Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Or at least we are this weekend. Oh yes it's Manchester "Pride" Fat middle aged scally birds on the piss in pink cowboy hats. "Sing if your glad to be gay" seems a million miles away. THIS is the official corporate line. Having lived in the heart of the village for almost a decade and watching things progress THIS is nearer the truth.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Topmanthe children's clothes shop have recently made bigger arses of themselves than the gelled up skinny jeaned lady boys who shop there. They have decided that this years trend is called "The Salford Lads club" look! You couldn't make this shit up. Anyway they have photo's of The Smiths Door and changed the sign to read Topman Lads Club. Being self important fashion types they never thought to seek permission and then got some photographer (and I use the word loosely) to shoot some gimps dressed like a cross between the big dancer with the moustache from Frankie Goes To Hollywood
All photo's shot in London and converted to B/W to give them that authentic gritty Northern feel........... twats.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I've been interested in the resurgence of the flag of St George for a while now and have been making work about it for the last year or so. It's profile has defiantly been on the rise over the last couple of years. I have my fears as to the reasons for this. I hope perhaps that it's due to devolution, but I fear it's not.
I only saw one St George flag, everyone's waving The Union jack. Where I live it would not be exaggerating to say that most streets have at least one St George's flag hanging from a window or on a flag pole.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
I have been planning to post about WE ENGLISH for a few days and then I go and get pipped to the post by The Guardian! Anyway I've been following the progress of this project over on the blog that was set up at the start of Simon's tour of England last year. It's been really interesting following a project from start, through to publication of a book, a great use of blogging and something I wish more Artists would do.
To be honest as I followed I feared the end result was going to be a little twee, and it is a walk through the sunnier side of England. Nothing wrong with that though, cynical photographers are "Two a penny" and I include myself in that category. It is after all a look at the English through the landscape of leisure,and I think this is a really interesting angle and a great way to hone in on how we think of England. If I have a gripe, and of course it's me, so I do, and that's why you love me. I'm not sure about the title. It seems too broad for the subject which is England's landscape explored through leisure and pastimes and the way that, that forms our view of England. So more about the landscape and our relationship to an aspect of it than the English as a people, which I feel the title points to? But that's me just being picky and trying to find fault in what is a great piece of work that I think will stand out amongst the current crop of "Englishness" studies,
Friday, 21 August 2009
If we ever want to stop all the shit that's going down we just got to forgive and forget sometimes. So well done my wild blue arsed porridge eating cousins, this time you really have been Brave at heart.....
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
"Over the last ten years, dissatisfied with the often complacent values of the photography world, Clare Strand has assembled a body of work that is both subversive and celebratory in its approach to photographic conventions.
During this period Strand’s art has developed through a series of increasingly interesting and unique projects that have explored various photographic genres, from Victorian portraiture to crime scene and forensic photography.
In these series she has dwelt on the oddity of photography’s strange backwaters, its utilitarian functions and its infiltration of every corner of our lives, to make us question the value and complex meanings of photographic images". Cont'd (then click info link)
I love the photographs from Clare Strand's series "Gone Astray Portraits" A little bit of Victorian brought up to date and playing with and commenting on the traditions of photography. Think John Thomson's London portraits, but done in an old studio by a man with a big moustache and a magnesium flash gun that goes bang and an Aspidistra and maybe a stuffed lion oh and costumes. Sorry I'm getting carried away but do you get me? See Clare Strand's website HERE.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Monday, 17 August 2009
Can there be any town anywhere that has had a bigger impact on music than Manchester?
Not just the usual suspects you know your, Joy Divisions ya Smiths, Roses etc. No I mean before that. Take the Halle for instance. Oldest symphony orchestra in Britain and fourth oldest in the world. And these guys above. Sweet Sensations. Ever heard of them? No me neither but we should have done. Sweet, sweet soul coming from Manchester town. For a good rundown of Manchester music from The Hollies up to more modern stuff go HERE. I knew Manchester produced bands but I didn't realise the complete quantity, quality and sheer diversity.
