Monthly Archives: June 2013

ARTIST PROFILE: Jess Firth

Today is the last day of Peer here at The Strand Gallery, and we couldn’t think of anything worse than letting them leave without one final artist profile! Like some of the other artists involved in the show, Jess Firth’s work incorporates photo manipulation to add layers of complexity and depth to her final outcomes.

Jess Firth

Jess Firth

As Jess says: “Anonymity looks at the relationship between identity and portraiture, as well as being an expression of the way I myself look at both my own identity as well as others’. I have looked into ways of concealing identity with identity, with an aim to explore the complexity of the human in a way not often recognised. The images are comprised of graphic fingerprint cut-outs over the top of simplistic, passport-style portraits.”

Jess Firth

Jess Firth

What the viewer is left with is a perplexing view into the ever-troubling theme of identity, and ultimately emotion. How we associate ourselves with ourselves. Anonymity is a a tricky concept to live with, especially in times as digitally-orientated as these. What Jess is doing is making the audience really face up to ideas of anonymity and personal representation in a way that is relatively simple, but oh so effective.

Jess Firth

Jess Firth

Jess’ work can be seen as part of the current exhibition, Peer, at The Strand Gallery between then 25th and 29th of June.

Further examples of Jess’ work can be seen here.

ARTIST PROFILE: Alice Dennehy

With the monumental success of our current show, Peer, at The Strand Gallery, we can’t wait to share with you all even more in-depth features on the artists exhibited. Today’s artist profile is on Alice Dennehy, whose seemingly minimal architectural photography actually speaks volumes.

Alice Dennehy

Alice Dennehy

This series of work looks at buildings that appear to be unwelcoming, they stand timelessly and undamaged yet nobody really takes notice of them. It focuses on the shadows being cast on these places, the shadows represent the brooding bad natured negative aspects of the character and the light is the positive aspects and charm of the subject matter. This follows the seemingly contradictorily rule that you cant have one without the other. Positive without negative, good without evil and shadow without light. This relates back to what makes up ones personality, using both positive and negative aspects of your life to build up your individual character.

Alice Dennehy

Alice Dennehy

Removing the shadows and leaving a harsh emptiness draws attention to how the two factors work together showing a distinct divide between light and dark. When one is removed you notice its presence and importance. What we have left is a stark representation of architecture in its most bare form, stripped back to the most inherent layers of light and dark. Here, Dennehy is exploring the ancient realm of Chiaroscuro, almost reimagining it in her own modern terms.

Alice Dennehy

Alice Dennehy

Alice’s work can be seen as part of our current exhibition, Peer, at The Strand Gallery from the 25th to the 29th of June.

Further examples of Alice’s work can be seen here.

SPOTLIGHT: An Interview with Lalo Borja

To coincide with our current series of university photography degree shows here at The Strand Gallery, we talk to established photographer Lalo Borja on his roots, his style, and what teaching photography to budding enthusiasts means to him.

How long has photography been a part of your life? How did it turn in to a career?

Photography has been a big part of my life for nearly forty years, starting in Toronto, Canada, in early 1973.It became a career when I was lucky enough to find a job working as a reporter/photographer for a Spanish newspaper in 1975.

You are originally from Cali, Colombia, what brought you to the UK?

I married an English woman in Colombia, in 2000, having gone back to my hometown in 1995. She wanted to get back home to England in order to get her Diploma in Education, and I tagged along!

Has your photographic style changed much over the years or has it remained consistent? What is your favourite subject to photograph and why?

My style has changed very little in the past thirty or so years. I still enjoy doing street photography to this day. My favourite subject remains portraiture because it offers me the opportunity to explore expressions unique to human beings.

Your career has led you to become an A level photography teacher in Kent, do you feel that your students learn a lot from you and your experience as a professional photographer? Do you enjoy passing on your knowledge and skills to them?

Teaching young students is an enjoyable and sometimes difficult proposition. I do hope to continue influencing some of them to carry on this honourable profession. I feel a small number of them every year are inspired by the benefits and beauty it offers. That, in itself, is very rewarding.

What has been the highlight of your photographic career so far?

