Paul has been building this body of work since the harsh winter of 2010, as he explains in the show’s catalogue:
“I was forced to stick close to home — trips to the beach were out of the question for about a month. This resulted in my field of vision being restricted; I was forced to work with the world around my feet. Teasing some scraps of natural material from under the snow or from the ice in the frozen garden pond, I began making a new body of work.”
Printing this show has been a particular treat for me — we’ve worked together for four years now and each time the results of our collaboration simply seem to get better and better.
As with many of my posts these days, the images that follow are photographs I made of the prints themselves. Hard to believe, perhaps, but true!
All made with the trusty combination of HP Vivera Pigment Ink and Hahnemühle Paper, the three-dimensional quality to Paul’s finished pieces really does need to be seen to be believed.
So, why O Hanami? Paul describes:
“In the spring of 1999 I travelled to Japan with a grant from the Sasakawa Foundation. While there I witnessed the phenomena of ‘O Hanami’, the festival honouring the brief, fleeting few days that cherry blossom covers the tree before being blown away by the wind.
“I saw groups of businessmen sitting under the trees at lunchtime, applauding when the wind showered them with gossamer pink petal ‘snow’. I saw the TV special reports with ‘weather’ maps of the whole country with lines like isobars predicting the bursting out of blossom. The literal translation of O Hanami from the Japanese is ‘flower watching’, the more poetic translation is ‘the celebration of transient beauty’.”
O Hanami is at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London’s Swallow Street from 29th May to 30th June.
Since publishing this post, two leading industry figures have also written about Paul’s show…
David Anthony Hall was so struck by O Hanami that he has generously dedicated a page of his site to it, which you can read by clicking here.
Wayne Ford has also written a second post about Paul on his unrivalled photography blog. Here’s an extract:
“Throughout this breathtaking series, Kenny demonstrates a powerful connection with the landscape, a relationship through which he creates work of not only outstanding beauty but also emotional richness, that places him at the very forefront of land artists, with works of art that are so distinct they can only be categorised as like that of no other artist.”
Read the full post by clicking here.
We first worked together in October 2010, which I wrote about at the time.
Since then, Julian and I have made many more prints together as his success in the world of edition printing gathers momentum.
Working with Julian is a real opportunity for us both to revel in the current capabilities of digital photographic practice. You may remember that he works with one of the finest cameras around, made by Alpa of Switzerland, which he currently uses in conjunction with the very latest in single capture technology — the Phase One IQ180.
This is an 80 megapixel digital back, which produces a 16bit single capture of around 450MB — when making many of the large prints for Julian, I often have to reduce the files produced from this camera!
Julian’s background is described at Edition Prints:
“Julian Calverley has been creating imagery in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a paint brush.
“Born in Hertfordshire in 1964, he very quickly demonstrated a love and natural talent for drawing and painting, in particular watercolour landscape work.
“After a brief and uninspiring spell at art college, Julian realised it was the mix of photography and traditional darkroom skills that would allow him to express himself most effectively.
“The next few years saw experience gained with various studios and in 1988, at 24 years old, Julian set up his first studio and darkroom.
“He now divides his time between personal and assigned work, his attentions mainly focussed on capturing landscapes in their various atmospheric conditions.”
I really enjoy how the exemplary workflow from start to finish sings through the final prints. As written on the Edition Prints Process page:
“The finished pieces command a theatrical air; so wonderfully crafted, as if each facet to the image has been summoned into place at the click of a finger.”
Wayne Ford has also written a wonderful blog post on Julian’s work entitled, The Theatrical Sonnets of the British Landscape Photographer Julian Calverley.
If you haven’t seen Wayne’s blog yet, do pay it a visit — he has nurtured it into the ultimate photography archive.
I don’t often get to see the prints I make in their final destination, so I can’t wait to make the journey south next week to Baldock and see the framed pieces on the wall.
The show runs from 20th April to 3rd May, full details are listed here.
On this Friday morning, I find it difficult to think of a more pleasant way to end the week than to show you the work contained within this missive, Blog Post 88.
I have known Julian Calverley for many years and it has been a true pleasure to work with him on a more regular basis of late. A post in October last year described an enjoyable couple of days working together in my studio.
Rather than ramble on, I’ll defer further communication to the imagery. The first two photographs, below, form the beginnings of Julian’s new project, North Northwest.
Following those are details I captured of the four Archival Pigment Prints I made for Julian this week.
In all cases, the prints are made with HP Vivera Ink and Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm…
Just as with his Seaworks, Paul Kenny’s latest camera-less imagery continues to strike a chord among his audience. Such is the interest, two shows have already been lined up for the coming year, more news of which will follow soon.
For the moment, the seawater samples are put to one side as Paul returns to his forays with leaves, picking up where he left off many years ago.
Here is Paul’s latest piece with the simple working title of Hydrangeas:
I am, as ever, very pleased to have printed this for Paul using HP’s Designjet Z3200 and Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm.
A truly archival ink and paper combination, with permanence ratings in excess of 250 years under normal display conditions: