research and inclusive practice, she captures authentic stories and involves her subjects in the creative process wherever possible. Alongside her creative projects, she works commercially as a music, events and family documentary photographer. Her work has previously been exhibited at the Science Museum, London and Museums Northumberland.

 Simon Sackey

Michael Thompson

All words and photos are © Marge Bradshaw. You can find more of Marge’s work across different genres, and contact details on her website, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

8th December 2020

 

The Merrie Collective – Photography Zine & Exhibition

The Merrie Collective
by Ryan Bell

The potential and promise commonly found in the arrival of a new decade can be difficult to see in 2020, what with the world being plagued by pandemic mere months in, plunging the globe into a state of fear and panic not felt for generations. However, history has shown that in times of hardship humanity often prevails, that we are at our most gladiatorial with our backs pressed against the wall. Creativity blossoms in the face of adversity.

I imagine there are many instances of this to be found worldwide, though I can speak directly from one experience that I have been privileged to be a part of, which began with an open call for those aged 16-25 and located in the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield and its surrounding area, with the desire to contribute to a council funded project, tentatively titled Our Diary.

Envisioned as a time capsule for the lockdown era, the aim was to compile photographs to feature in a photography zine, capturing “the new normal” from the perspective of young Wakefield creatives, through a celebration free print through DIY self-publishing. Spearheaded by Wakefield born photographer Emily Ryalls and curated with nine other contributors, This Too Shall Pass (the revised zine title) was produced through four months of weekly Zoom meet-ups, with the process of taking pictures during a pandemic allowing for a refreshing amount of creative expression and experimentation in a period of otherwise global aimlessness.

With contributors hailing from a range of creative backgrounds from photography graduates to freelance writers, graphic designers to fabric embroiderers, our documentation of “the new normal” was enjoyably personal, with humour found in makeshift graduation caps and dinner table date-nights, to austere reminders of the lives we’ve put on hold in nightclub mirror balls dumped in skips, and grandparents waving from the distance of the doorstep.

The project proved not only fruitful for the photographs, but for the relationships formed between the collective contributors. Having found Wakefield not to be the easiest location to find other like-minded creatives at the best of times, the decision was made to work together onwards under the title of The Merrie Collective; with an aim to inject soulful art back into our local spaces, with the name deriving from the medieval moniker for Wakefield – The Merrie City.

With immeasurable support from The Art House (a lifeline for local artists and creative businesses) The Merrie Collective has been fortunate enough to have acquired a studio and gallery space inside The Ridings Shopping Centre. Like many of its kind, The Ridings has seen ups and downs since its opening thirty-seven years ago, with economic recessions and the demand for online retail making it not quite the draw it once was. However, the utilisation of one of its empty units as a studio/gallery, alongside another as a separate exhibition (excellently curated and produced by Niamh Donnelly) has been universally well received. With walls proudly plastered in black and white snaps of local life, the installations feel emblematic of the city and of the project, creativity and community in times of adversity.

The Merrie Collective has no plans of slowing down anytime soon despite COVID-19’s best efforts (us Northerners can be quite stubborn that way) and through a shared belief that most storms can be weathered, that “this too shall pass”, the group has big plans for the future such as print production, further exhibitions and workshops as well as ambitions for an independent newsprint.

On behalf of The Merrie Collective, the writer would like to thank Wakefield Council for funding this invaluable opportunity to create This Too Shall Pass, and The Art House for their continued support throughout and onwards. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual and not necessarily representative of Wakefield Council or The Art House.

This Too Shall Pass is a self-published zine by The Merrie Collective, printed at Merrie Studios, Wakefield and can be ordered here

More information on The Merrie Collective can be found on their website and you can follow their progress on Instagram

Words and all content provided by Ryan Bell, photos © The Merrie Collective, design logo by Katie Hopkins

27th October 2020

Exhibition – Bowie/MacCormack (Brighton Museum & Art Gallery)

Exhibition, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 17th October 2020 – 6th June 2021
Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me – Bowie/MacCormack 1973 -1976

Header image: David 1975 © Geoff MacCormack

The life and times of David Bowie have been documented more than most; tales of wonder and imagery to match across an incomparable 50 year musical career, from the hedonism of Haddon Hall to the augury of Black Star via the darker hours of the Thin White Duke, it’s hard to find a patch that hasn’t been sewn up. However, in this photographic exhibition of the early to mid 70s’ era, we see Bowie though a different lens, with all the pictures having been taken by his close friend and travelling musician, Geoff MacCormack. 

There is no shortage of iconic images of Bowie in the world; hanging out with Iggy and Lou Reed, unfazed by the enormous dog rearing up next to him on the Diamond Dogs shoot, the manequinned Pin Ups’ cover all reflect different sides of his life and work, and he has often been the muse of world renowned photographers including Mick Rock and Terry O’Neill. The beauty of this collection is that it captures some moments of intimacy that a staged shoot never would, and the opportunity to see these in person is something to absorb and appreciate after a long enforced absence from galleries and museums; what a wonderful welcome back.

David asleep on the Trans Siberian Express, 1973 © Geoff MacCormack

Full details from the press release here:

Geoff MacCormack’s close friend from the age of 8 years old was David Jones, the boy who would become David Bowie and one of the most influential performers in music, fashion and theatrical stage craft of the twentieth century.

In 1973 Bowie called his childhood friend and suggested he may join his band, The Spiders from Mars, and go on a worldwide adventure, travelling first class by sea to New York and then on to Japan, from Japan to Siberia, through Russia by Trans-Siberian Express to Moscow for May Day Parade, Poland, East and West Germany, just in time for tea at the George V Hotel in Paris, followed by a relaxing holiday in Rome, just to chill out.

And just when Geoff thought the fun might be over, Bowie said; “Would you mind being a Diamond Dog and coming back to New York on an even better ship, eating caviar every day and joining another band, then another band, helping out on a few albums and generally hanging out and having the time of your life for a couple more years?”

