Monday 25 April 2011

Natasha Caruana

"Sorry now sold"

"You will feel like a princess"

"If it doesn't sell I will take it as a sign I'm not meant to part with it"

All images © Natasha Caruana

Natasha Caruana was my stand-out artist during the portfolio reviews at this year's FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby and her latest series of work, Fairytale for Sale seems very pertinent given the Royal Wedding that looms large. The project exposes the world of online wedding dress re-sale in a manner that is both humorous and offers a complex cultural commentary on the idea of marriage. The omission of personal identities through markings and blue tack, in juxtaposition with comments intended to sale the item, loads the work with both narrative and critical possibility.

Posing as a woman hunting for the perfect dress, Caruana befriends the brides who in her words: "reveal that the artefacts of the big day are being discarded; sold for money to de-clutter the wardrobe, make space for births or in some cases because the dresses are now tainted with divorce. Their words punctuate the images."

Caruana further explains her work and interest in the phenomena: "The smiling faces of the bride, groom and their entourages’ are blocked out in white, cloned over, smothered in blue tac or scratched off in a bid to disguise and make anonymous their private day now in the public arena. What remains are bizarre theatres of marriage; white-faced performers have taken to the stage and act out emblematic scenes. The original wedding album represents the trophy, the validation of a ceremony, a ritual performed, a tradition upheld as a record of the perfect day. But now the party is over, the cake has been eaten, the presents have been opened, and the photographs have been framed; the online adverts represent the detritus, the props of the fairytale wedding production."

Caruana's matured foray into themes of love and the everyday comes after The Other Woman and Married Man. Her works have been exhibited in various group shows, such as Invisible Adversaries, alongside Francesco Goya and John Constable and The Fool at the Northern Gallery of Contemporary of Art, Sunderland. Previous group and solo exhibitions have been in The United States, Poland, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Her work is held in the collections of the British Library, Woman’s Library in the UK and the Laguna Art Museum and The Kinsey Institute in the United States.

Born in 1983 Caruana is a practising artist, lecturer of photography and founding director of the London based studioSTRIKE artists studios. She graduated from an MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in 2008 and is currently a lecturer of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey. Her work was shortlisted for the National Magazine Awards in 2007 and the Deutsche Bank Pyramid prize in 2008. In 2010 Caruana was named as the one to watch in the Royal Photographic Society Journal and the British Journal of Photography and selected by the Humble Arts Foundation as one of 18 leading female art photographers working in the UK.

New Directions in Contemporary Photography

Thursday 21 April 2011

The integrity of Tim Hetherington

From the series Sleeping Soldiers. © Tim Hetherington

Sometimes there are those rare individuals who, in one's life, just seem to be always present. For me, Tim Hetherington was one of those people. Fresh out of university, I wanted to make an impression as a photographer and I started at the Big Issue in 1999. Just before working for them I met the fiercely passionate and committed Tim who had been their only staff
photographer. He had just left the magazine and I wanted to fill his shoes, as, at that time, the Big Issue was doing wonderfully interesting reportage stories. Tim had moved on, indeed he was always moving on at a terrific rate with absolute vision and conviction, forging forward with intellectual rigour and always thinking outside the frame. We met many times over the years and every time we spoke he conveyed his ideas to be a communicator reaching out to the masses, leaving the ego behind. What mattered in life was to inform about complex issues that led to suffering. The stereotype of the photojournalist was not Tim.

He embedded himself so much into the lives’ of those he documented. I remember once at Perpignan the West African characteristics he had picked up in his mannerisms and language from his long stay in Sierra Leone and Liberia. I was in awe of the incredibly smart and sensitive work he did with blind children in Sierra Leone, often the victims of the Revolutionary United Force, and the way in which he linked it to blind children in the UK to show difference and similarity and what it means to see and feel.

My last fond memory was bumping into him at Liberty's store in London on Christmas Eve where we were both frantically trying to find last minute presents; he bought a lovely silk scarf for his sister. Of course we spoke about photography and the lyrical aspects of the medium but I was enthralled by hearing his recent experiences of Liberia and how he was taking time off documenting to work for the United Nations to gather the necessary evidence to convict the ex-president, Charles Taylor, of war crimes.

