Leon Eckert

Munich born Photographer Leon Eckert is studying design at Goldsmiths College London, a place where thought and intention is exalted over simple cosmetic. At sea on the east coast of Spain one moment, witnessing riots with fire bombers the next, wherever or whatever Leon always has his trusty camera on hand ready to capture. He has travelled through China, worked in advertising production in Barcelona, flown into Tokyo and strolled the harbour of Hong Kong to name but a few; It’s this awareness, an understanding of the culture he has experienced, that permeates the very purpose of his work. Leon believes that every time he puts his finger down to press the shutter, he is advancing his “eye” for imagery, whilst fulfilling his need to document his endeavours.

For one of his enquiries, Leon explored the notion of public transportation, questioning the experience gained in return for the price of a ticket. In this instance a day ticket was purchased, which enables the purchaser to a full 24 hours of transport, yet rarely is this ever fully exploited. Riding 60 different buses continuously over 1460 minutes, Leon nearing exhaustion managed to capture a couple embracing in front of the bus during the latter of his journey. This couples stolen moment of affection suddenly becomes a public event, much like the transport itself.

Leon’s photographs are determinedly direct; a gritty state that comes from examining the root of a situation. They’re hearty intention is tied with a vastness and stillness that becomes vibrant in its celebration. The focus on the events impact over their visual state is beauteous in design and admirable in content. Leon’s work emphasises the relevance of communal experience in the advent of social media living.

 

You can also check out Leon’s Website, Blog and Facebook page at the links below!

http://www.leoneckert.com/

http://leoneckert.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/leoneckertphotographer

Rosy Whittemore Photography

Rosy Whittemore is an Art History graduate from Manchester, as well as an astounding photographer. Her photographs have achieved success on blogging site Tumblr, with over a thousand notes on her most popular photos. She has also gained recognition from Magnum Photography.

Her favourite photo (top left) was taken  an exhibition in Vienna and she loves it because, ‘it’s a colour photo but everything in the photo is black and white, including the painting, so everything’s made out of these rectangular black and white shapes.’ Many of Rosy’s photos have the same poignant peacefulness that this one does. They seem endless and are taken with great talent and precision.

Rosy’s interest in photography started in her early teens, as she describes, ‘My mum had this chunky eighties Minolta 9000 slr that I used to play around with when I was younger, and when she got a digital camera I sort of took it over.’Since then Rosy has gained quite a big collection of analogue cameras after being drawn to the technical side of photography. She has found ones on ebay and market stalls, as well as buying old Russian cameras. Her favourite is her 70s Canon av-1 SLR, which she brings everywhere with her.

 Rosy’s influences include  Lyonel Feininger, the street photographer. She likes that he uses double exposure and natural lighting conditions. She also says that she was influenced by her mum, explaining that ‘we always had really nice holiday photo albums they weren’t filled with people, just places. I think she enjoyed photography as well because she’d always take ages to take photos of things, but they were always really good.’

Rosy is hoping to put together a proper photography project soon and take that into an exhibition. She would also like to belong to somewhere like Magnum Photography as she admires them for how iconic they are. With a talent like hers, we hope to be seeing more from her soon!

Check our Rosy’s Flickr here!

 

Rory Green

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know a fantastic young artist from Essex. I’m a big Art fan myself, and I think it’s so interesting seeing what the young British art scene of today has to offer. As an artist, Rory is incredibly passionate and dedicated to his art. His pieces are deep, meaningful, yet still beautifully intriguing and visually effective. Drawing from both classic influences, and modern topics, Rory creates relatable works that speak to the audience. I find it’s rare in young artists to find someone that is not only talented, but knowledgable on what’s going on in the world of art today. Because of this Rory is someone who will continue to develop his work, bringing us more and more. One to watch, and a true British original. Here’s what he had to say:

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Tell me about yourself as an artist

I’m Rory I’m 21 and I do art at the University Of Hertfordshire. I’ve just finished my second year and I’ve probably gone the most long winded way about doing a Fine Art Degree. From leaving sixth form I did a foundation diploma at ware college, a foundation degree at war college and NOW, as most people I was at Ware with are leaving university I’m about to enter my third year at University Of Hertfordshire. My art work usually centres around myself and my reactions, thoughts and observations on what is around me from pop culture to my personal family life. I’ve been told that I’m a concept artist and I’d largely agree with that. My work takes all manor of forms from painting and photography to installation often trying to mix them all in some way to create my work.

