Satellite Group Updates

Greenwich LIP Group April meeting


A good meeting.

First a bit of background: the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe includes the great brick shaft from the bottom of which the Brunels excavated the first Thames Tunnel. That shaft has now been given new access and is an extraordinary venue for creative events.

Last night Gareth Davies told us about his work there with singer Susanne Mecklenburg, his videos complementing her song, and he played us recordings of songs and visuals which had been part of the programme. It was their intention to avoid the obvious such as sequences of too-literal images and look for equivalence between music and vision. The techniques of visual production were complex and new to most of us but the results were fascinating as images dissolved into fluid abstraction and returned. It was generally felt that this work should have a wider audience. Steven Stewart followed with a set of explanatory photos of the venue.

John Levett then showed a set of photos taken in Sunderland where he will shortly take a day studying techniques of deriving glass objects from these images. This introduced the topic of relating photography to other media just as Gareth had derived his abstract complexity from plain photos.

Jennifer  Roberts concluded the presentations with a set of photos taken in the Barking, area in preparation for her application for the Urban Photography Summer School.She had initially been drawn to the location by the disappearance of the hamlet of Creekmouth after the 1953 floods. It is now part of an extensive industrial area with the new, very spacious residential development of Barking Riverside growing nearby, and older social housing equally spacious too. This looked like the beginning of a splendid project in record photography.

The evening didn’t end there. We spent a few minutes discussing some questions of how satellite groups might become more involved in the wider scope of LIP. One thing which appealed was that we should propose events of our own for the wider LIP community and Gareth’s work was taken as a possible starting point and one which would open the door to wider appreciation of the possibilities for an extended photography.

Report by Peter Luck

Putney Update April 2017

We started the meeting with something topical, namely the power of imagery and humour to poke fun at companies when they badly mess up, in this case United Airlines. After their debacle the airwaves were full of some fabulous humour.

We then moved onto some examples of imagery with a link provided by Martin – the best 20 views in the UK, as chosen by a poll conducted with Samsung. Sadly the choice of views and some of the quality of the images left something to be desired, which was a shame as a good idea.

We then moved onto some examples of ‘crop’ pictures as chosen by the BBC, where the quality was a little better.

I am always on the look out for people, experiences or examples of where people have excelled in photography and this guy was no exception, with his passion for architectural photography having taken him all the way to winning an international award – inspirational – a minute and a half long and definitely worth a look.

I have been following the iPhone Academy guy Emil Pakarklis for some time (iPhone Photography School) and very good he is too. He has recently collaborated with someone trying to start something similar for DSLR’s and some of his blogs are quite good. I shared one with the group on 12 essential ways to improve your compositions.

I had intended last month to share some of the BBC’s programmes on the history of photography, all three of which were excellent. Sadly, they have slipped off iPlayer but I did find an excellent five minute piece on the renowned photographer John Bulmer. Its full of some amazing photography and his story is well worth hearing.

Finally, and as a nod to this month’s theme, I showed some black and white architectural pictures. RIBA have just made much of their archive available to view and this is a great introduction to the kind of thing you will find there.

We then moved onto our theme of the month ‘A Moment in Time in Black and White’ – carried over from last month. It turned out to be an excellent choice with some great pictures on show from the group, as you can see from the selection below. If I was to stick my neck out and pick a winner, I would probably go for Juliette’s beautiful ‘girl at a window’, closely followed James’s bus, which was a really clever and amusing moment in time!

Juliette Wiles

James Kirkland

Andrew Wilson

Bill Christie

Julian Newton

Leonard Caudrey

Martin Conway

Matthew Taylor

Mira Joshi

Sarah Moore

After a packed evening, we then ran out of time and it was just down to reminding everyone that next month’s meeting is Tuesday 16th May at 7.30, where our theme for the month will be ‘Floral’. Even if you can’t make it along to the meeting if you send me something in good time I will try and present it.

Have a good month and see you all then – all the best AW

Central London Group March Meeting

The session began with the sad news of the death of Ariadne van de Ven, a founder member of the group and one who had given much to it. We saw again her Kolkata photos from the last LIP Central exhibition. Members of the group will care for her archive.

The theme which the meeting then followed was that of Movement/Stasis and this brought out an exceptional response. Movement implicit: beached fishing boats pointed towards the sea; the waving line of a Barcelona window. Movement before the camera: a blurred figure passes a window of static mannequins; a brief video clip shot through dirty glass turns night-time traffic on Waterloo Road into something mysterious; the soft focus of a long hand-held exposure yields perhaps more sense of a character than would static perfection. Movement of the camera: small controlled movements like brushstrokes in a landscape; the subject lost in total abstraction. And a funfair.

Chris Burrows

Simon Butcher

Ray Rapkerg

Anna Lerner

Jim Paterson

Sue Czapska

Edith Templeton

Teresa Levitt

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 26th April at 18.45 at the usual venue – The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queens Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT. The theme will be Own Projects – basically any current projects you are working on at the moment. Please bring along any work you wish to share on a memory stick or in print or book form.
Advance notice for May: Mirror

Crossing Lines Group April Meeting

The first part of this month’s session was given over to a discussion of the future of The Crossing Lines Group & how we go about our business. It’s important to be aware & acknowledge that the Group is whatever the Group make of it. We gave a hat-tip to the history of Crossing Lines since its creation eight years ago & how that ‘era’ had passed. However, its spirit is still around & the quality of the business that we engage in is entirely down to us as a collective & each of us needs to take responsibility for the content that we produce & confront.

We also need to challenge ourselves & each other & be vigorous in our responses. We also need to stay aware that the content of our discussion has a life outside the seminar room & doesn’t have to die once the lights go out.

To confirm that we have vigour in abundance we also had presentations from Rosanna Goodchild & Allan Grainger that threw up a multiplicity of challenges,

Rosanna Goodchild presented work derived from detours of Bristol. Previous showings & discussions of Rosanna’s photography has been very site & person related. This presentation focussed upon a variety of detours of her home city &  reflections upon it. It gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the myths, legends & validity of urban ‘deviations’. One of the legends (myths?) of Bristol lay in the pursuit of Banksy. Rosanna was left in pursuit or in discovery. We were left unsure. Someday maybe.

Allan Grainger introduced his contribution thus:

I have an idea for a presentation whereby one image is shown and a discussion might ensue around the notion of how it might be possible to ‘read’ an image by it’s ‘internal structure’, as well as from an external theoretical point of view.

As visual urbanists can we find a way in which to convey the theoretical discourses of other disciplines within a visual – if not should we give up the visual and become writers? My contention is that the impact of the digital era has not as yet been fully embraced by contemporary practitioners, who in many cases are still wedded to the practices that defined the analogue period.

We left with the understanding that understanding still lay in the future.

John Levett

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.

Michael Mundy

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.

Barry Cole

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.

Angelika Berndt

Report by Peter Luck