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Monday, 30 December 2013

Mark Power 26 Different Endings

As part of my recent feedback for Assignment 4 I was encouraged to look at the work of Mark Power, Martin Parr, the great Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank The Americans.

I have already written blog entries for the last three artists and really admire their work. Some of these entries are in older blogs.

I therefore have concentrated on the work of Mark Power [b. 1959] an artist I have yet to explore. As a documentary photographer, Power's 26 Different Endings is an interesting concept covering the edge of the London A-Z atlas. Powers points out that the map changes in each edition with London growing stealthily each year. 26 Endings is a collection of 26 images taken just outside of the atlas starting in 2003.

The concept that these places may or will eventually become part of the atlas gives meaning to the images, without these the images have little value and are hard to relate to.

Most of the images depict a sad and run down to-be London, a mix of suburbia, sweeping paths, industry and mangled metal. perhaps the hope is that they will change over time as many areas in London have done through natural development.

In the context the of the work the images work very well, but I am not a fan of them if truth were to be known. What I am impressed with is that Powers has captured all of these 26 images from different locations yet you could be mistaken is thinking that they are all from the same area. This supposes that the world outside of the A-Z  has a common theme and possibly similarities of culture and people.

The following display these attributes.




The projects that Mark Power has completed are quite remarkable. His current project KX, documenting the refurbishment of Kings Cross Station, London, looks fascinating. For my final assignment I am planning to take images of a Victorian Brewery. I really like the colours and the use of light in the following two KX images and these may give ideas for my final assignment.



Saturday, 21 December 2013

If Only for a Second

The world of social media comes yet again to a  blog post, this one I couldn't have let pass......

Social media sites and  news groups this month have had a proliferation of posts over a project commissioned by the Mimi Foundation in collaboration with Leo Burnett and photographer Vincent Dixon.

The aim of the project was to give 20 cancer patients an extreme makeover, to take them away from the daily reminders of their disease, and produce a wonderful story and set of memories for both the patients and their friends and family.

During the makeover their eyes were kept firmly shut so that they could not see how they were being transformed. Once complete they were sat in front of a one-way mirror. Behind the mirror Vincent Dixon sat with a camera recording the moments when the patients saw for this first time their new look.

Accompanied by a short video these images reveal something endearing, something wonderful and something positive; they really do capture this brief moment in time of jubilation when their worries are eased for Just Once Moment in Time.....

These images were released to the patients, friends and families on the 7th November 2013 at a private exhibition. The 20 images collected have also been published in a book with all proceeds going to the Mimi Foundation for Well-Being Centres for Cancer Patients. The book is available online and can be ordered here

From a photographic perspective the concept is not that unique in placing people in certain circumstances to obtain an expression or reaction. For example Olena Slyesarenko photographed here subjects under water with amazing results from a project entitled 'Pickled'in 2008. The aim was to restrict the expressions the subjects could make but surprisingly they still managed to express themselves. Images can be seen here

Likewise Jamie Sinclair's project 'Constricted Reality' captured images of people hanging upside down whilst holding their breath, again to trying to remove as much control as possible. Images can be seen here

Whilst these examples are aimed at restricting emotion Dixon's images are a release of emotion that literally floods out, and given the background of each individual, enables the viewer to share in this brief moment of time the jubilation and warmth of character. There are truly beautiful images that capture so much more........

Here are a couple of examples.... the video can also be seen here