Category Archives: Photography

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.

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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.

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Peter Tatchell

And finally the great James Fenton mid acceptance speech.

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James Fenton

Question Perceptions…. again

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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

Drifting en route

According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the boundary between the ‘world out there’ and our own subjective consciousness are blurred. When physicists look at atoms or particles of light, what they see depends on how they have set up their experiment. This concept comforted me recently when I was crammed into a train at rush hour, as I found solace in questioning my perception.  This concept also motivated this image I recently took. Whilst not being a traditionally perceived version of reality  – it is a version of reality all the same. Its unconventional (yet relevant) aesthetic perhaps highlighting these lofty scientific theories?

en route. 2015, 35mm digital file

But where does this leave us then? What’s the point of anything if we real by human measure? John Lennon wrote “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream, it is not dying, it is not dying”. That’ll do for me.

Portrait of James

Taken in the basement of a derelict building – way on down South London Town.James portrait

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.

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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!

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Marcus Coates portrait

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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.

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

Le Bayon product shoot

We had fun last week on this shoot, documenting the designs of Le Bayon – a theatrical costume designer.

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We shot a tonne of looks quite chaotically but got great results. These are just a few.

The Dance

Spring is close now

From darkness emerges the light

We dance the dance again

the dance. 2015, 5 x 4 digital file

Something new that I’ve been working on this week. I’ve been studying Matisse and thinking about the springtime and how we mark seasonal and astral transitions with dance. I’m aware that there’s a solar eclipse and a supermoon coinciding with the Spring equinox on Friday. How will that effect the way we dance?

(Thank you Laura – who is the fantastically accomplished dancer in my picture).

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

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Rob Voodoo portrait

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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