Sunday, 21 April 2013

Chris Killip at the Photographers' Gallery

Yesterday I called briefly into The Photographers' Gallery to have a quick look at this year's Deutsche Borse prize shortlist. I admit that little held my attention this year, but I did really enjoy seeing more work by Chris Killip, whose photographs I have admired for a while - I hope he receives the award.

Killip's black and white images tell of the social history of the fading industries of the North, with work here predominantly showing images of Newcastle and its environs, and North Yorkshire, from the 1970s and 80s.

My favourite are taken from his 'Seacoal' series, examining the lives of the families who lived on and by the beach at Lynemouth, whom he lived with in the early 80s having finally obtained their permission to photograph. Knowing that area as I do, it's astonishingly transformed today, and these images provide a rich archive of a recent social history now completely extinguished.

Storm Thorgerson

Designer Storm Thorgerson died this week, the BBC reported.  If you weren't aware of his (brilliant) name before, you'll almost certainly know some of his many, many superb pieces of artwork for some of the greatest albums ever made. He has a particularly strong association with Pink Floyd, creating ambiguous, enigmatic images full of surreal influence. Here's a few of his very best.

Pink Floyd 'The Dark Side of the Moon', 1973
Muse, 'Blackholes and Revelations', 2006
Pink Floyd 'Wish You Were Here', 1975
Phish, 'Slip Stitch and Pass' 1997

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Salgado: Genesis

Sebastiao Salgado, in my opinion probably the greatest black and white photographer working today, has a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London, that will run until 8th September.

This is Salgado's first show focussing on the natural world, having built up an immense reputation as a documenter of issues around displacement and alienation of communities. 'Genesis' is the culmination of eight years' travel around the world; the beautiful prints tour the viewer through such extremes as Madagascar, the Antarctic, remote Brazilian rainforest, North America, and remote Russian islands.

I can't really speak highly enough of this astonishing exhibition - it is deeply immersive, and there are several hundred photographs to study.