Photographic Visions – Summer 2020
A curated international photography exhibition
July 30 – August 22, 2020, Main Gallery
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Photographic Visions is a biannual exhibition at PH21 Gallery, showing mini-series of the works of selected artists who submitted their portfolio for our solo exhibition competition. Our aim is to celebrate the work of photographers whose portfolio is progressive and visionary, forwarding photography in the 21st century.
Photographic Visions – Summer 2020 presents three images (in the form of mini-series) from eleven photographers.
To find out more about the photographers, please click their names to visit their websites.
"Leading the Blind is a combination of both Landscape and Portrait images created over a period of time Irish photographer John Black spent researching how a group of blind and visually impaired women came together over knitting. Collective participation in order to overcome their isolation, improve their own lives and support each other as a community.
Through the act of unearthing and presenting such hidden stories and histories of marginalised communities, his work bridges historical landscapes to enrich our understanding of the human condition, mapping the relationships between people and place.
An investigative response into the past and the triumph of the human condition, when achieving self-empowerment over challenging conditions and isolating environments.
In opposition to Darwin’s notion of ‘survival of the fittest’, Black is directly inspired by the work of leading Russian geographer, naturalist and philosopher Peter Kropotkin in his quest to observe and document expressions of mutual aid. In particular, where communities self-organise to overcome adversity through acts of collective collaboration."
"My Card Games series comprises antique cabinet cards, or photographic portraits, to which I have given a new look. For ‟Metamorphosis” and ‟Nun's Story,” each portrait was blended with engravings and other elements that appear on the reverse side of the card. For ‟Illumination,” I copied the portrait and repositioned it to look like twin sisters; I then photographed the menorah and created the flames in Photoshop. I like giving the subjects and their photographers a new audience long after the original portraits were made."
"Home is where one begins is a portrait series that examines the reciprocal relationship between gay men and the domestic spaces they claim as extensions of their selves. On the surface, these men embody traditional notions of masculinity, domesticity, and the American Dream, which upon further scrutiny, betray the queering of the spaces they inhabit. Within the photographic frame, the home becomes a kind of domestic stage: each man a player in a sublime drama of the mundane and transgressive. The home as a haven takes on new resonance vis-à-vis the pandemic, bringing into sharper focus the dangers to personal health and safety, the reality of isolation, and the desire for human connection in these fraught times."
"The idea touches the themes of identity, oppression, and struggle to voice out Female Genital Mutilation through a series of 22 portraits (Activist, Charity leaders, Survivors, Actresses, Volunteers) in order to raise awareness on the subject matter.
The bear shoulders emphasize the vulnerability and the stitches are a metaphorical parallel to both the visual of FGM and the difficulty in denouncing this brutal act against human/women/children rights."
"I begin creating these photographs by making digital captures of unusual luminous images projected on a flat surface using a variety of light sources. I try to locate and record unfamiliar subjects that lie on the edge between still visual order and material displacement. I strive to confront the viewer with an image that is wholly unfamiliar. Some of the subjects have a sentient quality and in a way, I feel I am sometimes depicting a representation of a form of consciousness that is dissimilar to our symbolic order of things."
"The images in “Disquiet” are shot in a manner and with a sense of composition that is intended to keep the viewer’s gaze slightly off kilter, imbuing the everyday with a sense of visual disquiet. Objects are photographed at odd and sometimes unsettling angles, and are frequently shot in the harsh light of midday. The resulting images suggest an underlying sense of unease – a sense of deep disquiet in the everyday."
"I am investigating aspects of anxiety and memory, and the effects that war trauma has on certain memories stored in the brain. The images I construct are based upon my perceptions of what happens when traumatic memories are created and stored in the brain. In my experience, memories are consolidated, stacked, and stored on top of one another which results in lost and fragmented information and formatted in a skewed sense of time. In this series, I use images from a busy downtown El Paso area, that are autobiographical, complicated them through strategies of overlapping, interruption, and fragmentation to reflect the sense of anxiety, and sensory overload that is the by-product of the after-effects of wartime trauma."
"(great) Expectations is a series of portrait and still life photographs which explore ideas of conformity to the stereotypical, individual and societal expectations of femininity as well as the portrayal of roles typically perceived as female.
Each portrait is succeeded by a correlating still life photograph to further symbolise the themes within the portraits.
The female protagonist in this series searches for a sense of self and belonging through the pursuit of traditional ideals of beauty but in doing so reveals contradictions between her own and society’s expectations of perfection.
The still life photographs compound the expectations conveyed in the portraits: the narratives explore the relationship with and attitude towards the idea of beauty - some convey the need to transcend these expectations of femininity, while others explore how such stereotypes enter into conflict with the sense of self and what it means to be female."
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is a festival celebrating ancient mythology and the nautical folklore of the sea. It is held annually at the iconic beachfront amusement park in New York City on the weekend of the Summer Solstice. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and phased reopening of the city, the parade was cancelled this year. Instead, I went masked with a 200mm lens to search for the real mermaids, under the pier, under the boardwalk, in the clouds and in the sea and on this desolate weekend and found more joy than apprehension."
"As UK high street businesses go bust at an alarming rate, hopeful new owners seem willing to start anew by embarking on major refurbishments of these premises. It is during this period of transition that windows get whitewashed resulting in a multitude of gestures and patterns, The way the layers on the glass surfaces refract visual fields continues to satisfy my urge to explore the more oblique aspects of ‘straight’ photography while, at the same time, pondering their emblematic relevance to our uncertain futures."
"If our time was not linear, at one point all events would occur at once. In my opinion, the personification of this physical fantasy is a numbness from fear or anger. A condition in which a lot of emotions, thoughts, feelings are concentrated inside, but outside the action is impossible. Outside you seem to be fixed. In the series «You should hold yourself up» and then in «I’m still at home» I am looking for a form to display this condition - a fixed mess."