My practice went to Barcelona and all I got was this tiny badge.

  I have been on an artistic exchange in the Catalan village of Vilassar de Dalt as part of the Revela-t analogue photo festival with nine other artists and it was great. Well the first night when we almost had to walk 10km back to hostel wasn’t a high point and if I am honest sitting through a movie in Catalan subtitled in Spanish before that was also not a high point and I won’t bore you with the details of the full English tribute breakfast I had for dinner which to be honest was definitely not a high point, …

invective

I was angry with someone recently, not annoyed, but angry at the way they have behaved.  This isn’t a person I have ever particularly liked, but I didn’t dislike them either.  But now they have capped off already questionable behaviour with some low level hostility that has stuck in my craw and I had been internalising all of this into a stupid bat of paranoia with which I had been beating myself up and as a result, work came to a bit of a halt. Well not entirely as I started mulling over a project and slowly working on the constituent parts, kind of like taking …

The Obscure

The title of this piece is the Obscure after the book about Jude Fawley by Thomas Hardy.  The image is also printed on the text from a 1917 edition.  There are lots of reasons for this but the main one is if you don’t have an education, you are screwed. I’ve never read all of Jude the Obscure despite the fact that Thomas Hardy is one of my favourite writers. It’s just too bleak and sad. Even Michael Winterbottom’s film with Christopher Ecclestone and Kate Winslet is too much for me to sit through; poverty, siblicide, suicide all under the …

60 Minutes at Speakers Corner

The main theme appears to be some kind of monotheist slap-down between the fundamental Christians and the fundamental Muslims.  Still, people listen, they join in.  I like it, though it reminds me that our society is increasingly polarised between the comfortable and those tolerating increasing discomfort. Using instant film in the cold and the wind is problematic, but kind of worth it.

60 Minutes with Fotosynthesis

I met Ingrid Guyon when I helped out on a project for Fotosynthesis in early 2014.  they had this genius idea for teaching year 4 kids about measuring and maths that involved gettingthem to make pinhole cameras, to take photos and develop them.  Nothing beats seeing a kid watching a photograph coming up in the developer.  We stayed in touch and that summer I helped her out when she was taking portraits at the South Bank Centre.  I took polaroids of the process.

The aye’s have it

I was on my way somewhere yesterday and I saw this.  There is something more powerful about the crude the scratching out of the eyes of a human form in an image than most other forms of alteration. A photo posted by Tina Rowe (@tinarororo) on Mar 24, 2016 at 2:37am PDT Thinking about it, I reckon most forms of interference with the eyes turns things sinister with immediate effect. Sarah Koponen‘s image of George Bush, although powerful, lacks the creepiness that the other two images have.  This image appears to me to depersonalise the president, more a criticism of …

The Thin Black Line and the Broad White One.

I went to a talk between Lubaina Himid and Paul Goodwin at the Whitechapel Gallery last week.  They discussed three exhibitions she had worked with in the 1980s: Five Black Women at the Africa Centre (1983), Black Women Time Now at Battersea Arts Centre (1983-4) and The Thin Black Line at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1985).  It was illuminating and more than a little  depressing.   One thing that got wedged in my head was how the exhibition at the ICA, deeply symbolic in a conduit between the big art stuff (ironically very small artworks by Richard Tuttle) and the …

Black Portraits II Revisited NYC Feb 2016

Last year I wrote about seeing the Lynette Yadiom Boakye exhibition, Voices After Dark at the Serpentine Gallery and the huge effect it had on me.  My responses to the exhibition had been the cause of a small spat between me and another associate at Open School East because I found it really difficult to explain what it is like to be in my skin, with my experiences to stand in a gallery surrounded by unglossed images of black people.  The spat was interesting because the conversation rapidly shifted from being about me and my experience to being about him not …

11 Minutes

This is the title of a novel by Paul Coelho.  In this novel he writes about a prostitute who learns about the sacred nature of sex and meets an English man who introduces her to the delights of sado masochism.  It’s always the English who do that.  I haven’t read it and I’m not going to.  I have only ever tried to read one of his books and I didn’t get through it. He’s one of those writers that you get recommended especially after a particularly bruising breakup.  It’s all very spiritual.  Bleakly depressing.  I’m a member of the Haters …

OSE

Performance 14 November 2015 My work has recently been around the subject owning the image and dictating what the camera shows, the performance was a way to include other people in the process, so I got my audience to turn on their torches on their cameras make their mark on the film.