Monday 28 March 2011

Alina Kisina

All images © Alina Kisina

Here's an interesting project by Ukranian-born, London-based photographer Alina Kisina. City of Home is a series of half abstract, half representational photographs that conflate Kiev cityscapes and interiors. Kisina's images become a dialectical and lyrical space questioning the changing state of both personal and cultural values in Ukraine. Malcolm Dickson, Director of Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow (where she recently exhibited), said of the work: "...Whilst there is a longing in the images, Kisina is too young to be nostalgic (!). She is an image-maker embarking on her artistic journey, wide awake to her task and too driven to dwell on distances to lose sight of the road ahead. These photographs, which glow and pulsate, help plot the way."

I had the pleasure of meeting Alina in person at this year's FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby which she was also part of, and she immediately struck me as a very sincere but fiesty and fearless person with an intersting story to boot. Here is her artist statement on becoming a photographer:

"Having been brought up in a rather conservative family and trained as a linguist I never questioned my beliefs, tastes or occupation until a single event drew a line between 'Before' and 'After' and the power of visual language revealed itself to me.

I suddenly became intrigued by mysteries and the spiritual qualities of things, realising the potential of visual discoveries made within this extraordinary means of communication. Photography became an obsession and a way of finding my place in the world.

I do not convey facts but merely suggestions, questions and emotions, relying primarily on my sincerity, the force with which I myself feel the emotion I transmit, to help me infect the viewer and share my interrelated but universal concerns.

I prefer not to intellectualise my work but admit the role philosophy played in my education – I cannot escape the categories of time and space that give me the illusion of replacing the material world with the world of ideas."

Have a listen to Kisina talking about her work on the BBC here.

Friday 25 March 2011

Stefan Ruiz on VBS.TV

Yesterday, I received word from the people at Vice about the premiere episode of Picture Perfect on VBS.TV featuring Stefan Ruiz. The series is comprised of "short video docs on our favourite photographers," they said in their press release.

In episode one, "Picture Perfect visits Stefan Ruiz at his studio in Brooklyn, New York where we talk about hoarding, portraiture, and his career as one of the best photographers around. We then go on assignment with him to Monterrey, Mexico, where an urban subculture of Cholombianos are so inspired by the Colombian style and culture that passes through town that theyʼll do anything to mimic it."

Each month, Vice will go behind the scenes to explore the artistic process of various photographers as they go on assignment to all corners of the Earth. "We'll see their successes and challenges as they attempt to capture life in a variety of interesting locales," they added. Since its launch in 2007, VBS.TV has become an industry leader in creating original content and providing online news. The channel now boasts over 40 established shows covering everything from current events to sports to investigative reporting to music. VBS.TV and VICE operate in 30 countries, and license over 20 television shows for broadcast throughout Europe and North and South America.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Ben Murphy

All images ©Ben Murphy

Investigating "some of the problems and paradoxes within the structure of contemporary American society, and the ideologies of freedom and advancement on which it was founded", Ben Murphy's Homeless Encampments of the American West depicts the temporary shelters of 'homeless' individuals who have taken up semi-nomadic residence in California and Nevada.

These ad-hoc living spaces which seem to inhabit the 'wastelands' on the periphery of the city, are in a sense sculptural representations of a facet of the American psyche and, an evocative twist of the idea of the American 'settler'.

Murphy writes: "With limited resources in insecure environments, a sense of home and identity is achieved and established through an improvised impermanent architecture.

American homeless settlements exist as ghettoized counter cultures; often neglected, and marginalized by the communities they live amongst, identifiable by the dwellings made from found materials, vehicles, tents and the remnants of peoples pasts, as much as by the inhabitants themselves. Hidden in woodlands, under freeways, and on embankments, or more conspicuously sited on roadsides, in industrial areas, public spaces and wasteland these liminal environments rarely exist for more than a few days or weeks before they disappear to leave the traces of an existence."

Ben Murphy's career initially began with a BA in Graphic Design at Northumbria University, and, after years spent working as a musician, actor, assistant designer to Neville Brody and a stint as assistant art director for Face Magazine, Murphy settled on photography. It seems the choice was well made. Murphy has since exhibited widely, and is held in permanent collection at the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery and has held shows at The Courtauld Gallery, Plymouth City Art Gallery, and Steiglitz19. He has also been featured in publications such as Portfolio, The Telegraph Magazine, The Sunday Times,Wallpaper, The Independent and published The U.N Building with Thames and Hudson in 2005.