Left: David on the set of The Man Who Fell To Earth, 1975
Right: David backstage after the ‘retirement’ gig for Ziggy Stardust,
Hammersmith Odeon, 3rd July 1973 – both © Geoff MacCormack

Geoff did not hesitate and became Bowie’s backing singer and percussionist in 1973 on the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane world tour. Arriving in Japan, Geoff ditched his Kodak Instamatic camera in favour of a Nikon and began taking a few images here and there, starting in Siberia on the Trans Siberian Railway and ending two and a half years later in Los Angeles during the Station To Station sessions.

Because Bowie disliked flying they travelled together by cruise liner and trains across the world giving MacCormack and his camera the opportunity to capture Bowie at his most informal and relaxed.

From Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane of Britain’s Glam Rock years, the ground-breaking Diamond Dogs tour across the USA and their obsession with American Soul music, to Bowie’s first major film The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975) and the recording of Station to Station and his Thin White Duke persona, this exhibition of intimate photographs, some of which have never been seen before in a public exhibition, gives a glimpse of a close friendship, travel and life on the road with one of the greatest rock stars of all time.

David in costume with Geoff MacCormack,
on the set of The Man Who Fell To Earth, 1975
© Geoff MacCormack

The show will be held in the museum’s three large galleries and will include 60 large original framed photographs of Bowie by MacCormack. These photographs will be complemented by a short film never seen before in the UK shot by Bowie on their trip to Moscow in 1973, music videos of Bowie and MacCormack on stage together, film excerpts and music in the galleries.

Michael Bedingfield, Chair of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust said, ” Bowie was one of the most influential and captivating artists ever and we know this show will appeal to his many fans of all ages. The images offer a rare glimpse into a fascinating time of his life spent with one of his oldest friends. We are thrilled to be able to offer this show at Brighton Museum as our first major show on reopening after the lockdown. Don’t forget to book your tickets online on our website.”

David filming the May Day Parade from the window of the InTourist Hotel,
Moscow, 1973 © Geoff MacCormack

Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me – Bowie/MacCormack 1973 – 1976 runs from 17th October 2020 – 6th June 2021 – as with all galleries and public spaces, some restrictions may be in place so please check details before attending and, if you’re feeling unwell, please stay at home for everyone’s safety.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Pavilion Parade, Brighton BN1 1EE
The museum is currently preparing for re-opening so please check back on the website for opening times and ticket information/pricing – tickets will be available to book from 2nd October

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and remain the copyright of Geoff MacCormack

Intro by Siobhan

28th September 2020

Pride Inside – Online Exhibition

Back in June, we covered the innovative Pride Inside, a huge billboard campaign that gave a voice to the LGBTQ+ community in light of the usual annual celebrations that take place across the country being quashed by social distancing. With over 120 queer photographers and contributors taking part, the digital billboards were seen in cities and busy road intersections across the UK. We’re delighted to hear that images from the campaign have now found a permanent online home as a visual exhibition on Google Arts & Culture, more details from the press release here…

PRIDE INSIDE’S CELEBRATION OF QUEER LIFE IS TO LIVE ON PERMANENTLY ON GOOGLE’S ARTS & CULTURE PORTAL

Pride Inside, the nationwide LGBTQ+ campaign which saw more than 1,000 digital billboards taken over with images of queer people celebrating Pride from their homes this summer, is to live on permanently on Google Arts & Culture.

Pride Inside is the brainchild of writer, performer and drag star Ginger Johnson, who wanted the visibility of LGBTQ+ people on the streets of the UK to continue despite Pride events being cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic…

It is estimated around 10 million people saw the images across the two weeks they were displayed in June, giving amazing visibility of LGBTQ+ people during Pride month. The initiative also raised awareness of the work of grassroots LGBTQ+ charities, with Pride Inside partnering with LGBT+ Consortium to collect donations to be distributed to organisations across the UK who provide vital services for the queer community.

Now following an agreement between Pride Inside and Google, the campaign will live on permanently on the Arts & Culture portal, a non-profit initiative which works with cultural institutions and artists around the world to preserve and bring the world’s art and culture online so it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere. The project has been delivered in partnership with LGBTQ+ arts charity Raze Collective, which has administered the collection on behalf of Pride Inside. It will feature more than 200 images in 20 different collections from the Pride Inside campaign, including billboard layouts, site photography and other as yet unseen images.

Ginger Johnson said: “This year the LGBTQ+ community had to shout it a little louder to spread our message of Pride and solidarity – from digital drag shows to socially-distant protests, people from all walks of queer life worked together to adapt to the challenges we have all been facing. Seeing the kind of passion and determination that fuelled projects like Pride Inside in action around the world has been truly inspiring, so we are delighted that the project has found a permanent home online, where it will live as a snapshot of our community at a unique moment in time.”

The online exhibition can be found here on Google Arts & Culture, alongside numerous other exhibits from museums and artists from around the world

Our original article can be read here and you can check out more from Pride Inside on their website

Header shot: Seana – Birmingham by Emma Jones

9th September 2020

 

Exhibition – David Goldblatt | Johannesburg 1948 – 2018 (Goodman Gallery)

Exhibition, Goodman Gallery, London, until 25th August 2020 
David Goldblatt | Johannesburg 1948 – 2018

Header image: Margaret Mcingana, who later became famous as the singer Margaret Singana, at home, Sunday afternoon, Zola, Soweto, October 1970

Born in 1930 in Randfontein, David Goldblatt’s photography captured a reality of living through South African apartheid that was never shown on the news, his images conveying a very real picture of life and the people in his homeland; he is famously quoted as saying, “I was drawn not to the events of the time but to the quiet and commonplace where nothing ‘happened’ and yet all was contained and imminent”.

Domestic worker on Abel Road, Hillbrow, March 1973

His interest in taking photographs started at a young age, but running the family business sidelined his pursuits behind the camera until 1963, when he sold the company to focus solely on a career in photography. Having become a part of numerous artistic circles in Johannesburg, he was able to integrate with a wide range of groups in the community which, in turn, allowed him access to shoot in situations and capture portraits where others couldn’t. As his love for photography grew, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop to allow for visual literacy and photographic skills to be taught to the younger generation. He went on to receive numerous awards and honorary doctorates and to have his work exhibited worldwide.

