Our latest artists news25th Mar
Look out for a 5 page article on John Kenny and his latest work in the December issue of Photography Monthly magazine (UK) out this month! 'A Sense of Contrast' focuses on his recent trip to Angola.
We are very excited about John's first book coming out next autumn. John is working alongside Merrell Publishers to create a book entitled "African Beauty". The book will be launched in London and New York in September or October of 2013.
John recently donated several photographs to the exhibition 'Africa Is Not A Country' in New Hampshire, US. The juried exhibition, with photographs from across Africa, aimed to raise awareness of the diversity of the continent and as well as funds for a permanent memorial to one of the oldest US African Burial grounds, an important historical record of Africa and its continued legacy in the United States.
David Zimmerman's gigantic, stunning portraits selected from his series: One Voice; Tibetans in Exile are being exhibited in The Complete Collection; Photographic Portraits of Tibetan Tulkus 1880-2012. The exhibition is curated by Paola Pivi and is being held at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy. It runs from November 9, 2012 - January 6, 2013. The exhibition will also be shown in Rotterdam in 2013.
This month Monica Denevan has donated work to The Friends Without A Border photography auction in New York, the non-profit organisation raises money for high-quality healthcare for children in Southeast Asia.
After a successful exhibition and lecture series at the Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Barry Cawston's sights are set further afield next year when he travels to Marrakech in Morocco and the Kumblh Mela in Allahabad,India, along with 70 million Hindu pilgrims! He has also been commissioned by Open Fundraising to work with the charity World Jewish Relief on a photographic project in Jewish communities in Krakow, Poland.
Ernesto Fernandez has had an amazing year of much deserved recognition for his lifelong photographic work. He has been awarded Cuba's top prize in visual arts, had a major exhibition with his son, also a photographer and also called Ernesto, as part of the Havana Bienale and currently has over 100 of his photos hanging in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana.
James Sparshatt is considering a 17th photographic trip to Cuba where he hopes to capture this fascinating culture once more before it changes forever. We look forward to the results...
John Kenny features in this months Photography Monthly magazine19th Dec
Look out for a 5 page article on John Kenny and his latest work in the December issue of Photography Monthly magazine out this month! 'A Sense of Contrast' focuses on his recent trip to Angola.
Monica Denevan features on the front cover of this months Black and White Photography Magazine25th Mar
Monica Denevan's captivating photographs from Burma are revealed in this months Black and White Photography magazine, with 'Murma, Burma' (below) on the front cover.
Of her work, Monica says:
My images begin with the friendships and personal connections I make while traveling. I seek out quiet, remote places that have been relatively untouched by industrial development in order to photograph those whose culture and traditional way of life reflect a deep authenticity or bond with the past. I try to focus on the intangible spirit of a place that, for those who live there, represents their daily landscape. Within this setting, the confident, self- possessed courage of the individual reveals itself. Although the people I photograph make up the content of my images, I hope to transcend the depiction of individual lives, by acknowledging their participation in a grander existence; a world of extraordinary resonance and harmony, humming within lives most ordinary.
We are pleased to be showing work from this series at the Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath in November.
Monica Denevan, Black and white photography
David Zimmerman focuses on Tibetans in exile19th Dec
We first met David in Cannes in 2009 at the Sony World Photography awards. He and his wife, Marilyn, were such charming people that we spent much of the week with them, eating drinking and of course talking photography. David has an amazing passion for the image and believes deeply in its power to influence. His Desert series won him both the professional Landscape award and the L'Iris D'Or (the overall award) that week. His evocative images of light playing on the dunes of the US southwest simply astounded the judging panel.
David's photographs are beautiful. The way he captures light, his compositions and technical ability are phenomenal. However his images are subtly realised and riven with a deeper meaning inspired by his deep concern for environments and people. The Desert series were as much about the fragility of the ecosystem as its beauty, subsequent projects focused on individuals affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the eerily degraded landscape of the Salton Sea. His present project, to examine the experience of exiled Tibetans living in northern India, will I am sure reflect his sensitive eye, but also convey the troubling times these exiles are living through.
