Sep 192013
 

This year, the Bupa Great North Run was a two-pronged affair for me…

Firstly, I ran it (see my blog post Great North Humanity). Secondly, I made a series of one metre high prints for designer and illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve and Great North Run Culture 2013.

Daisy de Villeneuve with Run Colour Run at the Laing Art Gallery, printed by Jack Lowe Studio

Daisy de Villeneuve with ‘Run Colour Run’ at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne (Photograph © Colin Davison)

Best known for her eye-catching designs for the likes of the V&A, Nike, Moët & Chandon and Topshop, Daisy created a series of portraits in her distinctive colourful style for the commission, entitled Run Colour Run.

Daisy writes:

“What I saw when I went to the Great North Run was there were a lot of people, it was very visual. I went around with my camera and I took photos of anyone I thought looked interesting. So, I’ve taken pictures of a whole range of people – not just the athletes and participants, but the hospitality staff, security, the Red Arrows, event organisers, people with their families, kids cheering on their dads, people in costumes, different characters that stood out to me. A lot of these will show up in my portraits.”

Daisy de Villeneuve, 'Run Dad'

‘Run Dad!’ by Daisy de Villeneuve

From her Paris studio, Daisy discusses the project further:

Recently, top international athletes Ryan Bailey and Josh Cassidy came face-to-face with their portraits, now showing at the Laing Art Gallery here in Newcastle upon Tyne:

Ryan Bailey with Run Colour Run at the Laing Art Gallery

Ryan Bailey (Photograph © North News & Pictures)

Top international athletes come face to face with themselves at 'Run Colour Run' portrait exhibition at The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle

L-R: Great Nort Run Culture Director Beth Bate, US track and field sprinter Ryan Bailey, Canadian Paralympian Josh Cassidy, Daisy de Villeneuve (Photograph © North News & Pictures)

Sep 122013
 

One of the joys of 2013 has been meeting and working with the acclaimed photojournalist, Tom Stoddart.

As his site describes:

“During a long and varied career Tom has witnessed such international events as the war in Lebanon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of President Nelson Mandela, the bloody siege of Sarajevo and the wars against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.”

On meeting for the first time, I couldn’t help but think that the clinical environment of my studio was surely at odds with many of those frightening, desperately upsetting scenes to have passed before Tom’s eyes.

When he calls to let me know that a photograph is on its way for me to print, it’s hard to know exactly what will appear on my monitor — especially when the file is entitled ‘Cool Dude’.

So, what will a photograph by Tom Stoddart be like that’s called ‘Cool Dude’?

Well, it’ll be like this:

Colombian coca cartel wars captured by Tom Stoddart

Colombia, Photograph © Tom Stoddart 1996

A striking image and one with an equally striking story:

COLOMBIA – NOVEMBER 1996:  Cocaine is worth billions of dollars to the Colombian drug traffickers. More than 70,000 people have died in the cartel wars, and Colombia’s elite Special Forces have battled hard to stem the flow of drugs from the jungle region of Guaviare which covers an area of 26,000 sq miles and produces more than half the world’s cocaine.  The photograph shows Special Forces after blowing up a landing strip used by cartels to transport cocaine from a coca-processing lab in the heart of the Colombian jungle.

Tom candidly told me about another facet to this photograph:

Having flown in by helicopter, a 4×4 vehicle belonging to the cartel was found nestled in the bushes. Unusually, the Special Forces decided to try and drive it back to the Police station some 100km away.

So, Tom now had the choice of returning by car or helicopter.

He chose the latter, which was fortunate as the 4×4 was ambushed en route. One of the Special Forces’ men was killed, the others were wounded but survived…

iWitness by Tom Stoddart

Tom has kindly given me a copy of his stunning book, iWITNESS.

Published by Trolley, printed in Italy and with a foreword by Sir Bob Geldof, it’s a beautifully produced tome full of anguish, sadness, desperation, horror, hope and optimism.

As Tom said when he handed it to me, “It’s just so sad that images like this even have to exist.”

May 242013
 

In January 2011, one of our finest actors passed on to The Great Mystery.

Pete Postlethwaite commanded the screen and stage with his formidable presence, his film career punctuated with startling roles in Brassed Off, Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet, The Usual Suspects and let’s not forget Jurassic Park

So, it was naturally a wonderful treat to see Paul Elton‘s intimate portrait of Pete appear in our trays of slooshing chemicals, his craggy demeanour immortalised as a Platinum/Palladium print.

Platinum/Palladium Print of Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton

Platinum/Palladium Print of Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton

Paul described to me how he made such a gentle portrait:

“Pete Postlethwaite lived with his family in south Shropshire.  Close by is a local beauty spot and National Trust area called the Long Mynd.  As Pete was himself a lover of the natural beauty of the south Shropshire hills, he wrote the foreword to a book written about the area.

“I covered the event for a society magazine.  During a quiet moment I asked him if I may take his portrait to which he agreed. Totally unassuming and down to earth, he stared straight into the lens with those soulful eyes.

“The impromptu shoot was over in less than five minutes.  Actually, I had photographed him on other occasions, but this image captured his integrity and for me reflected more faithfully my feelings of who he was.”

