Silas Dominey - Superstition Winner

University: Brighton University, MA Photography

Websitewww.silasdominey.com

Artist Statement:

On the grounds of Bolton Priory there is a place called The Strid where the full breadth of the River Wharf is turned sideways through an unmapped tangle of underwater caverns.

While beautiful, it has a macabre history. At the narrowest point the river appears just wide enough to cross at a leap. Many who have tried slip and fall to their deaths. Years of erosion have channelled out an underwater tomb below. The bodies of the drowned rarely surface.

These photos are about this place and the unique qualities that make it so dangerous and alluring.

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

The Striding Place: The initial brief for the series came from our Experimental Practice module. I grew up near the river Wharfe so the Strid was just something I’d always known about, but I didn’t realise the amount of history surrounding it until I started looking into it. The title is taken from a short horror story by Gertrude Atherton.

While making the work I was looking at British landscape photography like The River Winter by Jem Southam, but I think I was also influenced by more impressionistic stuff like Rinko Kawauchi. I shot the series on a few different cameras, some 120 film, some digital, and the studio work was done on a digital Hasselblad.

 
Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

 

University experience and MA at Brighton University: I did my BA at Leeds College of Art, which was a great experience. I was a little older than most when I started, so I think I was able to appreciate what a good environment it was to be in. After that I worked as an in-house photographer for a creative agency in Leeds, which was wonderful training for the technical side of things and the process of making images on a daily basis. I chose to study an MA because I felt like I’d let the critical thinking part of my brain lapse a bit. Brighton just seemed like a good place to be with the amount of photo related activity that goes on here, and the tutors and technical staff have been fantastic.

 
Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

 

Your work in general: I don’t think I could pin down my work very precisely at the moment. As an in-house photographer at an agency you’re often required to be a bit of a chameleon and adopt different styles for each job. The Striding Place was very experimental, and completely out of character for me, so right now I’m just trying to find a direction for my final project. 

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

Untitled, 2016. The Striding Place.

Superstition submission: I’d seen the Superstition competition on Twitter a few times before I realised I had a fitting body of work pretty much ready to go. It’s been a nice surprise, and quite hectic dealing with interview questions, etc. Winning something like this really forces you to have something to say about your work, I think often photography students have more trouble talking about their work than anything. I’m really happy to have won some prints from Spectrum, which will be a huge help with putting my final show together. My only advice for entering competitions is to be a bit savvy about the terms and conditions. Make sure you know what you’re getting in to, as there are a lot of disreputable rights-grabbing photo contests out there.

Photograd Experience: Arron Hansford - MA Photography at MMU

We recently chatted to Arron Hansford, a current MA Photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University, about his education experience, current body of work, and future plans. Continue reading to see what Arron has to say.


Introduction: I am Arron Hansford. I am an artist currently living and working in Manchester. I am studying towards my MA in Photography at Manchester Metropolitan University. I mainly work with photography but my work has included moving image, sound and poetry, it tends to be routed within the confessional art movement, taking inspiration from artists such as Tracy Emin, and Louise Bourgeois, and has explored subjects such as mental health, relationships and self discovery, I like to leave entrances in my work and allow my audience to find their own way into the art, my work has been described as cryptic and emotionally driven, and relies very much on the spontaneity of feeling.

 
Test series from current work Father Please, 2017

Test series from current work Father Please, 2017

 

Experience: I completed my BA studies in Photography back in 2012 at Manchester Metropolitan University. I like to be honest with people regarding my experience during my BA, and I can openly admit that I did not take full advantage of my time there. I did come out with a fairly good grade but I feel I was not ready at the time to study for my BA. My understanding and approach to my art at the time was not mature, and this does show from the work I produced during my time there. MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University) is fantastic for nurturing creativity, but as with many things in life you get out of it what you put in.

