Category Archives: documentary

Portraits from Pinter Prize

After documenting the Pinter Prize for English PEN at the British Library last night I came away with several portraits. The one of winner, James Fenton was used by the Guardian HERE. It accompanies the transcript of the speech made by Julian Barnes about James as an introduction to him receiving the award. I took a portrait of Julian in the green room rehearsing that speech just before he went on stage with it.

julian-barnes-portrait

Julian Barnes rehearsing speech

Meeting Peter Tatchell at the reception for the award was a particular privilege for me. I’ve admired his human rights work for many years and shot this portrait in the cafeteria of the British Library which was closed at the time but had been left open. Peter was very generous in agreeing to be photographed and momentarily breaking from the literati which included an impressive array of its figureheads. The “PAY HERE” sign refers to the fact that he strives to hold perpetrators of injustices to account while simultaneously accepting the hardships that his life mission provokes. It’s also a similar colour to his shirt.

peter-tachell-portrait

Peter Tatchell

And finally the great James Fenton mid acceptance speech.

james-fenton-portrait

James Fenton

Question Perceptions…. again

_MG_9862_MG_9729

See my previous post HERE for my motivation for subverting how we are trained to perceive reality. This style of photography which combines filter, shallow depths of field and the strong sunlight is done in camera (mostly!).

The image below I dismissed at fist for being way too surreal – then I released that was why I liked it. Its a photograph through a very thick red filter of the afternoon sun above some steps up a cliff face in Normandy. The metal handrails catching the light which seem to direct you to the source of all being.

stairway sunset. 2015, 5 x 4 digital file

Station to Station at The Barbican

I just filmed Pedro Reyes’ conversations at Station to Station at the Barbican for  The Lisson Gallery. South American artist, Reyes contucted a series of investigative conversations with a range of different spiritual leaders from Rastas to Shamans, over the course of a weekend and called it Spiritual Speed-date. This is Reyes with a Suffi Muslim and a Catholic Priest.

_MG_7724

Pedro Reyes with a Suffi Muslim and a Catholic Priest

Whilst there I wandered into Marcus Coates’ workshop area and took this portrait of him. I’ve enjoyed his artwork since I went to see his classic film…. CLICK HERE!

_MG_7736

Marcus Coates portrait

_MG_7762

And some of the others

Cirque De La Quirk at the Isle of Wight Festival

The Midnight Bakery were asked to transfer their unique combination of hedonism and circus performance to the Bohemian Wood stage and area at the Isle of Wight Festival this year. They had the entirety of Saturday to enthral festival goers with performance, games, magic, music and a kissing booth. I was employed to get the shots. The stage was perfectly positioned in a wooded area between the two main stages and was a pull for the more boutique crowd looking to escape the more conventional side of the festival (ie watching Blur with a pint warm cider). These are a few images that I think capture the essence of it all.

GeorgeIOW-(32)
GeorgeIOW-(64)
GeorgeIOW-(93)
GeorgeIOW-(96)
GeorgeIOW-(100)
GeorgeIOW-(114)
GeorgeIOW-(125)

Many thanks to all the hard working people who created this high level freakiness.

Cirque de la Quirk Portraits

Molly McQueen and Jackie Jibbles portraits

Molly McQueen and Jackie Jibbles portraits

I was asked to shoot portraits and document the performers at Cirque de la Quirk last Friday night. It’s the latest project from the delectable Molly McQueen, formally of noughties band The Faders. Her vision is to create a cabaret party brand that can traverse the festival circuit. There was definitely something of the festival atmosphere as the heady crowd (elaborately dressed in steam punk and burlesque couture) were bedazzled by magicians, dance-offs, hoop-girls and (yes of course) live DJ sets.

