British-based Sean Hawkey is a "documentary photographer and communications consultant who has worked in 40 countries, focusing mainly on development, humanitarian and rights-based issues." aCurator is proud to publish some images from this series he made in Nicaragua.
"Where do all those Olympic gold medals come from? Almost certainly some
of the gold comes from mines like these. The gold is mined by people
risking their lives, sometimes losing their lives; risking their health,
normally losing their health. The gold is processed using the most
toxic of substances that find their way into the water that people and
animals drink, the air that people breath, and into the soil. These
images are just a small example of a vast human and environmental
disaster worldwide related to the mining of gold and other precious
metals. The miners themselves rarely get much out of it, they mainly
manage to get by for a few years, not a bad option in some developing
countries. The enormous mining corporations like B2Gold and Gold Corp
strike incredibly favourable deals, that many say can only be got with
corruption, where they pay perhaps 5% in royalties - this is the case
with B2Gold in Nicaragua - so they get great profits for their
shareholders; but it is filthy lucre, shameful profit, they leave behind
poisoned environments that may never recover, and that doesn't help the
people living there. Protestors against this state of affairs are
routinely murdered across Latin America... Gives another meaning to
winning gold." - Sean Hawkey.
Who would not be excited to be on the receiving end of an email like this one from the supreme Steve Pyke?
"Dear Friends, I am writing to introduce you to a project I am involved in with NASA in Houston. It's an exhibition of my portraits of the men that walked on the moon. This is to coincide with the screening there of the documentary Moonbug" by filmmaker Nichola Bruce.
It will be an independent exhibition for NASA's Johnson Space Centre of photography, film and archive of the Apollo astronauts and lunar missions.
"To accompany the project we will be producing a beautiful, limited edition 112-page book of Steve's photographs, together with selected images of original NASA photography within the Fairley Archive, as well as postcards, posters, signed prints of the photographs and signed copies of both the film and soundtrack." (soundtrack by genius Matt Johnson of The The.)
I know it's all a bit fundy lately, but I try to only put quality projects in front of you.
Steve says he's in England digging astronaut portraits out of storage. I'm here to suggest you support the exhibition and accompanying book.
If you're lucky enough to be in Dublin between now and September 29th, it looks as if you can't miss Dave Walsh's exhibition of polar photographs. As much as I love the back-lit screen, it seems redundant to say these must look spectacular in-person.
And, Dave's story will add to your appreciation. He emailed me, saying "The images are mostly made on board Greenpeace ships to the Arctic and Antarctica over the last decade - but rather than being about activism, per se, they're more about how we idealize exotic, far away places. As the press release below says, my ethereal photographs of the unforgiving wilderness, wild animals and blue icebergs question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments. The images resonate with a quiet tension; all may not be right in the Garden of Eden."
In the press release for the exhibition, at The Copper House Gallery, Walsh goes on to say, "While the frozen regions of our planet have the power to ignite imaginations, for most of the seven billion people on Earth, the Arctic and Antarctic remain abstract and unreachable. I've been lucky enough to voyage north and south by ship, to experience the serenity of the oceans and polar regions - and realise how finite our planet is."
"Rapid change is taking place at the poles; CO2 emissions are contributing to the loss of Arctic sea ice, and melting ice caps are fueling sea level rise. We are starting to grasp how badly we are fouling the nest, and how our acts have repercussions elsewhere. The future of the Arctic and Antarctic is intertwined with our own - through my photography, I want to make people not only fall in love with their home planet, but to start giving a damn and to take action to protect it."
Jörg Colberg reached out to some of us photo bloggers asking if we would nominate photographers for an initiative to show those "who have demonstrated an openness to use new ideas in photography, who have taken chances with their photography and have shown an unwillingness to play it safe."
I've been watching Michael Massaia for at least a couple of years ever since his work was recommended to me by photographer Baron Wolman. Before deciding when and what to publish, I eyed him as he produced several quite gorgeous and diverse series, each photographed on film on a large format camera in the middle of the night. A humble character, as an artist who spends hours alone both shooting and developing his own, large platinum prints might have to be, Michael's dry humour creeps in to the otherwise-quiet work - for an artist who produces such considered, serious photographs, his emails have me in stitches. Michael is genuinely self-effacing, but he is a discerning and determined self-promoter, who I feel is as-yet under-appreciated.
My nomination is not so much about new ideas, rather the complete opposite of so much photography that dashes past our eyeballs daily. Who else these days would say their photography is about "managing failure"? Massaia is married to "the importance of creating something from start to finish, by hand." He is lonely when the sun comes up and the joggers come out, preferring to be harried by rats, hassled in the Rambles, threatened in the suburbs, or wading into Central Park pond at 4 am. Truly an off-line, analog guy, unwilling to play the games of the 21st century.
