Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Look Back at 2013

Now that our first incredible exhibition of 2014 has sadly come to an end, we thought it might be appropriate to look back at the last year and pick up on some of the highlights of 2013 at The Strand Gallery.

Looking back, 2013 has been an eventful year. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s son Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born on 22 July 2013 and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule, sadly passed aged 95. Amongst all of the commotion of the real world, here at The Strand Gallery we conducted an array of inspiring exhibits and had many exciting moments. So, as we move forward to invite an  2014, we thought first of all we will celebrate some of our favourite moments of 2013.

With even our online Spotlight features taking us through a huge range of artists varying from the exquisite colourful and intricate installations of Jee Young Lee, who plays with the boundaries between reality and fiction, to the dark earthy paintings of Lei Chang who captivates multiple layers of emotion, narrowing down a small selection of our successful physical shows has been difficult.

British riots

We kicked off with a successful burst, displaying a series from Press Association photographer Lewis Whyld. The shocking and telling photographs capture the riots that took place back in 2011. Whyld’s positioning during the outburst places us at a level where we are exposed, front row to the raw flames, revealing the full extent of the damage. Not only this, but the images also brought back the memories for the people. Safety was threatened and wider British culture and society was under threat, these harrowing photographs demonstrated this.

The Master

Another fantastic show we had was Hot Valve Leak: Visual Ramblings of Vic Reeves. We opened our doors to the surreal and comic artist who exhibited a selection of paintings, drawings and ceramics, opening our eyes to a selection of his ingenious wit and talent. Incorporating performance with humour, he led us to surrealist ideas, revealing a Dada-esque quality that is reminiscent throughout.

Showing the Ink by Tristan Pigott

Tristan Pigott exhibited his unique and surreal paintings with us here at The Strand Gallery in March 2013. Piggot explores human behaviour that is relatable, yet composed in a surreal way that it becomes something awkward, something that we are separate from. He plays with the boundaries between the real and unreal. The chalky tones mute the composition heightening the awkwardness of the surreal situation. These extraordinary paintings are intriguing and have provoked great critical attention.

Although we exhibited many, many more incredible shows, these were definitely our top three, and after a successful 2013 we look forward to another year of inspiring shows and online explorations, so bring on 2014!

ARTIST PROFILE: Neville Petersen

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Last but not least in the series, we will be looking at the works of Neville Petersen, whose series ‘Not Just a Backwater’ was shortlisted for the award.

Neville Petersen

Neville Petersen

This project is a very personal one to Peterson, and of it he explains “we actually do have some paved roads in South Africa. When South Africa hits the international headlines it usually has a negative tone. On my own I cannot change the world’s perception of my country, but I can show viewers – one at a time, there is a different and sometimes unexpected side to it. Internationally there is an impression that Africa as a whole, is exclusively wild and rural. Although that is the dominant landscape a tourist might encounter, may I introduce you to some sophisticated industry?

Neville Petersen

Neville Petersen

Here and there dotted amongst the dense bush, which you think overgrows towns and settlements, or rising up from the desolate, waving grasslands, are majestic modern, manmade structures. Structures fine and functional. Some produce power, some refine minerals – many more manufacture all kinds of merchandise. Darkest Africa with a glimmer of yellow on the horizon, it is not a bush fire, it is the city’s lights. A lot of emphasis is placed on travelling extensively for photographers, I have so many stories I still need and want to tell locally, I do not feel the urge to leave my country’s borders. This particular project focuses on the generation of electricity and I have only started working on it recently. I like exploring terrain where the public rarely get to go. There are not many places left that have not been ‘Instagrammed’ extensively and uploaded, pinned and tagged to the tenth degree. The more red tape required and the more various offices have to approve my request for photography, the more I know my images might stand a chance of being just slightly unique. Extraordinary – by contrast when I display these photographs to local audiences, many ask which European city it was taken in. No one believes we are capable of this, not even ourselves.”

