A Veil

A Veil

This is an action shot of what scaffolding does. Don’t worry, I learned this a very long time ago, and I realise that it is a bland fact. However, as I walked to the shop that I did not buy my new camera from, I was drawn to the billowing fabric covering a large corporate building. Eventually I realised that it was the exact spot where I had photographed the faded turquoise scaffolding months ago. It had fulfilled its destiny, also known as its function.
With frozen fingers I clicked attempting to capture the movement, the colour and the things evoked in my mind. I saw fake oceans, of the kind you see in school plays, and a building hiding til it was ready to be seen. I also tried hard to ignore the heat of the stares piercing through my peripheral vision.
This is what I got today, I enjoyed looking at it. If you click on the image you see what holds it together.
Happy New Year.

Infrastructure

Infratructure

I am currently busy with an assignment, but today I went for a walk into the city. This is a minor Birmingham artery on a quiet day. Today it made me think about whether we needed more roads and the changing meaning of connectivity. I came to no conclusion other than the realisation that I am lucky to live in such a well connected area, as are most of you. This comes following a week where I learned that the Phillipines has 7,100 islands many of which are inaccessible.

City Lights

Pretend It's A Painting

I took some photos this evening, but I was struggling with my inhibitions about photographing in public and poor light. Here are some street lights I love in the city centre of Birmingham. What are your experiences with starting to take photographs in public spaces? Did you feel self-conscious or paranoid that some security guard would move you along?

Review: Hurvin Anderson Reporting Back (IKON)

Reporting Back is the title of an exhibition by Birmingham born artist Hurvin Anderson exploring themes of personal and cultural history, memory and alienation.

These complex themes are examined through the medium of paint as only a painter knows how.

Expanses of pure colour jostle against geometric patterns, imparting the paintings with an immediacy and vividness that play on our notions of Caribbean geography and culture.

Yet the bold, fragmented and frequently abstracted forms distance memories from any hint of sentiment; the joyous colours belie a recurring sense of insecurity and alienation. The Welcome Series exemplifies this: we have to look through and beyond decorative grilles to reach the leisure fun spots.

In these works our view is subtly obscured by chicken wire or gates that give us a tantalising taste of a desirable destination such as a cafe or tennis court. We think we can see it, but the barrier remains and the viewer is not in the place of interest but just outside it, watching.

Although this sophisticated interplay is set in the Caribbean and not Britain, to my mind, the grille imagery symbolises the plight of migrant workers invited to Britain to fulfill labour shortages who nonetheless faced prejudice and discrimination; “you are welcome, but must go no further”. However, it could also symbolise socio-economic barriers and territorial battles that transcend both cultures where the rich hold the poor at bay regardless of where either are from.

The Peter Series depicts the barbershop attic retreat of an Englishman named Peter. Here a delicious blue interior sets the scene of vulnerability and a process of transformation, the haircut. The sitter has his back to us. On the face of it, the viewer is in the most powerful position. The mood is contemplative with no genuine menace and the artist’s past or present feelings about the experience of that space remain illusive.

Such is the enigma that is Hurvin Anderson an artist who deftly takes you on a journey through his memory, presenting tense scenes whilst giving very little of his own emotions away. He is the critical and beguiling watcher and presenter of deceptive beauty whether in Trinidad, Jamaica or Birmingham.

Image

Reporting Back at the Ikon gallery (25 September – 10 November 2013).