Category Archives: Visual Artists

Kickstarter Crowdfunding call for Alma Haser’s photo book Cosmic Surgery

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The book cover

It will be a photo book set in a fictional, not too distant future, at a point where “intelligent materials” are just about to transform the world of cosmetic surgery.

Today, I want to point readers of this blog to a crowdfunding campaign Cosmic Surgery Kickstarter by Alma Haser that has just six days to go.

Patient no. 16' Print

Patient no. 16′ Print

The book is based on a series of photographs made by Haser who creates sculptural portraits using origami shapes. These images play with dimension and space through transforming the sitter’s face into geometric shapes and patterns which deconstruct and then reimagine the original photographic portrait.

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Last year the team produced a limited edition of 10 books by hand and this campaign is to raise money to produce the second edition which will expand on the initial ideas. The book will be designed by Emily Macaulay (Stanley James Presswho has worked alongside Haser on the project, and will be accompanied by a story by science writer Piers Bizony, both of whom have helped to introduce a narrative background, layout and unique construction.

Alma hard at work finishing off the last of the Cosmic Surgery Portraits.

Alma finishing off the last of the Cosmic Surgery Portraits.

Page example from the second edition

Page example from the second edition

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The book will be limited to 500 copies and will have a hardcover printed and foil embossed. It will be 190x240mm (slightly smaller than A4) and contain 48 pages filled with the original portraits and a few new ones that haven’t been shown before. There will also be a number of smaller booklets inside, containing the written content. The book will also include a pop-up portrait and a folded one.

To make a pledge and for more information on the Cosmic Surgery Kickstarter campaign.

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Photo Stroll: Two Top Picks teamLab and Liane Lang at START Art Fair Saatchi Gallery London

The second year of the START Art Fair (10-13 September ) EMERGING ARTISTS NEW ART SCENES at the Saatchi Gallery in London opened to the public on Thursday and runs until tomorrow.

Though photography made up a smaller percentage of the art works, there were some strong, engaging and beautiful works on show.

teamLab’s Flutter of Butterflies beyond Borders is a Top Pick, not least because it is an immersive, enchanting, beautiful, and clever installation It was a hit with so many people at the press opening, including myself. So much so that, I joked with one of the Japanese creators,  a humble self -effacing man, Takasu Masakazu (Catalyst) that I wanted to live there. According to Masakazu less than 20, but more than 10 projectors have been used to create the work. For me, it is a work to be experienced rather than written about. Visit the teamLab website for more.

Liane Lang’s body of work, Saints, shown by LOEWE Contemporary, was selected by START’s Fair Director Niru Ratnamshown as a solo presentation in the This is Tomorrow section of the art fair.  “The section focuses on artists whose work is rooted in the contemporary either through the way they work, their subject matter or the context in which they work.” (from press release).

I have been following her work for years now and gave her the Hotshoe Photofusion Award in 2012, so I was delighted to see her included as one of the 12 solo artist presentations. Visit Liane Lang‘s website for more.

I will post further images tomorrow showing the cross section fo work on display. For now, here’s a taster of my Two Top Picks.

teamLab

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LIANE LANG

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Photo Books – Open call for books for On Landscape #2 London

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ON LANDSCAPE # 2 OPEN CALL FOR BOOKS
On Landscape #2 seeks to instigate a series of discussions, raise questions and incite debate on representations of landscape. A central element of On Landscape Project consists of a library of self-published, hand-made or short-run artists books relating to representations of landscape.

To this end, the On Landscape team (Dafna Talmor, Emma Wieslander and Minna Kantonen) is calling for submissions with a deadline of 16 February. The books will be chosen by Chiara Capodici and Fiorenza Pinna of 3/3, Gianpaolo Arena of Landscape Stories, Matèria’s gallery director Niccolò Fano and the On Landscape Project team. The book display aims to provide a platform for wider debates around landscape whilst presenting an opportunity for a range of practitioners to showcase their work.

The books from On Landscape #2 will add to a selection of titles stemming from the first edition of On Landscape Project last year, for which I chose titles with Bruno Ceschel from Self Publish Be Happy. It was a real treat to sift through over a hundred books and the diversity in terms of approach and design was notable. This selection was showcased in March 2014 at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects in London and was a popular aspect of the show. See images below.IMG_8759 IMG_8752 IMG_8740 IMG_8748 IMG_8758 IMG_8735 IMG_8760 IMG_8756
All iPhone photos. Miranda Gavin

This year, titles from both editions of the project will be showcased within Matèria’s gallery space between April 17 and May 16, 2015 where photographic works by Dafna Talmor, Emma Wieslander and Minna Kantonen, (founders of On Landscape Project) will be on show.