I would say that it had taken me a long time to find that the very early personal work, shot around 1975, still endures and remains of high quality to this day. That, for me, is a highlight and it makes me a great believer in intuition.

More of Lalo’s photographic work can be seen here.

Our current photography degree show, Peer can be seen at The Strand Gallery between the 25th and 29th of June.

ARTIST PROFILE: Samantha Applegate

Third in our series of Peer artist profiles is photographer Samantha Applegate. Like our two previous featured photographers, Samantha encompasses aesthetic elements within her work that add entire dimensions to the pieces. This series, Elements, uses photographs of natural elements while applying actual elements onto film, creating surreal, beautiful images.

Samantha Applegate

Samantha Applegate

“The location within each of my elements aim to represent one of each of the elements, showing them in their natural source. By adding the actual element to each image myself shows exactly how humans use these elements to their own advantage. This is why one of my images for each element has the presence of a human, to represent our link with the elements. Images portraying only landscapes aim to show how sometimes humans cannot control the elements, be it tsunamis, tornados, forest fires and so on, showing the power the elements have.”

Samantha Applegate

Samantha Applegate

Samantha’s work can be seen as part of the current exhibition, Peer, on show at The Strand Gallery from the 25th to the 29th of June.

Further examples of Samantha’s work can be seen here.

ARTIST PROFILE: Matt Fielding

Our next artist profile falls on photographer Matt Fielding, whose unusual visual style makes his work incredibly aesthetically appealing, even if the subject matter isn’t necessarily as attractive to all.

Matt Fielding

Matt Fielding

This piece of work is centered upon the fragility of life and the fluidity death, with a link to disease and decay, and how these elements can take life away. However, Fielding is also exploring the idea that beauty can still be found even in death and destruction.

Matt Fielding

Matt Fielding

And this beauty definitely resonates through every shot. Although the subject matter itself is leaning towards a more gritty angle, the presentation of every photo alludes to the beauty of death that Matt describes.

Matt Fielding

Matt Fielding

Matt’s work can be seen as part of our current exhibition at The Strand Gallery, Peer, between the 25th and 29th of June.

Further information on Matt’s work can be seen here.

ARTIST PROFILE: Kezia Tan

As the team from Blackpool get their show ready for the grand opening tomorrow, we want to start introducing you to a handful of their exhibited artists. Starting with photographer with a twist, Kezia Tan.

Kezia Tan

Kezia Tan

This piece, within a series titled ‘The In-between’, is a manipulated portrait exploring themes of identity, transition, and reconstruction. Through her handcrafted manipulations, Kezia is investigating ideas of identity loss within the larger picture of society. How within the world one is always at risk of being lost in a sea of people, and how leaving elements of yourself within the world can lead to a chain of disrupting and reconstructing one’s identity.

Kezia Tan

Kezia Tan

On the series, Tan states:
“This body of work is an inadvertent cathartic piece, exploring the individuality of identity and unintentional conforming towards the expectations of society. Through the development, a troubling thought evolved from within, about my own identity. Whilst staying loyal to the original reasoning, my transition from schooling to adulthood has arisen upon me, the realisation that I am to become a small fish in a world sized pond, I fear my own identity is to become insignificant. Through my hand crafted aesthetic approach I leave behind a piece of myself; fingerprints on the surface, my DNA on the thread, as I destruct and reconstruct to create a new identity for each person, but mostly for myself.”

Kezia’s work can be seen alongside many others at The Strand Gallery between the 25th and 29th of June.

More examples of Kezia’s work can be seen on her website.

COMING UP: Blackpool Peer

The Strand Gallery is pleased to welcome the graduates of Blackpool and Fylde College with their exhibition Peer.

Jack Grange

Jack Grange

Peer is a group exhibition showcasing the work of thirty-one 3rd year photography students. This is the first time these fresh new talents have exhibited in the capital and we are pleased to help them celebrate their graduation and to kick start their creative careers.

Thread by Daniel J Thomas

Daniel J Thomas

The exhibition features a varied collection of work, combining many photographic genres, such as Fashion, Fine Art and Documentary. With a variety of artistic approaches and techniques on display, and encompassing prints, installations and the moving image, the future of the art world looks bright.