Baby with child-minders and dogs in the Alexandra Street Park, Hillrow, 1972

This latest exhibition captures his view of Johannesburg from 1948 until his death in 2018; the shots included will provide an important social document for many years to come. Excerpts from the press release below:

Left: An office worker from Tsmeb on holiday,
in a rooming house on Abel Road, Hillbrow, March 1973
Right: Rochelle and Samantha Adkins, Hillbrow, 1972

‘Goodman Gallery presents Johannesburg 1948 – 2018, the acclaimed South African photographer David Goldblatt’s first major solo exhibition in London since 1986. Renowned for a lifetime of photography exploring his home country, Goldblatt produced an unparalleled body of work within the city of Johannesburg, where he lived for 70 years. At age 17, Goldblatt would hitchhike from Randfontein, the small mining town where he was born, into Johannesburg. He walked around the city until the next morning, talking to night watchmen and following his intuition: “People would ask me what I was doing, and I would say, ‘I’m poeging. I’m walking around the city; I’m learning the city, and trying to take photographs.” This process became the foundation of his practice.

Coronation Restaurant in the Diagonal St Fruit Market, January 1962

The exhibition maps Goldblatt’s evolution of work in a city divided by structural racism and subject to waves of trauma and resistance. Goldblatt was engaged in the conditions of society – the values by which people lived – rather than the climactic outcomes of those conditions. He intended to discover and probe these values through the medium of photography…

Schoolboy, Hillbrow, June 1972

David Goldblatt died at his home in Johannesburg in June 2018. Working until shortly before his death, he remained, to the last, “a self-appointed observer and critic of the society into which I was born”. In 2011, art critic and social commentator Mark Gevisser described Goldblatt as “the doyen of South African photography” who cast “so clear an eye over the South African landscape […] that he has become the country’s visual conscience”.’

Portrait photographer and client, Braamfontein, 1955

David Goldblatt | Johannesburg 1948 – 2018 is on now at Goodman Gallery until 25th August 2020

Goodman Gallery, 26 Cork Street, London W1S 3ND
Opening times Mon – Fri 11am – 5pm
As with all public spaces, if you’re feeling unwell please stay at home to keep everyone safe

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Goodman Gallery; photos are © David Goldblatt, please do not reproduce without agreement

Intro by Siobhan

6th August 2020

Exhibition – Bill Brandt | Henry Moore (The Hepworth Wakefield)

Exhibition, The Hepworth Wakefield, 1st August – 1st November 2020
Bill Brandt | Henry Moore

Header image: Bill Brandt, Henry Moore, 1948, gelatine silver print, Hyman Collection London © Bill Brandt / Bill Brandt Archive Ltd – reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation

Photographer Bill Brandt (1904-1983) and sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) first met during the Second World War, when they were commissioned by the UK government to create images of civilians sheltering from the bombings of Blitz in the London Underground. Over 50 years later, this initial link forms the basis of an exhibition currently housed at The Hepworth Wakefield, newly reopened since the weekend.

The Hepworth Wakefield © Hufton & Crow

Bill Brandt is recognised as one of the masters of 20th century photography, his work ranging from social documentary to surrealism. His role as staff photographer for the Home Office brought him to the wartime role – he had already been capturing life in the capital for some years, contributing to magazines and publishing two books, The English at Home (1936) and A Night in London (1938). His later work included distorted nudes, portraits and landscapes.

Bill Brandt, Nude, East Sussex Coast, gelatine silver print, 1960,
Bill Brandt Archive London © Bill Brandt / Bill Brandt Archive Ltd

In the 1940s, Henry Moore was commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee to produce illustrations  of the work being carried out in collieries where the ‘Bevin Boys’ were conscripted to mine for the coal used to fuel armaments factories. The style of these drawings and those that he made of the mass air raid shelters are very similar, using wax crayon, watercolour, pen and ink. Better known for his monumental brass sculpted forms, Moore went on to become one of the best known names in sculpture, his influence still strong amongst many successors.

Henry Moore, Two Piece Reclining Figure No 4, 1961, bronze
The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection)
Photo © Jonte Wilde

The exhibition charts the journey of both artists as their paths continued to cross over the years. Further details from the press release below:

‘Organised in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art, the exhibition will bring together over 200 works including major sculptures, iconic photographs, drawings, little-known photo collages, unprinted negatives and rare original colour transparencies. Bill Brandt | Henry Moore will reveal the interdisciplinary range of these two artists, exploring how they both responded creatively to the British landscape and communities during the turbulent times in which they lived.

The exhibition will open with the moment the artists met in 1942 when Brandt photographed Moore in his studio to accompany a 10-page spread in Lilliput magazine juxtaposing the two artists’ shelter pictures. Brandt was a regular contributor as a photojournalist to Lilliput, a magazine known for its innovative photographic features, and this issue was the first time the two artists’ work was shown side-by-side.

Both artists were often drawn to similar subjects – leading up to and during the Second World War, there was a focus on ordinary people, the home and labour. Brandt’s bleakly evocative photographs of impoverished mining communities and families in the North of England taken in the late 1930s reflect social deprivation. Moore’s later sketches documenting the civilian war effort at his father’s colliery in his home-town of Castleford, although similar in theme, present a more optimistic view…

Henry Moore, Pit Boys at Pit Head, 1942,
pencil, pen, ink, wax coloured crayon & watercolour wash
The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection)

The exhibition will reveal the important relationship for both artists between 2D images and 3D objects. Moore will be presented as a sculptor and draftsman who made a serious commitment to photography both as a creative medium and a means of presenting his work. On display will be little-known photographs of his sculptures, drawn on and collaged together to develop new ideas for future sculpture. Brandt will be revealed as a photographer who looked to sculpture as a subject and as a way of considering nature, landscape, and the human body, as exemplified by a series of rare colour transparencies of sculptural rock formations on the beach.

