gill moore photography

Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Cardboard Toys Anyone ?

Paperpod are a new and pretty innovative company based in East Sussex, UK. They take a well-known fact; that children actually have far more fun playing with the packaging their presents arrive in than the actual toy, to it’s natural conclusion. They produce kids toys and furniture made completely out of cardboard such as a den, a rocket and a dolls house. All items are lightweight, low environmental impact, easy to store and decorate.

It is not clear whether the cardboard is made from recycled sources, nor how outdoor products like the playhouse are waterproof. Maybe someone can enlighten me there? Nevertheless, it seems an interesting angle to approach the normally horrendously wasteful kids toy market. Do you think one day they will do an adult teepee, I like the sound of that? :-)

UPDATE : September 2009.  For any US-based readers, check out designer Ben Blanc’s latest sustainable designs including cardboard animals for kids and room dividers.  All made for US company Cardboardesign who specialise in all things eco and made out of cardboard.

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The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues ….

One of my most popular posts has been regarding photographer’s rights in the UK : “Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps.” This topic is moving so fast I think it is worthy of a follow-up post. The Pro-Imaging website now has a separate page dealing with good and bad photography competions. This now makes it incredibly easy to check on which photo competions are just rights-grabs lurking behind the banner of a prize. Pro-Imaging are having good success with raising awareness and making information freely available, often getting some organizations to actually change their Terms and Conditions to something more palatable.

Sadly it is not all good news. The farce that was the “Olympic Torch Relay” took place in London at the start of the month. Inevitably the event was crashed by protestors wanting to focus attention on China and the situation in Tibet. We then saw a heavily guarded Olympic flame; a symbol of peace and unity, being protected by a massive security operation involving 2,000 members of the Metropolitan Police Force bolstered by Chinese security officers.
Regular members of the public and press photographers tried to record the event in pictures and reported some of the most heavy-handed policing seen in the UK for many a year. Quite brutal incidents of physical assaults, some on horseback, sent out quite a sobering picture of how easily rights can be waved aside when the time demands.
This comes on the back of a number of highly reported incidents involving community support officers and the police both seemingly unaware of UK law and challenging people’s legal right to photograph in public places. Austin Mitchell MP for Grimbsy has taken up the baton and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons condemning police action against lawful photography in public spaces and has urged the Home Office to agree a “photography code” to be drawn up and used by police officers and UK citizens as a guide to what is and isn’t possible for street photography. Click here for a link to the EDM wording in full. The link also lists every MP who has signed the petition, if your local MP hasn’t, then find your local MP and send them an email here.
If you want to show your support for this cause then you can sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
For some links to some of the recent problems affecting members of the public trying to take photographs in public places, then Amateur Photographer has some good links.
And on the EPUK site they have a list of incidents affecting press photographers. Another one here @ photorights.org.
UPDATE : Further discussion on BBC Radio 4 blog on the current confusion regarding the law and photography, also on the Manchester Flickr group regarding contacting their MP’s.

UPDATE : Sept 08. Click here for a link to an excellent online video made by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) UK regarding the erosion of civil liberties and media freedoms in Britain.
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Free Intellectual Property Advice for creative businesses in Northern England

Are you based in North or North West of England and work within the creative industries?
Do you want some excellent free advice on Intellectual Property (copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related rights)?
If the answer is YES, you should visit www.own-it.org/north.
Own-It was originally launched online in 2004. Devised by the London Development Agency, it delivers free advice on IP for the creative industries in London. Now they are spreading their wings to create Own-It North and expanding to support creative businesses in the North and North West of England. This is a pilot project, they are testing the water until July 2008.
This is a fantastic opportunity made available due to support from Salford University and the Northern Edge Group of Universities, Skillset NW, and the North West Development Agency.

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Seonna Hong : Fine Artist and Animation Art Director


Seonna Hong is a US-based artist and animation Art Director. I think she has a wonderful eye, especially for capturing nature, I love her colour choices and the ability she has to evoke atmosphere with such deft simplicity. Her background is originally in teaching art to children, she then migrated to the animation industry and in 2004 received an Emmy for her work on “My Life as a Teenage Robot” for Nickelodeon the US Cable Channel. Her most recent exhibition was in New York “Our Endless Numbered Days” (2007).

From her bio :
“Hong’s paintings continuously reflect her exploration of personal evolvement and how environment such as family, friends, and society can shape one’s existence.”

In May 2008 she will be showing work at a group show in Tokyo, Japan organised by Kaikai Kiki Co (Toyko & New York-based organisation dedicated to showing and promoting young artists). This will be Seonna’s first show out of the US. She has a great blend of steady animation commissions together with a prolific output on the art front including books. I am not surprised at all to discover there is a waiting list to buy her work, she is represented by sixspace a gallery based in California, USA.

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Mike Leigh and his film “Happy-Go-Lucky” @ the Cornerhouse, Manchester

Last night I joined a sell-out crowd for an early peek at Mike Leigh’s latest film “Happy-Go-Lucky” at the Cornerhouse in Manchester. Not only that, the director himself sauntered into the bar prior to kick-off and in his softly spoken way chatted freely with anyone who wished to say hello. A rumoured appearance by Ken Loach never materialised (though he is in the area shooting his latest film) but we were treated to a surprise guest in the form of one of the cast namely Kate O’Flynn.

Continue reading ‘Mike Leigh and his film “Happy-Go-Lucky” @ the Cornerhouse, Manchester’

Abbas Kiarostami, “Trees in Snow” inspiration for a challenge.

I have a long-standing project I began years ago, a mission to photograph my favourite trees.  Sadly, I am nowhere near finished, in fact by it’s very nature I probably never will reach completion.  One thing it does do though, is really get me thinking.  How can I make my work original and capture the subject with beauty and simplicity?  One series of shots from photographer Abbas Kiarostami is etched in my mind as a kind of benchmark.  
trees_in_snow_2.jpg 
 The work featured here is from the series “Trees in Snow”.  Kiarostami is an Iranian photographer.  He is super-talented and may be better known to many of you as an award-winning film-maker; “The Wind Will Carry Us” (1999), “A Taste of Cherry” (1997) and “Ten” (2002) are three from his impressive archive.  He wrote some words to introduce this series at the V&A, London in 2005.

“Snow descends from

the black clouds

with the whiteness of snow”

trees_in_snow_3.jpg
The “Trees in Snow” images were borne out of Kiarostami’s long, solitary walks to search for film sets, sometimes covering thousands of miles in the Iranian landscape. Photographing these landscapes allowed him a spontaneous immersion in nature.  When travelling alone, he sees his camera as a way of sharing moments which would be torturous if not preserved. The scenes became the equivalent of emotional states and the trees almost human, echoing the saying of the Islamic mystic Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (born 1165 died 1240): ‘the tree is the sister of man’.
trees_in_snow_1.jpg 

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