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Owen Harvey Talk // Metro Imaging

26 January 2018

This week Owen Harvey came in to talk about his practice from graduating 5 years ago up until now. His work focuses interest in youth and subculture, and on the notion of individual identity and social groups.  View his work here.

He spoke specifically about his work he was showing to us, which was an insightful look into some of the thought processes and inspiration behind his series. He also mentioned his interest into the subcultures he was photographing which inspired the project and creating timelessness within the Mod UK series of pictures (above), which made sense viewing the images, as your really not sure when they could've been taken.

He also spoke about his 'Ground Clearance' series (above). This is a series he produced whilst out in America of a particular group of people known as the Lunatic Low riders. This was an interesting series to look at as he talked about where he started and his journey in creating this series. From limited time in New York which affected the way in which he worked, to not quite getting the images he wanted from the project initially.

From this he began to shooting differently, and through this his images developed a cinematic aesthetic to them. He then realised this was working in terms of what had initially inspired him to do this series, which were his interest in the hip hop scene and watching films growing up such as Drive and Up in smoke.

What's also interesting with this project, is the risk he took traveling to America and not really knowing what he was going to produce. This is something Owen said to us that we should ''Take risks and make yourself feel uncomfortable'' and it may not always work out but it may also work in your favour and create something you didn't think was possible.

He also talked about making money alongside doing your personal projects and how he has done this throughout his career. This made me realise that getting a job that may not be anything to do with your photography isn't a negative, and to still work alongside this on the projects that you want to do.

He also spoke about many other things, including how to get your work out there, your online presence, building networks and creating your own opportunities.

Overall a really inspiring talk from someone who was recently in a situation similar to our own and how his career and work has developed since then.Im going to leave a quote from his talk that he shared with us about imagery that I really liked in terms of thinking about photography:

''Pictures that asked questions are a lot more successful than pictures that answer them'' 

BERLIN // Galleries

21 January 2018

The first exhibition we went to view was the Joel Meyerowitz 'Why Colour? Retrospective' and it's got to be one of my favourite exhibitions I have been to. The work was beautiful and was the type of work that as a viewer, I could of spent all day in there looking around at more than once. They were presented simply in frames against a black wall, yet every photograph was amazing in their own way. Below, are a couple of examples and two pieces which in particular caught my eye.
The display on the left I thought works really well. As you first walked into the exihibition, this was on the far wall facing you and the large print works with the distance you get when you first walk in, but also works well when you get closer to it. Also, the first image in the row of frames were the same image as the large one, which I think is a nice way to lead the viewer into this sequence of work. The print on the right caught my eye because of the colour, this had been a re worked print (the original were framed on the right) and although each are equally amazing, the colour on the large print really caught my eye as a viewer. I also think the size of this makes an impact and places you as the viewer into the scene a lot more than if it were smaller which I think is interesting experience when viewing work in this way. 

Museum fur Fotografie
The other exhibition we went to were the Helmut Newton collection in which we weren't allowed to take photographs and we also went upstairs in the museum to view work on display by Guy Bourdin. This is work I've been familiar with since my first year so it was interesting to see them in print and displayed. In terms of display, majority of these were kept simple and similar sizes, however there were a few in between which were smaller which I found interesting as you had to stand closer to the print to see the detail, and I also took photos of these for future reference and inspiration when displaying my own work.


20 January 2018
From the 15th to 17th, a group of us went on a trip to Berlin for 3 days. In the 3 days, we visited galleries and landmarks and overall, had a great time. 

Day 1:
We got straight there, arrived at the hotel and went straight back out. We walked around to take in the sites and general environment of Berlin. Along the way we visited the Reichstag Building, the Brandenburg Gate, walked through the park, and to the Memorial of the murdered jews of Europe. This was something we said we would visit before we got there and after seeing images of this, I was interested to see it. Yet, images just doesn't translate the feeling you get whilst walking around this memorial. The memorial is one you have to experience yourself in order to understand how much impact it makes. 

After food, we walked to the Berlin Wall, which had some amazing artwork from one end to the other. Before returning to the room, we visited Pro QM book shop on the way back. We browsed in here for a good time, and despite being super tired by this point I tried to have a look at a variety of various things, from zines and magazines, to photo books. 