Neville Petersen

Neville Petersen

All images © Neville Petersen

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

Today is your last chance to catch these works and all of the incredible projects from the previously explored photographers. Get on down to the gallery today to see them all!

ARTIST PROFILE: Richard Gray

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Richard Gray, whose series ‘The Person Opposite’ crowned him the ‘Mobile Device Winner’.

Richard Gray

Richard Gray

Richard Gray’s mobile photography work has been exhibited around the world and widely published, and he has undertaken various mobile-only projects, including a major commission for Sport England in 2013. He gave the world’s first live course in mobile photography at KCC in London, which he later gave at The Photographer’s Gallery. The Guardian invited him to write the mobile section of its recent photography review and he is a contributor for FLTR, The British Journal of Photography’s mobile magazine. He also works with big cameras and syndicates to Empics (Press Association).

Richard Gray

Richard Gray

He told us, “Mobile cameras have allowed us to get closer than ever to strangers and they’ve spawned a whole new sub-genre of some amazing street photography. This series takes advantage of this strength. I’m interested in seeing ordinary people in an innocent state, without a smile (or a blank expression) for the camera and this series explores that interest and the idea of shared anonymity in a big city.”

Richard Gray

Richard Gray

All images © Richard Gray

Further examples of Richard’s work can be seen here. He is @rugfoot on social media.

These photographs will be on display at The Strand Gallery until January 26th.

ARTIST PROFILE: Mária Szabová

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Mária Szabová, whose series ‘Here I am’ was shortlisted for the award.

Mária Szabová

Mária Szabová

Mária Szabová was born in 1991 in Slovakia. She graduated from Paneuropean University in Slovakia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media Communication. Recently, Szabová has enrolled at Tomas Bata University in the Czech Republic, specialising in Marketing Communication.

Mária Szabová

Mária Szabová

Szabová is an amateur photographer. Among all genres of photography, she likes portraiture the most. Her work consists mainly of staged portraits and photo essays. She has been interested in photography since university, and in the summer of 2013 became more and more intrigued by the wonders of analogue photography as well as digital.

Mária Szabová

Mária Szabová

This particular project titled ‘Here I Am’ is a photo essay about children whose parents forgot to take care of them. These children are trying to approach their parents through their proffesion. Mothers left their babies alone. Fathers have gone away instead of providing for their own families. Children miss their parents. They miss someone who will love them, take care of them and teach them how to live. That is why they are dressed up like a fisherman, a waitress and an auto-mechanic. Each child represent proffesion of its parent.

Mária Szabová

Mária Szabová

All images © Mária Szabová

These images can be seen part of the Terry O’Neill Photography Awards 2013 at The Strand Gallery until 26th January

ARTIST PROFILE: Claudia Moroni

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Claudia Moroni, whose series ‘Anima Animus’ earned her the second runner up place.

Claudia Moroni

Claudia Moroni

Claudia is an Italian portrait photographer, living and working in London. Her photographs have been published in Wallpaper* Magazine, L’Officiel Art, The Guardian, 1883 Magazine, Vogue Italia and have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Claudia Moroni

Claudia Moroni

With a background in Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Claudia has a keen interest in the craft of analogue photography. The majority of her work is shot with a range of 35mm and medium format cameras, printing most of her images in a traditional darkroom. At the moment, Moroni is dividing her time between comissions and a series of personal projects.

Claudia Moroni

Claudia Moroni

This series, ‘Anima Animus’ is a long term project exploring the borderline of gender. The first part of this project is a series of black and white portraits of trans and genderqueer people living in the UK. Each model has undertaken a journey, transitioning from the sex they were assigned at birth to the gender they identify with. All portraits have been shot on film with a large format camera, taking advantage of the Scheimpflug principle to narrowly focus on the models’ eyes. This stylistic choice is a visual response to the media’s tendencies to only focus on trans people’s bodies, virtually erasing their identities.

Claudia Moroni

Claudia Moroni

All images © Claudia Moroni

For further examples of Claudia’s work, check out her website here.

