Claire Griffiths at the Cindy Sherman Retrospective, National Portrait Gallery London

Northampton University graduate Claire Griffiths visited the Cindy Sherman Retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery in London earlier this Summer and has reported her experience for the Photograd blog. The Cindy Sherman Retrospective closes on 15th September 2019.


Do we all long to dress up and create disguises for ourselves? Dying our hair, wearing labels, makeup - how we are seen is perhaps more evident than ever in a world where technology is racing at an unprecedented rate and 93 million selfies being taken on average per day. I felt it in my late teens, the need to be seen and unseen and when I got to Art School the camera became a perfect disguise.

Cindy Sherman had made me see photography and the art world in a new way as an art student, pre selfie generation so when her retrospective came to The National Portrait Gallery I rushed to buy tickets. Coinciding with a showing of work supported by the RPS 100Heroines initiative which I had somehow been accepted into entitled (Unframing Identities).

I was to be in London for three days and on the first day I arrived at the exhibition as it opened. Unsure whether my tickets were booked (their system was down at the time), but they let me in, and I walked in like I was entering a Rolling Stones concert ready to experience Sherman's work up close and personal. It felt like seeing an old friends work, someone who had inspired me when it felt like the art world was closed quarters and photography a male orientated past time.

When I started my Fine Art Degree circa 1998 I was dead sure I wanted to paint and draw perhaps become a costume or set designer. Somewhere in my psyche I had always felt drawn to fashion but ended up on a Fine Art Degree, the course offered: painting, sculpture print and another option: Photography. These were the days before digital and the dark room seemed like a place of sanctuary. It still seemed like source material to me though and was not entirely convinced photography was an art, I thought it was perhaps a "cop out" for people who couldn't draw or paint.

Then one week in art history, Cindy Sherman appeared. Our female Art History tutor, Wendy, was a jolly feminist and talked to us about the male gaze and my whole being "woke up". Cindy Sherman along with people like Gillian Wearing and Sophie Calle depicted a different way of using photography for me, a way to communicate what it was to be a women, telling their own stories, communicating their own feelings of things associated with the human condition and often what it is to be a women. Sherman in particular had seemed to be able to encapsulate a whole plethora of things I wanted to do: Fashion, set design, costume and story telling.

On entering the show her large scale images roared at me unapologetically and led me to rooms filled with familiar and unseen work. Untitled film stills 1977-1980 mimicking ideas from traditional female tropes in film noir or Hitchcock was thrilling to see as a series, I had only seen this work in books or on TV. I stood mesmerised as I watched her film Doll Clothes made whilst she was a student, a stop motion playing with dressing up and thought "I wish I had thought of that".

Her work is perhaps more relevant than ever as a whole group of young women (and men) grow up with filters and selfies and more impossible beauty standards to adhere to but Sherman has been exploring these themes for decades. Her Dummy Vogue covers smile down at us, a vampish Jerry Hall gazes back and metaphorizes into a goofy Sherman portrait. Her newer self portraits of women staring down at the viewer yield a vulnerability that I am grateful for, women holding onto youth and beauty, images created on a grand scale imitating what we might find in an upstate apartment in New York perhaps of one of Trumps exes or an ex movie star.

It might not be Sherman until we look closer and find her hidden under thick make up and elaborate wigs. A sense of sadness prevails as our own youth and passing of time is presented to us through Sherman's images - whilst round the corner we find her dressed as a clown grotesquely facing the viewer as if to say "Lets laugh at beauty and ourselves together". For me Sherman opened doors for women making photographs continues to inspire further generations. She took the lens away from a masculine view point, made it her own enabling fresh female perspective, using humour, skill and story telling. To Cindy Sherman I am forever grateful. Go see the show.

Sophie Harris - Taylor: Epidermis. The Printspace Gallery, London.

Francesca Maffeo Gallery are delighted to present ‘Epidermis’, a solo exhibition by photographer Sophie Harris - Taylor, celebrating the beauty of imperfection. 

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

EXHIBITION DATES 6th - 13th September 2019

PRIVATE VIEW Thursday 5th September 2019 7.30-10.00pm
RSVP info@francescamaffeogallery.com
+44 (0)1702 345005
m – 07970 846 497
info@francescamaffeogallery.com
francescamaffeogallery.com

VENUE DETAILS
THE PRINTSPACE GALLERY 74 Kingsland Road London E2 8DL
Opening times 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday


© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

Harris - Taylor shot and interviewed over 20 bare-faced women across the UK with common skin conditions. The resulting ‘beauty’ shoot aims to break down the stigma surrounding skin issues and celebrate diversity.

“I wanted to create a series of work that empowers and allows women to love the skin they’re in, regardless of what condition they have. Suffering from severe acne throughout my teens and 20’s left me incredibly self-conscious and I longed for ‘normal’ skin. Normality is defined by the images we see all around us. We are led to believe all women have perfect flawless skin - they don’t. Whether not shown or simply disguised, many women suffer from conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema, most of these women feel a pressure to hide behind a mask of makeup, covering up what actually makes them unique. Here these beautiful women proudly bare their skin” (Sophie Harris - Taylor).

