Items where Subject is "Photography"

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Number of items at this level: 12.

D

Investigating the performing body as both a still and moving image In the Gap Between is a live performance work consisting of 5 performers and lasting approximately 15-20 minutes.
Informed by synchronised dance structures such as Corps de Ballet and The Chorus Line; the work utilises key characteristics of these structures (moving in sync, single file arrangement, repetition, pace & pauses) as a means to explore the body as an image. The movement vocabulary for the live work is developed in rehearsals where performers explore every day micro-actions such as shifting weight, turning, stretching & leaning. By slowing movement down, the work invites the performers to fully explore these often-overlooked gestures whilst challenging audience spectatorship.

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E

In 2015 Ellison was invited by fashion brand owner ‘Cherchbi’ Adam Atkinson to publish a book about Herdwick wool a raw material of the rug sacks Cherchbi produced.

The subsequent book, Herdwick Common was published under the brand publishing imprint, as a 98-page photo book with accompanying essay from acclaimed author, James Rebanks,
(The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District). When reading into Herdwick sheep, something I discovered was ‘heft’ - A place where the sheep were rooted to by birth and returned to instinctively. This is something author James Rebanks has written about in his publication ‘A Shepherds Life’ a retelling of life spent as a farmer near Penrith. His book content and title inspired by W.H. Hudson ‘A Shepherds Life’ tells a passionate account of the up and downs of growing up as a farmer.

Research Imperatives

Ellison explores the cultural and symbolic significance of sheep on the region of Cumbria. The oldest reference to sheep kept in the Lake District is in documents dating from the 13th Century when the Cistercian monks of Furness Abbey near Barrow and Fountains Abbey near York farmed large areas. The documents simply make reference to the use of the short, coarse hair of the sheep for their habits. There is no mention of Herdwick although short, coarse hair may be a clue to one of the characteristics of an early hill breed.

Ellison began by researching the name ‘Herdwick', thought to derive from Herdvyck, Norse for ‘sheep pasture’. This has led some to believe that the breed was, maybe, brought into the country in the 8th and 9th centuries by Norse invaders from what are modern Denmark, western Sweden and Norway. More likely though, they were named Herdwick simply because most Lake District farms had land for sheep and were referred to as ‘herdwicks’. So the sheep adopted their name from the farms. The breed seems to have changed somewhat over the past two centuries to what we accept today as the Herdwick. Drawings and prints from the 19th century seem to indicate a taller and less stocky version of what we have in the 21st
century.

The book brings together an essay by James Rebanks, a story told from within alongside of series of photographic portraits that tie together this ancient rural livelihood.

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In 2018 Ellison was invited by curators Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray to exhibit a series of his Cumbrian portraits and landscapes in North: Fashioning Identity at Open Eye, Liverpool, Somerset House, London and Civic Centre, Barnsley. This celebrated exhibition generated worldwide press coverage and formulated new research opportunities into regional identities in Photography and Fashion. Following this celebrated exhibition, Ellison was invited by Centre Centre to publish Tek Hod, Embroidered Wrestlers of the North.

Research Imperatives

Ellison explores the cultural significance of embroidered costumes of regional sport Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. The costume of white cotton vest, velvet underpants and white cotton long john’s features motifs that represent or identify the wrestler. Commonly, embodying the idyllic picturesque image of the English Lake District, this costume represents the celebration of rural life depicted by vernacular embroidered symbols. Usually associated with nature, the costume embroidery is sewn by the family who wrestle, often abbreviating the initials of the wrestler and decorated with flora and fauna featuring the native landscape of Cumbria and much celebrated English Lake District.

Ellison researched critic John Ruskin’s connection to the arts and crafts in the Lake District and how his patronage of craft influenced the style of embroidery seen on wrestling costumes. Ellison’s subsequent documentary photographs (2008-2018) follow the wrestling contests in the landscape and trace the performance of tradition. Furthermore, his cross disciplined analysis of embroidery and photography traces the ‘skilled’ labour of the arts and crafts in the Lake District against the ‘unskilled’ vernacular embroidery seen on wrestling costumes from archival photographs.

The book Tek Hod, Embroidered Wrestlers of the North brings together a documentary photographic practice alongside a rigorous research project that re-frames knowledge of the arts and crafts and the picturesque through archived photographs used to chart the evolution of craft - crediting amateur makers of embroidery.