David anticipates making 500
portraits ranging from the Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration
(CTA) to the lay people of Ladakh.
This aim has greatly benefitted from the personal support from HH The
Dalai Lama and the CTA (an organization based in India with the stated goals of
"rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and restoring freedom and happiness in Tibet").
As well as carrying out his own work, David is collaborating with Exile Lens - a group of Tibetan photographers dedicated to preserving a visual legacy of Tibet. This has involved running photography workshops in Dharamsala, India, to improve people's basic skills, as well as demonstrating the storytelling and creative potential of photographs. David has been overwhelmed by his pupils' enthusiasm, so much so that it crossed is mind to give up photography and become a teacher instead!
David frequently writes about the warmth and generosity of the people he is with. I imagine that he makes friends quickly and this desire to get to know his subject only enhances the sensitivity of his portraits. On one occasion, in Ladakh, he tells me that he, a complete stranger, asked a mother if he could take away her children for an hour or so to take their photographs. She replied with "Yes, but would you like to have some tea first?". A level of trust that I, as a mother in the UK, find difficult to imagine but it is perhaps indicative of both him and Ladakhi society.
This is an exciting and important long-term project, I look forward to seeing the results and sharing them with you.
David Zimmerman, Tibet, Monks, Photography
James Sparshatt exhibits at Romerias de Mayo Cuba 201218th Dec
From the top of the tower I looked out over a sea of smiling faces. The sun was at its zenith, I was hot, sweaty and a little bit burned but damn I was happy.
I was also very thirsty. Below me I watched as a petrol tanker snaked its way up the hill we had just climbed. It stopped amidst the throng, creating a crazed commotion and three burly individuals clambered on the roof to open the covers. Buckets were passed up, were filled and then lowered by ropes slopping liquid on to the crowd below. As I drew closer the smell hit me - not the acrid tang of fuel but the sweet smell of hops - a mobile bar Cuban-style.
It was a few months into the new millennium and I was on my second visit to the island. Tourism outside of the main beach resorts was still a relatively new commodity and in the heart of Havana the experience was at times sullied by swarms of jineteros drawn like bees to the honey of foreign visitors' supposed wealth. Jinete or jockey had been coined as a term to describe those Cubans who chose to ride on the backs of tourists to escape the economic deprevations caused by the combined whammy of the collapse of the Eastern bloc and US sanctions in the early 90s.
But here in Holguin, a provincial capital at the eastern end of Cuba, I'd discovered something entirely different. I'd stumbled almost by accident onto Las Romerias de Mayo festival, a celebration of and for young Cubans' musical and artistic talent. The annual event seemed a well-kept secret. I'd met no foreigners in town - seen no group tours, no coach loads of beach vacationing tourists bussed in for the day or armies of camera toting photographers.
Instead I was treated like an honoured guest, welcomed wherever I went.
There was music, dance, lots of rum and a remarkable camaraderie. For the rest of the week I spent my time in a state of bleary bliss - listening to poetry, trova, salsa, son even the occasional rap or thrash rock band, a camera always in one hand and glass, if not a bottle, of rum in the other.
Late at night we would gather on the roof of the Caligari, an arts centre on the main square. Groups that had played music of wildly different styles across the town would mix and play together, guitars were passed from hand to hand, and the celebrations, below a star speckled night, would often continue to dawn and beyond.
On each of the first three nights a group of teenage girls waited patiently to perform, and on each night the more established bands would eat up the available time and they would be told to come back tomorrow. On the 4th night it was finally their turn. They set up their equipment, sound-checked and announced the first track and then the heavens opened. The look of disappointment on their faces was profound, but the other musicians were determined that they be given their chance. Over the protests of the organisers a room was rapidly cleared and the instruments installed and my love affair with Cuba began.