Shot in the style of a traditional beauty editorial, exploring the juxtaposition of style and subject - something seen in opposition to classical beauty. The series’ intention is as a beauty shoot first, the exploration of the skin is secondary. When it comes to body types we have seen the industry swing one way or another, idealising extremes. Harris - Taylor is concerned by this as there is a risk of fetishisation, with this series, she is motivated to record and celebrate the ‘normal’.

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

© Sophie Harris - Taylor, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery

About Sophie Harris-Taylor

Documenting the personal lives and experiences of her own and others, Sophie’s work is effortlessly truthful, approached with a sensitivity and confidence. She is renowned for her images created with natural and ambient light sources, which lend her work an unusual softness and depth.

Typically portraiture based, with some elements of place and surrounding, she uses people to express her own preoccupations and concerns. Although seemingly diverse in subject matter, and to an extent documentary, there is consistently some element of her own vulnerability. Regardless of content, Sophie’s work is crucially bound together by aesthetics, always seeking to in some way glorify that which is not conventional.

Sophie’s work has been selected for the BJP Portrait of Britain, Creative Review Photography Annual, nominated for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The Renaissance Photography Prize and The Young Masters.

She is represented by Francesca Maffeo Gallery.

The South West Collective of Photography - A Crowdfunding Campaign

The South West Collective of Photography are hosting their very first photography exhibition along Torquay high street in May. They will be taking over an empty unit and turning it into a public gallery. The theme is “Visual Storytelling”.

It’s with regret that due to various setbacks, the collective have had to start a crowd funder in relation to the accessibility and running of this event. This is to make sure it can be open to the public and operate effectively.

The South West Collective of Photography must stress that arts and culture, particularly photography, are severely underrepresented in this part of the country. It is absolutely vital that we change this, but cannot do it without your help! 

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2020 Collective Present: Environ 

Private View ·  Thu 21 March · 6 - 9pm ·  Copeland Gallery ·  SE15 3SN
Exhibition continues · Fri 22 March · 11 - 4 


2020 is a collective of photographers who create work internationally, collaborating on projects from their studio base in South East London.

For the first time, they will exhibit work together at Copeland Gallery, Peckham. Highlighting the work of twenty members, Environ will exhibit personal projects exploring the human condition within domestic, natural and imagined environments.

Tami Aftab  ·  Joe Beeching  ·  Lily Boyle   ·  Byron Chambers  ·  Tom Coleman  ·  Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond  ·  Oliver Dawson  ·  Maite de Orbe  ·  Rachel Gordon  ·  James Greenhalgh  ·  Matilda Hallander  ·  Unai Mateo Lopez  ·  Frederik Marks  ·   Dina Patey   ·  Prim Patnasiri   ·  Phoebe Somerfield  ·  Peter Stewart-Sykes  ·  India Tuersley  ·  Andrea Urbez  ·  Coco Wu 

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Click here to book your space.

Photograd Open 2018 - showcasing photobooks and zines

Photograd will be part of Photomonth this year with an exhibition at London Metropolitan University from Friday 16th to Thursday 29th November. We’ve already released the 30 photographers who will be exhibited, which you can find here, but in this post we introduce you to the 15 photographers whose book or zine we will be displaying in the space.

Harry Crown
Judit Sánchez
Daniella Gott
Daniel Harrington
Billie Blossom
Holly Farndell
Krasimira Butseva
Stan Dickinson
Scott Perry and Zoey Barton
Jasper Jones
Arran Davis
Amy Pezzin
Jake Kehar Gill
Callum Beaney
Charlotte Bond

University of Westminster graduate  Jasper Jones  and the series  Scroll

University of Westminster graduate Jasper Jones and the series Scroll

Manchester School of Art graduate  Daniel Harrington  and the series  Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community

Manchester School of Art graduate Daniel Harrington and the series Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community

Falmouth University graduate  Amy Pezzin  and the series  Garden of Extinction

Falmouth University graduate Amy Pezzin and the series Garden of Extinction

University of Westminster graduate  Scott Perry  and the series  Omniscient London

University of Westminster graduate Scott Perry and the series Omniscient London

Falmouth University graduate  Harry Crown  and the series  M A T E O

Falmouth University graduate Harry Crown and the series M A T E O

University of Portsmouth graduate  Krasimira Butseva  and the series  Slices of Red

University of Portsmouth graduate Krasimira Butseva and the series Slices of Red

University of East London graduate  Billie Blossom  and the series  Queer Porn Portraits

University of East London graduate Billie Blossom and the series Queer Porn Portraits

Photograd Open 2018 - exhibiting photographers

Photograd will be part of Photomonth this year with an exhibition at London Metropolitan University from Friday 16th to Thursday 29th November.

Here is a list of the 30 photographers who will be exhibited followed by a few select images.

