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Book Review Weathering Time Photographs by Nancy Floyd Reviewed by Blake Andrews “Meet Nancy Floyd. Every day since 1982 — when she was just 25, a recent college graduate — she has taken a portrait of herself. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone takes selfies, welcome to the club. But Floyd’s project is distinct from the duck lipped, phone-tilted headshots flooding social media. She seems less driven by narcissism than typological obsession. Think Bechers, not Kim Kardashian...."

Weathering Time. By Nancy Floyd.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ516
Weathering Time
Photographs by Nancy Floyd

GOST Books, London, UK 2020. 257 pp., 7½x10¼".

Meet Nancy Floyd. Every day since 1982 — when she was just 25, a recent college graduate — she has taken a portrait of herself. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone takes selfies, welcome to the club. But Floyd’s project is distinct from the duck lipped, phone-tilted headshots flooding social media. She seems less driven by narcissism than typological obsession. Think Bechers, not Kim Kardashian.

Floyd’s long-term self-portrait series covers impressive range, history, and a disconcertingly frank degree of self-exposure. Its entirety is beyond the scope of any single book, but her new monograph from GOST takes an honest stab at it. The thick purple tome includes roughly 1,000 of the 2,500 photos in the project. Its title, Weathering Time, is a good summation of Floyd’s interaction with her camera over the course of four decades.

The book begins on day one, 23 November 1956. Floyd’s birthdate is the only text on the cover. The interior photographs commence with two prefacing shots from that very day, capturing the newly born Nancy Floyd in her hospital crib, followed by a quick snapshot from 1958. Then a short series documenting Floyd’s childhood home and family at scattered points between 1960 and 1998. Watching the house exterior fall into disrepair over decades, the phrase “weathering time” seems applicable. If the title page doesn’t quite cement it in the mind, the initial self-portrait series will. Underwear shows Floyd in her skivvies over the course of 16 pictures shot between 1982 and 2020. In each photo Floyd stares back impassively, shutter cable clutched in one hand. Pictures of women in underwear have long been associated with the male gaze, glamour, and sexiness. Perish the thought. Floyd’s initial series blunts any such impulse with quotidian functionality.


Underwear
is the perfect leadoff series, setting the tone for all to come with its absurdist chapter title and direct, honest recording. In the pages to come she takes a turn as a laundry worker, daughter, wife, friend, niece, ex-girlfriend, pet owner, and more. We see her in shorts, trousers, dresses, good hair, interesting hair, engaged in various hobbies and professions, on the phone, in the darkroom, watching tv, vacuuming. Each series is carefully organized into its own thematic chapter, sometimes with a text intro. Sample headings hint at the bewildering variety: Birthdays, Carpentry, Holders, Success, PJ’s, Craigs… Elements, tasks, and people come and go. The only constant is Floyd, centered quietly within each vertical frame. Slowly but surely they form a mental image of her presence in the reader’s mind. What must she be like? Surely patient and determined, for starters. To treat her daily visage with the calm indifference of someone brushing their teeth or making eggs for breakfast, well, that’s dedication.


A long term project like this generates a lot of material, just by its nature. Wrangling all of it into book form is a challenge. Weathering Time takes a mass-volume approach, packing up to nine gridded photographs into every single page. Small captions are added along the margins. This strategy allows the book to cover a ton of territory, but perhaps some depth has been sacrificed for the sake of breadth. Even with excellent resolution and reproduction values, a 3-inch tall photo has its limits. It’s hard to probe too deeply into individual details or tonal subtleties. But for the purpose of the book — geared more as project survey than hi-res exhibition — it seems an acceptable tradeoff.

As for sequencing, GOST must have been tempted to order the work chronologically, in the order it was made. This has been the display approach of other daily self-portraitists such as Noah Kalina, Karl Baden, and Tehching Hsieh. The decision to organize into themed chapters was contrarian, but proved shrewd. Floyd photos have a natural playfulness that comes through in chaptered arrangements. One can study the course of people and objects over time. And of course, Floyd herself changes in ways that might be less obvious in a strict chronology.


