Meanwhile, Louise Taylor

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Anyone who’s read this blog anytime over the past six months or more, would be forgiven for thinking that Wideyed has been doing little other than Mapping and Re:Mapping Flâneurs. That’s not quite true… it’s just that we’ve I’ve been a bit rubbish at sharing other news.

For example, at the end of May we should have mentioned that, with Clarita Lulic, Adam Brown, Damien Wootten and Richard Stout, Louise was awarded one of five North East Photography Network Development Bursaries! She plans to put the bursary money towards completing her hunting project ‘Shoot!’.

And Lou has been busy doing other things too, like starting a new project. Last month it was her turn to post an image on the front cover of Wideyed’s website, and the one chosen was drawn from the first photos made in the beginnings of this body of work (see first image below). But there’s a little more to it than that, so I asked her to explain for the blog – over to Lou!

Hi Lucy,

OK, here goes…..

I had some work done on my house recently, and one of the builders I employed has another life as the owner of a Clydesdale Stud. Gary and his wife, who live near me in Tow Law, breed and show their horses, and travel all over the country to compete with fellow Clydesdale enthusiasts. 

The Clydesdale is a native breed to Scotland, dating back to the mid 18th Century, and traditionally they were used for farm work. Modernisation and tractors caused these working horses to become almost redundant, and the breed’s numbers dwindled until, in 1975, the Clydesdale was categorised by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as ‘vulnerable’. Recently there’s been a small increase in numbers again, and it’s now categorised as just ‘at risk’.

I’m interested in this breed of horse, and the people who choose to own them. At this stage I’m not entirely sure of what it is that I want to document though. I think I’m drawn to the fact that it’s enjoying a revival as people become increasingly aware of more sustainable practices in farming, and new generations relearn the skills to work these animals again, generally in environmentally sensitive areas, like logging. 

I started photographing over a month ago, and last weekend put up a poster-size photo installation at a show in my village as a means of breaking the ice with Clydesdale owners – to act as an introduction, get people chatting, and hopefully help me find a way in to what I want to do. 

It’s a start…..and even just writing this down has helped me to think about the direction that I want to take.



All images © Louise Taylor 2011. The top image is from the series ‘Horse Power’ (working title), and the other one is an installation shot of Lou’s guerilla exhibition at the horse show in Tow Law, County Durham, Sunday 3rd July.

And yes, she hung the prints with magnets, Wideyed style… 😉

Cheers, Lucy

Београд, живели!

November 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

On our way home from France, Louise met Richard and me at Luton airport so we could catch a plane to Serbia together to visit photography collective Belgrade Raw. During the week we were in their city (20th-27th October), we met with Darko, Andrej and Nemanja several times for drinks, dinner, a walk around Belgrade, and in-depth conversations about the work both groups would like to do together. The whole thing was productive, instructive and fun, so we came away really energised by the exchange.

We’ll try to add more later when we’ve all got our films back from the lab and our thoughts together… Meanwhile, some digipix © Louise Taylor.

This boat was our ‘taxi’ from our fantastic floating hostel, ArkaBarka, to Brodić, a riverside restaurant where we ate great Serbian pizza.

In one part of Belgrade they have real zebra crossings.

On the right, Darko, plus Richard contemplating adding to his already ridiculously large camera collection.

Belgrade Raw introduced us to dvafoto’s Matt Lutton, right, here showing photographer Michael Bowring a proof print of his book on Serbia.

From the left: Darko, Matt, Richard, Michael, and Andrej.

We were also introduced to young filmmaker Nikola Zecevic, who’s currently producing an interesting documentary about the creative scene in Belgrade, and is part of Spotlight on Serbia.

Teaser – Unnamed Upcoming Belgrade Documentary from Nikola Zecevic on Vimeo.

Wideyed’s trip to meet Belgrade Raw was funded with a NAN ‘Go and See’ Bursary 2010.

Vigneresque attitude…

November 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

On Thursday 30th September, Wideyed arrived chez François Blanchard, organic winemaker, at Chateau du Perron in the Touraine region of France.

For Richard and me, this was our second trip to ‘Perron City’- our first was in 2005, when we took there ‘Growing Green’, an exhibition on organic horticulture in England by Richard. And, while we were there, made work about François’ unusual winemaking process that I exhibited some of my images from in Darlington the following year, for the opening of which François came over to do a wine tasting.