What are the influences and inspirations behind your latest works?

Football. Football is the inspiration behind my current work because its what I’m surrounded by constantly. I’m football fan and however that is not the reason why I’ve chosen football as the subject of my latest body of work. My brother is a professional footballer so I see a different side of the beautiful game to that of the ninety minutes you see at a weekend. My work is challenging the public perception of football and footballers both culturally and whether they have a place in fine art. It’s an ongoing theme at the moment because I feel it’s something I can really sink my teeth into and enjoy creating work about. My most recent body of work shows photographs of myself dressed in my brothers football kits, England kits and Manchester United kits, a painting of myself showing a sort of tribute to a Peter Blake painting, a green canvas with football boots on it, a painting of myself holding a football and a football, on a plinth with the words “god is dead, football is your new religion” upon it. My aim for my work is to get a reaction out of my audience and get people to really think about what the hell I’m conveying. I like to keep it autonomous and allow the public to have their own opinion-I won’t force the meaning upon them.

Football unifies people the world over and I feel that art does that too. There are many similarities between the two for me. Grass roots football is no different to an art student at school, college or university and the galleries you show your work in is the same to the leagues in professional football with the big names and big buyers being the premiership.

As a young artist, have you found it difficult to establish your own style?

I think it’s hard for any young artist to find their own style whilst they are at university. You’re constantly being told to research and go to galleries to see what’s new, current, and modern in contemporary art and I think there is only so much information that you should and can take from what you’re seeing otherwise your instincts will be to work in a way which you know the outcome will be successful because it looks like what you saw last week in London. I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past and now coming to the end of my second year, I’ve found that I’m beginning to finally develop my own style. I was never one that wanted to do LOADS of research to inform my work however now I’ve found it’s about being selective with what you’re researching and selective with how you use it to inform your work…then your style will develop from what you yourself add to your research.

What are your thoughts on the British Art scene of today?

The British art scene today is ever growing under a pile of YBA comparison. Which isn’t as bad as it may sound. Yes the YBA’s were and still are the top draw in this countries top art galleries but they haven’t been young for twenty years. Yet what they did paved the way for art students like me to make the work I want to make. I think the British art scene is in a predicament of wanting to move away from the past and look to the future but the mainstream exposure for the future isn’t there. I’m a BIG fan of Sarah Maple right now. She’s going to be and SHOULD be our next biggest export however lazy comparisons of her being the heir to Tracey Emin’s thrown can hold her back instead of skyrocketing her, she’s brilliant. It’s a predicament because staging MASSIVE retrospectives generate LOADS of money and create a massive buzz about British art…but we should be making a fuss about the new young British artists that are making the noise now.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

In the future I am going to finish my degree and possibly go on to do an MA…I’m more likely to do the MA and gather as much experience as I possibly can for when I finally leave. I have conflicting thoughts about wanting to teach or be a tutor with people that want to do art or just try it and go for it and be an artist. My work will keep growing as I do too, as corny as that sounds, but I’m going to keep on developing this body of work. One of the things I’ve learnt is that an artists artwork has to be a continuous line of enquiry rather than looking at it as “I’ve done one thing this semester and now I’m going to switch and look at some ing completely different” it has to flow and it has to be real. The best in anything whether its art, music, film…anything has to be real for it to be the best.

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Rory’s unique style and infectious passion for his art make him definitely one to watch in the future. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. To see more of Rory then get in touch:

Email: green.rory@hotmail.co.uk

Katie

Paul Cooklin

In the world of super advanced technology, black and white photography has gained a new appreciation for its back to basics approach. This happens to be method that Paul Cooklin chooses to exploit and you can see why from his collection of glassy perfected images. Growing up with his dad’s passion for visual arts, Paul was influenced by and ultimately inspired years later to change careers. Encouraged by his awe of cinematography in the Star Wars films, Paul dived into the professional world of capturing pictures. His works have illustrated the pages of Time Magazine and been crafted into a Published Book, Entitled “Cuba on Film”. The Cuba collections are populated with lustrous images of the Caribbean and curated by City Pulse.