“You’re still a fa├žade when you’re standing in front of the camera,” she told Dazed Digital, “but I’m not trying to make myself look better or prettier, all those things that come into play when we’re making photographs. Photography is so full of lies, it’s interesting to see pictures of people when they’re off guard.” Taken as a whole these off-beat moments form quite an extensive self-portrait, a long-term self-study on par with Rembrandt, Friedlander, or perhaps Vivian Maier. Floyd must have a finely tuned sense of her appearance by now, its minor tics, scars, and shifts. With the book, she’s bravely opened her persona to outsider scrutiny. It’s a bold step, to weather time in public. Few photographers could take the same leap.

As a photo professor at Georgia State University, Floyd had some financial independence to pursue Weathering Time on her own schedule and without outside pressure to monetize the work. The benefits of this approach are obvious, but the other side of the coin is that the project took a while to find its audience. Floyd has organized scattered exhibitions over the past decade or so, and the occasional online profile, even as more photos were being added to the series. These outlets have kept the project simmering. But what put it on full boil and launched the present book was the inaugural ICP/GOST First Photo Book Award, won by Floyd last year. GOST’s publication is a fitting capstone to the project, well worth seeking out for photographers interested in portraiture, typology, or self-analysis.

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
photo-eye Gallery From the Flat Files: Changing Seasons, Timeless Images Delaney Hoffman
photo-eye Gallery presents a selection of work from our flat files that addresses the passage of time and seasonal change.

Vanessa Marsh, Untitled #41, 2018, Lumen print, 20" x 16," Unique, $2100

Ah, yes! Here we are again, at the brink of the seasonal transition between a blistering summer and a blustery fall, one that seems to grow longer and longer with each passing year. Despite this extended timeline, summer road trips are still giving way to cool fall nights while "back-to-school" commercials ring out over every FM radio station. This is a bittersweet time for some, but here in New Mexico, cool weather sounds like a welcome relief.

This week at photo-eye we’ve curated a selection of prints from our flat files that speak to the passing of time and how we observe it; through the appearance and disappearance of wildlife, through the human process of aging, and, of course, through beautiful Southwestern sunrises and sunsets.

We began with a layered lumen print from our Photographer's Showcase artist, Vanessa Marsh, and we continue below with Keith Carter’s Fishbowl. Enjoy!

Keith Carter

Keith Carter, Fishbowl, Toned silver gelatin print, 15" x 15," Edition of 35, Inquire for price



Edward Ranney

Edward Ranney, Star Axis, NM 1/7/83 and Star Axis, NM, Looking North 1/6/83, Toned silver gelatin prints, 14" x 9," Not editioned, Price on request


Julie Blackmon

Julie Blackmon, Birthday Girl, 2005, Archival pigment print, 22" x 22," Edition of 25, $3100


Beth Moon

Beth Moon, Odin's Cove #9, Platinum/palladium print, 11" x 14," AP/9, $5400


Steve Fitch

Steve Fitch, Blue Swallow Motel, Hwy. 66, Tucumcari, New Mexico; July, 1990, Archival pigment print, 16" x 20," Edition of 12, $2000


It is with this final Steve Fitch photograph that we begin to say goodbye to summer. Fitch and the other artists represented in this list are utilizing symbols and markers of time to remind us that temporal change is not only inevitable, but also often beautiful. Let that reminder take us through September, with our swamp coolers and AC units set to "high."

All works in this post are for sale, please reach out to photo-eye Gallery with any inquiries!

• • • • •
  
All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202

Book Review Speak the Wind Photographs by Hoda Afshar Reviewed by Brian Arnold "The Strait of Hormuz is approximately 90 nautical miles long and lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. For centuries it has been a strategic point of power, connecting Persia (or modern-day Iran) with the Arabic civilizations of the Middle East, some of the former Soviet States, and South Asia. Roughly 30% of the world’s natural gas and crude oil pass through the Strait, making it a central point for international trade, and a volatile point of conflict, a portal for competing civilizations and interests..."

https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ666
Speak the Wind
Photographs by Hoda Afshar

MACK, London, UK 2021. 128 pp., 8¼x9½".

“They will haunt your dreams if you don’t 
give them what they ask for.”

