Silvershotz | International Journal of Contemporary Photography | Volume 8 | Edition 4

Last month my good friend David Chow of DC Editions recently had an interview published in Silvershotz – International Journal of Contemporary Photography (Volume 8, Edition 4) the article contained two of my images which I am posting below just for reference with permission from David. To see the David’s full article please visit here or you can download the PDF from here

PP 82 Silvershotz Volume 8 Edition 4

PP 82 Silvershotz Volume 8 Edition 4

PP 88 Silvershotz Volume 8 Edition 4

PP 88 Silvershotz Volume 8 Edition 4

 

 

 

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My photographs from the Intimately exhibition @ H Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand

Seven prints were selected by Brian Curtin for inclusion in the Intimately exhibition currently still running at H Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand. The gallery is located within an old Thai style house and is personally my favourite place for displaying my prints in Bangkok. The prints themselves were made by Mark Ogaslert, director of Bloom Pro Lab, Bangkok – designated my official South East Asian printer.

Long Gun, Bangkok, 2011, from the series Alphaville part-1, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 60cm x 46cm, image size 48cm x 32cm

Pedroes, Bangkok, 2011, from the series Alphaville part-1, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 60cm x 46cm, image size 49cm x 32cm

Memento Mori, Chaiyaphum Province, Bangkok, 2011, from the series Relic, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 59cm x 46cm, image size 48cm x 32cm

Slobbie Bar, Chungju, Korea, 2012, from the series Alphaville part-2, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 62cm x 43cm, image size 48cm x 31cm

Touch Bar, Chungju, Korea, 2012, from the series Alphaville part-2, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 62cm x 43cm, image size 49cm x 32cm

Stairway, Chungju, Korea, 2012, from the series Narrow Exit, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 62cm x 43cm, image size 48cm x 32cm

Korean BBQ restaurant, Chungju, Korea, 2012, from the series Alphaville part-2, giclée photograph mounted on board, numbered 1/25, paper size 65cm x 46cm, image size 54cm x 32cm

Opening Night, “Intimately” H Gallery | Bangkok | Thailand | August 2012

 

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Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea.

Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012
Gangwon-do Province
South Korea
20-27th May 2012
The Chuncheon International Mime festival featured exciting innovative mime and street performances that showcased the talents of many master performers. The festival offered at least 80 performances from mime troupes from Korea as well as famous international troupes from Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, and other countries.

Title: Project Tank

Name of artists: Michael Croft & Simon Larbalestier

Participants: Konkuk University GLOCAL Campus (Korea) & University of Bridgeport (USA) 2 + 2 Design programs in Graphic Design, Industrial Design and Interior Design

“Images from the Chuncheon Battlefield Memorial represent stages in ongoing educational projects by first year design students generated by the motif of the memorial’s tank. Students are exploring image associations around a set of pre-determined photographic images using digital media. Suggestions of movement are also being explored formally, symbolically and conceptually, through the medium of still-image representation. The project images of the students’ work directed by Simon Larbalestier are static and emblematic, while those directed by Michael Croft imply movement. In the sense that the tank is a motif that viewers walk around, of which students explore and extend the idea of association, viewers are likely to be encouraged to find in the vicinity of the motif, their own associations. In another sense, the tank is a motif that viewers understand through relationship to it of both body and mind. Insofar as mime is a medium that concerns the fundamental connection of mind and body to perception and space, the festival, as an interlude in their project, helps extend these students’ considerations of a motif that has become of visual/material educational interest.”

 

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea.

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

“Project Tank” | Chuncheon International Mime Festival 2012, South Korea

 

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Cyphers Blog is now launched.

I have finally found a bit of time to launch the Cyphers Blog – this is a huge project which will become the visual archive to my working methodologies. Images will become linked in various ways; tags, visual associations and other forms of contextual referencing. Hopefully over a period of time the sheer volume of the posts will help visitors to my website and blogs to understand more about why I photograph the way I do and how my own working methodology has evolved over the years. It is designed NOT to be chronological. And the blog itself represents a continuous “works in progress” – some of it will be documenting old projects and some, the preparatory research, for new ones.

Polaroid Pyramid

Ajami Script, Marrakech, Morocco, 2010.