The crystal clear realms presented in Paul’s photographs traps the viewer into a sublime location, where harmony is celebrated in the absence of multi colour. Only by taking these scenes to the basics of hue does their impact of size and existence fully hit us. Paul has a knack for glorifying locations in print and on screen, that in reality fall short of his creations; It is not the capturing of a moment but rather a snap shot of a vision. Shunning LCD screens and post digital tweaking, Paul attempts to capture his own concept by developing and hand printing each negative in his own darkroom. Although his work is limited to the mechanics of analogue, the results are equal to that of its photoshoped counterparts. This generates a greater appreciation for how such art is made in a culture where fakery is the norm.It is not so much a documentary of places on the earth but rather a documentary on how Paul see’s or wants us to see the world around us. You could easily imagine his stylised photographs being a coffee table book you go back to time again.

Here are Paul’s Links

http://paulcooklin.com

http://paulcooklin.com/wordpress/#&panel1-1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulcooklin/

Brock Davis

“Make work that people want to talk about and have fun doing it.” Take a moment and question how many of us would eat a banana, and instead of throwing away the skin, think that it could be turned into a piece of art? And how many of us picture a muscle car, a toy muscle car, ramping into the air, over a piece of cake? Well ‘Tumblr’ sensation Brock Davis is doing an impressive job of finding creativity in uncreative places; and in doing so, has aquired a whole host of followers and built an impressive client list. All from simply making a few clever observations, and realising his sometimes weird & wonderful ideas.

Based in Minneapolis, the photographer / designer / modelmaker / everything-else’s twists on the everyday, ranging from a ‘Cucumber Killer Whale’ to a ‘Cauliflower Treehouse’ have caught the eye of hundreds of thousands and set a trend for a generation of low-fi artists. It’s the kind of craft that makes you sit back and think ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’

The lack of text in his work and pure dependance on image allows the work to be appreciated by any age group; and without language barriers, the work has a universal appeal, which could contribute to his world wide web success. The intuition and craft of Brock Davis really must be applauded. His specialty lies in making the small big and the missable unmissable, but simultaneously the work is comical. Something so realistic and accessible as is the medium of food allows us to relate to the work and understand it instantaneously. It’s good clean fun at it’s best.

 

 

Mat Hay Photography

Recent graduate from Edinburgh Napier University Mat Hay had his work on display at the recent Graduate Show. His photographs were eye catching, powerful and I just wanted to know more…

His website showcases his vast photography experience in different settings including portraiture, stunning landscape shots (my fav is the San Diego one) and great ‘movement’ shots of skaters. Mat has been shortlisted for the graduate Futureproof exhibition held in Glasgow and Aberdeen (fingers crossed).

Mat’s graduate project ‘The Messenger’ questions the power of storytelling, persuasion and the workings of religion. His work is so intriguing and held a deeper meaning than the other works on display. He was kind enough to answer some of my questions…

What was your inspiration behind your graduate project (left)?

‘It started with a visual anthropology project I was doing on Varanasi on the Ganges, and the Hindu rituals and beliefs which dominate the lives of the people in that area. While researching different religions, including Hinduism, and reading Van Gennep’s book ‘The Rights of Passage’, I became fascinated with the countless religious stories and beliefs around the world today. This led me to consider how as humans we seem to rely on science and logic to exist but we still have an instinct to believe in some pretty unbelievable stuff. It is a very interesting situation to be in’.

What were the challenges of this project?

‘The big challenge was dealing with such large groups of people and working without a budget. The cast and crew all volunteered their time for free so I tried to get each shot done quickly, particularly in the freezing mid-winter Scottish weather. Everyone was really committed though which was fantastic. The biggest positive was the people and the locations – they made the project!’