Although brief, it sounds like a wonderful moment for Paul with such a beautiful outcome.

Following some canvassing on Twitter and in ‘real life’, I’d like to leave you with a clip of one of Pete’s performances.

There are so many to choose from but this tear-jerking scene in Brassed Off came up consistently — as a friend of mine described it, “The most poetic piece of swearing ever filmed.”

Hankies at the ready…

If you’d like me to make prints for you, please feel free to contact me.

My latest list of services and prices can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

May 082013
 

Fresh from his flight across The Pond, I had the pleasure of meeting the street artist Yis “NoseGo” Goodwin in my studio yesterday.

As recently described in the Huffington Post, Goodwin creates playful, energetic totemic imagery of animal characters born from his imagination.

NoseGo's The Marvelous Clash with Unit 44 Gallery

Goodwin is working with Unit 44 Gallery here in Hoults Yard, gearing up towards a solo show opening this Friday 10th May entitled The Marvelous Clash.

I’ve known Danny Hughes and Steven Dunn at Unit 44 Gallery for some time now — Goodwin’s work has provided a great opportunity for us to collaborate together for the first time in making the editioned Archival Pigment Prints to accompany the show.

Danny kindly describes the editioned prints I’ve made for Unit 44 as, “the most beautifully finished print we have ever released.”

Find out more information on their pricing and availability here.

NoseGo's The Marvelous Clash with Unit 44 Gallery

In his latest blog post, Danny recalls a conversation with Goodwin over breakfast:

“He [NoseGo] described the totem composition of a number of his paintings, comprised of multiple layers, each distinguishable, separate however contributing to the over all form of the character. He referred to peoples experiences, lessons, and memories good or bad that make up who we are. He then went on to describe the somewhat ‘random’ composition of style, character, and look of the artworks. The result in this made absolute sense. He described the childhood toy box filled with all kinds of gems, figures, characters, animals, action heroes, vehicles etc. He then described that back then there was no constant ‘style’ in which you would arrange and play with your toys – this being the ‘marvelous clash’.”

NoseGo's The Marvelous Clash with Unit 44 Gallery

Finally, I’ve always been fond of the photographic eye of the inimitable David Bilbrough.

David popped into the studio last week to capture the print production process. Along with Unit 44, he’s kindly allowed me to share some of his observations with you here…

Production of NoseGo print editions at Jack Lowe Studio in conjunction with Unit 44 Gallery

Production of NoseGo print editions at Jack Lowe Studio in conjunction with Unit 44 Gallery

Production of NoseGo print editions at Jack Lowe Studio in conjunction with Unit 44 Gallery

Production of NoseGo print editions at Jack Lowe Studio in conjunction with Unit 44 Gallery

Production of NoseGo print editions at Jack Lowe Studio in conjunction with Unit 44 Gallery

If you’d like me to make prints for you, please feel free to contact me.

My latest list of services and prices can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Apr 232013
 

Three years ago, I wrote a short post on printing a series of Arabian Horses for Tariq Dajani.

I mentioned at the time how special that felt, not least because many of the prints I made for Tariq over the years are now with the Jordanian Royal Family, some members of the ruling families of the UAE and with various other influential people in the Middle East.

So, perhaps you can imagine my eyes lighting up when Tariq mentioned that some more images were on their way to me. Falcons would feature this time for a show in Dubai.

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), 2011 by Tariq Dajani

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) 2011 © Tariq Dajani 2011

I love Tariq’s approach to photography, using very modern methods to realise photographs with a very traditional feel.

Tariq describes:

“The falcon series was shot over a period of two years from 2011 to 2012. The Peregrine, Gyr and Sakr falcons are all female birds, more aggressive and are bigger than the males.

“They are all prized and valuable hunting birds owned by some very important people, whom I’m not at liberty to mention.”

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 2011 by Tariq Dajani

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 2011 © Tariq Dajani 2011

“While the precise origins of falconry are lost in time, the keeping of falcons in the Middle East is as ancient as the emergence of its civilizations and goes back at least 4000 years.

“As with my series on the Arabian horse, this series pays tribute to the traditions and heritage of our region.”

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) 2011 by Tariq Dajani

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) 2011 © Tariq Dajani 2011

The prints I made were huge; most were around 130cm on their longest dimension.

Due to their size, each print more-or-less filled my entire print table, making them many times larger than life. On my way to the studio each morning, I had to remind myself what was waiting beyond the door so as not to get a shock each time!

The beautiful, trusty combination of HP Vivera Pigment Ink and Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm prevailed once more; I thought I’d leave you with some photographs I captured during the printmaking process…

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail 02

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

Tariq Dajani, Falconry Print Detail

Print Detail: HP Vivera Pigment Ink on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm

UPDATE: Tariq tells me that the prints look beautiful in situ, which certainly looks to be the case from this photograph he sent me:

Tariq Dajani interviewed by the media during his show in Dubai

Tariq Dajani conducting one of many media interviews at his show in Dubai…

If you’d like me to make prints for you, please feel free to contact me.

My latest list of services and prices can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

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