Daniel Morgan
Alvaro Lopez
Katie Hayward
Judit Sánchez
Giulia Parlato
Dulcie Wagstaff
Peter Spurgeon
Natalia Poniatowska
Elisabetta De Guio
Claire McIntyre
Cheryl Newman
Tom Owens
Miriam Winsor
Zsuzsanna Pálmai
Lottie Wilson
Michael Morgan
Joel Biddle
Kerry Curl
Sarah-Jayne Webb
Matt Terry
Chiara Avagliano
Charlotte Bond
Paula Tollett
Ryan Hardman
Sara Cucè
Steve Le Grys
Jack Johnson
Beata Stencel
Rose Sapey
Sara Fiorino

London Metropolitan University graduate  Zsuzsanna Pálmai  and the series  1 to 7 Billion

London Metropolitan University graduate Zsuzsanna Pálmai and the series 1 to 7 Billion

University of Brighton graduate  Dulcie Wagstaff  and the series  Familiar Gardens

University of Brighton graduate Dulcie Wagstaff and the series Familiar Gardens

Carmarthen School of Art graduate Sarah-Jayne Webb and the series  A Happening

Carmarthen School of Art graduate Sarah-Jayne Webb and the series A Happening

Ravensbourne University graduate  Rose Sapey  and the series  Masterpieces Responses

Ravensbourne University graduate Rose Sapey and the series Masterpieces Responses

University of South Wales graduate  Peter Spurgeon  and the series  Docoy

University of South Wales graduate Peter Spurgeon and the series Docoy

University of East London graduate  Steve Le Grys

University of East London graduate Steve Le Grys


 

Private View: Thursday 15th November, 6pm.

London Metropolitan University, The Cass, Atrium Space, Goulston Street. E1 7TP

Use Aldgate or Aldgate East underground, or Liverpool Street for a 10 minute walk.

Revolv presents One Year photography exhibition at Safehouse 1 in London

 
Image by Koral Markovich

Image by Koral Markovich

Image by Veronica Viacava

Image by Veronica Viacava

Preview: Thurs 28th June 2018, 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Exhibition: Fri 29th – Sat 30th June, 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Sun 1st July, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Venue: Safehouse 1, 139 Copeland Road, Peckham, London, SE15 3SN

The photography organisation Revolv Collective is celebrating its first anniversary with the One Year exhibition at Safehouse 1 in South East London, from Thursday 28th June to Sunday 1st July 2018.

To discover unseen digital, analogue and alternative photography, an open call went out to non-professional photographers, art graduates and current BA and MA students to submit a single image and contextual information.

The result is a stunning and varied collection by 77 photographers from 13 countries. On the opening evening, Revolv will officially launch an app, which will be an essential part of the interactive experience of the show. Another feature of this exhibition will be a Google Chrome Extension, where all the winning and shortlisted images will be included.

Joint statement by Revolv: “Our four-day One Year exhibition features beautiful and thought-provoking photographs by incredible talents from the UK and around the world, both previous Revolv contributors and many new to the platform. Tackling an array of important contemporary subject matters, via a diverse range of photographic styles and techniques, it is a fitting celebration of our mission: to provide greater exposure and opportunities for emerging photographers.”

At the preview on the Thursday, the founders of Revolv will reflect on the successes and challenges faced in the past year. Guests will also receive an insight into the selection of the images on show and find out about the Collective’s exciting upcoming plans.

During the main show, from Friday to Sunday, exhibiting artists are invited to bring additional works to spark open informal discussions. Members of the public, and prospective future Revolv contributors, are encouraged to come along and get involved and take part in our exhibition.

Photograd's First Birthday Exhibition at the University of Suffolk

To celebrate our upcoming first birthday we're exhibiting work from some of the graduates featured on the platform in its first year. 40 graduates bring you a wide variety of work at the University of Suffolk's Arts Café until mid April.

 
Installation image of some of the work at the Arts Café  (From left to right: Liam Collins, Christina Stohn, Victoria Chetley, Marie-Louise Garratt, Jocelyn Allen, Leticia Batty, Matt MacPake, Alastair Bartlett)

Installation image of some of the work at the Arts Café

(From left to right: Liam Collins, Christina Stohn, Victoria Chetley, Marie-Louise Garratt, Jocelyn Allen, Leticia Batty, Matt MacPake, Alastair Bartlett)

 

We're really pleased to announce that the hard work planning our first exhibition is over... but now we're creating new Spotlight's and uploading new Features to the platform! The work doesn't stop here but a huge thank you does go to everybody who contributed to the show and provided tremendous support to the planning of it all!

 
Installation image of some of the work at the Arts Café  (From left to right: Andrea Allan, Declan Connolly, Charlotte and Georgia Bennett, Andreea Teleaga)

Installation image of some of the work at the Arts Café

(From left to right: Andrea Allan, Declan Connolly, Charlotte and Georgia Bennett, Andreea Teleaga)

 

Many of you have already asked for directions to the exhibition and so we figured this is the best place to share them. You'll need to head to the main Waterfront Building at the university to obtain a visitor pass to access the space, you'll then need to walk across the road to the Arts Café where you'll hopefully spot Photograd posters in the window.