How about a bit about your yourself?

‘I’ve been exploring lots of different types of photographic work during my degree studies which has been great. I’ve met some really interesting and accomplished individuals which has really helped to develop my thinking and practice. I think the highlights recently have been working for Nadav Kander then, through that, getting to interview Broomberg and Chanarin who were a large part of my discussion in my dissertation’.

And what are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

‘My plans are to expand this project over the summer. Then I’ll hopefully move back to London to carry on assisting others while starting some new projects of my own’.

Check out Mat’s work on his website and look out for future exhibitions displaying his work. Good luck Mat, with such skills I’m sure we’ll be hearing about your work in the future.

Sarah Kilkenny Design

It’s often the case that creative types draw a lot from their childhood, after all we are each one of us products of our upbringing. It was natural then for Sarah Kilkenny to make the move from embroidering with her grandmother in Manchester to studying fashion design full time at the Edinburgh College of Art. Following a slew of fashion opportunities in sixth form, including the Fashion Awareness Directive and the Vauxhall Fashion Scout programme, the latter of which granted Sarah the research award, the young designer gathered enough confidence and experience to continue her passion into higher education. She is now entering her fourth and final year of study.

Often cited as the fashion capital of the North, Manchester plays host to a number of creatives, many of whom have been featured as part of the ‘Born in Britain’ project. Between the experience her home town has leant her, and those which she has learnt in Edinburgh, Sarah’s style is one that is comfortable and cool. Growing up around many artistic influences has allowed her to broaden her own repertoire and she cites illustration and writing as areas of interest to be explored, as well as photography, film, and design and the impact and relationship they share with fashion design. As well as this, the designer talks about the merging of fashion and academia as a growing trend, alluding to Anja Aronowsky Cronberg and her work at Vestoj, and with such a multifaceted nature to her work, Sarah imbues creation with meaning, drive, and interest.

Currently, her work is largely fashion design with a focus on surfaces. Studying at the ECA has lead to an endless number of awesome opportunities, including the chance to work with high-end designers Duchamp and Michael Kors, both of whom selected Sarah as a finalist in their design competitions. The accolades don’t stop there, either, she also made it to the finals of the British Alpaca Society Student Knitwear Designer of the Year Competition and the Mackintosh Competition, narrowly missing out on the top spots. The latter two competitions were of great importance to Sarah because of their positions as forerunners in a long line of British heritage brands, which, alongside Gola, support and sustain the tradition and economy of Great Britain. That’s why, when a young Scottish brand announced her as winner of their design competition, she was so enthusiastic to see her designs realised. That’s all under wraps for now, but watch this space.

Inspiration comes from many areas, but Sarah stresses that they are mainly visual ones. Feelings and characters play into her ‘imaginary muse’, but the main theme is a focus on perception through vision. Work with other creatives is also impactive, and she describes working on a collaborative sketchbook project that involved sharing visual illustration ideas and building upon them as a group of artists.

This summer, Sarah has embarked on an internship with another heritage brand, Pringle of Scotland. Living and working in London, Sarah tells me that she will be ‘assisting with all areas within the design team, knitwear and wovens but predominantly knitwear as this is where I have been specialising this year. Also research, colour palettes, fittings and working with the lookbook shoot’. The formal part of her training begins here, but she is no stranger to the hard-faced world of the fashion industry, and has previously worked with clients such as Chanel on their 2013 Metier D’Arts show in Edinburgh.

Sarah admits that the future is anyone’s guess. She’d like to do an MA in Womenswear, but with such an extensive and impressive CV already, the sky really is the limit for this impressive young designer.

Top Photo: Coat, Sarah Kilkenny; Hat, Emma Lawrie; Top, Catrina Murphy; Trousers, Birgit Saviauk. Model: Marju Kaps.

Sarah may be contacted at: sarahkilkenny91@gmail.com

sarah-kilkenny.tumblr.com

Sarah Kathleen Page

Sarah Kathleen Page is a talented artist from Peterborough, who I’m lucky enough to know personally.

