gill moore photography

Archive for the 'London' Category

“Psycho Buildings” exhibition @ Hayward Gallery, London featuring Rachel Whiteread and others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Taking its title from a book of photographs of odd structures by the artist Martin Kippenberger. A lot of urban spaces are very regimented, and a ‘psycho building’ is something that breaks out of this and reveals that our relationships with space can be extremely varied”.

For anyone with an interest in the built environment, I think a trip to the Hayward Gallery in London’s South Bank Centre could prove rewarding. Psycho Buildings runs until the 25th August 2008 and it utilises all the usual gallery space plus the three exterior terrace areas which are usually devoted to showcase sculptural exhibits.
Featuring ten of the best architecturally-inspired artists in the world, each installation is designed to make the viewer think twice about the nature of architecture and buildings. Visitors will enter and explore specially constructed dynamic creations which use light, colour, smell and challenging design. Each aims to illustrate how our build environment can shape mood and emotion and may prompt the question – when exactly does a building become a scuplture?
The artist’s are as follows:
Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea) and Rachel Whiteread (UK).

Each artist had a month to install their work and this does mean the work displays a high level of detail and craftsmanship. Of major interest will be the installation created by Rachel Whiteread.

She is known to many as the UK artist awarded the Turner Prize in 1993 for her work “House” a concrete cast of the interior of a 19th Century terraced house in the East End of London.

For the “Psycho Buildings” exhibition Whiteread’ has chosen to display “The Finished Place (Village)” an installation made up of 200 doll’s houses from her personal collection, assembled over the last 20 years.

Step outside and visit one of the Sculptural Terraces areas and you will be confronted with work from Austrian collective Gelitin have created an infinity-style boating lake for the 21st century.

The exhibition takes place to mark the 40th anniversary of the Hayward Gallery, itself one of the world’s most architecturally unique spaces for displaying art. A major sponsor is Bloomberg. This company is one of the largest privately-owned supporter of the arts in the UK. They also sponsor “The New Contemporaries” showcase for emerging talent which I blogged about earlier in the year.

Not knowing much about Bloomberg I decided to delve a little deeper. They are a huge wordwide company built on providing up-to-the minute information and data for business and finance professionals. They support many cultural projects around the world, running a programme of exhibitions, performances, talks and other events. Six years ago Bloomberg opened up it’s own gallery called Bloomberg SPACE dedicated to commissioning and exhibiting contemporary art. “A dynamic space without an agenda, where artists and audience can explore new ideas and relationships in an innovative way” it is open to their employees and clients and the immediate community.

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Chelsea Flower Show 2008: My 3 favourite design ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

The Chelsea Flower Show 2008 has been taking place this week and amongst the showy big-budget affairs you can always pick out a few clever and inspiring designs.

Three of my favourite ideas were:

1) The walls on the “Pemberton Greenish Recess Garden” by Paul Hensey and Neil Lucas. Awarded a Silver Gilt Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the main designers is Paul Hensey based in Lancashire, England. His background is in product design and I think his roots shine through brilliantly within this garden. He frames the planting by creating tactile and innovative walls, one is made from recycled blocks of off-cut wood which has the added benefit of absorbing sound, very useful in an urban setting. Simple, neat and brilliant.

2) The use of mosses in the “Midori No Tobira (The Green Door) Garden” by Ishihara Kazuyuki . Awarded a Gold Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Japanese designer draws inspiration from “the smell of moist earth, the softness and sheen of wet rocks, the irregular flow of water” and always brings elements of innovative Japanese garden design to his work. Using vertical “living walls”, planting on spare roof space and working to a perfectly natural colour scheme of white, blue and green his creations are always wonderfully soothing spaces. Inspirational and relevant.

3) The firepit in the “Fleming’s and Trailfinder’s Australian Garden” by Jamie Durie. Awarded a Gold Medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created with a budget of £400,000 and featuring a myriad of native Australian plants this garden is a stunner but probably a little out of reach for your ordinary Pom. The neat design of the firepit within a central circular table may prove useful though. Imagine being able to brave a chilly UK evening with a clear dusk night falling, some “al fresco” dining could be possible with a crackling fire providing some warmth. Turning the fire pit into a barbecue would give still more functionality. A win-win for me.
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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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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.  
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 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”

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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’.
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