We didn’t mean to then leave the photos to rest for five years but, one thing and another, that’s what happened. 2010 really seemed like a good time to take them back though, especially as Richard’s images hadn’t been seen by anyone, in England or France. And, while we were at it, why not make it a Wideyed thing?

So there were all were, Louise, Richard and me, and we were there to hang an exhibition of mine and Richard’s vintage wine images, together with Louise’s ‘Shoot!’ series on hunting in County Durham. Not knowing where exactly around the chateau we were likely to exhibit, we just turned up with a variety of prints and improvised.

With much enthusiastic encouragement from François, we chose to hang our pictures on empty wine vats lining the corridor leading to and in the barn where the white wine was made this year, so basically our exhibition was in an interesting working space, and it was up until Sunday 17th October when the harvest ended.

As a crew from France3 turned up you can see for yourself just how much fun the whole thing was, all thanks to the ‘vigneresque attitude’ of François and his partner Karine. They started making organic wine around 2003, have always considered harvest time something to celebrate, and each year invite musicians and artists along to both muck in and do their thing. At the weekends people come from around France and also Belgium, Germany, Blighty of course… and even the New York restaurant where some of François’ wine is served (hello Claire!).

Anyway, over the fortnight we were there we made ourselves useful by helping to harvest and crush grapes, but the three of us also took a lot of photos. Although we’ve known each other for several years and, since founding Wideyed, have produced exhibitions together, we haven’t worked together as photographers before and thought the trip to France, at François’ invitation, artists-in-residence style, might be just the opportunity to give it a go. We should get our films back from the lab next week hopefully, and then we’ll have an editing session, see if we can shape something from the results?

From the left: Lucy, Richard, Claire, Hans, François, Louise, and Dabu, in front of the Chateau de Chambord.

All images © Louise Taylor 2010

Louise in the September issue

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

As well as the ‘Go and See’ bursaries, NAN has run a funding scheme for artists’ professional development. In the Artists’ Information Company’s current issue of a-n Magazine, Lauren Healey has published a report evaluating the impact this funding stream has had on its beneficiaries, and Wideyed’s Louise Taylor is one of the artists cited as a case study.

In the print magazine the whole of page 19, illustrated with one of our favourite photos from Louise’s ‘Outer Mongolia’ series (see below), is dedicated to the practical training workshops and mentoring she received funding for in 2007.

If you’re an a-n member you can also read the piece online, otherwise an abridged version of the full report is available to download as a .pdf (with the bit about Louise on page 7).

‘Centenary’ opening

November 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

It took Richard and me longer than we thought to get to Cowshill for Louise’s opening, but though we were late there were still quite a few people there, and plenty of wine and nibbles. These pix were all taken by Louise before we arrived though, the place was heaving all afternoon she said, so the event was obviously a success! In the photo above you can see people holding or leafing through their copies of the centenary book.

Louise’s photo exhibition is part of a multi-faceted heritage project undertaken over a period of a year. With other members of the Heatherycleugh community, Louise has been involved with many aspects of it – a massive amount of work, and a fantastic achievement! And as if that weren’t enough, she also cooked us dinner before taking us down the local pub for the evening.

We got another chance to see the exhibition this morning before heading home, and it was packed out again. It runs until 5th December – and for anyone passing next Saturday morning, the bacon butties are also highly recommended!

Invitation to ‘Centenary’

November 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

So, Louise is opening ‘Centenary’ tomorrow afternoon.

Information above, and also on the ‘Centenary’ page of the ‘What We’ve Done’ section of this website.

Invitation to ‘Social’

November 17, 2009 § Leave a comment

Arts collective BLIMEY! are hosting an event on the theme of ‘social’, 2-8pm on Saturday 21st November at the Darlington Railway Institute. Curated by James Lowther, BLIMEY! members and selected guest artists – including Wideyed’s own Louise Taylor, who will be giving a sneak preview of some images from her upcoming exhibition ‘Centenary’ – will show and create work, and the event will end with an auction.

For more info about the programme and participation, email or look for BLIMEY! on Facebook.

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