I started my MA in September 2016. Following my BA I had bounced from one unsatisfying job to another, but I was still pursuing my passion for art on the side. Over the years following my BA my understanding and appreciation for art had began to mature, along with my practice, and in 2016 I felt ready again to pursue my art full time, feeling comfortable with MMU from my BA days I decided to re enrol.

Upon starting my MA I immediately loved the freedom that came with the course; being able to set your own brief from initial research to the planning of the final exhibition has allowed me to work on my own terms and completely in my own style. Alongside this I have massively enjoyed being back and working with like minded people; we meet every Wednesday to discuss our progress together and I’ve found the consistent advice and feedback from my peers to be crucial in my development as an artist. My MA has been very self driven as you have to manage your own time and encourage yourself to work which helps build professional thinking.

 
From the series Father Please

From the series Father Please

 

Our current timetable is quite intense. We have 1 year (2 years part time) to work on a single project which will be our final major piece. Placed throughout this year are 2 extra modules; a professional platform module (which allows you to chose an outside work placement) and an optional unit (optional units from health and wellbeing to archival work, encouraging collaboration with other artists).

Work and outcome: My current piece for my MA is entitled Father Please and is an exploration of my difficult relationship with my father, I knew that I wanted to undertake this project before applying for my MA so I used the concept as the written proposal for my course application. Since starting on the course the work has evolved so much, and in a positive way is almost unrecognisable from my original concept, and I have been encouraged regularly to try new approaches and ideas by my tutor that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered. The subject matter for my series as with a lot of my work, is highly personal, and my tutors and peers have treated the project with respect and understanding.

Alongside my series of photographic images for Father Please is a selection of sound bites. These sounds are from the breaking down of the image using a programme called audacity. When the image has been broken down the raw data becomes audible. Experimenting with sound is something that I had only slight experience with, but I have been collaborating with the sound department at MMU and they have been more than happy to help and to share their knowledge.

 
From the series Father Please

From the series Father Please

 

The work so far has lead to deeper theoretical thinking in regards to how we construct photographic images, and how we ‘place’ messages within them. I am currently conducting research into steganography and the parallels it draws photography and art in general. Upon completing my MA in September 2017 I wish to pursue a PHD, but may possibly go through the route of an MFA, the idea of which is being encouraged by my peers and tutors.

Artist Statement: Father Please is a photographic and audio exploration of a struggling relationship between a father and a son. My relationship with my father has always been a difficult one; we struggle to connect on an emotional level, so much so that at some points in our lives we have appeared almost like strangers. Throughout my life my father has had a habit of giving me items that he no longer needs or wants, and I have seen this as an attempt to build bridges and an attempt to communicate on his part, however over the years I have found the whole process to be stifling and it has seemed to build bigger barriers and further break down any communication.

 
From the series Father Please

From the series Father Please

 

The images for Father Please are performances, staged using the transitional objects passed down to me, the objects are juxtaposed in such a way as to obscure the son and to halt any attempt at communication, and in effect are gagging him. Objects are something that I have used extensively within my work both in the past and currently; I feel that everyday objects carry a certain power when it comes to explaining situations and lives.

The use of sound comes from the need for me to give a voice to the character within the images, and to use that voice to try and reach out to his father and be heard for the first time, it relies on the intonation of the sounds to carry a message of desperation and need.

Future: Father Please will be exhibited at Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2017. I will continue to work on the series up until then and also continue my research into steganography and the communicatory power of photography and art. I will then begin to apply for a PHD position within the university for which MMU currently has funding. After this I would like to begin lecturing in photography and art.

Overall I am so glad that I took time out between my MA and BA, it gave me time to develop personally as an artist, I think sometime it's very easy to become controlled by an academic environment. It's good to know who you are as an artist and where you want to go before settling into such a serious commitment.

Photobook Review: 'Hide That Can' Reviewed by Chris Mear

We're really pleased to say that the last photobook review on the blog has inspired a brand new one! Earlier this month, University of Plymouth graduate Lucy Bentham reviewed Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled by Carly Seller, and this time around Staffordshire University graduate Chris Mear has written his own review of an influential photobook.


