Art, Action, the Missing Link


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What a fabulous day Saturday was.

Morning time. The Photographers Gallery. We were off to gaze at the work of Roger Mayne.
We started on the top deck. Floor five. Worked our way down. Nominees for a prize stack the floors full of pictures.

Sophie Calle really spoke to me. She’s doing what I want to do, words and pictures, but she’s doing it a damn sight better and with connections. She’s funny too.

Floor 4. Still the nominees. Portraiture abounds. And lots of moving images. That particular room is not to my liking. Its not the work. I could look at the work. I could appreciate it but the room, the way its set up, makes me uncomfortable.

Floor 3. Touchstone. One solitary image and a bench. Its a series. Sit, look, let the image evoke what it will  within you. Write your thoughts down on a piece of paper and present them for inclusion on an IPAD. Instead I take a picture of the picture using composition so it appears as it appears here. You can still sit and think about it thanks to the wonders of technology and the availability of this blog. Preserved in technosphere:
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I’d really like your opinion on it. It puts me in mind of monasteries, monks, giving up the material plane. But what do you think? Give it time. let it soak in.

The photo is actually from a new book called Haven which focuses on a woman’s refuge in Wolverhampton. Its funded by Multistory – an arts project from my home town of West Bromwich. I connected to the picture, i connected to the explanation. Connect.

One more floor and we are at the Roger Mayne exhibition. Images form the 50’s and the 60’s. A photographer taking on the establishment given their then existing snobbery about photography. The shots tell the story of the working class as it was then. The truth about the housing conditions we lived in, the bomb sites, the slums, the integrity of the working world, family, community. There is a lot that has changed in my 60 years. I’m glad to report we are better at graffiti than they were. But i also know for a fact now that graffiti is not new, is not a malaise of the day we live in, that it is rooted in reality. I particularly like a picture of a game being played. I like the movement. But strangely i likeit because one of the players is wearing brothel creepers.

One more floor we are taking tea.

One more floor we discover a print sales room and fall in love with the humour of Martin Parr and his singular focus on the eccentricies of the british.

We walk some. We walk to meet a march. We walk to march for the NHS. Whose NHS? Our NHS. Photogallery here

The day is all but done. All we need know is to party with Subir.

The missing link is tomorrow. Tomorrow is the AGM of the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum. We are due to go. We don’t.

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