Satellite Group Updates

Greenwich LIP Group April Meeting

Quentin Ball opened the evening with a fine set of images from the American South West. There has seemed to me to exist landscapes, the photographic capturing of which, any decent photographer couldn’t foul up. Quentin’s imagery stops that attitude in its tracks.

Quentin

Quentin has patience; he waits for the light. And waits and waits. For me, if the light doesn’t turn up at the right time (i.e. the moment that I arrive in a location) then I’m off for a cup of tea & a bun. Quentin’s work is the product not only of patience but of a deep-rootedness within the landscape. He is not a day-tripper but one who has stored knowledge of where, when and the consequences of haste. Excellent work.

There followed three presentations derived from dérives in Lisbon where John Levett, Anita Strasser and Allan Grainger had taken part in a symposium earlier this year.

John Levett had visited Cova do Vapor, part of which housed an ‘illegal’ settlement; illegal in the sense of being occupied and provided for by its displaced, unemployed population. The term ‘unemployed’ is misleading; they are employed in the creation and maintenance of their community. The housing they have created is serviceable, safe and kept secure. This peninsular across the Tagus from Lisbon Central once house political prisoners of the fascist Salazar régime.In the circumstances JohnLevett thought it inappropriate to photograph the community directly.

John

He chose to photograph the soil upon which he walked. There was an obscure reference here to the final hours of the philosopher Walter Benjamin who, in fleeing Nazi threats had made a failed attempt to cross the border from Spain in 1938 and thereafter committed suicide.

Anita Strasser is known to us mainly through her engagement with the community in which she lives: Deptford. Her local and profoundly committed work has demonstrated fresh approaches to working within a community of which one is a member. She works from inside rather than arriving as a pilgrim ethnic explorer. Interestingly but not surprisingly, Anita chose an early morning walk within the environs of where she was staying for the symposium.

 

Anita Strasser

The absence of a population on the street was coincidental not an exclusion of one: that would never be Anita’s approach. What Anita did capture was, again, the self-creation of place and community. Sometimes the quality of a neighbourhood can be indicated by what & who is not there rather than what is traditionally, and sometimes repetitively, visible. It was Sunday; community day off.

Allan Grainger is another for the dérive and the psychogeographical  encounter. This practice, Allan illustrated by both his Lisbon encounter and a more recent dérive from a Peter Coles-created walk along the course of a ‘dead’ river in Paris.

Allan

I’ll quote Allan here:

The murmuring flow of this ghostly river constitutes the delicious possibility for the imagination to alter its course towards a different direction; away from J K Huysman’s dreams of melancholic landscapes and towards the new charms this phantom river has to offer from the top of its concrete entombment. Above this meandering river lies evidence to its past infamies – humanity as always leaving its mark to be discovered. There is also the hint (vestige?) of the ‘other-worldly’ in the processing of Allan’s images.

More excellence on Wednesday 18th. May: 6pm

John Levett

Crossing Lines Group April meetup

The April edition of Crossing Lines featured two presentations.

Przemyslaw Polakiewicz premiered his film No Borders: Our Passion for Freedom. This was his representation of the walk undertaken in January this year by The Edge group of photographers.

This originated in Del Barrett’s Bleeding London project in which The Edge Group undertook to record the outer boundaries of the capital. The work undertaken there morphed into a collaboration with a group of students in Seoul, South Korea, and their teacher Jiwon Kim. Work from the Edge was exhibited in a collection of disused university labourites whilst work from Seoul was exhibited on the streets of New Cross-Deptford.

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Gareth Davies

Przemek’s film is a record of the social practice that the January detour represented. It captures the connectives of the group in relation to each other and to the built environment as well as indicating the interconnectedness of the group in the social practice of walking-talking whilst responding to the textures of the images in relation to the textures of the built surfaces that were ‘borrowed’ for the detour.

The film presentation was followed briefly by an outline of the work of The Elephant’s Journey Group of photographers.

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Steve Stewart

Gill Golding has spent time embedding herself in the evaluation of the Greenwich Peninsula evolution. ‘Evolution’ in this context is a polite term for engineered appropriation. The discussion opened with reference to ‘The New Architecture’ trope of the end-of-millennium ethos associated with Richard Rogers. Gill’s concerns are about the evolution of Greenwich Millennium Village from trailblazer to corporate representative.