Photographer & Title: Hide That Can by Deirdre O’Callaghan. Published by Trolley Books (2002).

Genre: Documentary photography  

Rating: 5/5

A lone, bearded, ginger man, chewing on the hair of his moustache. Avoiding eye contact by pulling his green, stained and faded hat over his eyes. A thick brown stain on the inside of the collar of his jacket. The blood red of the inside cover, followed by a dedication to Joe McGarry. Is this the stranger that greeted my so warm yet shy on the front cover? I don’t know. Another turn of a page confronts you with a handwritten sign; “We admitted we were powerless against alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.” Four photographs of Arlington House, London. Men passing, entering, exiting and lingering outside, lead into a “rant” from the U2 frontman, Bono. He concludes with one of only two mentions of the photographs that follow; “These photographs have a dignity and humour that make them a true record of lives lived… Photography so often pitches the instant against the eternal, and so many beautiful faces are really not… these photographs are true, and the truth is always beautiful and disturbing.”

 
Hide That Can front cover

Hide That Can front cover

 

Men dominate the pages. Some of them seem confident. Playing with me. Joking. Laughing. Others are quiet, looking on from the background. Peering over a shoulder. The combination of image and text allows me to hear their voices. I replace the photographer. I’m there. Intimate moments shared with men with bruises and stitches on their face. Stitches echoed by those that bind the book, sometimes running right through the battered faces of these kind and brutally quick witted men.

Men taking regular toilet breaks behind trees as they embark on a day trip to the seaside. Echoes of childhood by the sea, with Mojo sitting on a horse and cart amusement ride clutching a bottle of super strong lager. A glance down from the end of the pier reveals the violent tide raging towards a child lost in the excitement of chasing away the seagulls, before a moving series of portraits of men in their bedrooms, as they delve into their past and their relationship with alcohol.

Hide That Can photobook

Hide That Can photobook

The book ends with a series of pictures of the residents on a trip back to Ireland, where many of the men who reside at Arlington House migrated from during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, in search of work. “Some people in life, if they lose out they throw in the towel. You never throw in the towel ‘cause tomorrow is another day.” John explains as we stand at the edge of a beach and look out to sea, watching a lone man float away.

Hide That Can photobook

Hide That Can photobook

Empathy, compassion, humour and a generous ear. Hide That Can, for me, effortlessly applies the best qualities of both human nature and photography. The photographer is invisible. The medium of photography irrelevant. For me, it offers an outstretched hand, an invitation, to anybody who needs or wants to accept it. Photographer or not, it’s work like this that recognises our common humanity and vulnerability. It not only educates me, but it makes me feel less alone. The ultimate, rather extraordinary, accomplishment for a book, in my opinion.

'Better Perspectives': An Interview With Genea Bailey & Daisy Ware-Jarrett

Last month we introduced you to Better Perspectives; a collaboration between travel firm Expedia and eight up-and-coming London photographers. We've interviewed a couple of those involved to find out more about their work and favourite London landmarks. First up we spoke to Ben Shmulevitch, an Edinburgh College of Art graduate who enjoys exploring London's diversity of character.

This time around we've asked Genea and Daisy from #PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine some questions about Better Perspectives and their chosen London landmark.


Through Space and Time on the Millennium Bridge

Through Space and Time on the Millennium Bridge

What and where did you study? We met at Coventry University whilst studying Photography. Our course was small and we had inspiring tutors so it was a perfect melting pot for creativity and collaborations.

What do you enjoy most about London, and what does the capital mean to you? The best thing about London is how diverse it is, you’re constantly surrounded by people with different world views, religions and interests. It’s also a very creative place, you can walk down one street and see so many different artists, painters, singers, performing artists and photographers.