The huge amount of attention his death has received is for a simple reason and that is that Tim Hetherington was not a superficial photographer. He dug deep, in difficult places, against the odds.

He won the respect of many and I will miss him very much.

Michael Grieve

Wednesday 13 April 2011

The "Emerging" Photographer Bursary Award

Spectrum, Garage Studios and Photoworks are sponsoring an exciting new bursary: the winner will receive a heavyweight package of tuition and mentoring, studio time, and a fully promoted exhibition.

The Bursary will include:

*1 full day of studio lighting tuition at Garage studios with one of our experienced tutors worth over £550

*7 days of studio and lighting hire at Garage Studios, with a lighting assistant provided to support you on your shoots worth over £2800.

*1 day of mentoring from Photowork's Emma Morris, which will include discussion on creating a cohesive project, and understanding artistic practice with a view to how this can be applied to a studio environment.

*£1000 worth of Spectrum goods and services to be used for the final exhibition (including any film processing, scanning, printing mounting and framing you may need).

* An Introductory visit to Spectrum who will be on hand throughout the bursary to offer technical printing help and guidance.

*1 Full days use of one of Spectrum's top of the range calibrated monitors, to ensure you colour management is spot-on before printing.

* A two week exhibition which will be promoted by all three companies, and held at Garage Studios in September worth approx £3,000.

To apply for the bursary all applicants should submit a 300–500 word submission document describing the proposed studio based project and how you envisage it developing. All applicants must also submit a minimum of 3 images of previous work, alongside a current CV to showcase their work. The organisers are of course aware that this is for emerging talent so images submitted may be either work in progress or non studio based imagery but please consider how the images will support your proposal. All applications must be received by 12pm on Monday 2 May, no entries will be accepted after this time.

The judges, Emma Morris of Photoworks and Spectrum-appointed judge Simon Roberts, will view all applicants submission and images and will pick one overall winner of the Bursary Award.

For more information and to apply visit:

Friday 8 April 2011

William Eggleston: Before Colour

1000 Words is offering its readers discounted copies of William Eggleston´s Before Colour, courtesy of Steidl. To order your copy please contact tim(at)1000wordsmag(dot)com.

Please see below for more details:

William Eggleston
Before Colour


All images © Eggleston Artistic Trust

A few years ago in the archives of the William Eggleston Artistic Trust in Memphis, a box was found containing Eggleston’s earliest photography – remarkably in black and white. The photos were subsequently exhibited at Cheim & Read gallery in New York and sold. This book reunites these photos in their entirety, and shows the artistic beginnings of a pioneer of contemporary photography.

In the late 1950s Eggleston began photographing suburban Memphis using high-speed 35 mm black and white film, developing the style and motifs that would come to shape his pivotal colour work including diners, supermarkets, domestic interiors and people engaged in seemingly trivial and banal situations. Now, fifty years later, all the plates in Before Colour have been scanned from vintage prints developed by Eggleston in his own darkroom. In the mid 1960s Eggleston discovered colour film and was quickly satisfied with the results: “And by God, it worked. Just overnight.” Eggleston then abandoned black and white photography, but its fundamental influence on his practice is undeniable.

Special price for 1000 Words readers: £35.00
Free shipping within the United Kingdom available

Edited by Chris Burnside, John Cheim, Howard Read, Thomas Weski together with the Eggleston Artistic Trust
With an Essay by Dave Hickey
152 Quadratone plates
200 pages
22.5 cm x 25.5 cm
Hardcover, with yellow imitation leather, with a tipped in photo
ISBN: 978-3-86930-122-8

Wednesday 6 April 2011

What's next?

Coinciding with FOAM's tenth anniversary is a forward-looking micro-site: What's Next. The site a selection of articles and reflections by some of the most interesting minds in photography today, covering everything from the future of the institution to the effects of digital media on photography.

