Instagram is where the action is

Things have been quiet here at the Journal over recent weeks. It's not because there hasn't been anything happening... it's because I succumbed to Instagram. Admittedly, I had been avoiding it. I was already participating in several other social media channels, and Instagram just seemed to me to be a paired down Facebook with gimmicky filter for phone cameras. After having more than a couple of people ask me if I was on Instagram last year, and hearing stories of how good it has been for some artists, I decided to take the plunge. I now realize how wrong I was about it. How very wrong. The gimmicky photo filters are actually not the reason people use it, and it is not anything like Facebook – a completely different experience. A completely different channel.

Unlike this blog, where I have no idea if anyone is actually looking at it, there is almost instantaneous feedback when one posts something to the Instagram feed. Things are getting out there, whereas things may be festering here. Needless to say I've been sold, and have been enjoying it so far. My energies have been focused on it recently, but I will still be adding material here. Again, this place, my blog, is a very different social media channel.

Stay tuned, but also follow me at my Instagram space.

Exhibition - The End of the Universe, London

A few views of my work in the group exhibition for the Lumen residency held in Italy back in September. The exhibition was in the incredible Crypt Gallery, beneath St. Pancras Parish Church. One of the most interesting spaces I've exhibited in.

Four 50x60cm prints, along with an installation of a view camera trained on a rotating planet-like sculpture were exhibited alongside 20 other artists exploring themes of the cosmos and light. The work will be available for purchase through this site soon. Let me know if you would like to be notified of when the shop is live, or have enquiries about the work.

I Should share these

A couple of examples of quick experiments contact printing 4x5″ negs shot on the LUMEN residency. Each print is 8x11cm. The moonscapes are real, the planets are my creation. Each section is printed on a sheet of very expired photo paper from a manufacturer who was located in the “DDR”. I enjoy how these prints can be mixed and matched to build new combinations. There are about a dozen others, with more to come as I create more planets. Maquettes for larger prints???

Exhibition printing has begun

The prints produced throughout the residency were on small 8x10", resin coated paper. These were quick working prints, fine for trial prints but not for final work. For the upcoming exhibition in London, (end of November in the crypt of Euston Church – contact me for details) , I am printing 20x24" prints on matt fiber-based paper. Black on the matt paper is very muted and dead, particularly when the print is selenium toned. The black field will not reflect light, much like the blackness of space. I've also begun printing an edition of a 9.5x12" box set. Let me know if you would be interested in either of these as both sizes will have a very small edition.

Replacement Motor arrives

While shooting the planet models during the residency, a DC motor which was placing the object in a planetary orbital spin died (with a puff of smoke). I did manage to photograph a couple with a motorised rotation by rigging up a piece of string wound around the shaft, then pulling the string like a spinning top while the exposure was being made. While this (remarkably) worked, it was less than an ideal way of working. A £17 investment in a new motor needed to be made before more planets could be created.


Setting up the studio

In my application for the residency, I proposed the production of planetary-like sculptures that would then be photographed. The aim was to create images of imaginary worlds that find a borderline between reality and fiction.

It was emphasized that we should bring as much of the materials that we think we might need as possible. I brought a full suitcase of studio materials. Though I'm certain that something was forgotten.

Last night we were all allocated spaces based on a lottery. I somehow managed to get the exact space I was hoping for, with a window space where my models could potentially be photographed.

Porta-studio ready to roll

The gear ready for a 7am (ugh) flight to Rome, where I will travel to the town of Atina to join the LUMEN 2016 residency for the next few weeks. Atina is in the Cassino area, south of Rome, north of Naples. Not near the earthquake region, if you were wondering. Departure time, 4:30. 

What am I forgetting?... 


Tryptich test

Typically when I am printing these portraits, I print them in 3s. Someone looking at the work suggested that he liked them not as individual pieces but as variations of the same in a group, perhaps scattered amongst a wall full of these portraits. He might be right.

Work from the darkroom this week.

Wet out of the trays. Part of a new series, working with an archive of found negatives from somewhere in the US, “professionally shot” in the 1940s-70s. Manipulated in the darkroom with severe cropping, masking, and a controlled two-phase development.