A big thank you to Barry Pitman of Kemptown Pram race fame for these.
Belinda and I put the ‘Goodbye to the Wall’ photos up in the library windows today, I have to say I was rather pleased with the way it’s turned out. Initially I was a bit concerned about the images being double sided that the outer one would ghost through with strong light behind it, which indeed it does, but not enough that it detracts from the view from the inside. It lends it that ‘take it as it is’ lack of finesse quality (something I’ve been cultivating all my life) which I like, and a certain Eastern European utilitarian feel. From the outside with the sun shining on them through the smokey glass they appear almost sepia toned and they stand out well even from the other side of the square. For the princely sum of two quid each , the whole exhibition has come in under a ton, which is a bargain as far as I’m concerned. As I’ve come to expect from my experience holding non gallery exhibitions a few times now there were very few people paying much attention to them and it does make you wonder about the oblivious and unobservant state most in which people tend to exist in this X factor/football/ celebrity/ Facebook / Twitter obsessed world, fortunately I’m thick skinned and if but one person takes notice that will do for me. The politicians wonder why we don’t vote and rue the fact that the Russell Brands , Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages of this world master the media and steal the nations hearts and minds, surely come the time come the men, which is what happened in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the 30’s, somewhat ironic considering the subject matter of the photographs.
Last Sunday afternoon I wandered down to Phoenix gallery in Brighton to visit my very dear and long time chum Jimmy ‘the fish’ Cooke, who has his darkroom there, lo and behold by chance there was a photo publishers book show in full swing in the main gallery. On display were some very high quality offerings which of course do not come cheap, but I’m sure once all the cost of printing, distribution, publishers cut it does not leave much for the dear old photographer, This is no doubt why we have the rise in the ‘cut out the middle man’ self publishing phenomena. Having produced two of these vanity publications myself though I am an advocate of this way of doing things as one has complete control over every aspect. As a word of warning if you are considering it, expect to lose money, I certainly did. Anyway throw pride to the wind and let your vanity shine through, don’t expect the world to bat an eyelid just do it for yourself and your nearest and dearest. Remember bank balances are just numbers (with plus or minus sign in front !). For the vast majority of us, photographs are consumables that we browse and flick through in a moment, the information consumed and then is consigned to the past. A photograph is born in a fraction of a second and like a shooting star it rapidly fades and then we begin the hunt to see another, having said that some shooting stars shine brighter than others.
Surprisingly enough all the photographs and frames on Brighton Pier remain intact and have survived the onslaught of wind, rain, salt spray , seagull shit and everything else that the English Channel can hurl at them. The public reception between the squalls still seems to be generally favourable but confusion lingers over when they were taken , one gentleman asked me if I took them in the 50’s , I did have to point out that would make me 90 something. I know I’m not a spring chicken any more but….
On Sunday my friend Lennie came down from London and we wandered round a few of the Photo Biennial exhibitions, I think he and I are birds of a feather in that we don’t really ‘get’ what goes on in world of photography these days and we both mused about the current obsession with printing everything the size of a football pitch. Over a pint of Guinness on the Pier I described myself as the photographic equivalent of North Korea which is an analogy I shouldn’t be proud of but at the same time it’s not far from the mark. Here’s a snap of me by Lennie , check out his blog it’ll make you smile.
Pleased to say all 50 photos of the ‘We love to boogie” series went up on Brighton Pier today and hopefully they’ll stay there for the next two weeks or so, the general feeling is that some will get stolen or abused but I’m putting my faith in humankind’s better nature and hoping for the best. The initial reaction while we were putting them up was very positive and a lot of people stopped for a look and a chat ,they were a bit confused as to when they were taken, but there was a lot of smiling and pointing which makes it all worthwhile. We did have a bit of trouble attaching some of the frames and they were tending to slide off before the silicone dried, a few hit the deck and were duly handed back by the passing public , a change of technique sorted the problem , namely a bigger blob of gloop.
Anyway here’s another ‘cliche’ photo to add to my ongoing series of cliches. England.. don’t you just love it !