Best of 2020 – Calling all Photographers!

Best Shots of 2020 – call for submissions 

Well, what a year it’s been; 2020 will no doubt stick in our memories for many reasons. Amidst everything that’s gone on, photography has played an important role, whether documenting the pandemic or used as a means of escape from it all. And, as in previous years, we’d love to put together a collection (or two) of your favourite shots of the year.

Although live performance has been severely hit, we’ll be going ahead with our annual Best Music Shots gallery, so it’s time to dig back either to the first few months of gigs and festivals or the brief stroll into socially distanced shows in the summer. We’ll also be repeating last year’s Best Shots of the Year feature for any other subject matter you care to include – portraits, landscapes, animals, street photography, whatever you like. You’re welcome to take part in either or both. Details below for how to submit, closing date midnight on Friday 11th December.

Category A : Live Music – your shot must be of an artist or band performing live – if you have music related shots that are portraits, crowd shots, etc, these can be sent in to the other category. More details below.

Photos: 16 Beasley St

Category B : General – any subject matter and style can be included; please ensure that your shots do not contain anything generally regarded as offensive or prohibited on social media and that you have parental permission for any shots featuring recognisable minors. More details below.

Both categories: You can send in a max of 2 shots per category but, depending on numbers, we may only be able to include 1 so let us know if you have a preference. Colour, black and white, portrait, landscape, square are all fine. You can choose to include a watermark or not; all we ask is that, if you do, please try to keep it fairly small and subtle. It doesn’t matter if you’re professional, amateur or just take photos here and there for the fun of it – as long as it’s a clear shot that will cope with being enlarged on screen – everyone is welcome to join in.

Photo: Andrew Barrell

All you need to do is email your chosen shot(s) with the subject as Best of 2020 to breakingglassmag@gmail.com by the closing date Friday 11th December 2020 with the following details:

– Name of artist (music) or title of shot (general)
– Venue / location for music shots
– Month taken (must be a photo you have taken in 2020)
– How you would like to be credited (first name / full name / professional or website name, etc)
– Links to your work (website / social media, etc)
– Max of 2 photos per category

By submitting you give us permission to include your shot(s) in an online feature and use to promote this and related posts on the website and social media. All images remain under your ownership and copyright and this will be stated in the feature with clear details of who the photographer is for each shot. Galleries will be published during December 2020.

You can find 2019’s Best Music Shots and 2019 Through the Lens here. The features this year will take a similar format. Any questions at all, please just ask. Look forward to hearing from you!


Photo: Marge Bradshaw 

Header photos – left: Shane O’Neil, top: 16 Beasley St,
bottom: Dave Harford, right: Oriana Spadaro

25th November 2020

Gallery – Autumn & Winter

‘All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…’

Whether you’re dreaming of California or crunching the leaves and snow in colder climes, Autumn and Winter bring colours and textures that beg to be photographed. So grab a mug of something hot and take a look through our latest gallery from around the world. As always, images are in no particular order except to be mixed by subject and style – enjoy…

Header photo by Gary Hough, details in article

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1. Peek a Boo with a deer in Richmond Park
2. Purple Muhrooms

By Petra Eujane Photography

Website | Instagram

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1. Autumn Beeches
2. Church Island

By Derek Rickman

Instagram

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1. Snowed In
2. Autumn at the Lake District

By Clare Ratcliffe

Instagram | Facebook

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1. Dundee Penguin
2. A Walk in the Park

By Siobhan at 16 Beasley St Photography

Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Autumn Sky

By Jake O’Brien

Instagram

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1. Undercover
2. Acer Leaves

By Kevin Harpin

Instagram

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1. Snow Trike
2. Smile

By Becky Jones

Twitter

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1. Autumn Rooftops
2. Autumn Leaves

By Gary Hough at allthecoolbandsphotography

Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Autumn in Milan, November 2020

By Oriana Spadaro

Website | Instagram

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Sedona, Arizona

By Jennifer Mullins Photography

Website | Instagram

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Christmas Cornflakes

By Charlie Smith

Twitter

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A big thank you to all the photographers who have braved the cold to take and contribute their shots. All images are copyright of the named photographer – check out more of their work on the links shown.

Best of 2020 galleries coming soon!

