gill moore photography

Archive for the 'buildings' Category

British Airways commission art for Terminal 5 @ Heathrow Airport

All I know about Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is that the launch earlier this year was a total and utter disaster as far as British Airways reputation is concerned. But amongst all the doom and gloom it appears some glimmers of light sneaked in there too!

I have the “plush patterns” blog to thank for my discovery of Christopher Pearson’s work. He was commissioned by BA through Artwise Curators (who coincidentally handled a recent commission for Idris Khan who I blogged about a few weeks ago) along with three other emerging artists to create some site specific art works for Terminal 5.

The installation is certainly an eye-catcher and consists of Pearson’s wonderful studies of the Growing Cycles of the English Oak Tree which were etched into 3 pairs of huge glass panels and now stand in the First Class Galleries Lounge. Each pane is illuminated to reveal the delicate strokes of the original design and it vividly brings the work to life. His website reveals an artist open to experimenting with new technology and innovative methods for displaying and creating forms of art. One to watch for sure and serves as a reminder that artistic work can often by enhanced by careful consideration of how it is displayed.

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Creative Studio sharing … a Danish example but it needs a green roof!

Maybe one day I will dabble in a bit of studio sharing. I often think it sounds like a stimulating and fun environment to work within, different creative skillsets all housed in one building with the possibility of collaboration plus the practical benefits of sharing facilities. Whilst savouring the wonderful design work on the bloesem site, I discovered a successful creative workspace enterprise called ‘Lynfabrikken’ (the lightning factory) based in Denmark.
I suppose the closest thing we have here in Manchester would be The Craft and Design Centre but it rents out only small units and does not have the space to attract photographers/musicians/film-makers. Maybe Islington Mill has the potential to grow into something bigger, though the Danish example seems to have a more central location and therefore the ability to morph itself into trendy cafe, place to be seen plus a gallery and performance venue. Lynfabrikken is open to the public with opportunities to buy and view unique work and provides a meeting spot for all the creative tenants and their clients.
I shall carry on with my idealised daydream for the Perfect Studio ….
Of course it would have to utilise all roof space, maybe a green living roof similar to the Unicorn Grocery roof project in Chorlton, their site has a live web-cam (you can actually control the camera movements!).
The Unicorn scheme provides a green escape for their employees and was designed specifically to attract the rare black redstart, a bird happy in the urban environment but rapidly disappearing from the UK. There have been reports of at least one breeding pair of these birds this summer in the centre of Manchester (near the CIS building) so maybe they will wing their way over to Unicorn one day soon.

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Editors cover “An End Has A Start” photography by Idris Khan research from sleevage.com website


The days of purring over sleeve artwork are probably long gone for most music buyers nowadays but a good cover can still play a key part in packaging, branding and marketing a band. Over recent times a cover which consistently caught my eye was the Editors “The End has a Start” I don’t quite know why, but I liked the colours and the image and so I decided to investigate a little more.

There is a fantastic website (Australian in origin I believe) which made my task a whole lot easier. Sleevage.com is a fantastic resource which started a year ago and it delights in record sleeve art. Any interesting cover (new or old) can be put forward and the origin of the image or design is discussed with intelligence and insight. If you really love your music there is the opportunity to suggest and submit your own review, in return you can get your hands on free CD’s and gig tickets.

Luckily, the Editors cover was discussed in staggering detail by Ash at Sleevage only a few months ago. For me, the image on the front cover evokes memories of an industrialized area just on the edge of city centre Manchester near the Velodrome where huge gas storage structures tower over terraced houses. For the reviewer at Sleevage it looked like it could be a stadium or a racetrack and just goes to show that what we see is in the eye of the beholder.

The photography is by Idris Khan a controversial UK artist who uses other peoples images to build up multi-layers until a “new” piece is created. I use the word controversial as he has created a bit of a stir due his actual source material being other artists’ work, which raises many questions as regards authorship, originality and copyright. (see also Richard Prince’s work). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prince

The cover shot was created by Khan using a series of images taken by Bernd and Hilla Becher, they were a German husband and wife artistic team who began working in the late 50’s their work often featured the industrial structures which surrounded them. (Bernd Becher sadly died last year and his obituary can be found here).

Whatever the rights and wrongs, I do find Idris Khan’s work haunting and rather beautiful. The strongest images are those which have the central spine and linear core provided by buildings. On this work the architectural symmetry allows the layers to blossom and creates a real atmosphere and feel that works ‘with’ rather than ‘against’ the originals.

 

“it’s obviously not about re-photographing the photographs to make exact copies, but to intervene and bring a spectrum of feelings – warmth, humour, anxiety – to what might otherwise be considered cool aloof image. Idris Khan.

 

In 2004 he scanned all 1,953 pages of the Koran to create what he believes is his best piece. He discusses this project in a Guardian interview here.

Now I’m off back to Sleevage.com to check out that “Nevermind” cover for Nirvana …

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Life Stories : Photographer Jill Freedman

 

UPDATE ADDED:  5 March 2012.  Some more links to Jill’s work are listed on John Edwin Mason’s excellent blog, which features an image from her “Mardi Gras” series from 1973.  And also the New York Times does a piece on the guy featured in the “Love Kills” image above when he reunited with Jill 30 years later.  Plus this is a link to a video the New York Times did at the time of JF’s exhibition in 2008.
Recently there was a great little article in the New York Times about Jill Freedman a photographer who took some brilliant black and white shots which captured the raw street-life of New York primarily in the 70’s/early 80’s.  In the article Freedman’s work is compared to the more famous photographers Weegee and Diane Arbus yet it is not just Freedman’s images that leave an impression as her story is a fascinating one, illustrating how a career can rise and fall seemingly without reason.  Born in Pittsburgh, USA she came to New York in 1964 and primarily shot with a Leica M4 getting published in the American Press and Life Magazine.
Now 68 years old, Jill Freedman has lived through a great deal, none the least of which is surviving breast cancer, and she is only now in the right frame of mind to think about taking pictures of New York again “I’d like to find what’s left”.   It took a great deal to persuade her back into a gallery but Higher Pictures felt her work deserved some recognition and so, after years of relative anonymity, her profile is on the rise with a new show “Resurrection City” in a East side Gallery and a book project in the bag.
The article really is worth a read as it paints a human story behind the image creator and there is also a 4 minute interview with the lady herself showing off her life’s work which is stored with pride in labelled shoeboxes and a wooden dresser.

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“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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