From Speak the Wind

The Strait of Hormuz is approximately 90 nautical miles long and lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. For centuries it has been a strategic point of power, connecting Persia (or modern-day Iran) with the Arabic civilizations of the Middle East, some of the former Soviet States, and South Asia. Roughly 30% of the world’s natural gas and crude oil pass through the Strait, making it a central point for international trade, a volatile site of conflict, and a portal for competing civilizations and interests.

Photographer Hoda Afshar was born in Iran, and completed a degree in photography in Tehran before moving to Australia to obtain a PhD in the Fine Arts from Curtis University. Afshar is currently based in Melbourne, but her new book, Speak the Wind, is set on the islands that occupy the Strait of Hormuz and define the southernmost region of Iran. The book serves as a reflection on her life in Iran and the complex history of conflict and desolation that haunt the region.


Speak the Wind
is divided into 6 sections, defined by passages of color or black-and-white photographs, and is accompanied by an essay by Australian anthropologist Michael Taussig, presented in both English and Farsi. The content of the sections is clearly defined, with the color photographs depicting the contemporary people and landscapes of the islands, and the black-and-white pictures reflecting the history and complex geography of the region. Two of the black-and-white sections also provide something much more haunting and cryptic. In these passages, the pages of the book are uncut across the top and contain images and text on the back side of the page, provided by some of the islanders.

The color photographs are dynamic, saturated, and stark, a mix of landscapes and portraits. The landscapes describe a harsh environment of jagged mountains, covered in salt and iron with no visible growth of vegetation. Instead, the landscape appears as though plundered by mining, unforgiving and depleted. Interspersed amongst these landscapes, Afshar shows people from the region, ghostly and desperate, alongside pictures of gravesites and dead animals, city ruins, and tattered copies of the Qur’an juxtaposed with an apparitional rendition of a mosque. Notable too, in my mind, is the use of the color red throughout the book, in a way that seems like a deliberate metaphor. It starts on the cover, with a red pool of water, and appears early in the pages with a ghostly red cloud in the ocean. The mountains of the islands must be rich with iron, as so many of the landscapes are covered in deep, rich red. In Afshar’s pictures, however, I’d suggest that red appears and reads like the American flag in Robert Frank’s great book The Americans, with the color symbolizing the blood of the earth and the complex, often violent history that characterizes the Strait of Hormuz; the last color photograph in the book shows a blood-red wave lapping at the shores on one of the islands.

The black-and-white sections feel more enigmatic, made with a much more repressed tonal palette than the saturated color photographs. The pictures represent a history broadly conceived, as the landscape in these photographs was clearly once a part of the ocean floor, with remarkable shapes and fluidity carved into the stark, desert landscape. In his accompanying essay, Taussig quotes Antonin Artaud in saying these geographic formations appear like the signatures of the gods. They suggest something far beyond human experience, both evasive and beautiful. Interesting, too, among these black-and-white passages is one interlude in which we see a human figure — not discernibly male or female — shrouded in a white cloth in an act of supplication or prayer, actions much more poignant amidst such an epic landscape.


Including the images and texts from the islanders, ghostly beneath the uncut pages, provides an interesting and unexpected element to Afshar’s narrative. Until as recently as 1929, Taussig informs us, the Iranians enslaved Africans. As slavery ended, many of these people took refuge on these islands. The text and images provided here reference this history. The images are crude, childish drawings of figures and monsters. The text, given in short and concise statements, speaks of mythologies and nightmares. Including these on the undersides of the photographs helps describe the experiences and realities beneath the lives and landscapes depicted in the photographs — providing a somber understanding of the violent history characteristic of the Strait of Hormuz.

It is worth commenting more on the design by Morgan Crowcroft-Brown, a prolific part of the team at MACK Books. The pacing of the sections between color and black-and-white is beautifully constructed; the sequences of color photographs are syncopated on the pages –sometimes centered on a page, others placed at the bottom, and still others bleeding through the gutter across two pages – but always framed with a well-defined white border from the paper. The black-and-white pictures are full-page, often bleeding over from one page to the next. The combined effect helps to articulate the passage of time which lies at the core of the book’s narrative, each of the sections paced to offer a different sense of history. Crowcroft-Brown's design reminds me of some of the great, innovative work produced by renowned Dutch photobook designer SYB, as both designers help their photographers visualize complex, layered narratives with new approaches to bookmaking and photographic sequencing.

