Category Archives: Photographers blogs

Photo News – Brighton-based art photographer pulls film from East Sussex Open 2014 exhibition


Last week, I was at the East Sussex Open 2014 running until 15 September (open submission visual art competition with judged selection) at The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne for the private view. En route to the show I came across a number of slips of paper stuck to bus shelters, a phone box and a tree.  At the opening, I saw an invigilator picking up similar pieces of paper from the floor next to a cordoned-off installation. Later, whilst talking to filmmaker Andrew Kötting and his daughter Eden about her paintings in the show, Andrew opened a book with the same slip of paper enclosed within it.


It read: Where’s Wendy Pye’s Film?
On the reverse was a website URL:

Towner6I came home, typed in the URL and found a blog post relating to her submission to the Towner Open 2014. It appears that her film Six Feet from the Edge was selected for the show but that despite repeated efforts (numerous emails sent by the artist from 28 March through to 2 May and beyond with two phone calls) to discuss how it would be viewed (a vital concern for the creator of the work) she learned that the curatorial team had decided to show the film on a screen with headphones.

Why did the curator fail to respond to any of Wendy’s repeated emails and phone call requests to discuss the work until it was too late and she had no choice but to withdraw her film just before the opening? There is also the question of how filmmakers/artists’ work gets shown in open shows and the extent to which compromises can be made by the creators of such work, without seriously impacting on the viewing experience. It is interesting to note also that Andrew’s film was shown in a sealed-off dark cube, built, I would imagine, by the Towner technical team. Did he make a similar request as Wendy when he submitted his work? Did he request ‘ideal’, as she states she did, or ‘essential’ for the viewing of his work?

She writes: “This experience has left me feeling confused about the role of the curator and I have a few questions:

  • Do curators in public galleries have a responsibility for the artists they are exhibiting and their work? 
  • If curators choose not to have a discussion with the artist for e.g about the viewing experience of moving image work, should they be concerned how their curatorial choices may affect the art work and perhaps reconfigure it?

I leave you with some photos from the opening and a link to Wendy Pye’s blog post in its entirety. I will respond with some more thoughts in a day or so. Till then.

All iPhone photos ©Miranda Gavin


Hotshoe Blog morphs into The Roaming Eye but it’s business as usual where photography is concerned

A quick post for those who haven’t heard from me for a while. There have been a lot of changes afoot and ahead and I am in the process of repositioning this blog.

I set the blog up four years ago on June 6 2009, to be precise, and there have been huge changes in the way blogging works, its technical capabilities and the reach of blogs. Finally, Hotshoe has revamped its website and added a blog section to its site where I will be a contributor. To stop confusion, and because I want to continue to curate and develop this blog as I have for the last four years, I have changed the URL ( All traffic from my previous address will be redirected; so don’t be surprised if you see the web address change.

The header will be replaced with a logo design I am creating for my alter ego, The Roaming Eye, but it will take a little time to produce. This will also allow me to develop the blog, expand the type of content, bring in new voices and push the blog out further, so that I can maintain total editorial freedom and incorporate my various overlapping work strands. So for now, please bear with me while I  tweak my blog over the next couple of weeks.

The Roaming Eye even has a theme tune courtesy of the B52s:

This blog is a labour of passion and I intend to keep this sentiment at its core. This is still the place to come for news, reviews, comments and conversation in the field of contemporary photography.

Thank you to all followers and supporters for your patience.

Guest Blogger 2 – Landscape Photography tips and advice with Toby Smith and Robert Leslie on the World Photography Organisation Blog

© Robert Leslie, Leroux Wash Arizona 2011, Stormbelt. “The most pristine water a man can take, they are drilling it out of the ground. So now the old folks are saying, “What happened to all the deer? What happened to all the birds?” All because of some greedy people lighting up the whole city of New York & LA” Navajo Nation Member

For my second post on the World Photo Organisation Blog, Landscape Photography – Getting it Right, I get some tips and advice and touch upon the question of the acceptable levels of post-production in landscape photography. This is a topic I will return to on Hotshoe Blog later.

I’m no landscape photographer so I asked two well-travelled photographers Toby Smith (TS) and Robert Leslie (RL) for some advice. One tip that is oft repeated is ‘being in the right place at the right time’. Apart from this, you also need patience, determination and a good eye.”

Read more over at the WPO blog.

Photo © Toby Smith/Reportage by Getty Images
BAOTAO, CHINA – DECEMBER 20, 2010: Coal trucks grind down-hill from an open-cast coal mine to the main-highway. Congestion at the highway, weighing points and intersections often sees the vehicles jammed for days as China attempts to redistribute its coal.

