Monday, 25 July 2011
The Fitzrovia Photography Prize & more...
Dear readers, my humble apologies for my tardy blogging. I am now on home ground & ready to blog my socks off!
So where have I been? Oslo as you know (still in shock about the horrible events there of late) then Arles for Rencontres Arles 2011, opened our show last Wednesday to rave reviews on twitter online, in blogs & in print. With 53 photographers on display upstairs there is so much to look at I am loving coming into the gallery each day to notice something new each day The 3 winners on are our website, so you can have a glimpse at the incredibly high standard of work submitted. We had so many to choose from & it was a mammoth job to judge. If the quality is this high next year we may think about expanding it to both floors to include more great photography. The proud supporters of the show John Lewis Oxford Street were thrilled upon seeing the prize become a reality. The work on display has been printed by one of my favourite printers, Genesis Imaging.
At present we have several of of our artists on display downstairs & a new photographer showing one work which I urge you to see, Jon Wyatt whose image is included depicts one of the worlds most incredible sites of natural beauty Huangshan. The 'Yellow Mountain' is in fact a range of mountains & a UNESCO World Heritage Site is actually privately owned by 'Huangshan Tourism & Development Company Ltd' which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Wyatt explores this site & the dynamics of ethical ownership, preservation & visual wonder in his extraordinary images in glorious black & white. They appear like Chinese ink drawings in their delicacy & subtlety. (We have the entire series in stock available to view)
I met Jon Wyatt in Arles, when we met for a portfolio review & was instantly impressed with his commitment, technical skill & passion for photography. The work is conceptually fascinating, exploring our continued disconnection from the physical landscape with masterful results. Come & see for yourself.
There were several amazing bodies of work shown to me over the course of my week in Arles & I hope to talk about them in this blog soon.
Finally, with excitement the stop-motion video of the beginning of the hang last week shows the first 9 hours of the current show being curated & hung. My Assistant Curator Eleanor Kelly, photographer Colin Coutts, Gallery Assistant Olivia Spooner & Bertil Nilsson (who kindly did the video for us) all appear in the film. Oh, & of course yours truly. The result is a rare insight into the hanging process in a commercial gallery. We were hanging till 11pm last Monday, 9pm Tuesday & completed on Wednesday, so quite a punishing schedule. However, when the crowds flooded in & the reaction to the show was so positive it was all worth it. Many of the works are for sale, starting at around £100 + VAT, so what a great way to start collecting & supporting artists! The thrill of buying your first work, knowing that there is every chance of meeting the photographer who took it & the possibility that your purchase could be the one that changes your photographic experience forever. I will talk a bit more about this in further blogs. Collecting is entirely personal to me & although I have made very sound investments, each & every image I have bought I fell in love with on sight.
Anyway, before I get emotional I will leave you for now, more very soon, I promise...