Bill Brandt |Henry Moore will also examine the complicated relationship between pictures and objects, between ‘primary’ works of art and ‘secondary’ published images used as an important means of disseminating their work to a wide public, and the material nature of the printed photograph.’

Bill Brandt | Henry Moore runs at The Hepworth Wakefield from 1st August – 1st November 2020, after which it will move to Sainsbury Centre, Norwich from 21st November 2020 – 28th February 2021. The exhibition is supported by The Henry Moore Foundation, Hiscox and The Hepworth Wakefield Contemporary Circle.

Social distancing means that numbers in the gallery at any one time will be limited and this may result in short waits during busy times. No cash payments are currently being accepted and booking is advisable; please check the website for updates before visiting and if you are feeling unwell please stay at home.

The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 5AW 
Opening times are currently restricted to Wed – Sun 10am – 5pm
Tickets £7.50 / £5 / free for Members, Wakefield residents and under 16s; various permanent exhibitions and the gallery gardens are open free of charge

Sir Michael Craig- Martin, Pitchfork (Yellow), 2013
on display in The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
Photo © Nick Singleton

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from The Hepworth Wakefield and are copyrighted / owned as credited

Intro by Siobhan

4th August 2020

Exhibitions – Tate Reopening

Header image: Tate Modern
The Blavatnik Building Stairwell 3 © Iwan Baan

Exciting news for art lovers as Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives all open their doors to the public again today, having had no option than to close over the past few months to meet quarantine regulations.

Visitors will finally be able to access the galleries and collections, including some exhibitions that have been given specially extended run dates and others that will be starting at a new later date to allow more viewings. This offers a very welcome return to accessing the arts and seeing some outstanding pieces of work up close.

Current and upcoming exhibitions are listed below; there’s sure to be something in amongst this selection to tempt you…

Tate Britain (London)

© Tate Photography

Aubrey Beardsley – until 20th September 2020

Steve McQueen Year 3 – until 31st January 2021

Turner’s Modern World – 28th October 2020 – 7th March 2021

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – 18th November 2020 – 9th May 2021

Installation view – Steve McQueen Year 3 at Tate Britain © Tate
(part of a huge project to photograph Year 3 pupils across London)

Tate Liverpool

© Rachel Ryan Photography

Mikhail Karikis – 27th July 2020 – 22nd November 2020

Don McCullin – 16th September 2020 – 9th May 2021

Don McCullin, Liverpool c. 1970
© Don McCullin

Tate Modern (London)

The Blavatnik Building © Iwan Baan

Hyundai Commission: Kara Walker Fons Americanus – until 8th November 2020

Andy Warhol – until 15th November 2020

Bruce Nauman – 7th October 2020 – 21st February 2021

Zanele Muholi – 5th November 2020 – 7th March 2021

Bruce Nauman, VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE 1981–2
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019

Tate St Ives

© Dennis Gilbert

Naum Gabo – until 27th September 2020

Haegue Yang – 24th October 2020 – 3rd May 2021

Haegue Yang – Installation view of The Great Acceleration,
Taipei Biennial 2014, Taiwan, 2014
Photo: Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Maria Balshaw, Director, Tate said: “I’m thrilled to be reopening our galleries and can’t wait to welcome visitors back. While you’ve been away, we have worked hard to ensure our spaces are safe and accessible for everybody. We have also extended many major exhibitions and commissions, all of which feel as powerful and relevant today as they did when they first opened.”

Additional safety measures require timed tickets to be purchased in advance (for paid and free exhibitions) and card or contactless payments to be used for any purchases inside the galleries. One way routes and hand sanitiser will be in place and visitors are recommended to wear a face covering (mandatory in shop sections which may be on your route so best to have one with you). Bear in mind that while toilets are open, cloakrooms and lockers are still closed. Full details, along with opening times and links to buy tickets are on their website – please check all information before visiting any of the sites and if you’re feeling unwell, please stay safe and stay home.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

Tate Liverpool, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1TG

Tate Website (all galleries)

Words by Siobhan
Photos and details reproduced with permission from Tate – all images are copyrighted as detailed above

27th July 2020

Exhibition – Shirley Baker: A Different Age (James Hyman Gallery – Online)

Online Exhibition, James Hyman Gallery, 22nd June – 26th July 2020
Shirley Baker: A Different Age

Header photo: Manchester 1985

‘James Hyman Gallery is pleased to present an online exhibition of largely unseen photographs by Shirley Baker, selected from the photographer’s estate. The exhibition includes her rare colour work as well as iconic black and white images.’

Manchester 1965

Shirley Baker (1932 – 2014) is one of Britain’s most fascinating yet unexplored social documentary photographers, particularly considering the era in which she started actively shooting. A woman practicing street photography in post-war Britain was a rarity, her gritty, expressive style a poignant reflection of the times. Shirley’s pictures show the flip-side to the hype of London’s swinging 60s, instead concentrating on the reality of the local people in the area around her Manchester home. From traditional flat caps to the vintage style and sometime glamour of the working class, the images are beautifully composed without being posed, her work continuing to record urban life over the following decades.

For those who question the validity of street photography, Shirley Baker’s pictures go a long way to explaining how, especially over time, capturing the everyday scenes around us offers an important visual timeline as good as any history book, memories for some and a chance to better understand the past for others.

Top left: Manchester (Man with Pigeons) 1967
Top right: Stockport Road, Stockport 1967
Bottom: Chester 1966

Further details here from the press release:

The exhibition focuses on Shirley Baker’s celebrated street scenes photographed around Manchester and Salford and explores her depiction of older adults.

Nan Levy, Shirley Baker’s daughter, who has curated the show with James Hyman, explains, “Having been in lockdown for the past weeks and only just being allowed out, it made me think of our elderly folk who are still unable to see their loved ones. They cannot even visit their sons and daughters or take pleasure from playing their grandchildren for fear of catching the virus. I have put a collection of Shirley’s photographs of the elderly taken from the 60s to the 80s showing them taking pleasure from the simple things in daily life that sadly are not possible at the moment”.