Wolfgang Guy Geuth portrait

Wolfgang Guy Geuth portrait

_MG_1580

Rob Voodoo portrait

_MG_1576

Party girls portrait

This fine event took place at the strangely named club/bar “The Stillery” in Camden Town. The word “stillery” is a fictional one and a bizarre name for a club space although arguably not quite at silly as its former name of “WKDs” which, in all fairness, really was a bit of a dive. (Remember being forced to go there due to the limited late night options for one last whiskey and coke?) What makes the name even more questionable is the fact that it suggests a distillation process has taken place on the premises at some point in its history. Given that it’s part of the monstrous Sainsbury’s development that opened in 1988 I can safely say that any notion that it was once a distillery is a self-perpetuated myth. Incidentally, the man responsible for this architectural blotch on the Camden landscape is Nicholas Grimshaw (the architect not the smug faced DJ) who I happen to know resides in the area. I hope he weeps each time he pops out for bread and milk…. *fade out rant, fade in thumping techno*

Silvia Ziranek portrait at OMNI relaunch party

Last night I was filming a performance based art-piece by Silia Ziranek for OMNI prints at their launch party of their funky new premises in London Bridge. At the after party (and after several nuclear strength Whisky Macs) I asked Silvia if I could take her portrait and was pretty pleased with the result, especially given the lateness of the hour.

Silia Ziranek portrait

Silia Ziranek portrait

Congrats to OMNI for the opening of their new arch space which looked fantastic and thanks for all the incredible food and non-stop cocktails, although consequentially today has been a bit of a fuzzy Friday (“..for whatever one sows, that will he also reap”. Galatians 6:7).
I’ve been asked to do some interior shots of their new space so watch this space. Find out more about OMNI HERE and more about Silvia HERE

Angkor Rouge

Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. Its subsequent rapid decline has been hypothesised to be due to natural disasters such as disease (Bubonic Plague), earthquakes, inundations and drastic climate changes.

Angkor fell further into disrepair under the Khmer Rouge and for some years afterward organised thieves stole hundreds of priceless sculptures and carvings. Through use of antiquated techniques, filters and digital processing, I produced this series as an interpretation of that period of degradation while expressing wider insinuations to the effects of the Khmer Rouge regime as a whole.

 

angkor rouge (2)
angkor rouge (1)
angkor rouge (3)
angkor rouge (4)
angkor rouge
angkor rouge (5)
angkor rouge (6)

This series has also been published on flickr HERE along with a selection of my other travel photography.

Oliver Harris portrait

oliharrisfinal

I took this portrait of Oliver Harris recently. Oli is halfway through writing a series of detective novels. The first two which are available from Vintage are set mostly around London. The novels hinge around the experiences of the self-destructive genius Detective Nick Belsey of Hampstead CID. Read more about him and his work HERE

I wanted to capture Oli in an urban London setting – the elevation was important to denote his over-riding perspective and the living room setting highlights the mental journey of the author (or indeed the reader) as imagination kicks in.

Rushdie wins Pinter Prize 2014

Salman Rushdie Portrait

Salman Rushdie Portrait

I covered the Pinter Prize for English PEN recently and took this portrait of Rushdie – the winner. I wanted to portray the depth of his creative capacity and the darkness from his past. Shadow seemed the perfect metaphor for both.

Referendum Photo-essay for Newsweek

John Thompson Portrait

If you hurry you can still get the Referendum special edition of Newsweek magazine and get to see some of my photographs in hard copy. The photo-essay was based on the concept that a visual poll is the most interesting way to present opinion. The idea was to shine a beam, broader and brighter than just political opinion alone, that highlights everything from the environmental surroundings to the subtleties of the subjects’ body language and handwriting. I conducted the portraits over a week at the beginning of August this year striving to engage with as varied a group of Scots as possible in terms of class, location, age and employment. The picture above is my favourite of the set and is of my friend Jock Thompson from Roberton near Hawick in the Borders. He sees the prospect of Scottish independence as a transfer of powers to Europe – which is already a thorn in his side agriculturally (no pun intended).

Newsweek published 9 of these portraits over 6 pages to accompany the lead article of the edition. In case you missed it I scanned it and have posted them below. Also they exist as a gallery on the Newsweek website HERE