The girls were amazing but the pleasures of the previous days were as nothing when compared to the next six hours of unrelenting music, of laughter and dancing. It seemed that I was the only non-musician there as the baton of entertaining was taken up by each and everyone in turn.
I found my way back to Holguin six months later for the Festival Iberoamericana. By that time I had started a photographic course at the London College of Printing and I was in love with the darkroom and the alchemistic pleasure of printing from my negatives, of giving rebirth to my memories of long afternoons and late nights. I showed a few prints to the festival directors and they invited me to exhibit in Holguin at the Romerias in 2001, then again in 2002 and 2003.
The musicians I met then have mostly moved on, many to live and work in Europe. I watch their progress on YouTube with huge pleasure. Rolando Berrio, Diego Cano, Eduardo Sosa, Frank Delgado, Buena Fe, Aceituna sin hueso... the list is long and full of exceptional talent.
The Romerias de Mayo is no longer a secret. The Facebook group is global and I'm sure this week the city will be filled with people from all over the world. My work has also travelled back for an exhibition this year, sadly without me, I hope to return in 2013 to a changed but I hope still wonderful world.
James Sparshatt, Cuba, Photography
John Kenny talks about Sub Saharan Journeys: 6 years of visiting Africa's remotest communities21st Sep
Courtesy of The
Globetrotters Club, John will be giving a talk about his Sub-Saharan journeys this
Saturday 14th April, 2.30pm at The Church of Scotland, behind the Fortune Theatre in
Covent Garden. Entrance £6 per non member.
2006 his focus has been on Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the pivotal role that
traditional communities play in humanity's survival in places where the earth's
resources are minimal. His work emphasizes the positive role that Africa and
Africans play in the 21st Century and also highlights the threats to
traditional ways of life today. John's work has been exhibited worldwide
through international art shows and has been featured in The Times of London,
The Telegraph, and the international art and photography press.
supports organisations that work within traditional African communities
been a guest on BBC Radio and at the London International Documentary
Last year John donated works in support of Survival international,
Worldwide, and his work was auctioned at Sotheby's New York in aid of
Africa'. John has been visiting tribes across the African continent
years as part of an ongoing photography project and will be talking
through his most memorable experiences across West, East and Southern
Africa. The talk will
be accompanied by a slideshow featuring some of the remarkable people
has met on this journey, and why these people and their communities
matter to him in the 21st Century.
Art For Africa - James Sparshatt and John Kenny exhibit at Sothebys NY05th Jun
The second Art for Africa auction was held on 17th November in
New York (the first auction, held in London in 2009, raised $750,000).
Art For Africa benefits the Africa Foundation, which was set up 20 years ago, working in partnership with the eco-tourism industry in Africa to empower rural African communities through sustainable development projects.
Capital Culture's James Sparshatt with Soweto Strings (palladium platinum print) and John Kenny with Lines that Lead to Perfection (at an impressive 56 X 38 inches) were exhibiting alongside U.S. artists Warhol, Peter Beard, Alex Katz, Nick Cave, Ross Bleckner, Matt Magee and Jeff Sonhous. African artists Mary Sibande, Sue Williamson, Dylan Lewis, Peterson Kamwathi, Beezy Bailey, Creative Block, Mikhael Subotzky were also auctioned.
The Gala dinner and Auction Preview was held at Sotheby's in New York City on the 12th October. Guests included Archie Panjabi, Matt Czuchry, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and his wife Mary, Lola Ogunnaike, Nina Griscom, Cristina Cuomo, Enyinne Onwunwanne, Mia Morgan, Jennifer Creel, Africa.com CEO Teresa Clarke, and artists Peter Beard, Kehinde Wiley, Andres Serrano, Julian Lethbridge, Nan Goldin, Hunt Slonem, Caio Fonseca, E.V. Day, Mary Sibande, Shinique Smith.
