Greenwich LIP Group March meeting
Four presentations as usual. – this time all very much about people.
Michael Mundy began with a portfolio of black and white prints. Most were portraits, those of sleeping people and those of Covent Garden street performers before or after their act standing out. We urged him to see them published. All this work was produced to self-set briefs, none by happenstan ce; the Covent Garden material being gathered over a period of two years during which Michael developed a substantial rapport with the performers.
Meirion Harries followed with a second selection of his work, this time proposed for a forthcoming solo exhibition, and concentrating on faces both live and in representations, hoping to emphasise the constancy of faces across time and distinctions of ethnicity. Quite a lot of digital manipulation, Meirion quoting Ansel Adams’ musical analogy, distinguishing between the score (neg or file) and the performance (print).
Barry Cole did not show his own work but his thoughts on recent visits to the London Metropolitan Archives and the Foundling Museum. The Archives are an essential resource for research into aspects of London and include a great many historic photos. A current exhibition shows photos and prints of Londoners from several centuries. The Foundling Museum currently houses ‘Child’s Play’, an exhibition of the work of Mark Neville following the title theme in UK, US and elsewhere including very young British soldiers in Afghanistan.
Angelika Berndt ended the evening with a presentation of material from her visit last year to the area of Gidole in Ethiopia. Her intention had been to document the traditional culture of the Dereche people but she found it barely surviving in the context of a modernising national government and the availability of such things as western clothing despite that being less suitable to the climate than the traditional cotton wraps. Her photos were, as ever, beautifully clear evidence. Discussion centred on the methods of gaining the people’s trust, working with a local guide, and ensuring narrative clarity in the images.
Report by Peter Luck