 

We studied media production at college together from 2008, where her flair for fashion and photography was increasingly apparent; as since she has flourished, experimenting in several different mediums, including photography, film-making and modelling.

 

Between her passion projects and working as a photographer and editor for a clothing company, Sarah’s been a busy lady lately, but I managed to catch up with her for a quick chat about what makes her tick.

 

So, I’ve known you since we were younger, but what did you want to do when you were a kid?
Originally I wanted to be a fashion designer. I would watch Fashion TV and America’s Next Top Model, which lead to me being more interested in the visual photographic side rather than designing and styling.

 

Would you class yourself as a photographer, a filmmaker or an artist?
A bit of both. Sometimes I film, sometimes I photograph. Sometimes my work has a personal meaning, other times I want to create something just because I’m in a creative mood. The whole process for me is quite therapeutic. I have something to focus on besides my every day worries, it gives me a creative outlet and a way to connect with people. 

 

Why did you want to go into this field?
Being creative and challenging myself is what I like to do. Work in this field is very varied, I like the idea of doing something different every day. Film and photography gives me this opportunity to create work that people will engage with, to make people connect with what they are watching and that will broaden our understanding of the world.

<divYou’ve been really busy lately, but what do you do in your spare time? 

I travel a lot, usually down to London; there’s always something new happening. I’m keen to find new opportunities, so every once in a while I’ll be volunteering for festivals such as the East End Film Festival and London Festival of Photography and attending talks, such as with Elliot Grove founder of Raindance, Perry Curties editor of 125 magazine and David Bailey. When I’m not doing all this, I’m drinking tea and having cuddles with my beautiful cat Shebba.

 

What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Photographing the catwalk shows at London Fashion Weekend was a great experience; it was a bit of an adrenaline rush the first time. It was nice to get a taste of what it would be like as a career.

 

What should we expect from you in the future?
I’m hoping to have a photographic exhibition on the 17th of June at the Peterborough University. I’ve also been trying to make the big decision whether to go to University or not, which will have a big impact on my future.

 

You can see more examples of Sarah’s work at www.sarahkathleenpage.co.uk

Introducing.. Eleanor Cunningham

Eleanor Cunningham is a recent MA Fine Arts graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design as well as a fine artist working with photography and mixed media based in London.

Eleanor’s work is based upon the application of traditional and new technologies in relation to photography. As a medium that is constantly ever-changing, especially with its digital technologies, Eleanor is interested in the future and outcome of photography as a medium and art form. Her work focuses predominantly on the physicality of photography – The loss of it, as a result of recent digital culture. In creating her work, she explores how the content of her imagery determines this loss of physicality, as well as new ways in which to present it beyond the physical print.

Eleanor explains that she does not have full control in her development processes, which leaves way for mistakes and error – But she further goes on to explain that, “this element is important, as it leaves traces within the image (such as dust marks and scratches) that brings it closer and seems more real to us – as we ourselves have imperfections.” The artist’s use of manipulation, as well – whether by heat, coloured dyes, changes in emulsion or medium – transports the viewer into an alternative universe, retracing and re-analyzing objects and places in ways that were otherwise unbeknownst to them.

There is definitely something utterly moving and captivating about this artist’s work, and I don’t doubt any successes that are there for her in the near future.

To find out more about Eleanor’s work, visit her website – www.cunningart.co.uk

– Killian

(All images courtesy of Eleanor Cunningham) 

Celeste Morton

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was a standout weekend for everyone involved. Freelance photographer and Graphic Designer Celeste Morton captured the day strikingly with photographs that each depicted a character with a story to tell.

“I headed to Westminster bridge on the monumental day, overlooking the jubilee boat parade, I’m not a die hard royalist but I was fascinated to see the special amount of effort people had gone to to witness the Queen. The weather was grey but spirits were high, and everyone seemed excited. I snapped the boy on his father’s shoulders just as a helicopter passed above and he turned to look, with the flag almost unfurling from his head like a speech bubble.”