This series of portraits will be on display at The Strand Gallery until 26th January.

ARTIST PROFILE: Nick Ballon

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Nick Ballon, whose series ‘Ezekiel 36:36’ was shortlisted for the award.

Nick Ballon

Nick Ballon

A rich Bolivian heritage plays a key role in Ballon’s subject matter and identity as a photographer, alongside a desire to feel more connected and explore the idea of ‘foreignness’ in his work within a country cloe to him.

Nick Ballon

Nick Ballon

Of this project, Ballon says “Ezekiel 36:36 is a very personal documentary which started off as a story of a downed Bolivian airline, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (L.A.B), grounded since 2007 finding a multi million dollar investment which would enable them to fly again.

Nick Ballon

Nick Ballon

One of the worlds oldest airlines it has suffered at the hands of successive administrations ever since, becoming gradually dismantled due to chronic mismanagement and corruption.   Six years after its apparent collapse, LAB remains alive but seemingly frozen in a time of its own. 190 employees continue to work for LAB, despite having had their salaries halved, and not having been paid for up to two years at a time.

Nick Ballon

Nick Ballon

The story is a familiar one in Bolivia. It is the story of a country that has lost every war it has ever fought in; the story of a nation whose vast natural resources, far from being a blessing, have lured in colonisers and corrupt administrations. LAB envelopes the national consciousness. It’s an airline frozen in its own time by faded images of a glorious past, and kept alive by dreams of a triumphant return which never seems to arrive.   The title of the work takes its name from the airlines only possible saviour, its last operational airplane called Ezekiel 36:36″

Nick Ballon

Nick Ballon

All images © Nick Ballon.

For further examples of Nick’s work, check out his website here.

Catch these photographs for real before the end of the exhibition, which closes 26th January.

ARTIST PROFILE: Javier Arcenillas

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Javier Arcenillas, whose series ‘Red Note’ won him the First Runner Up place.

WARNING: These photographs depict delicate scenes of violence which some viewers may find upsetting.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

Arcenillas creates essays about a world that has become increasingly indifferent to human suffering and loss of human rights. His work has been covered by Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, GEO, National Geographic, Le Monde 2, El periódico de Guatemala, Miami Herald and Esquire Spain.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

Red Note is a sociological essay on violence in Latin America – the most violent region in the world – that shows the protagonists and victims in their intense drama and misery. The daily theartre of murder, war and pain is the main news of the day on the streets of cities like San Pedro Sula where murder, robbery and violence anre increasingly present.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

Sicarios are contract killers or hired assassins – generally professional assassins who act as mercenaries, offering their services to the highest bidder. In Latin America, they constitute actual organised gangs and even form part of important paramilitary groups.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

In Latin America, children train as Sicarios as a regular job, attracted by the ease of earning money that gives them respect and inspires fear. The failure to protect children from becoming desensitised to violence is alarming.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

These incredible shots are dramatic, stunning, upsetting, and above all, raw and powerful. It is a body of work like this that truly brings to light how others in the world live.

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas

All images © Javier Arcenillas

For further examples of Arcenillas’ work, check out his website here.

These shots will be exhibited as part of the Terry O’Neill Awards at The Strand Gallery until 26th January.

ARTIST PROFILE: Michele Hagege

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Michele Hagege, whose series ‘Anthropomorphism’ was shortlisted for the award.

Michel Hagege

Michel Hagege

Michel Hagege has been practicing photography for thirty years, with the last three years focused particularly on wildlife and travel photography. After taking many photos while scuba diving and paragliding, Hagege now devotes himself to exploring the Earth.

Michel Hagege

Michel Hagege

As an eclectic photographer, Hagege explores everything from commercial sport photography to intense macro shots with the same pleasure. All of these exhibited photographs were taken in Japan and reflect the humanity in the eyes of these Japanese macaques.