Day 2: 
We experienced the trams and tubes in Berlin and we headed to C/O Berlin Gallery. I actually spent a lot of time in the book shop at the gallery, and really had a look at the photo books that were available here. I noted a few artists down that I liked the look of for future references and also picked myself up a set of Tom Wood books - Men and Women.

Here, we saw the Joel Meyerowitz 'Why Color? Retrospective' exhibition and I can say it's one of the best ones I've been to. After this gallery we headed over to Museum Fur Fotografie. Here, we viewed the Helmut Newton collection and work from Guy Bourdin. There were a range of different work in this gallery and some interesting ways to present and display work also that I can consider when displaying my own. 

(I'm going to place the images and my thoughts on the exhibitions in a separate post you can read here - Berlin // Galleries )  

Day 3: 
This day was limited as we had to get to the airport and return home. However, we still had some time to explore and was free to do anything we decided. A group of us decided to go a visit Checkpoint Charlie and then walk over and visit the Jewish Museum.  


Danny Treacy // Work Review

19 January 2018

After talking about his own work, I attended one of the group tutorials to show some of my own work. He made some very interesting points that I can consider in the development of the project.
  • Occupy the space without my Grandmother there. I thought this was an interesting point as so far I haven't been in the house alone whilst photographing, although I have been photographing in rooms within the house alone. This is something that may effect the images, and is something to experiment with to see if it affects the outcome.
  • In terms of using the archive, this can be very personal, yet it can also be contemporary
  • The photograph of the ornament with the finger broken was picked out. He said this demonstrated life within the home and is something visually that I can experiment with to portray the life lived in the house.
  • Within my images of the ornaments with the black backgrounds, I could look into the way archives (museums etc) document objects in varied way. For example, the black background could contribute a certain value to the object. 
  • I included the portraits I took of my Grandmother and this was also picked up on. That maybe I don't necessarily need these as the objects alone could be used to describe the person I'm portraying. 
  • He commented on the variety of styles of photo I had produced and stated this is a good position to be in as there are now several different ways I can explore my project, and I could experiment with combining more than one way of photographing to see how they work together.
  • Throughout the project, as well as it being personal, I also need to disconnect myself from it at times and not to be too precious about what or how I photograph and just see what works.
  • Letting the viewer piece together who the person is rather than showing them. This is another interesting point as a lot of my work so far is quite specific so taking a step back and letting the viewer ask questions is something I can experiment with.
  • The unexplained gives images greater life and not everything needs a title or to be explained. Which so far in the project, I feel like I haven't left much room for interpretation which is something I can experiment with in future shoots.
  • Use texts as research to inform the work throughout doing it, this will allow a wider understanding of the themes and media that I am experimenting with.
  • The archival imagery can be used to inform the work but not necessarily be the centre of it. 
  • And finally, He also mentioned the scale of the work, and to consider this in ways of what I want to achieve with the final piece. 
Overall, I got some great Feedback on my own work, that I can review and consider when shooting and researching from now, and how these ideas can help develop my project. 

Danny Treacy // Talk

This week we had Danny Treacy come into Uni to talk about his own work and then some group tutorials afterwards. This was an interesting insight into his own practice, talking about some of his early work and how this developed into his currently body of work.

From him talking through the processes he has gone through to get to where his work is currently at was informative as a viewer and showed him consistently reviewing his work throughout shooting to see what was working, what needed changing, and importantly what it was that he was interested in and wanted to explore further through photography.

He had worked on location and in the studio. However, his current work is shot with plain black backgrounds as he felt the environments were too much for what he was aiming to photograph, which were clothes he had found and worn within the photo. The found clothing spoke about the environment enough without taking the photograph there.

Also, from constantly reviewing his work, themes started to occur through taking the photographs, which he could then formulate ideas from and helped with the development of the project. One thing he discovered, were the items of clothing reflected the environment which they were found, an interest in looking at possessions, and morphing the sense of time within his work.

Near the end of the talk, he mentioned a little bit of the research and things he does that informs his work. He spoke of Research in a more broader term, for example walking round and finding objects is part of research that he does thats useful to his practice. He combines materials and photographs them to keep for research and not only photographing for a finished piece. The ambiguity of the objects works for him, in the sense not knowing is what makes the clothing and found objects interesting.

View Danny's Work Here.