The sky is big. Your imagination is bigger. Skies and skylines are the gifts that keep on giving. You have many options here. Angle your camera upwards, create a pan-stitch, look out over the city skyline from the tallest building you can get legal access to or fill the frame with the bruised winter clouds – just as long as the sky is involved in some way.
I’ve quite a few from the archive and some newer ones, so here we go. Still not made my mind up though I’m leaning towards one of the first three, all from Newcastle.
Again I came across this by accident, and again it was the last day so I really couldn’t dedicate as much time to looking at the works as I would like to. Disappointingly there didn’t seem to be a catalogue of the works as in the earlier BA show had.
Information was much harder to come by this time as well, fewer of the artists had cards or flyers to even give contact points, I eventually found the site for the show but that wasn’t that easy either.
So onto the artists (in no particular order);
Lyn Hagan (in collaboration with Agustin Fernandez ‘Tony and Angela – The Opera’ sound work with embroidered dress, referencing Maxican drug culture and cartels, murder, hail terms, romance between Tony and Angela – the ‘soap’ opera Also ‘Drug Tales’, ‘Love Tales’, and ‘Crime Tales’
Vivianne Chatel ‘Whence comes the light’ large cardboard structures intersecting with the space of the room, making new spaces and habitations within the installation – entrances and exits through the structures inviting exploration, layers
Gareth Hudson ‘In Ecstasy’ large video/light/sound piece – visceral, mythical, ecstatic, using choral sounds linked with slowed video from a heavy metal concert – passion
Zoe Allen ‘Genius Loci’ found object sculptures, exploring spatial relationships/juxtapositions
Iolando Rocha ‘Interweaving and crisscrossing’ raised shanty town structure – reminded me of the bridge from William Gibson – overhanging, accretion – growing through the structure of the exhibition space – barred on the inside – no thoroughfare
Scott Aaron Tait ‘We are the forest dwellers’ sound and video – dodecahedrons – private mythology
Jennifer Prevatt papercut forest with sound piece – alluding to Sleeping Beauty, roses and thorns, an inked forest
Kate Liston and Dan Wilde spatial sculpture with sound and video – reimagining of domestic/office spaces
William Flynn pencil exploration of textures, quite lo-fi, inhabited the long gallery really well
The human animal – it’s a funny looking thing isn’t it? Walking around on its hind legs and pressing calculators and punching vending machines with its weird fleshy claws. What a perfect opportunity to track down and document this most mysterious of creatures at work or on the street.
Again I was hoping to get time to make a new image for this months competition but just didn’t make any to the theme, os I had to rely on archive images.
I chose to use the image from Grainger Market, there is a lot of movement going on with the stillness of the central character. The other thing that pulls the eye in is the receding perspective down the hallway of the market.
When I arrived it was to find the main gallery closed due to water damage on the electrics, this means I didn’t get to see all the artist’s works, so the review really is only for half the show. I will try to get back to have another look before it goes to London and edit this post with any other thoughts and views then.
Of the artists I did see I found the following artists to be the ones whose work excited me the most:
I really loved the strong graphic element to these works and the obsessive quality that the close-ups give. In a way they remind me of Edward Weston’s black and white photographs of fruit and vegetable, but in a much more distilled fashion. The images also talk about representation of the human form through photography and how this can be interpreted in many ways.
The group together was visually striking and when looked at as whole seemed to transform into landscapes and geographical features.
Freya’s interventions into the fabric of the Hatton Gallery were at once, humorous, unexpected and vaguely alien. They kept appearing in the most unexpected of corners and would catch your attention out the corner of your eye almost as they were following your progress around the galleries.
Once the humorous aspect wore off the more alien aspect came out, were these encrustation growing? Were they following?
An excellent use of material, shape and structure to take the viewer outside their normal expectations of buildings.
A lovely surprise as I was getting to the end of my explorations of the galleries to come across this random mark making hanging in the air.
The installation ‘owned’ the space and seemed to coalesce into a poem of marks that could almost be interpreted, but never quite grasped/
I loved the concept of using the air as a material, didn’t take me long to grasp the artist’s intent and 20 minutes later I broke off to have a look at the physical structures this piece was composed of.
The Side PhotoFilm Club showed “War Photographer”, a film about the war/conflict photographer James Nachtwey. This is part of the ongoing Side PhotoFilm Club’s program of films about photography.
Initially I felt a lot of antagonism toward the photographer, the act of him taking photographs felt very intrusive and aggressive, but as the film progressed it became obvious that though he was in the midst of the situations as they played out this was not in an intrusive or aggressive manner, but more as part of the event itself.
James Nachtwey’s obvious desire to precipitate change through his photography became the overarching theme of the film, his determination to show the horror of the events he photographed became a way of giving the victims a voice otherwise withheld.
He seemed to be held in awe by the other professionals (photographers, editors, film makers) that surrounded him, they all admired him but this did not seem to extend to friendship. Nachtwey came across as a very self-contained person with a single-minded determination to be in the centre of the action that elevated his work over that of other war/combat photographers.
These factors also seemed to have led to a very solitary lifestyle where he is in control of everything, the feeling I got was that is he didn’t maintain such control he may have flown to pieces as when he talked the passion and heart he had for the plight of the people he photographed shone out.
The images that James Nachtwey makes are very aesthetic as well as story telling, each one that was shown in the film seemed to have a great balance about them that made them more than just reportage.
A harrowing film that shows the horror of conflict/war/poverty in stark black and white, this is a kind of photography that brought stories to the world that couldn’t be ignored and is still required, probably more so now when there is less space in the mainstream media for this type of reportage.
Thanks Kerry for organising this 🙂 and I’m really looking forward to more good films and discussions to come.