 

 

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Fibre Print Sale Clearance Sale (updated 06.05.11)

This post has now been moved to my new dedicated print sales blog. Each post will offer different bodies of work for sale under a themed title. A full print description (for example “fibre silver gelatin” or “archivel lightjet” is given under each image including the price which varies depending on rarity, print type and size. Shipping is extra and is priced according to country of destination. Payment can be via paypal or a personal cheque if based in the United Kingdom.

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A R C H I V E S | new dedicated blog.

A brand new online archives of my photographs dating from 1986 – the present day is now set up on its own dedicated blog with 20 new gallery pages: A R C H I V E S

"About" page from the Archives Blog

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Bayeux Ltd in London.

A big thanks goes to the team at Bayeux Ltd (Terry, Nick, Julie, Iris, Martin and Rob) for their professional excellence in producing the archival Lightjet C-Type prints* for my Pixies retrospective at Snap Galleries new flagship premises in the heart of Piccadilly London. You can find them at 78 Newman Street London W1T 3EP Tel: 020 7436 1066. Bayeux also offer drum scanning facilities as well as a host of archival papers and printing output options. Special thanks to Nick B for his patience in working with my images. They also offered me a free window display whilst the show is on! A hearty thanks to Miguel at Genesis who drum scanned Nimrod’s Son and Surfer Rosa’s #1-3 last year for me.

*A note on Lightjets C-Type prints:

Silver-halide photographic paper is fixed on an internal drum, where three digitally controlled lasers simultaneously expose the photo-sensitive paper (or back-lit transparency medium) with red, green, and blue light.  The print is then processed using traditional photochemical means. After which, the photographic print is handled just as any other photo-print. LightJet is a true photographic continuous tone process. Most deliver a final product printed on Fujifilm Crystal Archive or Kodak Endura paper in sizes up to at least 4×10 feet . Other Silver-Halide based materials can be printed on laser driven devices such as the LightJet. (Info courtesy of Wikipedia ).

Bayeux Ltd in Newman Street, London.

Lucy outside Bayeux.

Shelf on the way into the basement where it all happens.

My window display Lightjets

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Snap Galleries presents: A Pixies retrospective: 1986 to 2009 – 17th April to 29th May 2010

Location: Snap Galleries Ltd Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1 6NH (Opposite Royal Academy of Arts) info@snapgalleries.com

Exhibition Catalogue Cover

Exhibition Catalogue Page 2

Exhibition Catalogue Page 5

Exhibition Catalogue Page 6

This stunning Pixies retrospective exhibition for acclaimed photographer Simon Larbalestier brings together, for the first time anywhere in the world, two distinct yet complementary bodies of work by Larbalestier: His historic studio based photographs that appeared on Pixies record sleeves from the 1980s and 90’s, and new images created in South East Asia in 2008/9 specifically for the lavish Pixies’ box set project, Minotaur.
We are very proud to host this stunning Pixies retrospective exhibition for acclaimed photographer Simon Larbalestier. The exhibition brings together, for the first time anywhere in the world, two distinct yet complementary bodies of work by Larbalestier:

• Historic studio based photographs that appeared on Pixies record sleeves from the 1980s and 90’s, and;

• New images created in South East Asia in 2008/9 specifically for the lavish Pixies’ box set project, Minotaur

The Pixies are one of the most pioneering bands of the late 80s and influenced countless musicians, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Radiohead. The covers of their five studio albums, all of which featured the surreal photographs of Simon Larbalestier, with graphic design by Vaughan Oliver, were a vital part of the band’s image.
Oliver’s graphic design work has already been the subject of a number of exhibitions. The purpose of this retrospective is to focus on Simon Larbalestier’s photographs in isolation, stripping away the design element and showing them as a coherent body of work in their own right.

” If there were a ‘fifth Pixie,’ it would have been Simon – his work so suited what they were doing.” Vaughan Oliver, Pixies graphic designer

Simon Larbalestier chose to include a macabre photograph in his final degree show at London’s Royal College of Art in 1987. Inspired by Gustave Flaubert’s haunting work The Temptation of St Antony, Larbalestier had created an elaborate and slightly unsettling scene in which a bald headed man with an outrageously hairy back sat with his back to the camera, face obscured. Parts of the scene covered by a silk drape, into which a fish had been nailed. 