Manchester 1968

Shirley Baker, writing of her motivations captures a world of street life that seems like a distant memory, “I love the immediacy of unposed, spontaneous photographs and the ability of the camera to capture the serious, the funny, the sublime and the ridiculous. Despite the many wonderful pictures of the great and famous, I feel that less formal, quotidian images can often convey more of the life and spirit of the time”.

Untitled 1983

All images are reproduced courtesy of the Shirley Baker estate and James Hyman Gallery. The online exhibition is live on the gallery’s website now until 24th July 2020.

You can see more of Shirley Baker’s photography here.

Words excluding press release by Siobhan

6th July 2020

Exhibition – Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers (Design Museum)

Exhibition, The Design Museum, London, 1st April – 26th July 2020
Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers

Header shot: Kraftwerk © Peter Boettcher

Just four weeks from today, The Design Museum in London will be opening a new exhibition which looks set to be a must-see for any fans of electronic music and the technology attached to it. With immersive audio-visual experiences and a chance to see exhibits and installations from the world of electronica, this could feel more like a night out than a visit to the museum. Take 3D trips with icons of the scene Kraftwerk and The Chemical Brothers and bring back memories of the pulsing dancefloors of the rave scene – all the while marveling at how this genre has spanned the decades and remains at the forefront of new music today.

Left: Jean Michel Jarre’s virtual studio, photo © Gil Lefauconnier
Right: MR 808 Interactive by ROBOTS SONIC, photo © Gil Lefauconnier

Full details from the press release below:

‘The Design Museum in London launches a new exhibition exploring the hypnotic world of electronic music, from its origins to its futuristic dreams. Discover how design, technology and innovation powered the genre in the work of visionaries including Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers, Jeff Mills, Daphne Oram, Jean-Michel Jarre and Aphex Twin. Experience the museum premiere of electronic pioneers The Chemical Brothers’ sensory spectacle by creative studio Smith & Lyall, featuring mesmerising visuals for the Grammy Award-winning track Got to Keep On. This exhibition makes connections between electronic music and contemporary design, fashion and art, including works from Charles Jeffrey of Loverboy, Andreas Gursky, Peter Saville, Boiler Room, The Designers Republic, Christian Marclay, Jeremy Deller and more.

The Chemical Brothers, The O2, 30th Nov 2019 © Luke Dyson

Grab your headphones and plug into the first music-themed exhibition at the Design Museum, from Wednesday 1 April 2020 – featuring a club-like environment where lighting and video are synched to a specially curated soundtrack by French DJ Laurent Garnier. Complete with a new series of live AV experiences, visitors will be transported by multi-sensory installations. This is your chance to step inside the visual world of The Chemical Brothers, featuring elements of their legendary live show, as visuals and lights interact to create a three dimensional immersive experience by Smith & Lyall – inspired by the psychedelic duo’s acclaimed No Geography Tour. Delve into the extreme visual world created by Weirdcore for Aphex Twin’s Collapse and celebrate 50 years of legendary group Kraftwerk with a 30 minute 3D experience.

Kraftwerk © Peter Boettcher

Left: Peter Keene, In Search of Daphne, The Oramics Machine Revisited,
A Work in Continual Progress 2015-2018

Right: Jeff Mills’ Supernatural costume, photo © Gil Lefauconnier

An adaptation of the hugely popular exhibition from Musée de la Musique – Philharmonie de Paris, the London showcase will put a spotlight on UK electronic and rave culture. Featuring over 400 items, the exhibition is divided into 4 sections: Man and Woman Machine, Dancefloor, Mix and Remix, and Utopian Dreams and Ideals. The journey begins with a timeline of revolutionary instruments and the innovators who pioneered them, including Donald Buchla, Tadao Kikumoto for the Roland Corporation and Daphne Oram for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. As well as an ‘imagined’ music studio from electronic music innovator Jean-Michel Jarre, a dynamic light installation by 1024 architecture, the Moog 55 synthesiser and the iconic TR-808. Travel to warehouses and dancefloors across the world in celebration of rave and club culture. Explore the design process behind the vinyl sleeves of Tomato and Underworld, fetish fashion by iconic queer designer Walter Van Beirendonck, objects from the iconic Haçienda club and turn back time with large-scale images of rave culture by Andreas Gursky. Expect to see clothing by Charles Jeffrey of Loverboy, projections of dancers from all corners of the globe including New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Moscow and relive the moment of ecstasy experienced by many on the dance floor.’

Vanity Flightcase by Bruno Peinado, photo © Gil Lefauconnier

Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers runs from 1st April – 26th July 2020
The Design Museum, 224-228 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG
Opening times: Mon-Thur & Sun 10-6, Fri-Sat 10-8 (10-9 on selected Fridays)
Standard tickets Mon-Fri Adult £16, Child £8, Sat-Sun Adult £18, Child £9; various concessions and group tickets are also available, please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from The Design Museum and are copyrighted as credited

Intro by Siobhan

4th March 2020

 

Exhibition – Masculinities: Liberation through Photography (Barbican, London)

Exhibition, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 20th February – 17th May 2020
Masculinities: Liberation through Photography 

Header photo: Rotimi Fani-Kayode – Untitled, 1985
© Rotimi Fani-Kayode, courtesy of Autograph, London

Across society there are many traditions and expectations; how we look, think and behave are all subject to comment by the press and the opinions of others on social media. Thankfully, views from the past about what should be perceived as ‘masculine’ are being challenged and are changing as a result. Still, there is huge disparity in this between different cultures and backgrounds and the chance to consider this in visual form makes up the subject matter for a new exhibition at The Barbican, opening its doors in February.

Photo: CatherineOpie – Rusty, 2008
© Catherine Opie, coutesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles
and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography features a wealth of big name photographers as well as some newer names in the arena. Having begun to take photos as a child with a gifted Kodak Instamatic, LA based Catherine Opie has risen in stature to exhibit in galleries across the US and internationally, her portraiture and social commentary shots famed around the world and now displayed here. Also included is the work of Rotimi Fani-Kayode. Arriving in Brighton as a child having fled the Nigerian civil war, he went on to study photography in New York before returning to the UK to produce an esteemed body of work, both technically and socially, before his death in 1989. He is quoted as saying, ‘On three counts I am an outsider: in terms of sexuality; in terms of geographical and cultural dislocation; and in the sense of not having become the sort of respectably married professional my parents might have hoped for. Such a position gives me the feeling of having very little to lose’; a statement that underlies the essence of this exhibition as it sets out to encompass masculinity in all its forms and realities.