DEADLINE
16 February 2015

SUBMISSION FORM
Click here

Photo Competition: Visual artist Lucia Pizzani and filmmaker David Jackson win Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2014

Now in its fifth year, I was delighted to announce the winners of the Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2014 at the gallery last week (11 December) with a short comment on the work, which I have reproduced below. The winners are:

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Lucia Pizzani for her Impronta series 2013 of ink-jet prints derived from the wet-plate collodion process. The work is a hybrid of sculpture, performance and photography and engages with the idea of the chrysalis on a number of levels, including its physical form through the use of specially-made chrysalis costumes. This series of delicate and slightly bizarre black-and-white images recalls the style of 19th-century Victorian ethnographic portraiture and suggest women on the verge of emerging, as well as ideas of metamorphosis and transformation. (photo above © Lucia Pizzani)

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David Jackson, This Is Not My House is a short film of 14 minutes shot in Malta and centred on the filmmaker’s widowed father. Gentle and beautifully crafted, the film avoids the usual clichés and instead offers a series of tenderly stitched vignettes that give a sense of the now increasingly solitary life of his ageing father. At one point in the film there is a short exchange between father and son, who also share the same first name, that conveys so much about their relationship and a growing similarity in mannerism, posture and even dress. (film stills above © David Jackson)

The winner/s receive a feature (in this case I have interviewed the winners for a post next week) on http://www.hotshoeinternational.com, and a free annual magazine subscription. Previous winners received a feature in the magazine but since it has changed to a quarterly frequency, this is no longer the case.

Since I started judging the selection in 2010, there have also been changes in the way the award is organised. For the first two years, I judged the winner from a shortlisted selection of six photographers and visual artists on show at the gallery. Since 2012, Photofusion has organised a salon-style hang showing single images from its members and this year for Photofusion SALON/14 there were over 1200 images from 140 artists.

People often ask me about judging photo competitions and in an early post, Discovering Your Competitive Side, I talked about how I select work. This year, as in previous years, I asked Photofusion to send me a folder with all the entries stripped of the photographer’s name so that I only have a number for each entry, plus an artist statement and CV with the names removed. In my line of work, there is, inevitably, work that I may recognize, but that is the nature of photo competitions so I try to maintain as much parity in judging the work as I can.

I like to look at the work first, reflect on it, return to it, and see which images stay in my mind over a couple of days. I also read the artist statement once I have looked at the images, not before, as they can help anchor the work, point to conceptual aspects that may not be gleaned solely by looking at the work, and suggest points of investigation by the photographer. Lastly I look at the CV, although in most cases I do not refer to this at all. I am only interested in the work submitted and supporting statements or captions, it makes no difference to me whether someone studied at the Royal College of Art, or a lesser-known institution or whether the entrant is self-taught. For me, it is about the work, not the perceived pedigree.

I then whittled 100 folders of single images down to a longlist of around 20, for which I requested any further images by the photographer who was, at this stage, named. For those of you who are interested here is the longlist:

Wendy Aldiss; Valerie Bennett; Tom Broadbent; James Clark; Scarlett Crawford; CJ Everard;  Gabriella Fabrowska; Keith Greenouth; Robert Hackman; Grace Hardy; Esme Horne; Aron Klein-Barge; Lucy Levene; Emilia Moisio; Vincenzo Sassu; Heather Shuker; Emma Evelyn Speight; Nai Wen Hsu; Remy Whitling

Photo Show: Christina Noble exhibits black and white photographs from her archive in recent show Kullu Perceived

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Photo © Christina Noble. Outside the Hadimba temple in the Dunghri forest above Manali. A sheep has been sacrificed to propitiate the Devi for the potential manifestation of her gaur oracle. The Brahmin cooks attend the fire while villagers come and go. 1976

“Kullu is a very special place. Once you arrive, you are captivated. It’s fascinating to see how three very different artists have responded to one region – be it the monumental oils of Catherine Goodman, the intricate pencil drawings of temples by John Nankivell or the clarity of the light captured by Christina Noble’s photographs”
Shehani Fernando, curator of the exhibition

The show Kullu Perceived: Images of a Himalayan Valley explored the region through the eyes of three artists who have kept returning there to make work. The exhibition at The Prince’s Drawing School space in east London brought together rarely seen images from over 40 years of her archive, a selection of which I have posted here for those who were unable to see the exhibition but who may still be interested in Christina’s work.

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Photo © Christina Noble. This photograph of temple and terraces was taken with a telephoto from the opposite side of the valley. It depicts exactly the same view featured in Lights and Shades of Indian Hill life 1895 by Frederick St. John Gore, which lead Christina Noble to Kullu in the first place. 1971

 

Christina Noble first went to Kullu in 1969 to trek from Shimla to Kashmir and ended up founding a Himalayan walking holiday business. Having lived in Kullu for the majority of the 70’s and 80’s and armed with her Nikon, her photographs reveal the relationship between the Pahari people and their dramatic surroundings.

Christina set up an artist residency programme and creative retreat, Prini Ropa in Kullu. Visiting artists, including painter Catherine Goodman, have been drawn to the Kullu Valley for over a century – attracted to the grandeur of the landscape and the culture of the Pahari people.

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Photo © Christina Noble. On a bank just below the Jalori Pass 10,000 ft (3,120 metres), the girls are resting while gathering fodder for cattle to be carried home in their large baskets. Resting and chatting, they are making shoes out of hemp (charas) straw, the leaves and seeds having been saved to smoke during the long boring winter. 1971