Guest Blogger – Join Hotshoe Blog discussing creativity over on the World Photography Organisation Blog

Today and for the next few Wednesdays, I’ll be guest blogging over at the World Photography Organisation Blog starting with my first post, Creativity and Photography: Partners in Time. To whet your appetite, I’ve included the intro from the post.

To read more and see the full post, click on the link above in bold.

“In order to create, we have to stand in that space between what we see in the world, and what we hope for…” Julie Burstein, TED talk.

“Creativity lies at the heart of producing any photographic or artistic work. But it is not limited to these areas, it exists everywhere. I believe that we all have that potential to be creative within us, we just need to find the space and opportunities to allow ourselves to be open and free to play. For my first post on the WPO blog, I want to share some ideas with you about creativity in the hope that you all feel inspired to go forward and create…”

Slideluck Potshow London: Two highlights – Japan, I wish I knew your name by Pierfrancesco Celada and Mute: The Silence of Dogs by Martin Usborne

Slideluck Potshow London, organized by Mariateresa Salvati and invited to Brighton by the Miniclicks Photo Talks crew, held its first event in Brighton on Sunday to screen a selection of photos from past editions. 24 works were chosen by New Statesman photo editor, Rebecca McClelland, and artistic director and curator of QUAD and coFounder and director of FORMAT Festival, Louise Clements. As with Pecha Kucha, there is a particular formula for the events which take place in cities around the world. The event is free and is organised on a voluntary basis.

What is Slideshow Potluck?
“It is a NYC-based arts non-profit, operating in many cities globally, that aims to bring people together around food and art, and to give people an interesting, engaging, and fun platform for sharing art with their community.” From the website.


Japan, I wish I knew your name from pierfrancesco celada on Vimeo.

Pierfrancesco Celada is one to watch and his multimedia piece, Japan, I wish I knew your name, with its artful interplay of still photography, moving image and sound, was, for me, one of the highlights of the Slideshow. Why? Because the whole concept works really well as a multimedia work; it is well-conceived, wonderfully executed and is elevated by its aesthetic considerations, sequencing, use of camera shots and the ambient soundscapes. I was utterly transported for all 3mins 51 secs.

The work was produced at Magnum in Motion, New York, courtesy of Ideastap Photographic Award and received an Honourable Mention, Lensculture International Exposure Awards, 2011.

Celada writes: “During a brief visit to Japan in 2009 I was soon fascinated by the isolation and loneliness I was feeling in the streets. It started as a personal journey, a foreigner traveling in an alien environment. Language and cultural differences were only augmenting this distance between the locals and me. However, while observing people, it was clear that even indigenous were not able to interact successfully. I have then decided to come back in 2010 and better visualize these concepts.

“The Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka Megalopolis, also called Taiheiyō Belt is a unique example of urban agglomeration with an estimated population of over 80 million people. Despite this incredibly high number of chances to interact, it seems that society is moving in the opposite direction. The purpose of this investigation is to create awareness and highlight the problems that modernization and the rapid changes in the environment create in our lives. Is it still important to be, or feel, part of a group? Do we feel part of the environment? Are we alone in the crowd?” From the website.


© Martin Osborne, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, 2012
I love Martin’s body of work, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, which was featured in Hotshoe magazine. So it was fantastic to see the collection of images as a slideshow and the immersion in the backroom of the Green Door in Brighton seemed to echo that of the dogs in the cars, especially as photographers were dotted round the room taking photos as we watched the show. (Note to organizers: I find that it disturbs my concentration when I’m watching a slideshow or film and I know that people are taking photos. What about after the show, rather than during?)

I really feel for these dogs and Martin does too. In fact, he cares so much that he’s set up A year to help blog where you can follow his progress as he attempts “to save all animals everywhere” in a year. I should put him in touch with my mum, who wants some of her ashes scattered in the Coliseum or Torre Argentina where the Gatti di Roma (Cats of Rome) have special status.

I love the text on his website too: “Martin lives in East London where he has his photographic studio. He is interested in the ever-curious and often disturbing relationship between humans and other animals.” However, if he reads this, there is the letter n missing from the first ‘and’ in the text on his site, I’ve added it here. Call me pedantic, but I’d rather mention it so that it can be rectified, than ignore it.

If you’re going to Paris Photo, Martin will be doing a book signing of Mute – The Silence of Dogs in Cars tomorrow at 4pm at the Kehrer Publishing stand, EE3. And if you miss this, you can catch the show in London next year from 19 March  – 27 April 2013 when it will be exhibited at The Little Black Gallery.