What have you learnt from being part of Better Perspectives? Have you enjoyed the project? The project was fun to work on, it had quite a fast turn-around time so we ended up shooting, editing and captioning our work within 48 hours which was intense but ended up being a great learning exercise. A lot of the time we can overthink and second guess our creative choices, something we're sure a lot of other creatives can relate to, but with this project we didn’t have the time to do that so we just ran with what ideas we had in the moment and it worked out for the best. 

Shooting the Millennium Bridge was a little different for us, we’ve both walked past it countless times, but never really stopped to examine it. Doing this project has reminded us that little things we see and take for granted every day can be so much more interesting if you take the time to stop and really examine them, and photography is the perfect reason to do that.

Divided sky, Millennium Bridge

Divided sky, Millennium Bridge

Why did you choose to photograph the Millennium Bridge as an iconic landmark? We chose the Millennium Bridge initially because we both agreed it’s often underrated. We were both young when it originally opened and remember the hype that surrounded it, so it also reminds us of being care-free 8-year-old girls who spent our time watching Powerpuff Girls and signing about girl power. (Although saying that, we still do those things now too!)

How have you approached your subject and captured it in your own way? We tried to spend as much time as possible at the bridge on the day of the shoot, by doing that we started to notice the structure underneath it – an area that’s never really explored. There was one moment that was quite surreal, we were on the river bank under the bridge, about 10 foot below the city, the sun was setting and the bridge was just catching the light in a really beautiful way, then out of nowhere a group of canoers paddled in front of us and under the bridge where they became silhouetted. For a moment it didn’t feel like we were in the city, it felt quiet and peaceful. We got a sharp reminder that we were in London when some rubbish came floating into shot and we had to use sticks to move it a long, it was either a plastic bag or a shoe, can’t quite remember.

Symmetrical Construction, Millennium Bridge

Symmetrical Construction, Millennium Bridge

What, in your opinion, does the future hold for young creatives in London? Now more than ever it’s important for young creatives in London to listen to other people’s voices. Go to see exhibitions and meet creatives from different countries, with a different gender, sexuality or religion to you – challenge your own world view, burst your own bubble and learn from it. Embrace London’s diversity.

Can you tell us about your work? What themes do you explore and what does a typical series look like for you?

Daisy: My work tends to be very insular, usually I’ll lock myself away and binge-watch Netflix whilst I do a load of research on what I’m shooting, I’m an over-preparer and usually this is my favourite part of the whole project. I’m drawn to series’ that challenge what we accept as normal – they make me sit back and think how I see the world, it’s not something I’ve been able to bring through in my own work yet but that’s a hard thing to do and something I’ll always try to work on. 

Genea: I'm still learning and shooting a variety of styles. Sometimes I'll be completely obsessed with a certain narrative, delving deeper into a lifestyle choice or unlikely hobby to photograph. My degree show piece was a documentary series exploring the hidden world of British Beauty Pageants. At the moment I'm working at fashion week and I've fallen in love with the designers aesthetics so that's becoming my biggest inspiration. This year I hope to shoot a lot more creative portraits and fashion work.

Lone pedestrian, Millennium Bridge

Lone pedestrian, Millennium Bridge

Do you use social media to share your work? What are your thoughts on doing so? We both tend to use social media to share our work a lot, it's how we were selected for this project too. The magazine we run (#PHOTOGRAPHY) is built on social media and creating communities to share work with – it’s such a valuable tool for photographers.

Do you think Brexit and the future of the UK will affect your work? 100% yes. As two young creatives living in the UK we both felt very affected by Brexit, we think a lot of our generation (but not all of them) feel proud of Britain’s diversity, it’s part of our national identity and that’s been taken away. If there’s one good thing that will come from Brexit though, it is the work it will inspire, people care about what’s happening and that will come through in their work. The last issue of #PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine was focussed on European creativity and unity – most of which was created as a direct response to Brexit so we’re already seeing that happen.

