Hockney & Bradford

Research : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5


Figure 1

I took the opportunity to spend some time in a city I had long since visited, Bradford, this week.  From its Centenary Square water feature, fig 1, to the launch of Mat Collishaw’s Thresholds, fig 2, it was a visually stimulating few days.


Figure 2

I always take the time to visit the galleries and in this instance Cartwright Hall where the diverse range of David Hockney’s work is staged in the city of his birth.  This was a treat as I had not previously seen the array of his media from photographs to sketches to collage to paper mache.

It was, as ever, useful to observe numerous things that are applicable to my own thinking.  One of the man thematic panels was illustrated with text and select images, enabling the related section (Hockey and Fashion) to be contextualised, fig 3.


Figure 3

Hockney’s “Le Plongeur (Paper Pool 18) 1978. Colored and pressed paper pulp 72 x 171″ caused me to halt and look very closely at the surface and the modular nature of the method used to create this vibrant piece, fig 4.  A technique for a printing background to be tested post-MA.


Figure 4
Figures 5, 6

His collage technique applied the view of his Mother at Bolton Abbey, 1982 caused me to take a close up of his pumps; the artist appearing in his own work and thus he links himself to his forebear, figs 5, 6.


Figure 7

The Hockney quote about the city of his birth, fig 7, is applicable to my Pause Project centred on Birmingham; “there is a magic in it if you look closely”


Figure 8

Finally, the map used to locate Hockney’s work was a powerful panel and underlines my own thinking about using a map.

All images my own using an iPhone.


Thinking about ‘Surfaces’

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 3, Surfaces and Strategies, Week 4

I have been actively visiting as many photographic shows, events and galleries in the last few weeks to catalogue the style of surfaces that are used to show work.

I will make brief comments on each entry; I have made images as I perambulate around various spaces.


Hung printed fabric, in series, suspended.  BCU Visual Communication Degree Show.  June 2017


A wet plate collodian demonstration at Redeye Hothouse 17, Sheffield, June 2017


Contemporary Daguerreotypes by artist Jo Gane – part of this programme Summer 2017 BOM 


A wobbly iPhone image – Sophie Hedderwick’s work (reviewed by me in a previous CRJ entry) now hanging and for sale in Bar Opus, Birmingham. June 2017


Head and body gear for Mat Collishaw’s VR show Thresholds, Birmingham launch June 2017.

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Beat Streuli – translucent window transfer imagery, main entrance, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow https://en.mocak.pl/ May 2017


Inserting myself into a gallery installation, Krakow, May 2017, image by Simon Fremont


Main Programme Curator Gordon Macdonald, Krakow Photomonth Festival, May 2017 http://photomonth.com/en/portfolio/the-war-from-here/ show in a contemporary gallery space Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art


Myself being interviewed for Falmouth University, talking about the MA in Photography


Main Programme Curator Gordon Macdonald, Krakow Photomonth Festival, May 2017 http://photomonth.com/en/portfolio/we-also-dance/ describing French street dance.  Large scale paper print fixed directly to gallery partition.


4 images.  From the UFO Show, Krakow Photomonth Festival, May 2017 http://photomonth.com/en/portfolio/divisive-moments/ papers and books in cases, wall mounted prints, video and slides, plus reflective wall finishes.


National Museum, Warsaw, May 2017, medium scale acrylic panels and publications in boxes. http://www.mnw.art.pl/en/



Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, May 2017 work by Michael Wolf, intimate show with the theme of gloves and mops http://www.cfcca.org.uk/exhibition/michael-wolf/


The remaining images are all from the show Strange and Familiar at Manchester Art Gallery – devoted to a whole floor at the top of this city centre gallery.

Work was all mounted behind glass and hung, with a small number of exceptions, plus a dark room with the video by Hans Eijkelboom

Extract from http://manchesterartgallery.org/exhibitions-and-events/exhibition/strange-and-familiar/

Curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK.

From social documentary and portraiture to street and architectural photography, the exhibition celebrates the work of leading photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rineke Dijkstra, and Garry Winogrand. Bringing together over 250 compelling photographs and previously unseen bodies of work, Strange and Familiar presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain.

Exhibition curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London.

In each case I photographed the introductory panel then chose the image that, to me, reflected intent to the greatest degree.  Note – as displayed here each artist is cited after the image.  Visited in May 2017.

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Practice Thinking – Where to Show?

Week 8  (Part Four) – Practice Thinking.  Falmouth University MA.

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This is a short review of the potential opportunities and challenges of displaying my work to the world.  The week 8 work on the MA has led me to consider these options more sharply.

1 The Private Gallery Space

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I have attended the 3 initial shows at Argentea Gallery and my interview with Sophie Hedderwick has provided me with an insight into the process of relationship/portfolio/printing/display/marketing and private views that contribute to the partnership between artists and gallery director.  This is a enormous effort as with many creative endeavour that is made for public consumption and requires substantial personal investment in time and materials.  The upside being the supportive, collaborative approach to selection, display and promotion which would be largely absent from a publicly ‘owned’ space such as the Library of Birmingham’ which is an alternative venue I have been assessing.  I am looking at other gallery spaces in Birmingham including the Birmingham Midland Institute, 321 Bradford Street (the Nest) and related spaces.

2 Street display

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This can take three forms, projection, one-off light-cube type installations (temporary) and harnessing existing street screens (permanent).

I am advising on a potential screen installation in a public square in Birmingham, using as inspiration the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain campaign in the summer of 2016 which was shown as a partnership with street advertising firms. http://www.bjp-online.com/tag/portrait-of-britain/

3 Gallery or other space – Project not Print

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I was struck and inputted by Viviane Sassen’s show at the Photographer’s Gallery in London in 2014 which displayed her fashion series using vertically reviling projected imagery which would take several minutes of dwell time to view the whole series.  Clearly not unique but a powerful way of allowing a large number of images to be viewed at the scale of a whole gallery wall.  Providing the technical equipment (for example a robust projector) is available this would be a lesser cost option. http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/analemma-fashion-photography-1992-2012

4 Virtual Reality

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I have been following the crowdfunding success of Thresholds, the virtual reality exhibition by Mat Collishaw which will use current headset technology to visualise a 1839 exhibition of very early photography taken in Birmingham.  A simple space is to be modelled in Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery and the decorative layer, together with images of the original prints, are provided in the virtual world.  It has thus inspired me to consider placing my work (for example the large scale William Mitchell 1968 underpass series) into a VR headset to allow the whole work to be viewed anywhere.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1817545913/thresholds-vr  http://matcollishaw.com/exhibitions/