Monday 21 March 2011

1000 Words Photography - The Collection

We are delighted to announce new work in the 1000 Words Collection, Tender #4 by Andrew Bruce.

© Andrew Bruce

Medium - 1 available
Edition of 5
51 x 40.5 cm paper size
38.50 x 30.50 cm image size

NB: This is a hand print on C-type Kodak ultra endura paper. It comes with a certificate signed by the artist and is the first print from the edition. The print is produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

As a cyclist travelling to and from college Andrew Bruce was aware of the amount of dead animals and birds on the road. As the cars sped past him he began to wonder how easy it would be for him to meet the same fate.

Andrew became inspired by the tragedy of their sudden death and haunted by the imagined sound of metal against flesh and bone; seeing the road-kill as a potent symbol of humanity's clash with nature, both literally and figuratively. His response can be seen in his series Nature Morte, Vanitas and Tender.

Nature Morte was his first work in which he photographed dead animals in the landscape as he found them, producing a document of their death. The use of a 10x8 camera and lights produces a visceral quality and the impact of the damage to their bodies is palpable. Harsh in its subject matter, the beauty of the chiaroscuro lighting on the dead animal creates a visual potency.

For his later work Andrew moved to a more staged and performance based approach. Gathering the dead animals as he found them, Andrew wrapped them up in his backpack and cycled home; keeping them in a freezer until he was ready to photograph them. In preparation for the photography he would carefully clean off the mud and dried blood to reinstate a beauty to the dead body.

Not interested in simply recording the reality of their death, Andrew brought himself into the photograph for the series Tender. Holding each creature against his naked torso Andrew has made the idea of their deaths more poetic and less coldly brutal.

As Andrew says "we barely notice the thud...and it is the thud that is my starting point."

Watch the artist video and read more information here.

1000 thanks to Andrew for his generosity, and of course to our partners Bridget and Michael from Troika Editions.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

1000 Words - Board of Directors

We are very proud to announce that 1000 Words has recently appointed a new board of directors with the goal of providing strategic direction, ensuring that objectives are achieved, ascertaining that risks are managed appropriately and verifying that the organisations resource’s are used responsibly. They will be crucial to the next stage of 1000 Words’ development. They are:

Camilla Gore is the Director of Flaere Gallery, based in Paris and London specialising in contemporary photography which she founded in 2009. She has eight years’ experience in finance at Ernst & Young LLP focused on the energy sector and has worked at HSBC advising multinational companies on strategy and raising finance, specialising in Asia. She also acts as a freelance consultant at Brunswick Arts, a leading global communications consultancy dedicated to managing and providing strategic advice to arts organisations, charities and the not-for-profit sector with dedicated teams in London, Berlin, Paris, Beijing, New York, Stockholm and Dubai, working fluently in 13 languages. Gore is also the co-founder of Still/Moving, an artist-led venture that aims to bring artists who are defining a new language in photography to London through week-long workshops. A chartered accountant, she holds an MA in Mandarin Chinese.

Nicholas Barker is an award-winning documentary film-maker, director and passionate art collector. He read anthropology at London University and upon graduating started to work for the BBC World Service directing radio drama during the 1980s. Moving into television he produced the popular series Washes Whiter, Signs of the Times and From A to B followed by a feature film, Unmade Beds; an unflinching looks at the over-forties dating scene in New York produced by Chelsea Pictures in 1996. He is currently shooting advertising commercials and his client list includes Burger King, Utterly Butterly, Whiskas, Carte D’Or, McCains and Volkswagen. Nicholas Barker is represented by Rogue Films (UK), Imported Artists (Canada), Chelsea Pictures (USA), Hot Dog Filmproduktion (Germany) and Le Pac (France).

Simon Baker is Curator of Photography and International Art at Tate. He is Tate’s first curator of photography and joined in 2009 from the University of Nottingham, where he was Associate-Professor of Art History. He has researched and written widely on surrealism, photography, and contemporary art; and co-curated the exhibitions Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and Documents (Hayward, London: 2006) and Close-Up: Proximity and defamiliarisation in art, film, and photography (Fruitmarket, Edinburgh: 2008).

