Angels of Tacloban

The contents of the wonderful Love Your Plane furniture shop and workshop on Oxford’s Iffley Road are great. Great furniture, really well designed, super cool patterns… Great cards, cushions, flower bombs, sketch books, note pads, prints, books, the list of greatness at great prices goes on, AND the guy that owns and runs the place is great too! All kinds of great… Including the great little gallery space, The Bus Stop Gallery, that he has out back.

Coinciding with Photography Oxford festival, The Bus Stop Gallery have adorned their walls with some fantastic photojournalism presented in a very liveablewithable way. Liveablewithable is a funny word to use in this context (not least because the word doesn’t exist), but because the subject of the show by Oxford-based photographer and psychiatrist Nick Rose, entitled Angels of Tacloban, is that of ‘getting by and getting on’ in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the coastal town of Tacloban in November 2013.

It’s not a massive show, but a hard-hitting show… and I actually found really uplifting and inspirational. The images depict ordinary people finding a way through tough times. I particularly liked one image of a family sitting at the ‘foot’ of a massive ship that had by washed ashore. The owner of the gallery remarked how the scratched on the ship reminded him of the scars on a beached whale’s belly. I also especially enjoyed the images of girls in hot pink dresses having a dancing lesson underneath the roof of a sports hall that has been partially ripped to shreds by this aggressive cyclone that swept through it.

The images are beautifully shot by a man who can clearly communicate with others, both his ‘sitters’ and his viewers. Rose has captured so much understated strength and spirit in the face of adversity in these stunning images.

Adding integrity in integrity, all proceeds from the sale of works in this show (each piece is priced at £85) goes to the International Medical Corps.

Angels of Tacloban at The Bus Stop Gallery in Love Your Plane continues until 8 October 2014.





And the beat goes on…


Paper Ghosts and Analogue Photography in Oxford

Paper Ghosts is a photography exhibition by Kim Shaw showing at Art Jericho from 27 February to 31 March 2014… and the works in it look stunning! Some sit somewhere between soft pencil drawings, and monochrome watercolours, whilst others evoke a feeling of technical drawings, or  studies of urban landscapes.

The exhibition comprises a collection of four series of photographs, you see, and each feels distinctly different, to the extent that it could be an exhibition of work by four different artists, which is interesting given that Shaw shot all of the images on a primitive analogue camera, a Holga made famous (and trendy) by Lomography and the boom in smartphone filters and apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic.

The Old Vinyl Factory Project is a series of analogue images that gathers together works executed over the past 18 years, and in which the viewer is deserted by an audience that now largely embraces the digital world; Lilliputian Landscapes (2002) play with scale making the macro appear as micro; The Humidity Series sees Shaw explore the wild beauty of fog on Highland beaches and burns, the River Thames and Cherwell, and condensation permeating the hot houses at Kew Gardens, and Pin-hole Flowers is a classically and deconstructed series of images, presented dot by dot. Jenny Blyth, director at Art Jericho commented, “Shaw’s work is quietly beautiful, wistful yet contemporary.”

Shaw is currently a resident artist at Kew Studio, London, but despite coming from a photographically inclined family she started off life studying journalism followed by a career in advertising – perhaps it is this background or the commercial, brief-based photography of her family’s past that enables her to skip from subject to subject, style to style with such ease!?

Here’s a sample of some of the works on display at Art Jericho as part of this exhibition…







… and if this whets your appetite for analogue (which the people of Oxford seem particularly keen on at the moment following on the tail of the pretty popular, even if I do say so myself, Exposed LiveFriday that took place at the Ashmolean in July 2013, and I co-curated with Lomography London) then be sure to check out the forthcoming Oxfordshire Artweeks associated exhibition, Lo-Fi, taking place between 3 and 25 May at O3 Gallery, Gallery at the Old Fire Station and The Jam Factory, which will see aesthetic effect prioritised over digital accuracy in a series of exhibitions and workshops that will explore and celebrate creative analogue photography.

p.s. The Shop at the Old Fire Station sells some Lomo stuff if you fancy getting snappy yourself!

Seeing Oxford in a Different Light

These photos were on display in the Shop at the Old Fire Station and as part of a Pop-Up exhibition at the Ashmolean (part of Exposed LiveFriday). They are double-exposure images taken using a single roll of medium format analogue film (12 shots), and aimed to capture the eclectic nature that makes up the city of Oxford – literally, using the camera to capture Oxford in a Different Light.

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