23rd November 2020

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2021 – Shortlist

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded annually to a living artist of any nationality who is deemed to have made the most significant contribution to photography in Europe in the preceding year; this may either be through an exhibition or publication of their work.

Each year, a new set of judges made up of international photography experts is put together to select a shortlist of 4 before picking the winner.

The award ceremony will be held at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, lockdown permitting (recent events have had to be moved online in keeping with safety restrictions) and an exhibition of the shortlisted projects is due to be on display there from 19th March 2021.

This year’s shortlisted photographers have been announced as Poulomi Basu; Alejandro Cartagena; Cao Fei and Zineb Sedira.

Poulomi Basu has been nominated for her book Centralia published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2020. Photo: Poulomi Basu, From Centralia, 2020 © Poulomi Basu, courtesy of the artist.

Alejandro Cartagena has been nominated for his book A Small Guide to Homeownership published by The Velvet Cell in 2020. Photo: Alejandro Cartagena, Escobedo from A Small Guide to Homeownership, 2020 © Alejandro Cartagena, courtesy of the artist.

Cao Fei has been nominated for her exhibition Blueprints at Serpentine Gallery, London (4 March—17 May 2020 and reopened after lockdown 4 August—13 September 2020). Photo: Cao Fei, Nova, 2019 © Cao Fei, courtesy of artist, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers.

Zineb Sedira has been nominated for her exhibition A Brief Moment at Jeu de Paume, Paris. (15 October 2019 –19 January 2020). Photo: Exhibition view Zineb Sedira, A Brief Moment/L’espace d’un instant, 2019 © Zineb Sedira. Photo: Archive kamel mennour.

You can read more about the prize, the shortlisted photographers and their projects here.

The Photographers Gallery is temporarily closed in line with lockdown rules; please check their website for updates if you’re hoping to visit when things improve.

11th November 2020

 

Photography Book – The People Who Made OMM

The building of a new museum in Eskişehir, Turkey has not only provided a new contemporary landmark and exhibition space, but also a unique insight into the people involved in its construction. The beautifully crafted Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM) was designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates and opened in September 2019.

An overheard conversation between a passing couple and the site construction manager, Mehmet Akif, showed that he and his team saw the museum as more than just another job, as his knowledge and enthusiasm were both clearly evident. That was the start of The People Who Made OMM project, now completed in the form of a new photography book featuring black and white portraits alongside interviews with the workers who took part in the build.

Photographer Emilio Hope, better known for their work in the art and fashion field said, “The aim of our project was fairly simple – to give a face and a voice to the workers behind the museum. It wasn’t just important to create something beautiful aesthetically, we wanted to create something of social significance. OMM is a museum that was built by the community, for the community. Featuring workers who literally built the museum aligns with the ethos of OMM.”

Hearing the workers talk about the museum in the book gives a refreshing perspective on the creation of a building that will become a focal point in Eskişehir‘s culture and community.

Aydemir, Master Welder and Plasterer, speaking about his favourite exhibit:

“The artist used light and shadow beautifully. He paid a lot of attention to the minutiae. The pupils, the curls of the beard are all drawn with an attention to detail. I do charcoal drawings myself. I would like to meet the person who created this piece.”

Eşref, Finishing Foreman, on the museum build:

“It’s a wonderful project. I’ve been working in construction for 45 years and this is the first time that I’ve encountered such a lovely project. We began working on it with affection, and we’re completing it with devotion.”

The People Who Made OMM was published on 21st October 2020 and is available to purchase in English (limited edition run of 50) and Turkish (limited edition run of 1000) from the OMM Shop in Eskişehir and Minoa (Akaretler) in Istanbul.

More details about OMM, including news, exhibition and event details can be found on the museum’s website and Instagram

Portrait shots © Emilio Hope | Shots of OMM © Batuhan Keskiner

Words by Siobhan

4th November 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

In Focus with Hugh Frizell

Capturing the city in his own innovative style, photographer Hugh Frizell’s images present a mesmeric view of Glasgow in all its urban beauty. Hugh is also a guitarist playing as part of Hippy, whose album was released on Friday. Here, he takes time out to share and talk us through some of his favourite shots… 

I was born in Greenock but have worked all over the world, lived in various places in the UK but now find myself in Glasgow. For the last 8 years or so I have been fortunate enough to be based close to the West End of the city. I’m an engineer by trade but always interested in the creative arts so I’ve played guitar since I was a young boy and am pretty obsessed by music. Whilst never hitting the big time, I’ve managed to play over the years with some great bands and musicians and have played all over the UK. I also enjoy running, painting, drawing and obviously photography.