Friday, 14 August 2009
If you've gone and got yourself into more debt doing an MA in photography and you live in the North West here's your chance to clear 4 grand off the overdraft/loan with this grant to follow in the footsteps of Humphrey Spender. For more details go HERE.
Cheers to David Wyatt for the tip off, an old Manchester Photography friend, and a bloody good Documentary photographer himself.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
I'm a real big admirer of the late great Keith Arnett, and I still don't think that the importance of his work is appreciated as much as it should be, at least as far as the photographic world is concerned. Interesting little film here featuring his good friend David Hurn.
Monday, 10 August 2009
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Well what can I say about TORBJØRN RØDLAND ? Fucking chaos. In a good way. Pop photography informs his work more than Art photography. Nothing wrong with that. So pop art photography then. Well kind of. Tell you what I'll let him explain rather than me, go HERE I just like looking at it and saying to you look at this fella's work. Again though I notice this stuff is free, raw, chaotic, work again by a Scandinavian, and again I see similarities with a lot of work from Japan. Why is this.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
There's a misconception that the song written by Ewan MacColl Dirty Old Town is an Irish song due to the popularity of The Pogues and The Dubliners versions. It's not though, it's about Salford. You can hear a good version of the ditty HERE if you've never heard it. The first verse of the song goes "I met my love by the gas works wall" And then it dawned on me that after passing these towers twice a day and doing a little research that this is what remains of Salford Gas Works and there is the bloody wall!
Another bit of useless information is that Salford Council were so upset at being called Dirty Old Town that they managed to persuade MacColl to change the lyrics from "Smelled a spring on the Salford wind" to "Smelled a spring on the smokey wind", thus loosing this song to the Irish and another piece of Salford heritage to oblivion.............
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Now don't get me wrong I've not always been a fan of The Guardian, I think they have a lot to answer for, for glamorising the behaviour of tow rags in certain parts of this town and by coining the phrase "Gunchester" how many little dicks wore that T Shirt? Guardian readers wind me up as well, sanctimonious Chorlton types, yeah I know I'm generalising but tough shit it's my blog, no doubt they to have at times taken that editorial line......
But wait I digress the point of this post is to big them up in their hour of need. They've hit hard times like so many of us. As Guardian media they've already binned some of the smaller concerns but now it looks like even the Actual Guardian and Observer brand are really feeling the pinch.
I'm not concerned because of their so called PC, left of centre leaning. In these crazy days it's The Right wing Telegraph that's been taking the politicians to task right across the parties anyway.
No the reason I'm concerned is far more shallow than that, I'm going to call it The Woolworths feeling. Pure unadulterated sentimentality. First off because it started here, as The Manchester Guardian in 1821 until it "got all above it's self" in 1959 and moved to London.
Reason number two is photography and it's use as a journalistic tool. It appointed it's first staff photographer as far back as 1908. It was one of the first papers anywhere to do so.
It kept a noble tradition using the talents of Don McPhee and Dennis Thorpe, and helped to invent and define the role of the photojournalist, for that alone it should be thought of as a national treasure and I hope it's future is brighter than Woolies was........
Sunday, 2 August 2009
That's the answer to the camera conundrum.
What Wiki says about them;
"The Halina 6-4 is a basic viewfinder camera made by Haking in Hong Kong. It has a focal-plane mask, allowing it to be set for taking either twelve 6×6cm or sixteen 4×4cm images on 120 film - and there are two viewfinders and two red windows to accommodate the two sizes.
The lens is labelled "Halina Achromat", with a maximum aperture of f/8, and Waterhouse stops for f/11 and f/16. The front-element focus is marked into three zones.
The shutter is single speed + B, with double-exposure prevention interlock with the winder. Flash can be connected using a PC plug.
The body has a lever in the base, detaching the back and baseplate for film loading. A small folding foot is built in to the bottom of the lens barrel to support the camera when standing on a flat surface"
And below some shots taken around Salford precinct with mine, it was my first camera and was given to me by my Nan, bless her.
Images copyright Mark Page