"The first highly successful sale
in London saw enormous enthusiasm from collectors for works by some of the
rising stars of African and international contemporary art," said
Scott Nussbaum, contemporary art specialist at Sotheby's.
James Sparshatt, John Kenny
Barry Cawston explains the story behind 'The Coat Napoli'12th Apr
'Coat Napoli was taken during a week spent photographing an old Palazza in Fisciano near Napoli.
Forty years before the house had been left empty by a family of coat makers when they moved to Naples. The family gave me permission to photograph the interior before it was converted into an arts centre, but only if I would also take a picture of one of their coats in the space.
This beautiful coat was made from the finest leather I've ever felt. Not wanting to use a model I walked every room in the house searching for a way to photograph it.
One of the rooms had an old chandelier chain which I used as a hanger. The coat however looked heavy and bleak, far from the impression I was trying to give. I was using a bellows plate camera, so I swiveled the focal plains and with a change of focus the coat seemed to magically float in the room. It was as though it was lifted from the floor which added a surreal quality.
The family asked me to do a 5ft 4ft print and much to my pleasure they hung it in their shop window in Napoli...'
Last Refuge - A new series of photographs by David Zimmerman30th Mar
We are pleased to announce a new series of work titled 'Last Refuge' by award winning photographer David Zimmerman. About this work David explains:
Refuge' series was photographed in a community of people who live
in the desert entirely removed from society, where there is no water or
electricity. Driven by hardship and the need for independence, these people
create shelter with scrap and good intentions. The clothing in these pictures
was one mans roof.'
Refuge' has been exhibited at the Detroit Centre for Contemporary Photography
and will open as a solo exhibition in New York City, in Soho on the 8th
photographs have also been shortlisted for the Terry O'Neill Award 2011, opens
8th December at the Hot Shoe Gallery, London.
A new series of platinum / palladium prints from David's Desert project has been awarded third prize by juror Michael Mazzeo (Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York City).
John Kenny on Facing Uncertainty with a large format camera19th Dec
My work in Africa attempts to capture tangible aspects of tradition in particular the details of personal attire and expression. I often feel that I can see a whole way of life etched in a face. A life inextricably linked to the rigours of both terrain and climate. Seeing, and feeling this is vitally important to my passion in making each one of my pictures.
On my recent journey to Northern Kenya I took a Chamonix 10x8 large format film camera, in addition to my digital equipment. I wanted to experience the craft of photography in a far more involved way and shooting on to a sheet of film about the size of an A4 piece of paper (8x10 in the US) certainly provides this. It is not cheap (each shot costs £3 - £10) and the equipment is very cumbersome but when the Gods are favourable then the quality of one of these images remains unparalelled, even in this age of digital technology. Many of my photographic heroes used this format - including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Richard Avedon.
I spent February and March experimenting in London slowly learning the constraints of the equipment. I had a number of maddening light leaks that forced me to re-examine every step of film handling and picture taking - even the slightest leak will make a picture unusable. By late March I decided that despite the difficulties I would take the camera, 15 boxes of film and five film holders to the extreme heat and dust of northern Kenya. It was only in the final days before my departure that I narrowed the light leak problem down to the supposedly "light tight" slit of my filmholder and worked out a solution.
I would be hitching through this harsh, rugged environment and risked all the time, money and sheer physical exertion being wasted if my fix didn't work. I could feasibly return to find all of the film fogged, so I was glad to have the added insurance of my digital camera.
It turned out to be an amazing, if challenging, experience for me and my subjects. At times I had large crowds watching the mad Englishmen working his big contraption. It may not be a direct equivalent of their lengthy traditional lineage, but the interest and laughter it created could certainly be classed as a cultural exchange. Certainly it provided a meeting point given the prolonged period of interaction required between photographer and subject, particularly when I showed them the equipment and tried to explain - 'It has nothing inside...it's....it's just a box!'