In his accompanying essay, Taussig concisely identifies some important historical information about the Strait of Hormuz, while also helping to decode the poetry of Afshar’s pictures. The title Speak the Wind, Taussig tells us, references both the geography and mythology of the Strait. As a cultural and geological confluence, the Strait of Hormuz carries the wind of many nations and people. As a mythology, the winds are believed to hold the voices and cries of gods and people over the course of centuries and are capable of both healing and possession. These ideas beautifully articulated in Afshar’s photographs, full of stark and haunting beauty.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).
photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Conversations: Cig Harvey Virtual Walk-Through photo-eye Gallery
Join artist Cig Harvey and gallery director Anne Kelly in a conversation about Cig's online show, "Blue Violet," through photo-eye Gallery.

Cig Harvey, The Blue Hole, 2020, archival pigment print, 16" x 20," Edition of 10, $3000

This week, as a part of our photo-eye Conversations series, we're premiering a new interview with artist Cig Harvey!

Cig Harvey is a fine art photographer who keeps her eyes and ears open. Harvey’s images are excellent examples of how simple elements of color and composition in photographs can deeply effect the viewer. The sheer lushness of her botanical subject matter invites the viewer to engage, and then engage again. The artist feels an intimate and electric connection with the plants and people that she photographs, and this emotional intrigue translates into each and every image.

Cig Harvey also cultivates a regular writing practice alongside her photography. Harvey has released three major publications, You an Orchestra You a Bomb, Gardening at Night, and You Look at Me Like an Emergency prior to the release of Blue Violet, Cig Harvey’s most recent monograph, published by Monacelli Press. Blue Violet is a book that demands attention. Its size, the tactility of the stretched fabric across the cover, the bright colors that can’t help but to catch your eye from across the room — they all echo the intensity with which Cig Harvey makes her work. 

As Blue Violet prepares for its second printing, which is available for pre-order now, Anne Kelly caught up with Cig to talk about the work in our accompanying online exhibition. Don’t miss this insightful conversation, available below or on Vimeo!



In the words of Cig Harvey, Blue Violet is a celebration of the natural world and the senses…[It] is a vibrant meditation on the procession of seasons, sensory abundance, and the magic in everyday life.” Our online exhibition of this work showcases images that tie the sensory world to the material one, and leaves room for the moments of passing in between. 

View images from the show below, and circle back to our interview with Cig Harvey to hear more from the artist about each photograph!


Cig Harvey, All the Rhododendrons, 2020, archival pigment print, 20" x 16," Edition of 10, $3000

Cig Harvey, Rhododendrons and Ladder, 2020, archival pigment print, 20" x 16," Edition of 10, $3000

“It’s so important to let photography lead you, it will reveal so much more if you just get out of the way of yourself, and follow the light.” - Cig Harvey


Cig Harvey, Emily in the River, 2020, archival pigment print, 20" x 16," Edition of 10, $3000




• • • • • 


All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202




Book Review I'm Looking Through You Photographs by Tim Davis Reviewed by Blake Andrews “'I’m pretty good at photography,' states Tim Davis toward the end of his new monograph I’m Looking Through You. 'I’m, like, good at it.' Such a boast would be hyperbole coming from most photographers. But Davis has the goods to back it up. Coming from him the declaration is merely another clear-eyed fact like the pictures it accompanies. Davis shot them in and around Los Angeles over the course of a few years between 2017 and 2019..."

I'm Looking Through You. By Tim Davis.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=AP686
I'm Looking Through You
Photographs by Tim Davis

Aperture, New York, 2021. In English. 276 pp.

“I’m pretty good at photography,” states Tim Davis toward the end of his new monograph I’m Looking Through You. “I’m, like, good at it.” Such a boast would be hyperbole coming from most photographers. But Davis has the goods to back it up. Coming from him the declaration is merely another clear-eyed fact like the pictures it accompanies. Davis shot them in and around Los Angeles over the course of a few years between 2017 and 2019.