Photograd Experience: Charlotte and Georgia Bennett at Gallery Six

To continue Photograd's coverage of Gallery Six we're bringing you the second case study in the series. Yesterday we brought you Katie McAtackney, and for this post, twins Charlotte and Georgia will introduce themselves below.

Some of the team at Gallery Six

Some of the team at Gallery Six

We’re Charlotte and Georgia, photographers from the South East of England. We recently graduated from the University of East London where we studied photography. We are twins who work collaboratively on documentary style photographs and films, we then use these themes together to depict the stories of peoples lives, places and important issues, recording them in an intimate way. We love creating projects that have a social impact and that people can learn from.

Image from the series Made Strong and the Made Strong photobook

Image from the series Made Strong and the Made Strong photobook

Our current project Made Strong follows our friend Michelle and her story dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Made Strong originally started as a university project but a year later we are still working together along with the MS Society and the MS Trust to help raise awareness. 

We first heard about Gallery Six online through Twitter and applied straight away. We exhibited at Free Range with our university so spent the whole summer at the Old Trewman Brewery and loved the atmosphere around the place.

We both studied and lived in East London so it’s great to be working here now too; it’s the creative hub of London, full of interesting people. The space itself is in a location where you get inspired just looking out the windows or walking to get your lunch on your break. The only con was not being able to get there as much as we’d like. That’s something that every creative has to deal with, balancing your normal job with what you love.

We use the space to mainly work on Made Strong; it's great to have somewhere to go and solidly work on our project without any distractions, and also to be surrounded by likeminded creatives is amazing. It's led to a group of us now working together creating a zine, something that is really exciting and brings us together even when our time runs out at the gallery.

We both think that Gallery Six pushed Made Strong forward. Being in a creative environment surrounded by other creatives has encouraged is to do more, to experiment further and really work hard. We both have a really bad habit of being unorganised but when we work at Gallery Six everything seems to get done quicker and so we were always on top of things. 

2017 has started well for us, our video got featured by MS Trust and has had nearly 3,000 views! We’re now organising our first solo exhibition which is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Made Strong is our main focus before we start any other project, the next step is to travel around the UK to interview other young people who have been diagnosed with MS and following their stories. Although we are both photographers, we have been filming a lot recently, it was a natural progression and something that we have wanted to do for a while. A lot of the people following Made Strong through our social media channels are from all over the world, so to put up work that is easily accessible for them to see is our main goal for this year.

Take a look at Bricoleur Mag on Kickstarter here.

Photograd Experience: Katie McAtackney at Gallery Six

Late last year we introduced you to Gallery Six; a specifically designed space for first year BA graduates, where members benefit from a fully connected workspace with all the required facilities. The space is a hub for engagement, and a place to develop personal projects and collaborate on in-house Truman briefs.

Gallery Six

Gallery Six

We've reached out to some of the photography graduates who have experience of using the space provided by Gallery Six and we'd like to bring you our first case study. Katie McAtackney will introduce herself below.


Hello I am Katie, a fresh photography graduate from Norwich University of the Arts. My work mainly revolves around travel, lifestyle and editorial work, where I tend to capture the candid moments of the everyday. 

From the series On the Road

From the series On the Road

At the moment I'm working on several projects; one being On the Road which I'm sure you’ve heard about. It’s currently being exhibited in Norwich alongside other talented artists. Another is For the time being.. which is a photographic project based on the idea of ‘slow living’ and those quiet moments in life. 

Gallery six is an amazing little hub to be a part of. I was lucky enough to find out about it via the Free Range Instagram page. I was so intrigued by it and couldn't wait to complete my application. I feel my work and thinking process has came on a lot since being in the gallery, this is because of the Truman’s briefs. In Gallery Six we are encouraged to act professional when it comes to these briefs but we are also allowed to have our own creative freedom. I feel it definitely makes me more aware of the commercial/advertising/marketing aspects of the creative industry. By completing these briefs we are able to add new skills to our CVs and build up our portfolios and online presence.