Aron Morel is the Director of Morel Books, a London-based independent publisher specialising in affordable limited edition art books and zines made in close collaborations with artists. Recent titles include Moonmilk by Ryan McGinley, The Wedding by Boris Mikhailov and A Season in Hell by Rimbaud, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Louise Clements is the Artistic Director and Curator at QUAD, a visual arts and media centre in Derby UK. She is also co-founder and Artistic Director/Curator of FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby UK. FORMAT is one of the UK’s leading contemporary photography festivals since 2004 whose biennial programme celebrates the best of contemporary photography from all over the world. She also participates on photo juries including Vauxhall Collective Style Council Photography Award, Shoot the Street British Journal of Photography, EXPOSURE UK, New York Photography Festival Awards. Reviews portfolios at events in Slovakia, China, India, UK, USA and more. She has written for various artists, catalogues and magazines in both print and online media including VAGA, Creative Review, Next Level, a-n magazine, Troika Editions and Arts Professional. She is currently collaborating with Mark McPherson at Big City Press on a new edition of Hijacked – contemporary photography from Australia/UK.

Tim Clark is the Editor-in-chief and Director at 1000 Words Photography Magazine. Clark has a background in Photography and Visual Culture from Falmouth College of Arts and the University of Brighton, England and has previously worked as a photography critic at The Barcelona Metropolitan. His writing has also appeared in The British Journal of Photography, a-n Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Next Level, Foto8, Hotshoe, Eyemazing and Fotograf as well as in various exhibition catalogues. He has judged a number of awards and competitions, and has reviewed portfolios at Les Rencontres d’Arles, BJP Vision, New York’s ICP Career Day, FORMAT International Photography Festival and FotoFest Paris. He lives and works in London.

Michael Grieve was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1966. He was educated at the Polytechnic of Central London and graduated with an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster in 1997. He is a documentary photographer and is represented by Agence VU in Paris. He works for various magazines internationally and specialises in features and portraits. No Love Lost, a project about sexual environments in the UK, is his first photobook and will be published in 2011. He is also the Deputy Editor of 1000 Words and lectures on photography at Nottingham Trent University.

Norman Clark is a chartered management accountant with forty-four years’ experience in the engineering, construction and service industries. During this time, as well as preparing financial group accounts he has had in depth involvement in the fields of corporate governance, development and control of management information systems and business process re-engineering. He was a founding member of the management team that set up of a legal expenses insurance unit for global insurer, Lawclub Legal Protection and has also been running his own accountancy practise for a number of years.

Sarah Fuller

All images © Sarah Fuller

This intimate project aptly titled Book of Dreams taunts the viewer to jump the chasm between a subconscious dreamworld and the external sleeping experience that occurs contiguously.

Artist/collaborator Sarah Fuller explains: "each participant takes home my pinhole camera and sets it up with the aperture facing their bed as per my instructions outlined in the back flap of the journal. Upon waking, the shutter is closed and the participant records the contents of what was dreamed during the 8 to 9 hour exposure. As an evolving book of dream recordings, the journal has the interesting function of acting as an archive of the people whose dreams are inside and an ever-growing intimate story book that each contributor has the opportunity to read before adding their own entry."

Book of Dreams seems to lie at the crossroads of performance and artifact. Highly forensic, the viewer is steered down the avenues of psychoanalysis and the pseudo-science of graphology. The inpenetrability of the project seems to question the empirical nature of portraiture itself, and what can be known is built on the fascinating but tenuous, double-handed foundations of dreams and their vernacular.

Having completed her BFA in 2003 at the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, Sarah Fuller went on to complete residencies in both Iceland and Canada and exhibit at galleries such as Latitude 53 in Edmonton, Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary and Three Walls Gallery, Chicago, Ill. Her work is also held in collection at the Canada Council Art Bank and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Fuller is currently working towards exhibiting new work at the Art Gallery of Alberta in May 2011.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Places still available for Anders Petersen workshop in Morocco!

There are still two places available for the 1000 Words Workshop with highly-acclaimed Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen at riad 9 in Fez, Morocco (27 April-1 May 2011). We are asking both professional and amateur photographers to submit entries for this rare and challenging experience.

Watch these video clips from a previous workshop for a taster Anders in action. This should get your creative juices flowing:

Please click here for more information and how to submit. As you'll, see we've extended the deadline for applications to 28 March.