In terms of photography, I’ve probably always been around a camera of sorts. My late father, William, was a keen photographer and there’s literally boxes and boxes of old family photos and slides still at my Mum’s somewhere. The actual profile pic I use on Instagram for Shugzfilterz is his old Leica which I now own and it is a prized possession to be honest. Even if not worth much, it’s worth millions to me. It was something he always had with him really.

I got into photography a bit more seriously within the last 4 or 5 years – maybe even the age of the cameraphone was the catalyst. Not having to carry a larger camera around and wait for the processing I’ll admit is a bonus, I think. That said, I firmly believe analogue/ non-digital photography is an art and what I do is not really along those lines nor would I compare or put myself into that category or have those skills. I am (for the Shugzfilterz Instagram page and the images you see here at least) totally digital. I wanted to be totally digital and use the camera/ smartphone/ social media angle almost on purpose. That was really the idea – even the Shugzfilterz name is kinda a play on that.

Basically, the aim of any of the pictures I take is to take a good image first and foremost and secondly, if the digital image processing option or even social media ‘filters’ we use now enhance or take them in another direction or style, then so be it. Nothing more or less really. A good meal doesn’t always have to be from a 3-star Michelin restaurant. The photos you see here are a mixture of the street photography I enjoy plus a couple of studio/ band shots I’ve taken this year.

I am currently guitarist for Paul ‘Hippy’ Hipson who is a Glasgow based singer/ songwriter. Paul has been writing and recording an album Behind Every Song Is a Story since late last year and it came out last week (Oct 9th 2020) on all digital platforms. The singles, music and album info are all on his Instagram – we hope people enjoy the music when they hear it.

I play on 11 of the 12 tracks and it was a great experience to be a part of. Working in the studio with Paul meant I could try some of my own Shugzfilterz styled shots and I’ve included a few here. I enjoy mostly shooting in B&W and I think it lends itself to indoor studio/ musician shots well. The pictures here were taken over many studio sessions out at the HQ Recording Studios, Glasgow between November 2019 and September 2020. I really wanted candid and non-contrived shots. I have a thing, as I’ve been in a few of these type of shots myself, that the typical ‘4 or 5 people standing at a wall trying to look cool’ is a bit long in the tooth now. I only tried to get shots of Paul crafting the songs or working on a take and tried to get them as ‘real’ as I could. A lot of the music photographers I enjoy took a similar approach over the more ‘official band pose’ ones usually featured by many.

In terms of the other shots you see here, those mostly combine a couple things I really enjoy to varying degrees of success. Running and Street Photography. I regularly run, albeit I am no Mo Farah whatsoever, still pretty slow even after being at it years! That said, it’s good for health all round so I occasionally combine running with my photographs. I’ll get up early in the morning and go out into Glasgow and try to capture some shots of this magnificent city. I also occasionally run when I visit back home at Greenock and Gourock so sometimes take photos of there too. This year has thrown up some strange and interesting times for many, photography included.

When I go out for a ‘picturehaulin’ run (as I call it) then I’ll not have any pre-conceived ideas about what to shoot – it’s simply a case of running into the city or an area of the city and constantly looking around. I usually shoot in B&W, I feel those also work great in a city or street environment, but I am happy to use colour too. I think if I’m honest, I have a better flair for B&W than colour but everyone sees things differently. The images here are all taken either this year or last year – a lot of the emptiness in many of them can be put down to the early morning nature of when the images were taken – most are from 2020 but the Instagram page has a good few from the last few years. I enjoy taking images that might be classed as odd or obscure but my reasoning is there are many images from the city available already. I like anything interesting, possibly vintage or old and maybe things you’d not see in the official tour guide book.