Photos: Left – Hal Fischer – Street Fashion: Jock from the series
Gay Semiotics, 1977/2016
courtesy of the artist and Project Native Informant London

Top right – Catherine Opie – Bo from ‘Being and Having’, 1991
Collection of Gregory R Miller and Michael Wiener
© Catherine Opie, courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles,
Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

Bottom right – Sunil Gupta – Untitled 22 from the series Christopher Street, 1976
courtesy of the artist and Hales Gallery
© Sunil Gupta all rights reserved, DACS 2019

Details from the press release below:

‘Barbican Art Gallery will stage Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, a major group exhibition that explores the ways in which masculinity is experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed as expressed and documented through photography and film from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibition brings together over 300 works by over 50 pioneering international artists, photographers and filmmakers such as Laurie Anderson, Richard Avedon, Rineke Dijkstra, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Peter Hujar, Isaac Julien, Annette Messager and Catherine Opie, alongside a lesser-known and younger generation of artists including Cassils, Sam Contis, George Dureau, Karen Knorr, Elle Pèrez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Hank Willis Thomas, Karlheinz Weinberger and Marianne Wex among others.

With ideas around masculinity undergoing a global crisis and terms such as ‘toxic’ and ‘fragile’ masculinity filling endless column inches, the exhibition will chart the representation of masculinity in all its myriad forms, rife with contradiction and complexity. Touching on themes of patriarchy, power, queer identity, race, sexuality, class, female perceptions of men, heteronormative stereotypes and fatherhood, the works in the exhibition present masculinity as a largely unfixed performative identity shaped by cultural, political and social forces, with photography and film central to the way in which masculinity is shaped and understood.

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography is part of Inside Out, the Barbican’s year-long programme exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.’

Photo: Peter Hujar – David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II), 1982
© 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC
courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography runs from 20th February – 17th May 2020
Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

Opening times: Sun-Wed 10-6, Thurs-Sat 10-9, Good Friday 10-9, Easter Monday 10-6
Standard tickets Mon-Fri £15, Sat-Sun £17 – please check the website for concession prices and for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from The Barbican and are copyrighted as credited

************************************************************

Unconnected to the exhibition but a valuable resource for those who may need it, The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. Their website advises, ‘Anyone can hit crisis point. We run a free and confidential helpline and webchat – 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems’. If you need to speak to someone or would like to support their cause you can find CALM here.

Words excluding press release by Siobhan

21st January 2020

 

Exhibition – The Clash: London Calling (Museum of London)

Exhibition, Museum of London, 15th November 2019 – 19th April 2020
The Clash: London Calling

Header photo – At the London Calling video shoot on the River Thames, 1979 © Pennie Smith

A band firmly born into the punk scene, over time The Clash introduced elements of reggae, dub, rockabilly, funk and ska into their music, bringing a whole new range of genres to a much wider audience. Their double LP London Calling was met with enthusiasm from music critics and fans alike and the album quickly cemented its place in rock history. In a review written shortly after its release, Rolling Stone’s Tom Carson wrote:

‘Merry and tough, passionate and large spirited, London Calling celebrates the romance of rock & roll rebellion in grand, epic terms. It doesn’t merely reaffirm The Clash’s own commitment to rock-as-revolution. Instead, the record ranges across the whole of rock & roll’s past for its sound, and digs deeply into rock legend, history, politics and myth for its images and themes… It’s so rich and far reaching that it leaves you not just exhilarated but exalted and triumphantly alive’.

Now 40 years since it hit the shelves, a new exhibition celebrating the album and the band has opened its doors, offering a glimpse behind the scenes and recalling some great memories along the way.

Photos: Left – Handwritten album sequence note by Mick Jones © The Clash

Top right – A preliminary sketch by Ray Lowry for the cover artwork of the 1979 album London Calling by The Clash circa September 1979  © Samuel Lowry

Bottom right – A lyric fragment in Joe Strummer’s handwriting for the song Lost in the Supermarket, the 4 lines in black ink on the reverse of an Ernie Ball custom gauge strings paper envelope, the lyrics representing the chorus of the song  © Casbah Productions Ltd

Details from the press release:

‘The Museum of London is pleased to announce that the highly anticipated The Clash: London Calling, a free exhibit showcasing a collection of over 150 items from The Clash’s personal archive including notes, clothing, images and music, many previously unseen, is now open and free to view until 19th April 2020.

When The Clash’s third album London Calling was released in the winter of 1979, it was clear that the band had made an instant classic, an era defining masterpiece which still stands as one of rock’s all-time greatest albums.

London Calling was, and is, a hugely compelling melting pot of musical styles, driven by a passion for action and a fierce political anger, with music and lyrics which remain as relevant today as they were on release. As well as showcasing influences and context for the writing and recording of the seminal double album, this new exclusive exhibit at the Museum of London will also examine how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century’.

Photos: Left – A 1950’s Gibson ES-295 with a white finish inside a hardshell contour case with orange plush lining; the guitar was used by Mick Jones during recording of the London Calling album and in the music video for the title track of the album, released as a single in December 1979 © The Clash

Top right – White shirt and leather jacket worn by The Clash © The Clash

Bottom right – Simonon’s Fender Precision bass was damaged on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 20th September 1979, as Simonon smashed it on the floor in an act of spontaneous and complete frustration © The Clash

The exhibition includes some instantly recognisable pieces alongside newly displayed items. Visitors will have the opportunity to view Paul Simonon’s smashed bass, the resulting photo of which appeared on the iconic album cover, a handwritten album sequence note by Mick Jones showing the final and correct order for all 4 sides of the album, one of Joe Strummer’s lyric notebooks and Topper Headon’s drum sticks, his only remaining items from this time. Additionally there will be previously unshown photos by legendary rock photographer Pennie Smith and original drafts from cartoonist and artist Ray Lowry’s sketchbooks, including the preliminary and final drafts for the album artwork.

