Only In England

Today I’m stewarding at Palace Arts in Redcar, this exhibition is a great coup for a small, regional gallery.

‘Only in England’ has photographs from two of my favourite social photographers, Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones.

The photographs from Martin Parr are selected from his Non-Conformist project, centred in Hebden Bridge not long after he finished college.

The Tony Ray-Jones photographs have been selected by Martin Parr from a couple of thousand contact sheets and are photographs not previously printed.

There is another exhibition at Kirkletham Museum on the outskirts of Redcar where the photographs that are being shown were printed by Tony Ray-Jones himself.

Both of these photographers studied a very English way of life with warmth and honesty, and the selection of images that are in the exhibition are great examples of this humour and warmth.

Patreon and me

As part of the development of this site I have signed up for Patreon to help me fund the time it takes to produce content.

As part of this I will be continuing to develop the ‘Prayers of Steel’ project, producing various works from the images I’ve found. This will culminate in a book to be published in the 30th Anniversary year of ‘Tha Angel of the North.

Other reasons for the Patreon funding are; it will help me upgrade my equipment, including purchase of a professional printer and computer equipment so that all my work can be done in-house, the funding will also help me fund camera equipment when needed, but most of all it will allow me time to produce work.

So if you want to be part of that development why not go to my Patreon page – https://www.patreon.com/stephenbaird – and become a patron.

Moving onward

I’ve realised that it has been almost a year since I have been out with any camera other than the one on my phone.

It has also been a while, almost six months, since I seriously worked on any of my projects.

There have been personal reasons for this but I feel that I’m now on the other side of the worst of these problems and I’m now able to invest time back into my art/photography and other projects.

I’ve started having ideas for new projects whilst having thoughts of improving/advancing existing projects.

With this in mind I’m going to work through my image archive with a far more critical eye than previously, if an image doesn’t fit an idea either aesthetically of lyrically it will be archived on another storage device for future though/use (unless it is a complete bag of then it’s binned).

Projects I’m working on at the moment are:

Prayers of Steel

A collection of found photographs of The Angel of the North, with the words of the original posts on various social media sites included.

These are then transformed into various objects to showcase the position that the statue has gained in the psychogeography of the North of England.

In 2018 it is the 20th anniversary of the sculptures completion and I will be producing a book of these images to coincide with that anniversary.

‘Barriers’

This is a working title at the moment, the images are images of hot house plants in various botanical gardens in the temperate North struggling to escape their confinement with no consequence to their ultimate demise if they left that protected area.

Desire

Again another working title, looking at desire lines/paths in urban and rural areas, made by humans and animals.

Drowning not waving

    Amazing how many working titles I have at the moment, this series of images are of found gloves related to the fishing industry.

    Desire lines

    Desire lines, desire paths, desire, ease of movement, natural access.

    Paths that are developed by natural usage, often following natural geographical features such as streams, contours and direct routes rather than the route dictated by concrete and governance.

    A desire path (formally referred to as desire line in transportation planning, also known as a game trail, social trail, herd path, cow path, goat track, pig trail or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot-fall or traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. Width and erosion severity can be indicators of how much traffic a path receives. Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed ways take a circuitous route, have gaps, or are non-existent.

    Busy few weeks

    These last few weeks have all been a bit of a rush.

    First thing I did was to get myself a job in 6 days from application to accepting, not only does this help fund things, but is a traditional job for a struggling artist, a barista.

    This is a good job in that it leaves my mind free to worry about my art rather than the job, but it is physically demanding in a way I have forgotten. So I am often too tired to work on anything though this is improving as my level of physical fitness improves.

    Also my story with The Bowes Museum continues. I was upset that due to taking on the new job I wouldn’t have the time to continue with my voluntary work there. Then about two weeks ago I saw an invitation for applicants to work with Bowes and the University of Leeds for a doctoral research project.

    Therefore these last two weeks have been spent working away at the document required to apply for the position and I’m now in the stages of polishing it up and getting ready to send it in. This process was made the more difficult to my continuously questioning my ability or right to be doing this.

    I have also decided to add a gallery of all my images to this blog, but still not sure in which format to do this in, so you may see changes every now and then to the way I present the gallery, but I want to get all my work up eventually.