Simply taking the same type of shots or subjects we’ve seen would be a bit boring, I think. Again – it’s up to others to judge I suppose. Being from Greenock, there was a celebrated set of photographs taken by Eguene Mehat; these were taken all over the town in the late 60s and capture a huge amount of detail and change in the town I grew up in. Whilst I’m not necessarily doing that with my pictures, I have to say I was inspired by his work and rate them highly and as a huge influence on me.

Thanks for taking the time to view these pictures and I hope you enjoy them
Hugh Frizell

All words and photos are © Hugh Frizell (Shugzfilterz) – you can see more of Hugh’s photography and follow his journeys around the city on Instagram. Behind Every Song Is a Story by Hippy is out now, listen below.

14th 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

Kraszna-Krausz Photography & Moving Image Book Award Winners

Header photo © LaToya Ruby Frazier: Grandma Ruby and Me, 2005

Yesterday, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation announced the two winners of its annual Photography and Moving Image Book Awards, selecting from short and long lists that were revealed in July. The prizes have been awarded to two very different, both very worthy winners.

The Photography Book Award was won by Chicago-based artist LaToya Ruby Frazier for her eponymous book LaToya Ruby Frazier (Mousse Publishing & Mudam Luxembourg), which collates a series of three photographic projects commenting on racial discrimination, poverty, post-industrial decline and its human costs. The images are both reflective and poignant and provide a compelling visual documentation of sections of society today.

Photos © LaToya Ruby Frazier: Left: Sandra Gould Ford in her office in Homewood PA, 2017
Right: Mr Yerby and Mom’s Foot, 2005, gelatin silver print, Pinault Collection

Talking about her work, LaToya Ruby Frazier says, “In my photographs, I make social commentary about urgent issues I see in the communities or places I’m in. I use them as a platform to advocate for social justice and as a means to create visibility for people who are on the margins, who are deemed “unworthy”: the poor, the elderly, the working class, and anyone who doesn’t have a voice. I create depictions of their humanity that call for equity. That is what is dear to my practice and my position as an artist.”

Photo © LaToya Ruby Frazier: Ali wearing his miner’s helmet,
coal mines of Louis Lambert, Hensies, Borinage, 13 December 2016

The Moving Image Book Award has been posthumously awarded to Hannah Frank for Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons (University of California Press), in which Frank takes a look at the enormity of detail required to produce cartoons in the pre-digital age, offering an insight into the complexities of animation and its history.

Left: Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians (Disney 1951)
Right: Cinderella’s stepmother in Cinderella (Disney 1950)

Dr Andrew Moore, one of the judges said, “This is an exceptional book: original, poignant, hugely significant and full of verve, with writing that is wry, neat and seductive. Hannah Frank’s obsessive focus on the single cell in animation calls on us to change our way of perceiving culture. Her intellectual range is astonishing: Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, André Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Sergei Eisenstein – all are invoked to get us to think about what animation is, and to forcibly remind us of the invisible factory labour that manufactured the polished, animated commodity. Hannah Frank has given us a perfectly crystalised intellectual project.”

Popeye – Moving Image Figure 3.2 Frames from Olive Oyl’s dance in Blow Me Down!
(Dave Fleischer 1933)

As restrictions on social gatherings continue, there will not be a physical awards ceremony this year, however, the Photographers’ Gallery will be hosting a free digital event on 30th September which will include a showcase of the works and artist/editor talks and is open to the public – click through on the link for more information and booking details (donations are welcome to support the gallery’s public programme).

The judges for this year’s Photography Book Award were Professor Elizabeth Edwards, visual and historical anthropologist and independent scholar; Peter Fraser, contemporary British photographer; and Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks.

The judges of this year’s Moving Image Book Award were Melanie Hoyes, Industry Inclusion Executive, BFI; Geoffrey Macnab, author, and contributor to Screen International and The Independent; and Dr Andrew Moor, Reader in Cinema History, Manchester Metropolitan University.

You can find more details about the awards on the Kraszna-Krausz website.