Whether you’re a fan of the band, the era or just general music history, this exhibition will take you on a nostalgic journey while highlighting the differences between making music in the 70s and now. You can also become your own tour guide by downloading the free Smartify app to discover more detail about the artefacts on display as you look around.

If you’re in London in the next few months, take a trip down memory lane and check out the stories behind an album that has become, in its own right, a classic of our time.

Photo – The Clash on stage © Pennie Smith

The Clash: London Calling runs from 15th November 2019 – 19th April 2020

Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
Opening times: Daily 10-6, galleries close at 5.40, closed 24th-26th December
Free entry – please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from the Museum of London and are copyrighted as credited

Words excluding press release by Siobhan

6th December 2019

 

Exhibition – Photography Season (National Museum Cardiff)

Exhibition – National Museum Cardiff, opening 26th October 2019
Photography Season 2019 -2020
– ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander  
– Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Visions
– Martin Parr in Wales

Launching its new photography season, National Museum Cardiff opens its doors to a trilogy of exhibitions featuring four of the most respected and influential photographers in their fields, each with distinctive and recognisable styles and an underlying honesty in their work.

************************************************************

August Sander was an early proponent of taking portraits which truly represented the subjects without ‘tricks and effects’ to create an accurate record of people living and working in Germany. In today’s environment his style would be seen as reportage with no filters. Sander is quoted as saying, ‘By sight and observation and thought, with the help of the camera, and the addition of the date of the year, we can hold fast the history of the world’.

Photo: August Sander, Secretary at West German Radio in Cologne, 1931

Press release excerpt:
‘ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander presents over 80 photographs by August Sander (1876-1964), one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. The portraits are drawn from Sander’s monumental project, People of the Twentieth Century, through which he aimed to capture a true portrait of the German nation and of the time. Sander photographed people of all ages and backgrounds, from farmers, policemen and politicians to bricklayers, secretaries and artists. His subjects, always anonymous, are titled by profession or social class and categorised into 7 distinct groups; The Farmer; The Skilled Tradesman; The Woman; Classes and Professions; The City; The Artists and The Last People.

ARTIST ROOMS is supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund and Creative Scotland and is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and The Tate. The exhibition has received additional support from the Colwinston Charitable Trust.’

26th October 2019 – 1st March 2020

************************************************************

Applying a similar philosophy to Germany’s industrial architecture, Bernd and Hilla Becher were aware of the evolving face of the horizon as developments in technology changed things forever. Bernd noted that he ‘was overcome with horror when I noticed that the world with which I was besotted was disappearing’ and the couple set about recording as many structures as they could to preserve knowledge about them.

Photo: Bernd & Hilda Becher, Blaenserchan Colliery, Pontypool, South Wales, 1966

Press release excerpt:
‘Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Visions brings together 225 photographs by Bernd and Hilla Becher, two of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Since the 1960s their work has reinforced photography’s international currency as art. As founders of what is now known as the ‘Düsseldorf School’, the Bechers influenced a new generation of artists including Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth.

For over 50 years, the Bechers collaborated on a project to document industrial structures across Europe and the USA. Their photographic inventory included winding towers, blast furnaces, cooling towers, gasometers, grain elevators, water towers and lime kilns. In 1965, the Bechers made their first visit to Wales and returned in 1966 after receiving a British Council Fellowship. Based at a campsite in Glynneath, they explored the south Wales valleys and made an extensive series of photographs that now stand as monuments to a lost world of labour that were once central to the social fabric of industrial communities.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Russell Roberts and has been kindly supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust and the Henry Moore Foundation.’

26th October 2019 – 1st March 2020

************************************************************

The third exhibition features the sardonically sincere pictures of Martin Parr, one of our finest photojournalists with an eye for capturing the wit and charm in an everyday scene. His approach, he says, is that ‘With photography I like to create fiction out of reality. I try to do this by taking society’s natural prejudice and giving this a twist’. His twist results in a series of photos that, while adding in the unexpected, draw memories and emotions that are vivid and real.

Photo: Snowdonia, Wales, 1989 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery

Press release excerpt:
‘Martin Parr in Wales features photography by Martin Parr, one of the most influential and prolific photographers working today. Over the last 40 years, he has recorded people, places and cultures in the UK and beyond, exploring themes of leisure, consumption and communication. His humorous and affectionate portrayal of modern life has changed the way we understand society and its many nuances.

Parr has always been drawn to Wales, having lived just over the border in nearby Bristol for 30 years. In that time, he has undertaken several editorial and cultural commissions, covering subjects from working men’s clubs to coal mining. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a selection of Parr’s work in Wales from the mid-1970s to 2018. His photographs – many of which have never been exhibited before – explore different aspects of Welsh life and culture, from male voice choirs and national sports to food, festivals and the seaside.

This exhibition has been developed in collaboration with Martin Parr. It has been kindly supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust.’

26th October 2019 – 4th May 2020

************************************************************

Photography Season 2019-2020 runs from 26th October 2019 – end dates as listed above for each exhibition

National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
Opening times: Tues – Sat 10-5, galleries close at 4.45, open most bank holiday Mondays, closed  25th – 26th Dec and 1st Jan
Free entry – please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from National Museum Cardiff and are copyrighted as credited

Words by Siobhan (quoted sections from official press release)

23rd October 2019

Exhibition – Shot in Soho (The Photographers’ Gallery)

Exhibition – The Photographers’ Gallery, London, 18th October 2019 – 9th February 2020
Shot in Soho 

(Header shot: The Colony Room Club, 1999-2000 © Clancy Gebler Davies, courtesy of the artist)

The corner of London’s west end filled by Soho has long been a colourful, creative and inclusive part of the capital. Sometimes painted as the seedier side of city life, Soho has remained a magnet for writers, actors and musicians and has welcomed in the LGBTQ+ community. The famous Berwick Street Market saw Marc Bolan working on his Mum’s stall in the 60s, became a haven for food lovers and record collectors and was the location for that cover from What’s the Story (Morning Glory). The writer Virginia Woolf described Soho as a space ‘filled with fierce light’ and ‘raw voices’. There are ongoing concerns about the redevelopment of the neighbourhood but, whatever happens, there will always be a vibrant history attached to the area and this has been channelled into a new exhibition, Shot in Soho, opening tomorrow.

