Nov 282010

You may have noticed a quirk of life—initial disappointments invariably turn out to be suppliers of the best possible outcomes…

As part of my research into alternative printing processes using Digital Negatives, it has been on my list for a while to visit Bradford’s National Media Museum and, in particular, to see the work of Frederick H. Evans.

Frederick H. Evans

The press coverage has been widespread but alarm bells rang when the exhibition was nowhere to be seen on the NMM’s website.

A quick phone call confirmed that the tour wouldn’t reach the gallery after all. On the face of it, one of life’s disappointments.

Instead, however, the very helpful Ruth Kitchin at Insight, the Research Centre within the NMM, suggested an appointment to spend a couple of hours viewing the prints in the flesh.

What a treat this turned out to be, a very special afternoon…

Frederick H. Evans, 'Lincoln Cathedral: Stairway in the South West Turret'

Frederick H. Evans, 'Lincoln Cathedral: Stairway in the South West Turret'

Frederick H. Evans, 'Sea of Steps'

Perhaps the most famous image by Frederick H. Evans, 'Sea of Steps'

The beauty of Evans’ Platinum/Palladium and Photogravure prints verges on the indescribable. They command extraordinary depth, space and timelessness.

And then? A trolley brought forward carrying prints by Peter Henry Emerson, famous for his beautiful imagery depiciting working life in and around The Fens.

Peter Henry Emerson, "Setting the Bow Net"

Peter Henry Emerson, 'Setting the Bow Net'

To anyone working within the photographic industry, particularly in the digital era of instant gratification, this is surely an invaluable experience—to be reminded of the roots of our trade. Not only the recognition of a beautiful photographic print but also the understanding and realisation of true craftsmanship.

In appreciating this art-form, very little compares to seeing the fountain pen signature of a famous photographer accompanied by a date in the 1800’s…

Anybody can visit Insight by appointment and view works form their huge collection. Of course, most museums around the country have this facility too and, if you haven’t already, it’s one that you must try some time…

Richard Freestone with a print by Frederick H. Evans

Richard Freestone with a print by Frederick H. Evans

Nov 022010

Last week provided interesting times at the Studio, not least through working with Anne Vibeke Mou on her latest piece.

Along with James Hugonin, also a client of mine, Anne Vibeke has been commissioned by Jamie Warde-Aldam to make one of two memorial windows for St. John’s Church in Healey, Northumberland.

High resolution scan of Anne Vibeke Mou's drawing for the Windows of St. John's Church, Healey, Northumberland

Left: Anne Vibeke Mou's Drawing | Right: The Window (Photography © John McKenzie)

Anne Vibeke commissioned me to record her original plan of the window—a large graphite drawing measuring 36x127cm.

In my usual painstaking manner, I scanned the drawing in six parts on my trusty Fuji Lanovia, stitching them together to make an enormous high resolution file—the detail of every tiny pencil stroke captured…

Detail from Anne Vibeke Mou's drawing for the window at St. John's Church, Healey, Northumberland

Detail from Anne Vibeke Mou's Drawing

Anne Vibeke writes:

“The piece is untitled and not an exact plan of the window, as each drawing I make is of itself and evolves through it’s own process.

“The making of my drawings involves the application of many tiny marks on a surface following a rigidly defined system of approach.

“The image evolves intuitively from this process as densities of marks vary over lengthy periods of time. The window was engraved (stippled) with a tungsten point and the image emerged through the layers of tiny opaque ‘stars’ created in the surface of the glass over months of work.”

A book has been published about the project—”The Windows of St John’s Church, Healey, Northumberland”
Sep 132010

An important new chapter on the Tyne and Wear Metro network launched today – the bold renovation of Sunderland Station.

After nearly a year of consultation and the artworking of some 270 architectural panels, Jack Lowe Studio’s involvement in this stage of a great project has come to a satisfying conclusion.  You may have seen my first post on the work back in March…

During the course of my work, I liaised closely with two of the three artists commissioned by Nexus – Julian Germain and Morag Morrison – as well as a string of contractors to pull together an enormous amount of photographic imagery required to sit within rigorous architectural parameters.

The completed work launched this morning amidst a swarm of media attention, combining with the illumination of Jason Bruges’ incredible 140 metre Wall of Light on Platform 5.

This £7m development marks the beginning of an enormous programme of renewal for the Tyne and Wear Metro network, a vital part of the North East’s infrastructure.

I’m very proud that Jack Lowe Studio been involved at such an intrinsic level on this project and glad to see first-hand that it is already a revitalising experience for Sunderland Station’s Metro users.

More images of today’s launch can be seen by clicking on the link to this web gallery

Mar 182010

Since August last year, I have been involved in a major architectural project commissioned by the rail operator, Nexus – the renovation of Sunderland Station.  My role has been as a technical advisor and enabler, working with digital images produced by Julian Germain and Morag Morrison, ensuring that the files have been properly optimised, ready for output by The Glass Wall Company on huge glass panels.

The image below shows the first installed panels from Julian Germain’s ‘Found’ series.  The pieces record a selection of over forty items from the station’s Lost Property department, re-contextualised and captured by Julian to grace the walls for the enjoyment of passing rail travellers.

More news on this soon, including Morag Morrison’s abstract works, as the project nears completion…

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