Words by Siobhan
Images reproduced with permission via Flint Culture and copyrighted as detailed

10th 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

 

Gallery – Portraits

The art of portrait photography means many things to many people. For this gallery, we’ve included both posed and candid shots, all of which capture the essence of the subject however and wherever they were taken. As Robert Frank said, “There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” 

The images featured are in no particular order other than to be mixed by style and subject matter so please scroll all the way through and enjoy…

Header photo by Gary Catlin Photography, details in article

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Craig Gould

By Phil Drury at 2324 Photography

Website  |  Instagram

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1. Lauren Tate of Hands Off Gretel, on stage at The Great British Alternative Music Festival, Skegness
2. Duncan Reid of Duncan Reid and the Bigheads, side of stage at O2 Ritz, Manchester

By Gary Hough at allthecoolbandsphotography

Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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1. Smoking – Kieron Conroy of Stone Broken, Rock City, Nottingham, 2019
2. Icon? – Absolute Bowie at The Devil’s Arse Cave, Derbyshire, 2019

By Tina Sherwood at Rock Shotz Live Music Imaging

Instagram

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1. Pete Shelley
2. Steve Diggle
Buzzcocks, backstage at Hardwick Live Festival, 2017

By Steve White

Flickr  |  Instagram

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1. RedEyeZack, West Pier, Brighton
2. Jewellery by Susan Jane Dunford

By Petra Eujane Gent

Website  |  Instagram

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1. Time Gentlemen Please, Phil
2. Time Gentlemen Please, John

By Gary Catlin Photography

Website  |  Instagram

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1. Dare You Not To
2. Galaxy Thief

By Milly McPhee

Website  |  Instagram

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1. In The Moment
2. Music and Friendship

By Jennifer Mullins Photography

Website  |  Instagram

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1. Where Has My Love Gone?
2. Passion

By Peter Hutchinson

Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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Randy Blythe, 2018

By Lynnette Brink

Instagram  |  Facebook

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1. Tracey, Black Country Living Museum
2. Tracey, home studio

By Brian Smith

Instagram

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Suze DeMarchi of The Baby Animals, 2019

By Pepa at PJ Music Photography

Instagram

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1. Kawa Huni Kuin, Extinction Rebellion Manchester
2. Street Performer, Pennabilli Festival

By Ingrid Turner

Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

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An Illustration of the Present

By Jake O’Brien

Instagram

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1. Pale Waves at Pie & Vinyl, Southsea
2. George Mitchell of Eagulls at Olby’s Soul Cafe, Margate

By Siobhan at 16 Beasley St Photography

Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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As always, a heartfelt thank you to all the amazing photographers who have shared their images for inclusion. To see more of their work just click on the links shown (and while you’re there, give them a follow).

All pictures are copyrighted by the photographer credited; please do not reproduce without gaining their permission first.

1st September 2020

 

 

 

Street Smart – Urban Art

From scrawls on walls to guerilla street art, paste-ups and commissioned coverings, there are mixed media messages all around us. Sometimes thought provoking, often temporary, even the biggest names can be cleaned away overnight so enjoy them while you can. Here are a few that caught my eye, some grander than others, all taken in Worthing and Brighton…

I don’t have details for all the artists shown, feel free to let us know if you can fill in any gaps. Some of those whose work is featured above can be found on the following Instagram links:
Mick Mowgli  |  Horace  |  Minty  |  Broken Hartist  |  The Postman

Photos © 16 Beasley St Photography

25th August 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

Days Gone By: Porches

Days Gone By: Porches 
by Jennifer Mullins

Phoenix, AZ, is a city that spreads out into the suburbs instead of up, partly because the airport is adjacent to downtown. With all the music venues closed due to Covid-19, I decided to explore the historic neighborhoods in downtown Phoenix. Each neighborhood has a unique name, such as Roosevelt Historic Neighborhood and F.Q. (Francis Quarles) Neighborhood, to name a couple. Unlike the suburbs, the architecture of each house is unique.


The houses are late 19th / early 20th century in the style of bungalows and craftsman. The more houses that I photographed on these empty quarantined streets, the more I realized that I began to focus on the porches. Most cookie-cutter suburban houses do not have porches. These porches were decorated in a way that looked so inviting. I could see myself sitting there daily, enjoying talking to neighbors, or watching the world go by. On one walk, there was a socially distanced concert, before the summer heat descended, where La Luz de la Luna performed in front of their house and the neighbors sat on curbs and porches to enjoy the show.

Downtown Phoenix, with its historic areas, music and arts venues truly is a gem in the desert.