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S

This article is a contribution to the section on colour photography that I guest-edited for PhotoResearcher 31 (also including articles by Dr Laure Blanc-Benon and Dr Caroline Fuchs).

The text discusses the intrinsic elusiveness of colour photography vis-à-vis the complex historical baggage of its synthetic nature and in respect of Rainbow’s Gravity (Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger, 2014) and A 240 Seconds Analysis of Failure and Hopefulness (with Coke, Vinegar and other Tear Gas Remedies) (Basim Magdy, 2012),

This article discusses the work of the Japanese photographer Takuma Nakahira at the turn of the 1970s. Nakahira’s practice departed from the candid street photography (seen, for example, at the 1966 exhibition Contemporary Photographers: Towards a Social Landscape in the US), and sought means to not only document but also induce social and political change. Having a strong theoretical grounding in the specific discourses developing in Japan at that time around the notions such as the image (eizō), landscape (fūkei) and materiality (busshitsu), this practice is still significant to much of the present-day concerns with the potential of visual arts to envisage and produce new forms of urban inhabitation.

At 1 p.m. on 6 February 1971, eight “actors,” a reporter, and a cameraman entered a space at an undisclosed location with the intention of spending 24 hours together. They did not belong to a single artistic group and some of them had never met before. Tōmatsu Shōmei’s photographic record of this event appeared in the spring 1971 issue of the magazine Kikan shashin eizō accompanied by sections from a transcript of the tape recording. The images and the text – jointly titled NO.541 – offer fragmented glimpses into the situations and conversations unfolding in the room and also function with and against each other, as in a dialogue.

The jointly written text continues this dialogue in the writing up of major themes contextualizing the performing and recording of this work: the space, the magazine page, and the body. We imagine ourselves in NO.541 and enact this intermingling of space-times by reproducing not only some of Tōmatsu’s photographs but also parts of the transcript in translation. Joining the conversation, we adopt some of the main strategies of the image-text, such as fragmentation, improvisation, and refusal of any singularity. Woman C and Man G take on the role of mediums, channeling, for instance, a possible future re-enactment instead of producing a conclusive account of the event.

Despite the censorship of dissident material during the decade between the Manchurian Incident of 1931 and the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941, a number of photographers across Japan produced a versatile body of Surrealist work. A pioneering study of their practice, this book draws on primary sources and extensive archival research in order to map out art historical and critical contexts relevant to the apprehension of this rich photographic output, most of which is previously unseen outside of its country of origin. Richly illustrated, the volume is an essential resource in the fields of Surrealism and Japanese history of art, for researchers and students of historical avant-gardes and photography, as well as for readers interested in visual culture.

Photography’s role in the historical framing of how we see can hardly be overestimated: heralded as the most extraordinary invention in vision, it was meant to deliver the promise of technology’s ability to enrich and improve human sight. Simultaneously, the medium’s capacity to offer photographic evidence placed it at the crossroads of the techniques of representation and regulation. Even as the machine is ever so rapidly substituting the eye in the forging of endless stream of visual data that we are now subjected to, digital vision still relies on the photographic image.
Against such a background, this article departs from a proposition that if we were to envision different ways of seeing we can start from a reformulated understanding of photography. In order to do so, the article critically examines recent photographic works by Taisuke Koyama and Nihal Yesil and argues that abstract photography in particular enables the recognition of material entanglements between the medium and what it aspires to represent. ‘Following’ such materials as cellophane, aluminium, PVC as well as light, the article also mobilises Karen Barad’s project of agential realism in its view of abstract photography as a tool for looking with, a vehicle that enables the rethinking of the medium and, by implication, the ethical parameters of vision that hinges on it.

W

Our Human Condition was a research project that addressed the personal stories of siblings in which one or more of them has a genetic condition. The resulting suite of 29 photographs was exhibited at The OXO Gallery, London during January 2020, and by invitation at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood in February 2020.

Over a two year period of sustained engagement, Wenham-Clarke worked with seven charities to recruit families with well-known conditions such as Downs Syndrome to more rare conditions such as Albinism and ATRX. The programme of research explored how the siblings’ development influenced each other’s lives; how they saw society; and how society related to them. It sought their views on new genetic therapies and screenings that are now available or might be introduced in the future. The project included one family whose son was taking part in one of the first human genetic trials for muscular dystrophy.