The city of angels is huge and multifarious. No single tome can do it justice, but this one makes a damned good effort. It’s a sprawling metropolis of a photobook, over 250 pages thick, with pictures, icons, texts, and motifs all taking turns at the star role. The whole enterprise is couched in slick rainbow packaging that would make any Tinseltown producer proud.

Davis has been engaged with photo projects of one sort or another for a few decades now. A quick overview reveals an astonishing diversity. He’s photographed politics, antiquities, parking lots, edible sculpture, classical paintings, office lighting, broken signs, and more. He’s created videos, penned art critiques, and recorded a music album. He’s even photographed his own audiences. All charming on their own, but in this book he might have finally found the vehicle for every interest.


The fact that he was a temporary visitor, exploring a new city with fresh eyes, likely spurred his process. “The whole place is kind of underseen,” he told Fold Magazine. “No one’s paying much attention to it. Everyone is zooming by on their way to the parking lot of some place.” LA’s visual spoils were just laying there, waiting for the right itinerant shutterbug. Davis took up the challenge. “I would try to explore everything that I was capable of as a 47-year-old photographer with a lifetime of practicing,” he says, “a project that was as broad as possible, a reach into my quiver — everything I think the camera can do.”

I’m Looking Through You
lets the quiver shine. Davis samples from just about every corner of the city, and a few of its scrubby exurbs too. There are pictures of pedestrians, interiors, children, beach cliffs, nightcaps, detritus, movies shoots, amusement parks, laundromats, fencing, nail polish, faux-shamans, and more. In a meta twist he repeatedly circles back to the photographic act itself as a subject. Dozens of pictures show people out in public, making their own pictures of things, which then become the unwitting grist for more of Davis’ pictures. For a city built on layers of glamour, representation, and the simulacrum, these seem to get at the core.

All pictures appear in vertical format. Reproduced without captions, in a rich So-Cal palette, they might be screen tests or ad proofs. There are no chapters or themes, and the sequence appears haphazard at first. But it follows roughly in step-by-step order, each picture linked by a subtle visual cue to its predecessor. The winding path is there but faint, loose enough not to impose itself. Most readers will find it as liberating as the city it documents.


In addition to his photo talents, it turns out Davis is a first-class writer too. He contributes three essays to the book, roughly interspersed at the beginning, middle, and end. Perhaps “essay” is too strong a word. These are freewheeling personal anecdotes written in a rambling poetic tone, like Kerouac’s introduction to The Americans. The first passage describes how Davis conceived the LA project, the second recounts a photographic interaction inside a bar which went delightfully haywire (many photographers will nod in affirmation reading Davis’s labored response to the dreaded question “what are you really doing?”), and the last is a thought-provoking romp through dismemberment in Bulgaria. All are narrative accounts, but they detour so freely into photo philosophy and experience that they might serve as primers in a Photo 101 course, or perhaps Memoir 101. Is this what it’s actually like to be a working photographer? Yes, at least for one distracted wanderer in the city of dreams.

The book contains other texts too but they have a very different character. At periodic junctions, Davis devotes a spread to vernacular signage. These word strings are cropped carefully from surrounding pictures, and subtly reinforce remembered phrases. But the connections are tenuous (including the cover sign, seemingly disconnected from any photo) and mostly they wind up carving out their own space. Posted as strange magnetic poetry on multi-colored backdrops, they might be chapter divisions, or perhaps just verbal interjections to provide a mental respite from the photo deluge. It’s hard to tell. In any case they rainbow new hues into Davis’ LA color wheel. Turn the book on its side and its page edges are gilded with rainbows too.

The title I’m Looking Through You might refer to the translucency of rainbow prisms. For Davis it’s also a sly comment on LA and its famously cosmetic essence. “People from the East Coast are always talking about LA as a shallow place that’s all surface,” he says, before turning the tables on its supposed shortcoming. “As a photographer, I have realized that cameras only see the surface…I believe in passionately in the surface of things. I think that it matters a lot. It has a lot to offer. #I’mlookingthroughyou is almost like a metaphorical pun on the inability to look through anything, except for the camera.”