Pixies graphic designer Vaughan Oliver attended the show, saw the image and knew instantly that it fitted perfectly with the brief he had received from Pixies front man, Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis). That photograph was used on the cover of the 1987 Pixies EP Come On Pilgrim.

Larbalestier’s photographs subsequently appeared on the covers of the Pixies four studio albums;

Surfer Rosa, featuring a beautiful dancer in an elaborately staged set featuring dark drapes, a fish, a crucifix and a smashed Pixies guitar head;

Doolittle, with its halo-clad stuffed Monkey on the cover, together with a series of portraits referencing the macabre lyrics and showing textures, decay and desolation in a lavish inner lyric booklet;

Bossanova, with its Pixies planet and finally Trompe Le Monde, with its surreal bulls’ eyes

Decay, isolation and the visual impression of time ravaged objects were key elements in Larbalestier’s work, and photographs from this early period were created using what Larbalestier describes as his ‘scientific approach’. This was characterised by elaborately staged sets, where images were shot mainly on black and white film on large static cameras, and then sepia toned later in the darkroom to add feeling and atmosphere. Early work such as Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa were shot on Polaroid type 55 film, which yields both a positive print and a negative image that can be used in an enlarger. The distinctive patterned borders of type 55 film served to heighten the sense of decay and otherworldliness.

“Everything about the Pixies imagery was constructed, often built as a small set as in the Doolittle series or a life size collage set for the Surfer Rosa series. Everything was sourced and built from scratch in front of the camera lens. The vision was a constructed one – not a document of real life.” Simon Larbalestier

Simon Larbalestier

The exhibition features rare images from these early sessions, and visitors to the gallery exhibition will also be able to see, for the first time, Simon’s original type 55 polaroids from Come on Pilgrim, and Surfer Rosa. These original polaroids have never been exhibited before, and include a number of unpublished outtakes from those important sessions.
On the face of it, the contrast with Larbalestier’s recent work on the Minotaur project could not be greater, but in many respects there are strong parallels.
Minotaur is the title of the recently released Pixies’ box set: a collaboration between The Pixies, Vaughan Oliver, Simon Larbalestier, and US box set pioneers Artists in Residence.

“I like that the sheer size of Minotaur moves it into the category of being an art object as opposed to being just a CD box set. It’s not necessarily something you’d put next to your stereo, but on your marble coffee table with your other art books.” — Pixies’ Charles Thompson ( Black Francis)

Minotaur pushes the boundaries of how the Pixies body of music can be presented as a lavish and coherent whole. Oliver and Larbalestier have used the same music as inspiration, but applied a 21st century perspective to create a completely new body of photography and designs for Minotaur. Oliver set out to give Minotaur a coherent look and feel, rather than simply putting five album packages, that were designed at different times under varying circumstances, into one box. This was an opportunity to go back through the themes and the ideas covered at the time of the five albums, and treat them in a deeper, more substantial way. 
Larbalestier approached Minotaur using very different techniques to those used for the original Pixies’ album sessions. For Minotaur, he worked on location in South East Asia, chosen because it was perfect setting for the macabre and surreal images he was looking for. He used a point-and-shoot digital camera, and worked in colour as much as black and white. Working outside the studio setting gave him access to people, places and material that he simply would not have been able to photograph if he had adopted his previous ‘scientific approach’.

“Simon shot some amazing images that I think will surpass what we did first time around. His new work is full of power, it carries a very strong visual poetry. Simon has the ability to imbue the inanimate with emotion, with sensibilities.” Vaughan Oliver

Despite the differences in approach, there are common threads running between the original images and the new pieces. A neon sign in the form of a bare breasted dancer is very much a 2008 take on Surfer Rosa. Unusual juxtapositions of subject matter, religion, decay, death and texture still play a key part. Hair is a good textural example: the two photographs that bookend the show chronologically  (1986’s Nimrod’s Son – that man with the hairy back used on Come on Pilgrim – and 2009’s Minotaur – a close up portrait of a bull, and the last photograph Simon took in Thailand) both feature hair in abundance.

Visitors to the gallery will be able to examine the Minotaur box set, which will be on show throughout the exhibition.

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