Words and photos © Jennifer Mullins
Links to other content by Jennifer here

29th July 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

Kraszna-Krausz Photography & Moving Image Book Awards

Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards announce Long and Shortlists

Header image: Swimming Pool in Wiesbaden’ (1934) © Dr Paul Wolff and Alfred Tritschler. From ​Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler, Light and Shadow – Photographs 1920 bis 1950 ​ edited by Hans Michael Koetzle (Kehrer, 2019)

Established since 1985, The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards provides a platform that highlights a beautifully diverse range of Moving Image and Photography books. The awards are open to books that have been published in the previous year and are available in the UK. This year saw over 200 entries, from which short and longlists have now been drawn up and were announced yesterday.

In a year that has seen galleries closed and exhibitions cancelled, it seems timely to appreciate another medium through which to view the art involved in image making and some stunning end results.

The 35th edition of the prize sees some stiff competition and judging will surely not be easy.

Quil Lemons, “Purple” South Philadelphia, 2018, from​ ​
The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion​
by Antwaun Sargent (Aperture, 2019) © Quil Lemons

Winners will be announced in September prior to a livestream event featuring conversations about the two winning titles, hosted by and
in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery. This takes the place of the usual awards ceremony, allowing celebrations to take place safely.

You can find more information about the work of the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation and about the selected books on their website.

Left: Jonas Mekas, ‘At the Film-Makers Cooperative’, 1962.
From ​I Seem to Live. The New York Diaries. Vol. I 1950-1969​
by Jonas Mekas (Spector Books, 2019)

Right: Two Archivist (gloves on), Photographic Collections,
National Museum Wales, Nantgarw, Cardiff, 2016 © Sophy Rickett.
From ​The Curious Moaning of Kenfig Burrows​ by Sophy Rickett
(GOST Books, 2019)

From the press release:

‘The books in the running for the 2020 Photography Book Award and Moving Image Book Award address diverse global issues related to race, justice, identity, and the construction of truth, history and memory.

Ranging from illuminating artist monographs and anthologies to in-depth critiques of photography or filmmaking, to photobooks reconstructing hidden stories, and much more, the lists reflect the Foundation’s enduring recognition of rigorous and original books that will likely have a lasting impact on their field.’

Still from Revisiting Genesis, by Oreet Ashery. 2016.
Web series, 93 mins. (Courtesy the artist).
Erika Paul Mellon, Lucy Reynolds & Sarah Perks (eds),
Artists’ Moving Image in Britain Since 1989​
(Centre for Studies in British Art, 2019)

2020 Photography Book Award Shortlist

LaToya Ruby Frazier (Mousse Publishing & Mudam Luxembourg)

Photography, Truth and Reconciliation by Melissa Miles (Routledge)

The Curious Moaning of Kenfig Burrows by Sopy Rickett (GOST Books)

Moving Image Book Award Shortlist

Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film by Allyson Nadia Field, Marsha Gordon eds (Duke University Press)

Frame by Frame: A Materialistic Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons by Hannah Frank (University of California Press)

This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia by Joan Neuberger (Cornell University Press)

2020 Photography Book Award Longlist

The Canary and the Hammer by Lisa Barnard (MACK)

Women War Photographers: From Lee Miller to Anja Niedringhaus by Anne-Marie Beckmann & Felicity Kom, eds (Prestel)

Seeing the Unseen by Harold Edgerton (Steidl co-published with the MIT Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts)

LaToya Ruby Frazier (Mousse Publishing / Mudam Luxembourg)

Signs and Wonders: The Photographs of John Beasley Greene by Corey Keller (Prestel)

The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art & Fashion by Antwaun Sargent (Aperture)

Dr Paul Wolff & Tritschler: Light and Shadow – Photographs 1920 bis 1950 by Hans-Michael Koetzle (Kehrer Verlag)

Photography, Truth and Reconciliation by Melissa Miles (Routledge)

The Curious Moaning of Kenfig Burrows by Sophie Rickett (GOST Books)

Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897 – 1922 by Margaret Sartor & Alex Harris, eds (University of North Carolina Press)

Jamal Nxedlana, Johannesburg, 2019, from​
​The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion ​
by Antwaun Sargent (Aperture, 2019) © Jamal Nxedlana