Some of the team at Gallery Six

Some of the team at Gallery Six

At Gallery Six we are able to collaborate and network vigorously. At the moment there are 13 really diverse members at Gallery Six. So, a small group of us came up with an idea of creating a zine. The zine will consist of our profiles; cover various topics such as art critiques, events, life after graduation and serious issues like mental health. This will enable us to collaborate, get the word out about Gallery Six, Free Range, 91 Selects and the other opportunities that The Old Truman Brewery gives out to creatives. We hope to get the zine out soon so watch this space!

Take a look at Bricoleur Mag on Kickstarter here.

'Better Perspectives': An Interview With Ben Shmulevitch

Last month we introduced you to Better Perspectives; a collaboration between travel firm Expedia and eight up-and-coming London photographers. We've interviewed a couple of those involved to find out more about their work and favourite London landmarks. First up is Ben Shmulevitch, an Edinburgh College of Art graduate who enjoys exploring London's diversity of character.

You can find out more about Better Perspectives here.


Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

What and where did you study? I studied Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art. Throughout I often sought to combine photography with editorial design and typography. I feel learning about the wider context of how images can be used taught me to take a more considered approach to capturing photographs.

What do you enjoy most about London, and what does the capital mean to you? London is an incredibly diverse crossroad for people and culture, and to me that’s what makes it such an interesting place to be. It’s a big city but I think of it more as a cluster of urban microcosms sitting side-by-side. The atmosphere and characteristics of London boroughs can be so different that you could explore the city for years and still find surprises. In that sense I think it’s a city you learn to enjoy the more you explore it, as opposed to say, the overt drama of New York or the romanticism of Paris.

What have you learnt from being part of Better Perspectives? Have you enjoyed the project? What I enjoyed about the Better Perspectives project was the challenge — it’s not easy to find other ways to look at Buckingham Palace without exclusive access. I feel a photographer should always adopt a more observant view of what’s around them, but for this project I really had to look beyond the most obvious viewpoints.

Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

Why did you choose to photograph Buckingham Palace as an iconic landmark? The building is grand though certainly not the most interesting example of London architecture. I wanted to photograph a site that I knew would bring a constant stream of visitors ticking off another site on their ‘bucket list’.

How have you approached your subject and captured it in your own way? I wanted to spend some time observing how visitors interacted with the landmark. I found it quite entertaining seeing the different behaviours of people stopping at famous landmarks. Taking ‘selfies’ is the most commonplace reaction of course, along with half-heartedly snapping a photo of the gates more as an act of obligation than intrigue.

What, in your opinion, does the future hold for young creatives in London? I think London is and to some extent always will be a European creative hub — the city is home to a huge amount of influential creative institutions and people that attract talent. I do however think there is a danger that the rising cost of living and aggressive urban development will push out young and non-commercial creatives. I hope the city’s emerging design and art communities will receive adequate support and not just the large, prestigious institutions.

 
Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

Buckingham Palace - Seeing the Sightseers

 

Can you tell us about your work? What themes do you explore and what does a typical series look like for you? I like to shoot with a photojournalistic approach when I can, regardless of whether it’s travel, editorial or food photography. Some photographers like to interact with who or what they’re shooting to bring about an intriguing perspective but I tend to read the situation and try capture a scene unobtrusively by letting it develop on its own.

Do you use social media to share your work? What are your thoughts on doing so? I probably don’t use social media as much as I could to share what I do — I think the self-inflicted pressure to gain exposure can be too stressful! However I do use Instagram — it feels like the most immediate way to share images with a far-reaching audience.

Do you think Brexit and the future of the UK will affect your work? The lasting impact from Brexit is yet to be seen, but I find it hard to imagine that it won’t affect and influence artists and makers for years to come. We’ve already seen some interesting work come about and I think it’s important that we continue to see an introspective exploration of the topic from creative practitioners. In terms of what it means for the UK’s creative industry — I think signalling that the UK is more isolated from Europe and the world could leave us poorer culturally as well as economically.