“Regarding the girl; there was a fenced off pen for the armed forces, and it struck me how young some of the cadets were. I was watching them more than the big screens with Her Majesty on it, they were extremely intriguing people. This girl was particularly good to photograph, as she kept on craning her neck to watch the screens and she looked very important in her little navy hat, like innocence and youth dressed as a grown up. Lovely embroidered lettering as well. Even I can’t deny the uniforms are sensational.”

Celeste combines her love of photography with her discipline of graphic design. Living in London, she is constantly observing ongoing events. More of her work can be seen here.

Dwyle Flonk Film

With a name as abstract as theirs, it comes as no surprise that the two man band behind ‘Dwyle Flonk Film’ embrace the weirdness on a personal, as well as professional, level. We caught up with Jack and Lysander to discuss their magical world.

The two met at Downside School in Somerset, where they bonded over many things, not least of which ‘being dark-haired’. Warp Films and Warp Records, as well as Ninja Tune artists, also figured in their friendship, and later became key players in the creative inspiration behind Dwyle Flonk. It really came about, Jack says, from ‘finding the darkest in humanity funny’. He explains that ‘Dwyle Flonking is an old English game where the aim is to hit a man with a beer soaked rag. DFF does that but with film, in some way’.

This celebration of the absurd is at the heart of the Dwyle Flonk ethos; each film plays upon the uncanny and the bizarre, all with a good added dose of humour. They largely work in shorts that ‘experiment with stereotypes through film, and the subversion of normal film tropes’, and are quick to point out that ‘there is a lightness of touch in our work, though what we deal with is dark’. The films are testament to this, and the rather glib sentiment that DF is ‘whimsical about death, decay, sexual perversion, and creepiness’ probably most straightforwardly sums them up.

Both have impressive and lengthy creative resumes; Jack has worked extensively in film and theatre in Cheltenham, Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol and Edinburgh, career pinnacles being ‘an explicit and violent version’ of Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre, directing a sell-out revival of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing’, and acting for Warner Bros TV. He currently studies TV, Theatre and Film at the University of Bristol. Lysander began by staging a school producation of Jam by Chris Morris, a production that still haunts the vacuous halls of my own subconscious. His education is a mixed bag, having worked in photography, to running a pub, to the antiques trade; a CV with a ‘breadth of experience that helps inform a lot of our work’. The both have before worked with BBC Drama, and can be seen in a new adaptation of The Lady Vanishes which aired on 17 March 2013.

Their rise to dizzying heights has commenced, and there are many projects currently on the go at DF, including a collaborative work with photographers and composers on the theme of ‘the weird’; curating the South West’s newest short film festival – Jump Cut Film Festival, in collaboration with various other media groups, in May 2013; as well as several films, including Gin. Two Fingers. and a short film about the troubles of being a statue performer.

Currently based in Bristol, they can be contacted at dwyleflonk@gmail.com.

Info on Jump Cut Film Festival can be found here: www.jumpcutfestival.co.uk

Film: The Goodparent, entry into Virgin Media Shorts 2012.

Benjamin Haywood

Benjamin Haywood is a photographer based out of London, where he is currently studying for BA Hons Photography at the London College of Communication.

Benjamin’s work is attributed to British life and culture, focusing in on remote places within Britain to gain a better understanding of them, as well as allowing the viewer to gain a better understanding of them and their presence, as well. ‘The Kensington Guide’, a book dedicated to the ‘posh’ area of Kensington in London, is an objective view on its distinctive ‘detachment’ of its surrounding London Burroughs, as well as the quiet, fleeting aura that it suggests.

Other projects include his book, ‘Little Britain’ – A look into the life of and an effort upon his part to further thoroughly understand the culture of and what essentially is, ‘British’. Benjamin follows small towns upon the West and Southwest coast primarily, attempting to wonder how and why most of these places have not been dramatically affected by other cultures in the same way that many have within the past decades.

Unlike many of his predecessors, considering the thorough approach and dynamic that Benjamin works with in creating his photographs, I have no doubt that he will continue to prosper from it, as a result. You can view Benjamin’s work collection here.  Check him out, and keep your eye on him!

 

(Photos Courtesy of Benjamin Haywood)

– Killian