Moving Image Book Award Longlist

Artists’ Moving Image in Britain since 1989 ​by Erika Balsom, Lucy Reynolds & Sarah Perks (eds) (Paul Mellon Centre)

Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film ​by Allyson Nadia Field, Marsha Gordon, eds (Duke University Press)

Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons ​by Hannah Frank (University of California Press)

The Brighton School and the Birth of British Film ​by Frank Gray (Palgrave Macmillan)

Film, Music, Memory ​by Berthold Hoeckner (University of Chicago Press)

The Lost World of DeMille ​by John Kobal (University Press of Mississippi)

I Seem to Live. The New York Diaries. Vol. I 1950-1969 ​by Jonas Mekas (Spector Books)

This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia ​by Joan Neuberger (Cornell University Press)

The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics ​by Sydney Ladensohn Stern (University Press of Mississippi)

Silent Cinema: A Guide to Study, Research and Curatorship​ by Paolo Cherchi Usai (Bloomsbury)

Aggressive Assimilation, by Adrian Stimson. 2013.
Adrian Jr./Old Sun Residential School/Adrian Sr.).
Photographic triptych, 50.8 by 162.56 cm. Courtesy Adrian Stimson.
From ​Photography, Truth and Reconciliation ​by Melissa Miles​ (Routledge, 2019)

Intro by Siobhan
Details and photos via Flint Culture – copyright as detailed; please do not reproduce images without permission

23rd July 2020

When Covid-19 Stopped the Music

When Covid -19 Stopped the Music
by Jennifer Mullins

This refrain from Joni Mitchell’s song Yellow Taxi, ‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,’ seems to sum up the situation of live music at venues being put on hold to stop the spread of the virus. Hopefully, the small venues and musicians that have created a community there will have a place to return once this pandemic is over.

Alex Mullins at the Rebel Lounge

I began to get into music photography when my son, Alex, began playing open mics. His first show was at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, Arizona. Because he was underage, I had to accompany him. It was the first time that I had seen him perform, though I had heard him play in the house. I was blown away at how calm, confident, and talented he was as he took the stage. A year into his playing at different venues, I began to take photos and videos. My primary photography focus at this time was on nature.

Top: Fans at Pub Rock
Middle: Alex Mullins
Coyote Tango at the Rebel Lounge

Once Alex formed his band, Alex Mullins and the Royal, I began going to different venues with low light. It was a whole new photography learning experience as I had to learn to adjust to low light photography. I met some of the nicest young photographers who helped me with camera settings and encouraged me to move from shooting in auto to manual mode. They also helped me with editing techniques as I found my unique style.

Top: El West at Crescent Ballroom
Bottom: Holiday Extravaganza at the Van Buren 

In the beginning, I would stay and photograph only Alex’s band, then head home. As time went on, I began to stay and watch other bands. Before I knew it, I was driving around the greater Phoenix area to different venues to discover the vibrant local music scene. I found not only so much musical talent, but a community. Music is meant to be heard live with other people who come together to share their love of the sound the musicians create.

All at Crescent Ballroom – Top: Rival Coast
Middle: Luxxe  
Bottom: Harrison Fjord

A camera gives you a different way of seeing the world and that’s true when photographing a gig. You have to move fast to capture the moment because each set is non-stop and there are no second chances. Since my focus was on the viewfinder, I would forget that people were seeing me in action. I was also posting on Instagram and people would get to know who I was through there as well. I would always introduce myself to musicians and they would say, “I know who you are.” It’s been great to not only see Alex grow as a musician but to get to know other musicians and fans.

Top: Jared and the Mill at Rhythm Room
Bottom: Jared and the Mill at the Rebel Lounge

Now all the venues are closed, the musicians are not playing live and the music community can no longer gather safely. It’s great when my favorite musicians livestream but I miss seeing them on stage as much as I’m sure they miss playing. The collection that I created was capturing the musicians and fans. The connection that only music creates can be seen in both the musicians’ faces and the fans’ reactions.

WHSTLE at the Van Buren

All words and photos are © Jennifer Mullins – you can find more of Jennifer’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram 

We recently featured some of Jennifer’s lockdown photos; you can view them here 

10th July 2020