Powerful and moving insights into the world of these individuals were revealed,
demonstrating a robust pride in their sense of worth and contribution to wider society. These finding were shared at The World Congress of The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 2019.

The work was selected in the highly prestigious peer-reviewed exhibitions, such as AOP50, the 50th Anniversary of The Association of Photographers, The British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain, and The International Photography Awards. The London exhibition had 4000 visitors and hundreds of thousands of views by commuters whilst on the large scale digital screens at Waterloo Bridge and along The Thames Embankment. Genetic Society and leaders in the field of genetics have acknowledged the work's contribution to public education and awareness.

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‘The Rock: Above & Below’ is an extended photographic research project exploring the fractured relationship between the community of The Isle of Portland (Dorset) and the quarrying of Portland Stone, once so intrinsically linked, physically and culturally to the island.

Quarrying played a huge part in the island’s history, employing hundreds of workers and shaping the community’s identity. First used by the Romans, Portland Stone has been used to build iconic structures such as The Palace of Westminster, the City of London, and the United Nations Building in New York.

Taking an auto-ethnographic approach to the project, Wenham-Clarke connected with key figures who have lived on the island for generations, including the heads of the mining operations, a lighthouse owner, tug boat captain, funeral director, prison nurse and Portlanders to explore the modern-day link between community and stone. Through photographic portraits and audio interviews the work draws on narrative history, oral history and qualitative research methodologies.

Research outcomes provided a powerful insight into the consequences of industrialisation which has destroyed generational and cultural links and forced the industry to automate and excavate huge tunnels into the island beneath the local community. Wenham-Clarke’s images record these subterranean cathedral-like spaces mined by robotic equipment, controlled by a handful of highly skilled operators from outside the community. The resulting suite of images juxtapose the robotic machinery below and the local community above, set in the context of Portland’s high levels of unemployment and social issues.

In addition to numerous publications, photo essays and group exhibitions, a final selection of 25 photographs and audio tracks were exhibited as part of the B-Side Arts Festival and a selection were shown across Dorset on bus shelter posters and bill boards as part of an extensive public engagement strategy funded by regional arts boards and local enterprise.

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The research captured in this publication builds on Wenham-Clarke’s photographic project The Westway: a portrait of the community, exhibited at St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London in 2013, which included 15 Traveller images. Further ethnographic research into this community resulted in 2019 of a new publication Urban Gypsies.

The research explores the immense socio-political and economic pressures exerted upon a community of Irish Travellers sheltering beneath the A40, a major highway leading into central London. Today very few Travellers in the UK are able to maintain their traditional nomadic lifestyle. Most are restricted to official sites. Over many months Wenham-Clarke gained the Travellers confidence and was granted unprecedented access, immersing himself in the community and becoming a trusted member, invited to attend weddings and christenings. The images provide a unique insight into a community that rarely gives access to outsiders.

Not intended as a survey, the research draws on narrative history, oral history and qualitative research methodologies and explores the experiences of the Travellers over a 40-year period.

Few academic practitioners have been able to conduct such detailed research: the outcomes, negotiated entirely with the community, reveal uncensored views of the Traveller community, a marginalised subjugated group struggling to retain its cultural identity as it is gradually assimilated into the wider population. The project set out to challenge stereotypical views perpetuated by the popular media and highlights what is now perceived to be one of the last forms of ‘acceptable’ racism in Britain today.

The images were disseminated internationally through news websites such as CNN and News.com.au, Marie Claire Magazine and BBC Radio London, reaching a global audience, actively challenging and informing public perceptions, engendering debate and promoting inclusivity.

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In the context of a rapidly changing world, Rachel Worth explores the ways in which the clothing of the rural working classes was represented visually in paintings and photographs and by the literary sources of documentary, autobiography and fiction, as well as by the particular pattern of survival and collection by museums of garments of rural provenance. The book analyses the ways in which clothing and how it is represented throws light on wider social and cultural aspects of society, as well as how 'traditional' styles of dress, like men's smock-frocks or women's sun-bonnets, came to be replaced by 'fashion'. This study, with black & white and colour illustrations, both adds a broader dimension to the history of dress by considering it within the social and cultural context of its time and discusses how clothing enriches our understanding of the social history of the Victorian period.

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