Michel Hagege

Michel Hagege

This series of Japanese Macaque was made near Nagano in December 2012. The project was taken under snow with a temperature of -5°C and a strong wind.

Michel Hagege

Michel Hagege

All images © Michel Hagege

To make sure you catch these photographs, come along to The Strand Gallery by the 26th January

 

 

ARTIST PROFILE: Laura Boushnak

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Laura Boushnak, whose series ‘I Read I Write: Yemen – Access to Education’ won her the award.

Laura Boushnak

Laura Boushnak

Laura Boushnak is a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian photographer, whose work ranges from conflict photography to pictorial storytelling. After completing a BA in sociology at the Lebanese University, Boushnak began her photography career covering news for the Associated Press in Lebanon. Since 2008, Boushnak has been working as a freelance photographer, with a special focus on Arab women and education. Her work ‘I Read, I Write: Egypt – Illiteracy’ was acquired by The British Museum in 2012. The winning series, ‘I Read I Write: Yemen – Access to Education’, explores this world of women and education. Read on to find out more.

Laura Boushnak

Laura Boushnak

A Yemeni proverb says “A girl leaves the house only twice, to her husband and her grave”, but for the Yemeni women in the following series of portraits, the only way to go against this belief is through higher education, despite the staggering odds they’re faced with. With the help of Yero NGO, I photographed women, who were the first members in their families to peruse higher education. They spoke about their achievements and challenges, in an ultra-conservative society, where many believe that women are destined for marriage to protect their chastity and their role is solely in the home.

Laura Boushnak

Laura Boushnak

Boushnak states that “my on-going project titled “I Read I Write” explores the role of literacy in the enrichment of Arab women’s lives. With the ongoing waves of protests and social upheaval in the Arab World, how can the “Arab Spring” bring about change in the region when a full half of its human potential is often neglected?  According to the UNDP’s Arab Human Development Report, Arab countries collectively have one of the highest rates of female illiteracy in the world. In each country I covered, I tackled a specific issue surrounding women’s education, while maintaining that these problems are common throughout the Arab world.”

Laura Boushnak

Laura Boushnak

All images © Laura Boushnak

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

If you would like to see the winning pieces in the flesh, then make sure you get down to The Strand Gallery by the 26th January.

ARTIST PROFILE: Alnis Stakle

During our very exciting showcase of the Terry O’Neill Award finalists here at The Strand Gallery, we want to take the time to really delve into the work of the exhibited photographers to give you wonderful viewers a deeper insight into the people behind the lens. Today we will be looking at the works of Alnis Stakle, whose series ‘Not Even Something’ was shortlisted for the award.

Alnis Stakle

Alnis Stakle

Stakle, born in 1975, lives and works in Latvia. Today we shall be taking a look at his exhibited project ‘Not Even Something’. During the Soviet era (until 1990) cities were usually divided into districts that would often differ not only with different names but also different functions. For example, there were residential, industrial, retail, entertainment districts. After the fall of Soviet Union many of these districts lost their function – factories were closed, fences were partly dismantled, bushes and plants reclaimed these territories. People started to use these new spaces as shortcuts to get to certain destinations in the city.

Alnis Stakle

Alnis Stakle

Although public transportation connects city districts, it became easier to pass through these territories on foot during the evening and the night. Thus new pathways and roads appeared even though they were not included in any official map of the city. In turn, some areas began to appear on new maps.  They never represented the resident’s destination, but are  intermediate sections between the important parts of the city.

Alnis Stakle

Alnis Stakle

“Not Even Something” explores these “ghost areas” at night – the most dangerous time to be in these indeterminate, less-populated areas. Pedestrian beaten tracks as often as not defined the aesthetical basic principles of the structure of work. Although the tracks themselves governed the focus of the photographs, the aesthetic results proved to be atmospheric and beautiful.

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All images © Alnis Stakle

Further images from this series and many others can be seen on Stakle’s personal website here.

Catch these shots in real-life and come to see the Terry O’Neill Awards at The Strand Gallery until 26th January.