Compared with the digital world every aspect of photography is more complicated. This was compounded by my choice of film - Provia 100 pushed to 200. I shoot in the shade to reduce the extreme effects of light which meant either my shutter speed was very slow or my aperture very wide, resulting in a narrow depth of field. Everything had to be set manually, and often reset multiple times, as the light or subject's position changed. Focusing is checked by examining an inverted image on a plate at the rear of the camera, the film holder is then inserted and a dark slide removed before the shutter is released. Even a small adjustment in the subject's posture in the time between the original focusing and releasing the shutter could result in an image lacking sharpness. And of course you can't see the picture composition when you actually press the shutter release cable. Pray that the person doesn't blink! Without an assistant these challenges are very tricky even without the windy, dusty, baking Kenyan desert to contend with.
I started the trip aware of all these problems and did my best to adapt my working practices to give me a chance of success. So I am amazing pleased with the results of my efforts.
John's work can be seen at 3 Bedfordbury gallery from September 21st - October 2nd 2011.
chamonix, 10x8, large format, photography, kenya, africa, sale, limited edition
James Sparshatt explains the story behind Ensayo30th Mar
I was wandering through Holguin in eastern Cuba when I heard the drum. The rhythm was familiar but I wasn't enough of an expert to recognise which santo it represented. Perhaps it was the warrior god Chango but it could just as easily have been Oshun the water goddess.
The rhythms floated in the sultry afternoon balm, bouncing from crumbling edifice to paint peeled door, their source disguised. A second drum took up the beat and then I heard the haunting lament of an Afro-Cuban voice.
On the corner there was an old colonial building its doors and windows boarded up with sheets of corrugated iron. As I wandered towards it the music grew in intensity and it was obvious that this beautiful edifice was not as abandoned as it appeared. The music stopped as suddenly as it had begun and all that remained was the echo of memory and a sole dog yapping in the distance.
I found what appeared to be a door in the iron cladding and rapped loudly. A bolt was pulled back, the door thrown open, and I was confronted by a huge, bare-chested, sweat soaked Rastafarian. His gaze moved from me to my camera to the bottle of rum poking its head out of my camera bag. He stepped aside to let me pass.
Inside I found a troupe of dancers preparing for a festival. I greeted the drummers and dancers who returned my smiles and happily accepted the gift of rum to soothe the throat and free the rhythm. I chose a spot to watch the rehearsal and prepared my Mamiya7ii camera.
I love the Mamiya for work like this. Its rangefinder focusing presents challenges for pure street photography but when you have time to compose an image, to place yourself in position and wait for the image to unfold - it is wonderful. The limit of 12 shots per role to slow the process, a fixed focal length and the promise of a beautiful 7x6 medium format negative.
I spent the next hour or so soaking up the atmosphere, taking the occasional shot and slowly blending into the scene, becoming a part of the rhythms of the day. And then it happened. There was a lull in the rehearsal, the closest of the dancers adopted a proud pose, the afternoon light spilled through a doorway to sculpt her figure and that of her fellow performers, I raised my camera checked the focus and aperture and with a barely perceptible click released the shutter.
cuba, ensayo, rehearsal, black and white, photograph, photography, platinum print, silver gelatin print, selenium, silver gelatin, passion, dance
Affordable Art Fair Hampstead Heath27th Jul
There has been a plan to bring the Affordable Art Fair to north London for a number of years, so we are very happy to be a part of its inaugural year. Hampstead Heath wll hopefully be a great location and provide a good counterpoint to Battersea Park in the Spring. We will be focusing on photography this year featuring new work by John Kenny from his recent journey to Kenya (this work will be released at the gallery in his September exhibition Facing Uncertainty), David Zimmerman's large format landscapes from California, Monica Denevan's recent work from Burma and platinum prints by James Sparshatt. We look forward to making plenty of new friends from north of the river.
affordable art fair, hampstead heath
affordable art fair
black and white
silver gelatin print
Black and white photography