Walking the Greenwich Peninsula - Gill Golding

Gill Golding

During its construction and opening the Village was viewed as a sensitive and innovation approach to mixed occupation within an historic space. The ditching of that aspiration in favour of Roundabout City speaks of the failure of custody of a history and a loss of communitarian aspirations. Greenwich Millennium Village is not the only site of the minification of millennium visions.

Report by John Levett

Central London Group March Meeting

This was a ‘current projects’ session without theme. It brought out some strong material, not easy to sum up. Locations spanned from Los Angeles to Kolkata via Marseille; technique from straightforward B&W to highly manipulated colour abstractions; subjects from details plucked from a wet street to ethereal apparent abstraction isolated from the interior of an abandoned sofa via documents of an exceptional house. There was some incidental discussion of what constitutes a project – something outlined in advance, something that creeps up on you by accident when you have taken so many related images, something undertaken for reasons quite outside photography itself, something done quickly or something that lasts years? Yes to all.

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Geoff Titley

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Teresa Levitt

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Rashida Mangera

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Edith Templeton

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Ariadne van de Ven

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Anna Lerner

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Musée de Grenoble – Figure, Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella by Peter Nahum

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From the series Diptychs of Space and Light by Danilo Leonardi

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th April 2016 at 18.45 at the usual venue – The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queens Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT.
The theme will be Natural World – animal, vegetable or mineral. Please bring along any work you wish to share on a memory stick or in print form.

Advance notice for May: Stranger/Tourist in Town

Greenwich LIP Group March meeting

Just three presenters – were to have been four but………..

Tony Othen opened, considering the different ways in which photos contribute to the public memory. Some of his 1970s social documentary work on housing conditions is now available to researchers through a commercial picture library but one photo on a closed Facebook page devoted to a dead Derbyshire pit village had brought on a deluge of reminiscence and conversation within an hour. The work which had been external commentary had become an essential part of the internal life of the village diaspora. Our conversation focused on that, on the past remembered or romanticised and the question whether the quality of the photos helped alert the quite passionate interest in their content.

Poolsbrook link: Poolsbrook

Shirebrook link: Shirebrook

 

We stayed with questions of past and present as Anita Strasser took us on a walk on the Stone Sea, a mountain area of Austria which had been her birthplace. After many years of returning, she had decided to document both the landscape and the people who work on it. We saw the fruit of the first summer of a long project. Her concern was to show both the depth of some traditions and the evidences of a globalised world including the negative effects of consumer tourism. The medium was B&W film with strong grain. Cliche was successfully avoided, not least, one suspects, because of her deeper knowledge of the place.

Anita LIP image

 

Last Steven Stewart returned with a set of photos from Rathbonia – his name for a corner of Fitzrovia (and as Londoners you should know where that is). The motivation for a set begun almost accidentally was again reminiscence of working nearby and of the use of certain street locations in the film Peeping Tom. The discussion ran around how one communicates a cultural resonance, or the personal significance of a place; how to ‘construct’ a reference to the past and have it understood.

Hanway Place Steve Stewart

The next Greenwich meeting will be on 20th April 6.00pm at the Greenwich Gallery, Peyton Place, Royal Hill, Greenwich SE10. Proposals for presentations to John Levett.

Report by Peter Luck

Central London Group February Meeting

Our February meeting was all about black-and-white (or “monochrome”) and it proved to be a great demonstration of the many different ways in which we can now work with this form. Some of us are still (mainly) working with black-and-white film, while others use their camera settings, set their brains on b/w, or convert post-production. The reasons for choosing b/w over colour ranged from practical (in the days of film, it was much cheaper) to political considerations and from aesthetic to historical meanings. We had interesting discussions about what can happen when a photographer converts a project from colour to b/w. The range of subject matter was as wide as ever:

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Ariadne van de Ven

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Everyday Churches by Danilo Leonardi

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Barbara Luckhurst

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St Saviour’s Dock, photographed 1952-4 by Sidney Luck, printed 2016 by Peter Luck

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Paddington II 1978 from the Sydney Buildings’ series 1977-78 by Mark Johnson

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Simon Butcher

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Teresa Levitt

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Edith Templeton

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 at 18.45 at the usual venue – The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queens Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT.
The theme will be Current Projects/Next Exhibition. Please bring along any work you wish to share on a memory stick or in print form.
Advance notice for April: Natural World – animal, vegetable or mineral