The good people at FOAM say: "The question 'What's Next?' is founded in our conviction that photography has fundamentally changed during the last twenty years. And this process of change and transition might not be finished yet. The digitalization of the medium has altered every aspect of photography, whether it is the photograph as an object, the position of the professional photographer, the function of the photo lab, the news agency or the photography museum.

In fact the question 'What's Next?' is about far more than 'just' the future of photography. It is also about the future of a society dictated by visual media, of a society in which people primarily communicate with technological tools that have been developed and made into consumer products with incredible speed. It is about the future of a society in which every layman can and will be a photographer, sharing his experiences with newly made online communities, a society in which the experience of time and space have drastically changed."

In conjunction with the website FOAM recently held a fascinating symposium, a few video clips of which you can see here:

To see more videos like this from FOAM click here

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011

As a key event in the UK's photography calender, the 15th Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has finally opened it's doors at Ambika P3. The winner, to be heralded as the photographer who has made "the most significant contribution to photography in Europe between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2010", will be announced on the 26 April from the shortlist of Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg, and Elad Lassry.

© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/ DACS

Demand’s concise yet strangely unsettling images explore German social and political life, with spaces ranging from the interior of the Bonn Parliament in the late 1960s to the artist’s’ childhood room. His works subtly reveal the mechanisms of their making, and challenge the viewer’s perception of reality by examining memory and photographic truth.

© Roe Ethridge/ Courtesy of Greengrassi London/ Andrew Kreps Gallery/ Mai 36 Gallery

Blurring the boundaries of the commercial with the editorial, and the mundane with the highbrow, Roe Ethridge’s conceptual approach to photography is a playful comment on the traditions and conventions of the medium itself. Often borrowing ‘outtakes’ from his own commercial photography work, Ethridge readily juxtaposes a catwalk shot with a still-life of a pumpkin or a pastoral scene of cows grazing. His distinct yet elusive and poetic groupings of portraits, landscapes and still lifes, create new associations and embrace the arbitrariness of the image and image making.

© Jim Goldberg/ Magnum Photos

Jim Goldberg’s series Open See documents the experiences of refugee, immigrant and trafficked populations who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries to make new lives in Europe. Originating from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, these ‘new Europeans’ have met violence and brutality as well as hope and liberation in their new homes. Goldberg employs his varied and experimental approaches to photographic storytelling to reflect on issues of migration and the conditions for desiring escape through the exploitation of a range of photographic vernacular and moving image.

Image © Elad Lassry, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

In his seductive yet detached photographs and films, Elad Lassry highlights the strange in the over-familiar. Drawing on source material such as advertising and stock imagery for inspiration, Lassry’s over-saturated photographs are often collages of pre-existing images or newly staged studio photographs that allude to the visual language of product photography. Constantly shifting between ‘original’ and found materials, Lassry instigates a dialogue between photography and the moving image to explore ideas of authorship, originality and appropriation.

If you're excited, disgruntled or feeling generally pensive about the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, we've started a discussion on Facebook where you can bounce ideas around.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Vevey International Photography Award 2011

The 8th Vevey International Photo Award is a unique form of support for contemporary original works, with a free choice of subject matter and genre.

This contest is open to artists, and professional or student photographers. An amount of 40,000 Swiss Francs (over € 30,000) is awarded for the development, realisation and presentation of the winning project during the Festival Images 2012 in Vevey, Switzerland. Applying to this contest is also an opportunity to receive other prizes such as the Mention Leica, the Mention Boncolor and the Prix Nestlé.

This year Jury will be chaired by New York artist Andres Serrano and will include:

Clément Chéroux, curator, cabinet de la photographie, Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Marloes Krijnen, director of the photography museum Foam, Amsterdam.
Christian Lutz, photographer, co-winner of the Vevey International Photography Award in 2009-10, Geneva.
James Reid: photography director, Wallpaper*, London.

Subscribe now on the website and send your photo project before 15 April 2011!

More info can be found via:

Festival Images
CP 443 - 1800 Vevey - Switzerland
+41 (0)21 922 48 54