Kezia Tan

Kezia Tan

Peer can be seen at The Strand Gallery between 25th – 29th June.

ARTIST PROFILE: SEAN CARROLL

Like our previous featured artist, Sean Carroll is a photographer involved with the current Raw Format exhibition here at The Strand Gallery.

Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll

Through his works, Sean is looking to investigate the social world through documentation, while considering ideas of authenticity within a social media environment. He’s interested in communication, the idea of community and how people are adapting their lifestyles to the new technologies around them. Through this exploration he wants to tell stories.

Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll

This particular story being told is of Sean and his father, on a journey together to locations where previous family photos had been taken. Alongside these individual prints, a film was also produced. The choice of using film and producing a single edition of prints relates to the unique experience of the artefact, while producing a photo film will use the benefits of the fluid distribution tools available in the online world. This gives the audience two separate experiences of the work.

Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll

This piece is incredibly complex – at the same time introspective and reflective, with a real emphasis on the nostalgia of this family history. The emotive photographs are mirrored in the accompanying film, which gives the work a whole new level of depth, and is one to definitely be experienced.

The final video, Back to Betws, can be seen below:


RAW FORMAT
will be on at The Strand Gallery until June 22nd.

Further examples of Sean’s work can be seen on his website.

ARTIST PROFILE: HAZEL STEEL

Emerging photographer Hazel Steel is exhibiting her work here at The Strand Gallery as part of RAW Format’s exhibition. Her striking visuals deal with elements of femininity, fragility and escapism.

Hazel Steel

Hazel Steel

Hazel’s shots work along the very strong theme of women in today’s society, and how women feel about their bodies. Hazel’s fascination of human form, and the emotions of movement and posture are apparent through this collection of photographs. One of the key elements of this series is the confluence of fragility and strength, and Steel wanted to draw attention to to this idea, creating images which almost defy logic – where a split second becomes an eternity.

Hazel Steel

Hazel Steel

Inspired by artists such as Francesca Woodman, who also worked with the idea of identity within the nude form, Steel sets herself the challenge of completely exposing herself both physically and mentally. Steel has been noted as saying that the idea she always came back to within this project was the idea of escaping. Be it escaping the everyday standards of feminine beauty which bombard us at every turn, or escaping reality and the everyday lives we lead.

The use of powder in these shots is implemented as a way of allowing the viewer into the situation, but keeping them behind a barrier, at a distance from the physicality of the action depicted. Steel has found a strong turning point in her own work through post-processing and editing. Through burning, highlighting and desaturating she has managed to create something almost other-worldly.

Hazel Steel

Hazel Steel

“This project has allowed me to expand my knowledge in photography, in myself and the way I feel about myself, and the work I produce. Initially I started off trying to communicate a message to the audience, a message I was trying to convey using my own body. However, as the project has progressed, it has become a lot more focused on learning about how I feel about myself personally, and creating a surreal space for me to escape. This is not the end of this project, I am not the only one who has body issues and is in need for an escape from the harsh society which we live in today. By creating visually stunning, entrancing images, I feel that it helps women overcome the pressure that they receive everyday to be a certain type of beautiful.”

– Hazel Steel (source).

RAW FORMAT can be seen at The Strand Gallery until the 22nd June.

More information about Hazel Steel and her work can be seen on her website.

COMING UP: RawFormat

The Strand Gallery is pleased to welcome RawFormat, an exhibition of inspiring images from the new generation of photographic talent.

Tokyo by Daisy Ware Jarrett

Daisy Ware Jarrett

RawFormat is a creative collective made up of young photographers and filmmakers from the current graduating year of Coventry University’s Photography Degree Course. Following on from a very successful exhibition in 2012 for the widely renowned open education course #picbod, the group have come together once more to showcase their current exploits and exhibit their most recent work.

Paralympians - Aled Davies by Jack Somerset

Jack Somerset

This exhibition features an exciting collection of projects that explore a wide range of contemporary issues and diverse themes. The work featured ranges from stills to films, and includes documentary and personal projects as well as fine art photography.

Hazel Steel

Hazel Steel

RawFormat can be seen at The Strand Gallery between 17th – 26th June.