Don’t call me urban @ the Side Gallery

The Side Gallery is gorgeous little space in Newcastle upon Tyne entirely devoted to documentay photography.
I visited frequently while I was studying in the North East and it never disappointed me, there are always quality exhibitions.

Recently since I was coming back to Newcastle for the Helios opening, I decided to pop in and see what was on.

I was delighted to find Don’t Call Me Urban, an exhibition based on a ten year project on the Grime music scene in South and East London (with pictures taken around my estate) by Simon Wheatley.

I’ve googled him, because I was quite impressed by this project and I’ve found out that he used to be with Magnum and he’s now based in Calcutta.

You can find a good selection + commentary of this project on the Magnum website under the title “Inner City Youth“.

Here is an interview with him about his work ethic, done while he was still working on this project.

On the Magnum blog, there is also an  interview about photographing youth in different countries.

And finally you can find an inspiring audio interview, packed with advices to young photographers, in this blog.

Regarding the exhibition, I have to say that the prints weren’t the best and they didn’t make justice to the pictures.
I had a brief chat with the curator and she told me that they had some logistic problems while putting up the exhibition.
They wanted the pictures to be printed on heavy matte paper and they were quite disappointed by the semigloss flimsy prints that they got, but it was too late to reprint them.

The prints aren’t framed, they’re just pinned down to the walls, something that seems to be an ongoing trend (like at the Brighton Photo Biennal).
In this case, it would suits the pictures if they were printed on the right paper, but in my opinion it looks a bit “amateurish” with low quality prints.

Another issue was the quality of the files provided to the printers: Simon started the project shooting film, but moved to digital after a few years and most of the time shot JPEG!
My teachers went on and on and ON about the necessity to shoot RAW and I was quite surprised by his choice.
Unfortunately in some low light pictures you can see a lot of digital noise and JPEG artifacts and it’s a real shame.

Anyway the project is interesting and the pictures are very strong, so it’s totally worth a visit.

The exhibition will be on until the 20th November so please make sure to visit the gallery if you happen to be in the area!

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Helios VIII at the Biscuit Factory

A first edit of my final major project has been selected to be exhibited at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle for Helios VIII, a showcase of the very best talent in new and emerging photographic artists from the North of England.

I’m going only for to the preview on Thursday 14th October 6pm – 8pm, but the exhibition will be up until the 14th of November so there’s plenty of time to visit it if you happen to be in the North East 🙂

The Biscuit Factory, 16 Stoddart Street, Newcastle

(open Sunday and Monday 11-5pm; Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6pm)

Personae

“Personae” offers a rare visual insight into the world of street performers.

A persona, in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or character played by an actor.

Jung called man’s mask the persona – the name for the mask worn by the actor in the ancient Greek theatre – and visualised it as the manner or system which we have created for ourselves to help us adjust to the world. The danger to which Jung points lies in the total identification with one’s persona, which may finally come to be what the actual person is not, but what he and other people believe him to be.

This series is an attempt to focus on the shift between person and persona in the lives of three people who perform as living statues in Italy and it’s part of a bigger ongoing documentary project about street performers.


Final Major Project – The Exhibition

I started this blog to keep track of the developments of my final major project, but I’ve been so busy with my last year at uni that I completely forgot about it.

I handed in the project and I printed a selection of pictures to exhibit for my degree show, but I don’t feel like it is finished yet and I would like to carry on making it, meeting more performers and keeping in touch with the ones that I’ve photographed so far.

A first edit of this work has been selected to be exhibited at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle for Helios VIII, a showcase of the very best talent in new and emerging photographic artists from the North of England.

A selection of images from this project will be exhibited in London during the first photography week of Free Range Art and Design Show at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane.

This Thursday there will be the opening of the show and if anyone is reading this blog, well, you’re welcome to come along, nick some free booze and celebrate (possibly having a look at the pictures in the meanwhile).