Shoes Polisher, Rocky II, etc, Piccadilly, 1980 © William Klein, courtesy of the artist

Extracts from the press release:

Shot in Soho is an original exhibition presented at The Photographers’ Gallery celebrating Soho’s diverse culture, community and creativity at a time when the area is facing radical transformation. The imminent completion of Cross Rail (a major transport hub being built on Soho’s borders) in Autumn 2019, makes the area a prime target for development and threatens it existence as a place of unorthodoxy and independence…

From market-place to movie-set, sex shop to coffee bar, crime scene to cabaret, Soho has always been an unfolding and complex spectacle, central to the music, fashion, design, film and sex industries alongside being a vibrant hub for LGBTQ+ communities. It has also, across the centuries, been home to a variety of immigrant communities from the French Huguenots, through Italian, Maltese, Chinese, Hungarian, Jewish and Bengali cultures.

Shot in Soho offers a timely opportunity to see the area through the lens of renowned photographers, such as William Klein, through a rare presentation of his candid 1980s Sunday Times commissioned photo essay; Anders Petersen, through a selection of his 2011 Soho series, which capture the neighbourhood with his trademark lyrical melancholy; Corinne Day, whose images take us off the streets into her Brewer Street home where some of her most iconic editorial and personal work was shot; as well as work from less familiar figures such as Times photographer Kelvin Brodie’s night-time forays with police teams, John Goldblatt’s strip club dressing room scenes and Clancy Gebler Davies’s work in The Colony Room Club. The exhibition features a commission from artist, Daragh Soden who will present a new body of work focusing on Soho’s reputation as a place of connection, performance and the pursuit of love…’

Above: Untitled, from the series ‘The Undressing Room’, 1968 © John Goldblatt, courtesy of the artist’s estate

Below right: Men hiding their faces / 69 Sauna & Massage © William Klein, courtesy of the artist

Shot in Soho runs from 18th October 2019 – 9th February 2020

The Photographers’ Gallery
16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
Opening times: Mon – Sat 10 – 6, Thurs lates 5 – 8, Sun 11 – 6
Admission: £5 / £2.50, free after 5 daily, under 19s go free, members go free – please check the website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

Images are copyright of the photographer credited

Words (excluding press release extracts) by Siobhan

17th October 2019

Exhibition – Linda McCartney Retrospective (Kelvingrove)

Exhibition – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 5th July – 12th January 2020
The Linda McCartney Retrospective 

(Header shot: The Beatles at Brian Epstein’s home in Belgravia at the launch of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, London 1967)

Details from press release:

‘A major retrospective of photography by Linda McCartney will be shown in the UK for the first time at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow from 5 July 2019 to 12 January 2020. The Linda McCartney Retrospective, which is curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, features iconic names and moments in music from the 1960s along with more intimate and emotional later work by this acclaimed and prolific photographer.

The retrospective also includes one of Linda McCartney’s diaries from the 1960s, displayed in public for the first time and bringing new insight into the contemporary music scene of the era and the beginnings of her photographic career… (also included will be) her cameras, photographic equipment and vintage magazines that have been uncovered from her expansive archive. The range of material to be displayed reflects the McCartney family’s passion for Linda’s work and their desire for the extensive contents of her archives to be accessible to a wider audience.

Mary, Paul and Heather, Scotland 1970

Sir Paul McCartney said, ‘Linda would have been so proud of this exhibition being held in Scotland, a country she loved so much and spent so many happy days in.’

Stella McCartney said, ‘Through these images you meet the real mother I knew. You see her raw and deep talent and passion for her art, photography. Ahead of her time on every level this mother of four still held her camera close like a companion, she captures the world around her through her eyes and this can be seen on the walls around the exhibition. Her humour, her love of family and nature and her moments framed with a slight surreal edge… Scotland was one of her favourite places on earth, and so many images were taken there. Enjoy her passion and compassion…’

The exhibition was first shown at the Kunst Hausn Wien Museum, Vienna and subsequently at The Pavillon Populaire, Montpellier and Daelim Museum, Seoul.’

Left: Self portrait, Sussex 1992 Right: Linda McCartney taken by Eric Clapton, 1967

In so many ways, Linda McCartney was ahead of the curve. A respected musician, photographer, animal rights campaigner and pioneer of vegetarian food long before it held the lifestyle status it does today, her talent and ethos are to be admired for a multitude of reasons.

Aretha Franklin modelling for Mademoiselle, Los Angeles 1968

Photography may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you hear her name but this collection includes shots that display a real skill in capturing the spirit of the people and places around her. The images show a natural flair for catching a picture at exactly the right moment and suggest that the subjects were completely at ease with her behind the lens. Subjects encompass the 60s, family (including self portraits), animals and nature – particularly in the beautiful county of Argyll, home to the family farm and inspiration for Wings’ huge hit Mull of Kintyre. 

If you’re in the Glasgow area over the next 6 months, the exhibition looks to be a great place to visit and be sure to allow time to look round the permanent collection at Kelvingrove too; it’s full of great historical and contemporary pieces in a stunning environment.

The Beatles, Abbey Road, London 1969

The Linda McCartney Retrospective runs from 5th July – 12th January 2020

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG
Opening times: Mon – Thurs and Sat 10 – 5, Fri and Sun 11 – 5
Admission: Adult £7, Concession £5, Under 16 free entry – please check the
website for further details of this and other exhibitions before visiting

All images and exhibition details are reproduced with permission from Glasgow Life; photos are copyright of Linda McCartney unless otherwise credited

Words (excluding press release extract) by Siobhan

5th July 2019