In glitz, girth, and ambition I’m Looking Through You captures the spirit of LA. Davis called this book, “The best thing I’ve ever done” on Instagram. A bold claim, and perhaps one intended as surface-level critique. But there’s a grain of truth to it. Coming from him the declaration is merely another clear-eyed fact, in a book which is full of them.

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
photo-eye Gallery Portfolio Spotlight: New Work by Edward Bateman photo-eye Gallery
photo-eye Gallery is pleased to share a new portfolio from Edward Bateman and celebrates his selection as a winner of Earth Photo 2021.

Caption required for.centeruing

photo-eye Gallery is excited to announce that Showcase artist Edward Bateman is among the winners of the Earth Photo 2021 prize! The featured image is from At Home in the West, a new portfolio that we’re thrilled to premier on our website.

At Home in the West was created as a companion to Yosemite: Seeking Sublime, which premiered at photo-eye Gallery in November 2020. In December of that year, work from that series was invited to the Art of Staying at Home; Artists in the Time of Corona exhibition at the Bibliotheca Alexandria in Egypt, where Bateman was the only U.S. artist from eight countries included. Additional works from that series were soon exhibited at the Krakow Triennial in Poland and, now, at the Earth Photo exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Edward Bateman is a Salt Lake City-based artist and educator whose practice explores natural processes and figures through photography and printmaking. In At Home in the West, Bateman reconstructs natural landmarks of the western United States with a 3D printer. Massive, awe-inspiring forms, such as those of Yosemite National Park, are rendered to the scale of his kitchen table. He pairs these models with a smoke machine to create haunting, atmospheric photographs that merge the genres of still life and landscape. 

This inversion of the way that we normally interact with big landscapes as small humans creates a strange and playful tension in Bateman’s images. This sense of tension and his unorthodox approach to landscape photography caught the attention of judges at Earth Photo 2021, who declared Half Dome in Winter No. 3, 2021 the winner for the category of “Place” in this year’s competition.  

One of the goals of Earth Photo is to “showcase the best in environmental visual media” and Bateman’s representation of one of Yosemite’s most popular and recognizable landmarks is just that. 


Edward Bateman, Half Dome in Winter No. 3, 2021, archival pigment print, 20" x 20", edition of 6, $1200


Earth Photo 2021 is a project of Forestry England the the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).  About Half Dome in Winter No. 3, the director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Professor Joe Smith, said:

The image at first sight is quite playful, but I must admit that I find it unsettling. [Bateman] is playing off of the art-historical concept of the sublime, but reading it through the lens of the difficult new knowledge of human caused climate change and biodiversity loss...though [this image shows that] big ideas can be created from small, difficult spaces of opportunity.

 

Professor Joe Smith in front of Edward Bateman's Half Dome in Winter No. 3, click here to watch the video in its entirety!

At Home in the West is available for viewing in its entirety on our website! Below are some selections from this recent portfolio.

Edward Bateman, Shiprock No. 5, 2021, archival pigment print, 10 x 15”, Edition of 5, $875


Edward Bateman, Zion No. 6, 2021, archival pigment print, 10 x 10”, Edition of 5, $740


Edward Bateman’s earlier work centered on re-creating and modifying objects from the photographic past through digital manipulation. However, this work is consistent with Bateman’s return to working with the physical object, as the artist has said about his series, Reversing Photosynthesis, previously featured by photo-eye:


For nearly two decades, my work has used constructed and often anachronistic imagery to create alleged historical artifacts that examine our belief in the photograph as impartial witness. Although some elements in that work depict real objects, many have never had a tangible physical existence – they are three-dimensionally modeled completely inside the world of a computer. They are ghosts made of nothing more substantial than numbers.
This new series represents a return to my roots and to those of photography. While I continue to construct many of my images, these works are a new direction; one that reflects both my own aging process and mortality. For me, this is a shift from the virtual to the tangible as perhaps a way to hang onto the fleeting substance of life.

See more from At Home in the West here, or revisit Edward Bateman’s Reversing Photosynthesis here. To hear Edward Bateman speak directly to his work about Yosemite, listen to our photo-eye Conversation between the artist and Gallery Director, Anne Kelly!


