My intended opening gambit on how “Autumn has arrived” seems tenuous to say the least now!
In using my Autumnal title, I had intended to then link neatly with the beautiful Platinum/Palladium leaf print we have made for Paul Kenny.
At the start of what would appear to be a wonderful Indian Summer, Autumn suddenly seems a long way away. So, perhaps a different tack is required…
On 9th July 2010, I posted the news that HP had launched their Large Format Photo Negative Application.
Little did I realise the impact this would have on my working life.
A little later, around about this time last year, Richard Freestone and I embarked on what has become a phenomenal journey of research and intrigue; a journey attempting to successfully marry the old and new technologies of Alternative Printing processes with Digital Negatives.
Although not a new concept by any means, we have approached this in a very specific and new way with the help of our friends at Hewlett Packard.
Our thanks to Angel Albarran who designed The HP Large Format Photo Negative Application and helped us extensively throughout the process.
In conjunction with 139 Printroom, we are now able to make Platinum/Palladium prints from your digital files. This is a truly exciting addition to Jack Lowe Studio and one that could open up a whole window of opportunity in your approach to photography.
You may have already noticed the new Platinum/Palladium tab towards the top of this page and it is here that you will find more information…
My eyes have been opened to a new world of possibilities. I have gently been sifting through my own photographs and having them reworked as Platinum/Palladium prints.
Here’s an example from 1999—originally shot on 10×8 Polaroid, now scanned and made into a Digital Negative from which the print was made:
And the beautiful leaf print for Paul Kenny I mentioned?
Entitled OS 206, Paul explains the image for us:
“At the time I was obsessed with seeing leaves as maps or aerial photographs; landscape maps of the imagination.
“The OS series starts with sheet 1 at Lands End and finishes with sheet 205 at the Shetland Isles…I made my imaginary sheet 206.”
Scanned from a 6×6 negative, here is OS 206 for your viewing pleasure:
One day all too soon, we’ll look back at the styles that fashioned photography (both still and moving) in and around ‘The Noughties’.
It’s my guess that the phenomenon known as drop-focus, tilt and shift or perspective control will be seen as one of the main signifiers of the current era.
The Waterfall Project by Olivo Barbieri is a classic contemporary example.
Implemented well, this is an approach I happen to like; I enjoy the feel of the model village often achieved with this method of capture.
For me, at least, it tugs at the childhood heartstrings and seems to instil utopian, feel-good emotions.
So, I thought you might like to share in this particularly fine example—a French ad made to celebrate their improvements and progress on the railways over recent years:
If you fancy seeing big cameras strapped to the front of trains, a bit of green screening (and your French is up to scratch), you might like to see this ‘making of’ video too…
An obscure beginning to a blog post, yes, and one that I feel is in keeping with the intriguing nature of my recent work with Sam Watson & Adam Phillips, Directors of CIRCA Projects.
I’ve known Sam and Adam for a while and I’m excited that we are now working together on a number of projects.
A VHS video still, Two Sausages is perhaps one of the most lo-fi pieces I’ve made.
At first, the highly refined finishing of the Archival Pigment Print seems a curious juxtaposition with the origination of the digital file.
However, this relationship between two very different media (along with the playfulness and wit of the piece) simply adds a further level of enjoyment.
Eric Bainbridge, in conversation recently with CIRCA Projects, describes the sausage videos further:
“When I first showed them, I presented the two sausage pieces at the Gilmore Gallery in London (‘The Cavendish Group’ 1994).
“It was at a time when I had stopped making the big furry sculptures and I had just spent about 18 months messing about in the studio.
“So, the curator at the Gilmore Gallery wanted to do a show out of these diverse things that I had been creating in the studio and I wasn’t exactly sure that these things could be a show, but because I was doing some objects, some drawings, prints and various things — I thought I should have a video.
“At the time video was just becoming the mainstream, it almost felt like you couldn’t do a show unless it was a video show, so I did it as a deliberate act.
“I was interested in extending the possibility of an object. I thought, if I make a video it would just sit on a monitor on the floor and it just became another way of presenting an object. So that’s how it happened. But I also like the idea that everything at the time seemed to be including video — so it was a deliberate ploy.”
Video Show runs from 21st September to 21st October with a Preview and Artist Talk on Tuesday 20th September, 6-9 pm.
The preview event will feature Eric Bainbridge in conversation with British Art Show 7 and Modern British Sculpture co-curator, Keith Wilson at 7.30pm.
I love the Autumn, it feels like the next chapter.
With the ‘Summer’ over, the arrival of Autumn provides a brief chance for reflection on the year so far, before knuckling down to the winter months ahead.
In the lead up to a break at the end of August, I enjoyed a very busy time in the studio.
Excited, not least now that Andrew has been crowned a winner of the hallowed World Press Photo contest.
Andrew describes the project in more detail:
“Having lived and worked in Africa for a number of years, I was intrigued by Western Sahara as it was always the country on that continent that I heard the least about. So I read the history and was shocked to learn that the conflict there had never been resolved and that tens of thousands of indigenous Saharawi were still languishing in Algerian refugee camps. I thought it was a story that simply had to be told.
The style of photography came about because I wanted the images to have a strong message: to relate to the outside world the Saharawi issue and the injustice. I wanted to give a sense that this is one long night for the Saharawis, one lasting 35 years. To show very little of the land emphasizes that they are landless, and very simply by lighting them in the darkness I was saying, “Look! These people are here!” Finally I wanted the viewer to see what I had seen; a people utterly forgotten, abandoned, out of the world’s consciousness: a people as ghosts.”
The A1 and A2 prints looked stunning ahead of their shipment to Dubai, utilising one of my all-time favourite combinations—HP’s Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm paper.
For now, I shall leave you with more images to enjoy from The Last Colony series…