Monthly Archives: March 2010

Introduction to photography using film

Roseanne Lynch is running an introduction to photography using film course at the Crawford College of Art and Design, begining on April 14th. Drop Roseanne a line at roseannelynch@eircom.net. Pull out that old film camera and experience some true photography!!

– Rory

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Jackie Nickerson Artist’s Talk – CIT 11th March 2010. Part # 2

By Miriam King

From "Faith" by Jackie Nickerson

Part # 1 of this post is here

From "Faith" by Jackie Nickerson

A little while later Jackie met her husband, who is Irish, and moved to live in Ireland. It was at a time when the Catholic Church was constantly in the news, with scandal after scandal coming to light. She had decided at this stage that she wanted to be an artist, and once again she wanted to use photography to explore the country and society now lived in, particularly the Catholic Church she was hearing and reading so much about.

This time she spent a very difficult year researching renaissance painting, iconography and Byzantine art. It was almost impossible to get permission to photograph any of the religious orders as they were suspicious of being portrayed in a bad light. Eventually one closed order allowed her in. She sat and watched the nuns, wondering what it was that gave them the faith to lead this kind of life. The project moved away from the political situation and even the Catholic Church in particular, to the question of individual faith.

She photographed the everyday institutional life of the nuns using the traditional colours and symbolism of Renaissance painting. These photos were published in the book ‘Faith’.

Ten Miles Round

From "Ten Miles Round" by Jackie Nickerson

When Jackie and her husband originally moved to Ireland they lived in Dalkey (a small town on the edge of Dublin) but then they made the move to an extremely rural area in Co. Louth. She knew that for her next project she wanted to stay at home in her local community. She began to build up a picture of the area by collecting photos of familiar images that were already in her head; the pothole outside the local shop, the telegraph pole that was falling down that she drove past every day.
Initially she decided to leave aesthetic aside and use her brain instead of her eye to begin the project. The aesthetic came to her when she came across an early Van Gogh painting in a museum in Amsterdam. She instantly recognised the Northern European monotone shades of cyan and grey, with a little red peeping through, and realised that was the aesthetic she wanted.
Next she began to photograph people in the community. She was allowed to use the waiting room of the local Credit Union as a studio. At the start she had to intercept people coming out of the shop and persuade them to sit for her, but word quickly went around that she would take your photograph for free! Then she began to go into peoples homes, photographing interiors as well.
She explained that you have to know what you’re aiming at and what it is you want to communicate with the audience. She wanted to tell the story of the people in a community and of an area that was wild, chaotic and untamed and she used the landscape photos of hedges & grey skies and the portraits and interior photos to communicate this.
She also said that the advantage of photography as an art form is that it is far more accessible to people than other forms of contemporary art. People are used to seeing photographs all around them every day, in advertising, magazines & newspapers and so they are more willing and able to read art photographs.

From "Ten Miles Round" by Jackie Nickerson

Jackie ended the talk by saying something that I really love, “If you know how to look at things you can begin to understand them”. I think that was one of the things that really came through from listening to her speak was that her photography was very personal to her. She used it time and again to explore and make sense of her environment and her life. I found it inspiring and fascinating to hear her speak about her life and her creative process.

– Miriam

‘Photographs’ an Exhibition by Jackie Nickerson continues in the Sirius Art Centre in Cobh until Thursday, April 1st.

Images from Une Nouveau Ideal,

Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery

& Highlanes Gallery

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When Jackie and her husband originally moved to Ireland they lived in Dalkey (a small town on the edge of Dublin) but then they made the move to an extremely rural area in Co. Louth. She knew that for her next project she wanted to stay at home in her local community. She began to build up a picture of the area by collecting photos of familiar images that were already in her head; the pothole outside the local shop, the telegraph pole that was falling down that she drove past every day.

Initially she decided to leave aesthetic aside and use her brain instead of her eye to begin the project. The aesthetic came to her when she came across an early Van Gogh painting in a museum in Amsterdam. She instantly recognised the Northern European monotone shades of cyan and grey, with a little red peeping through, and realised that was the aesthetic she wanted.

Next she began to photograph people in the community. She was allowed to use the waiting room of the local Credit Union as a studio. At the start she had to intercept people coming out of the shop and persuade them to sit for her, but word

Jim Marshall Dies

Photograph Copyright Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall, a photographer who took some of the most famous images of rock and pop musicians, including Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar aflame at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Johnny Cash at San Quentin prison, died on Tuesday night in a hotel in New York. He was 74.

His death was confirmed by Peter Blachley of the Morrison Hotel gallery in New York, which represents him there. The cause was not immediately known.

Read more at the New York Times

– Rory

Uh oh – Impossible Project impossible?