Contact photo-eye Gallery with inquiries about Edward Bateman’s work.


• • • • • 


All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202


Book Review The British Isles Photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth Reviewed by Brian Arnold "Speaking for myself, the conceptual and emotional urgency with which I pursue my photography can get in the way. I sometimes forget that a simple walk with a camera, a willingness to see the world with fresh curiosity and a love of the materials of photography are the only things you really need to make pictures full of insight, poetry, beauty and joy..."

https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ750
The British Isles
Photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth

MACK, London, UK 2021. 304 pp., 8¾x10¼".

Speaking for myself, the conceptual and emotional urgency with which I pursue my photography can get in the way. I sometimes forget that a simple walk with a camera, a willingness to see the world with fresh curiosity and a love of the materials of photography are the only things you really need to make pictures full of insight, poetry, beauty and joy. My first viewing of the new Jamie Hawkesworth book, The British Isles, was a lovely reminder that a photographer needn’t be overburdened a critical or social agenda and armed only with an affection for life and an acute sensitivity to light and color, one can still make important and insightful photographs.

The book is over 300 pages. The only text appears on the title page and the colophon, the rest is full of rich, colorful pictures. There is no explanation about when and how the pictures were made, except that they were all made in the British Isles between 2007-2020. I must confess, I had to look up what exactly constitutes the British Isles (short of the larger islands) and learned that it is an archipelago composed of over some 600 islands, including Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. I must also confess that I know little about Hawkesworth, short of what I pulled from Wikipedia, and thus, I relished the opportunity to come to these pictures totally blind and without expectation.


Hawkesworth’s sense of color is amazing. The pictures are rich with warm tones, often with a distinct yellow base note (primarily because he loves late afternoon light). I don’t know if these pictures were captured digitally or with film, but I would venture a guess that at least some of them come from film; Hawkesworth seems to use slightly underexposed images quite successfully on occasion, exploring rich and dark color palettes and gradients. A lush, yellow light with deep shadows appears time and again throughout the book, something I delight in every time.

Without any overtly didactic or political stance, Hawkesworth does offer the viewer a reasoned perspective on life in the British Isles. The pictures are mostly of people, depicted simply and affectionately, with a keen eye for the social elements that define contemporary life. Muslim boys and Catholic students, shopkeepers and holiday seekers, rich and poor; Hawkesworth strives to document a complete social spectrum. The best comparison I can come up with is August Sander. Like Sanders, Hawkesworth offers an incredible cross-section of the social geography of his time. While the motivation and methodology are different, Hawkesworth reveals the British Isles as a dynamic, multifaceted region, full of people of many colors, nationalities and classes, each an essential piece of a national identity. He celebrates racial and social and diversity, and in a way that feels genuine and celebratory; all of his subjects are photographed with respect, affection and, at times, even with delightful humor. The bulk of the book is composed of portraits, but the inclusion of landscapes – iconic coastlines, torn fences and partial loaves of bread – provides a lovely context, suggesting a cultural persona grounded in something that proceeds the corporate takeover of globalization, something distinctly of the region.


There is one thing I’d like to change about this book. There are only three monochrome pictures, all of Muslim youth. I like the pictures, and they add an important demographic to his survey, but just three black and white photographs feel like an afterthought, too deliberate of an attempt at inclusion. And because of this the pictures seem more conspicuous, and the kids depicted less apart of the whole.

I’ve gone through the book several times, and each time I come back to the same word or idea, joy. I do have a clearer understanding of Hawkesworth’s objectives, to affectionately detail the people and things – in all their humility – that define life in the British Isles. Nevertheless, what I love about Hawkesworth’s pictures is all the joy they exude, a joy for simply being in the world, for the pure phenomenon of being as we are and in the places we call home. They are also about an incredible joy for photography, a joy found in paying close attention to light, color and the simple shape of things. Looking through The British Isles made me want to do one of the first things I did with photography – go for a long walk with lots of film, and full of genuine openness to be in the world, and to see what simple pleasures and insights await around the next corner.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).