Check out the other people in the network writing about their choices over at Colin Pantall's blog. See Michael talk about his art in a recent post. More here later this week.
I am pleased to present a small selection of images from Henry Horenstein's 'Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music.' As you can see, I went with a selection of people on the periphery, but you can also see some big-name country music stars at ClampArt, NYC, where the exhibition is on now through October 13th, and online, in conjunction with Henry's latest book of the same title.
"Some say the 1970s were the last great decade of country music - between the pomade, plaid jackets, and goofy hillbilly jokes of the 1950s and the more polished 'Urban Cowboy' sound of Nashville in the early 1980s. Horenstein's work captures it all, from the roadside seediness of TJ's Lounge to the backstage glamour at the Grand Ole Opry. From bluegrass festivals and country music parks to the honky tonks and dance halls, these images picture such celebrities as Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings, up to a recent cardboard cut-out of Garth Brooks (which speaks volumes about the artist's personal opinion of the direction the genre has taken of late). However, the photographs feature not only the stars, but also include the familiar venues and enthusiastic fans who sustain them."
Full disclosure: I am now working at ClampArt and thrilled to be in a position to work with artists such as Henry, and others who have been published here in the past, not least of all one of my favourites, Lori Nix.
Submissions to aCurator are still thoroughly encouraged!
Jennifer Schwartz, owner of Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, fund-raiser, educator, and photographer in her own right, completed a successful campaign recently to buy a VW bus, deck it out with flat files, and create a Crusade For Collecting. Jennifer is genuinely invested in making art accessible and affordable. Taking the van to multiple cities she'll be pitching an art tent and giving away photographs! "Creating collectors on the spot." As Jennifer says, people care so much more these days about the source of the goods they purchase, they could be experiencing the pleasure of buying art directly from artists, instead of buying mass-produced.
"This is about bringing attention to photography and the work of emerging photographers. It is about opening people up to the idea of supporting, patronizing and buying art. I hope there is enthusiasm and support out there from photographers, artists and students."
Trust me, when you see her make the pitch, you'll be on-board. Nobody denies la Schwartz. "I am willing to crash on couches and eat beef jerky, but gas takes
cash money. I'll do the driving, you just give a few bucks and spread
Here's the original campaign. Now help her take the art to the people!
I love Brighton, a seaside town in my home country of England. And, I love students. Here is the related news.
"A collection of work by 15 photographic artists goes on show from September 14 - 21, 2012 as part of the Photography MA at the University of Brighton. The exhibition 'Déjà Vu' showcases emerging and established international talent and multiple award winners of high-profile competitions including the London Photography Festival, 2011 East-West Art Award, 1000 Words European Photography Award, The BookCase Study Publication Award. The catalogue, which will be available both at the exhibition and online at the App store will feature images from each artist and an essay by Joanna Lowry, MA Photography Course Leader." (Read it here.)
"The course has a reputation for developing an informed practice in contemporary independent photography, combined with high levels of craftsmanship and a conceptual depth that gives the resulting work an intensity, professionalism and edginess that is distinctive. This is a fantastic opportunity to see progressive photographic-based work in the heart of Brighton before it travels further afield."
So, if you're fortunate enough to be around, head to the University of Brighton Foyer Gallery, Grand Parade, Brighton. Chuck a pebble into the sea for me.
Kurt Hollander submitted some work recently. His blurb said that he's from NY but has been living in Mexico City for 20 years, and quite prolific, too: "...edited Poliester, a contemporary art magazine of the Americas, from 1982-2000, wrote and directed Carambola (2005), a feature film starring Diego Luna, am the author of el Super (rm 2006) and Sonora: the magic market (rm 2008) and have exhibited my photos in galleries and museums in Mexico City and recently at Rotunda gallery in Brooklyn."
As more avid followers know, I actively dislike a small number of subjects, including religious iconography. So I wanted to see what else Kurt had other than "Holy gore" - Mexican loos hit the spot! Enjoy!
"The title of the book comes from a well-known proverb, attributed to South Africa, 'I am because we are: we are because I am.' It speaks to the interconnectedness and responsibility that we have for each other, and it embodies the concept of Ubuntu, the African idea of living harmoniously in community. Together the images and proverbs tell the story of life, moving through: family, home, education, relationships, work, leisure, environment, conflict, peace, music, dance, religion, wisdom, old age, and death, finally coming full circle with hope, as life goes on with the descendants and the living community. The proverbs in this book have been compiled by Annetta Miller who has been collecting proverbs for more than 30 years. Ms. Miller, an American born in Tanzania, has worked in East Africa for most of her life."