Photobook Review: 'Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled' reviewed by Lucy Bentham

We're always on the look out for creative involvement to the Photograd blog and we instantly knew we wanted Lucy Bentham to come on board when she suggested writing some words about a favourite photobook. Lucy is an independent curator and photographer who graduated from the MA Photography and the book course at the University of Plymouth last year.

We hope for Lucy's review to inspire others to create their own. Contact us for more info: photogradsub@gmail.com


Photographer and Title: Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled, Carly Seller

Genre: Landscape, handmade artist book

Rating: 4/5

Website: www.carlyseller.com

8 images, monochrome

9 pages, concertina, wrap-around cover with obi band

Edition of 24

Horizontal lines, steps into the unknown, and a steady pace of one foot in front of the other are visual and physiological elements of the photographs in this series. The viewer embarks on their own journey as they are placed in the position of the maker, treading carefully through the landscape with a clear message to gently roam onwards and upwards. The horizontal panoramic orientation of Seller’s prints primarily provide a lofty transcendental lift as the visuals combine with the philosophical, softly encouraging the gaze and the mind towards an elevated state of being. 

At the same time, Seller’s visual approach represents an ordinary way of seeing; that which is in front of us, the length of our bodies, and as far as the eye can see. Through a vertical, almost standardised way of contemporary seeing, we remain to consider what is ahead, around the corner, up the hill. We don’t look back, and we rarely alter our position to consider the other surrounding us as we amble into the beyond. 

From the series Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled

From the series Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled

On occasion we find relief in the downward pathways, providing a pause in our forward movement. Downhill, we can presume we have already reached the summit and can break to take stock of our journey thus far. However, as in the triptych shown above, Seller reminds us that there is only one way forward as prickly walls furnishing the landscape claustrophobically surround us. The way forward is no longer a gentle roam; it becomes a need to continue along the path as it promises a steady downhill start, before once again elevating us into the undiscovered. 

Ultimately, these paths are never-ending; we are not provided with a conclusion to the series that brings our continual motion to a finite halt. Throughout this journey into the land, we are surrounded by fears and threats we only intermittently pay attention to. When we do catch a glimpse of these foes, they only spur us on, keeping pace along the endless way. 

Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled photobook

Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled photobook

As a photographer working with the book I am often, if not always, interested to see photographic work represented as a book work, especially when the work is translated from original concept through a number of different gallery installations and into a book work. I like to engage with what I consider to be the thought process of the artist as they choose to disseminate their work in book form and I tend to favour the self-published or hand-made dummies because of their closeness to original, organic ideas of the maker. 

The book for Tracing a Line Along a Breath Exhaled is an accompaniment to, rather than a culmination of, this body of work. The project itself conveys a particularly deep connection between the photographer and the natural landscape, echoed in the delicate, handmade qualities of this book. 

The joy of a concertina book is that the reader is given some sense of ability to rearrange the sequencing of the images, although any new sequence will always remain confined to the space and time set by the photographer. The excellent quality of printing is on a matte finish paper stock that deepens the blacks on this set of monochrome prints. The forest green cover acts as a visual prompt for the content as the reader opens the book for the first time and later returns to it. The book is held together with an obi band slipped over its entirety, upon which the title is repeatedly printed in a simple typeface. 

This is a project accompaniment book, not a final dummy for publication. If this book was to be taken to the next step and become a dummy for self or other publication I would like to see more image content. The small size of the book in terms of width and height is surprisingly effective considering the grander scale of the subject matter and aspect ratio of the framing. The addition of pages, making the book deeper, would not impact on the sizing. The benefit of the images used in this book is that they could be presented at a much larger scale, as seen in the installation of the original work and this would be interesting to see translated into book form.