Impossible?

This image is one taken by the British Journal of Phototgraphy using the Impossible Project’s new “polaroid” film. It’s the best of the lot that they got from their press pack. Oops. Doesn’t look good. Read the BJP article here.

Could be a problem with an early production pack, but I won’t be parting with any cash for this stuff yet. Pity …

– Rory

Return of Polaroid film!

For optimized results, please:

1. Develop at a temperature between 17-24°C
2. Immediately protect from direct light
3. Caress with all your analog heart

According to Amateur Photographer, The Impossible Project will begin to sell new B+W instant film for traditional Polaroid 600 and SX70 cameras from this week. Won’t be cheap, at €18 per pack, but Polaroid lovers can rejoice that it will be possible to indulge in occaisonal instant film fun!

Read more here and here

– Rory

Jackie Nickerson Artist’s Talk – CIT 11th March 2010. Part # 1

By Miriam King

From "Farm" by Jackie Nickerson

On the 11th March a group of students, artists and photographers gathered in the Rory Gallagher lecture theatre to hear Jackie Nickerson speak. She spoke about her background as a fashion photographer and her subsequent life as an art photographer, telling us the story of her three successful projects so far, in a talk that I found fascinating and inspiring.

Fashion

Jackie began by telling us about the first camera she was ever given when she was about 12 years old. It was a Kodak instamatic and she ran straight outside to take photos of the trees, using up her first roll of film within minutes. That was the moment that she connected with her passion.

She continued to take photographs throughout her teenage years and learned to work in a darkroom and make black & white prints. When she didn’t get into the only course she wanted to do after school, she flew to New York at age 18 because that was where all the great photographers were. Over a period of 5 years she took any job going to gain experience. Then she moved to Milan to start up as a fashion photographer herself. Later she lived in London and worked for all the big fashion magazines of the 90s; Marie Claire, Elle, The Face, Wallpaper etc.

She showed us a series of photographs from some of these shoots. She commented that fashion photography at the time was more pure and simple than it is now, there was less fantasy and less retouching. She liked to put her own stamp on fashion shoots, keeping hair & make-up simple and preferring to photograph clothes that she herself would wear, like Comme des Garcon & Yohji Yamamoto. She liked the character of the model to shine through, so that there was an element of portraiture in her work.

Farm

From "Farm" by Jackie Nickerson

From "Farm" by Jackie Nickerson

Eventually Nickerson became dissatisfied with fashion photography and when an opportunity came up to go on holidays to Africa with a friend she went, and ended up staying for 3 years. When she first arrived she was completely burnt out and had given up photography altogether. She was living in a cottage on a farm in Zimbabwe, but over time she began to feel uncomfortable with the separation between the white farm owners and the black farm workers.

From "Farm" by Jackie Nickerson

She finally picked up the camera again to try and understand and connect with the place she was living. At first she went out into the bush with her Leica Rangefinder and took black & white photos of branches and trees. Then she progressed to photographing the farm and village, but she felt her photos were very much the ‘standard’ photos of Africans as poor victims, which was not how she felt or what she wanted to portray. She admired Africans and felt they had a freedom and happiness that she didn’t have. So she moved on to taking still life photos and realised that her background in fashion photography meant that her strength was in attention to detail. So she started to take portraits linking the land with the people. After photographing the people on the farm and in the surrounding areas she bought a truck and travelled around Africa, to Mozambique and South Africa, photographing people until she had to leave Zimbabwe and move back to London.

One more crucial step in the process relates back to a time, as a fashion photographer, when she had tea with Henri Cartier Bresson in his apartment on the Rue de Rivoli (lucky girl!) and he told a story about Matisse, when they both were on holidays in the South of France. Matisse said to Cartier-Bresson that he had it easy photographing in black and white, colour was far more difficult because the bright sunlight kills colour. She remembered this and realised that the bright sun in South Africa did the same. For example the sky is not really blue but cyan. So you have to look with your brain and not your eyes to see what colours are actually in real life.

When she returned to London she had no ambition to become an art photographer. The photographs sat in a drawer for over a year until her printer introduced her to an agent who offered her a book deal. The book is simply called ‘Farm’.

– Miriam

Part 2 coming soon!

‘Photographs’ an Exhibition by Jackie Nickerson continues in the Sirius Art Centre in Cobh until Thursday, April 1st.

Images from Une Nouveau Ideal,

Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery

& Highlanes Gallery

Dee Moriarty, intrepid world reporter # 3

By Dee Moriarty

Another great travel portrait from Dee. She tells me that her ability to get flukey shots is unsurpassed, but I dunno how flukey she is … mostly they seem right on the mark!

– Rory