April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
Things have been pretty quiet around here for several months now, and for good reason – we’ve been really busy.
For example, not long after the previous post we were accepted on ERDF funded training at Teesside University’s DigitalCity, and in December began learning how to set up and run a new WP website with the very patient and multi-talented Steve Thompson.
Steve is also Cultural Ambassador in Teesside for the Independent Republic of Užupis, and in January introduced us to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Užupis, Tomasz Czepaitis, during his brief visit. I had a visa stamped in my passport, and I’m looking forward to using it.
And things are about to get even busier for Wideyed, as we have an exhibition and an international residency coming up fast. We’ll be leaving this blog up for a while longer, just in case, but really…
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!
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… 😉
May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s now 6 weeks since FORMAT11 ended. It took a while for everyone at ASA Collective and Wideyed to get over Mapping the Flâneur (it was a lot of hard work!), and then start digesting the experience…
Over the month that Mapping the Flâneur took place, 97 photographers from 20 collectives around the world contributed just over 700 of their images to the installation project. 700 images in a month might not seem like a lot in a world where thousands of pictures are uploaded to online image sharing sites every minute. But when you’re processing 700 images, publishing them with credits and captions to a tumblr site and sending them to print in a gallery, all one by one, believe us, it’s a lot. And at the end of the exhibition, we discovered we’d used 5 rolls of 40m long paper, totalling 200m, for the installation. Those are big prints.
As part of the application process for ACE G4TA grants, there’s a section dedicated to evaluation – ACE ask how you plan to monitor the progress of your work from start to finish, and consider its potential impact beyond. When you first start considering this, the most obvious measurements of achievement are quantifiable things like the numbers of visitors to the exhibition, press clippings and web hits; for example, based on the figures supplied to us by FORMAT, we estimate that 2,500-2,700 people saw Mapping the Flâneur in Derby. After that, there are things like written comments and word-of-mouth feedback, evaluation forms and SWOT analyses…
But it also occurred to us that, at the close of the exhibition, a large number and variety of images would have been received, and the potential to successfully re-curate these into another object – another exhibition, say – would be the most interesting measure of the quality of the project.
And that’s exactly what we’re about to attempt.
This is the gallery in Newcastle where we’ll be re-exhibiting Mapping the Flâneur – or Re:Mapping the Flâneur. The gallery is part of Newcastle Arts Centre, which 100 years ago was a department store, and the arched ceiling is a restored original feature. Given that the piece of work we’ll be exhibiting there was directly inspired by Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’, the fact that we’ll be using a space that not only looks like an arcade but was also used as a commercial space like one, is fantastic.
And this is roughly how we plan to use that space. Although the gallery is large, it’s nowhere near big enough to display five 40m long prints, so we’ll exhibit the best parts of three, and with these try to give an impression of the lengths of the prints and the scale of the original project they were produced in. The index card filing cabinet we used in the Collectives Encounter exhibition will make a reappearance, and we’ll also produce a 13m long print, especially for this show, as a means of introducing some context (information about the Derby installation, the photographers that took part and their collectives, and so on).
In addition, our collaboration with ASA Collective continues, as we’re working to transform all the images we received into something that can be screened or projected. Our hope is that any of the other collectives involved in this project can then take ownership of this piece, by showing it themselves if they wish. That they might take it for a walk…
The exhibition will run from 14th – 26th June 2011 at Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road, NE1 1SG
6pm onwards on Friday 24th June, the projection piece being created for this exhibition will be screened at a special event, timed to coincide with Sunderland University’s ‘The Versatile Image: Photography in the Era of Web 2.0‘.
We hope to see you there!
February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
On New Years Eve, Yasmina Reggad, our curator, blogged her wishes, one of which was that ours and ASA’s ACE application would be successful.
Ever since, she’s continually assured us that everything would be OK, we’d surely get it, any day now…
And the good news that we have been awarded a grant for Mapping the Flâneur arrived yesterday! Thank you ACE!
And Yasmina, our thanks to you too.
February 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Wideyed is 3 years old today.
But we don’t really have time to review our 2010… not with 2011 irresistably drawing us ahead.
The beginning of Collectives Encounter at Format11 is only a month away now. North East Photography Network has invited us to work with it again this year, in April or July (or possibly both), so we’re working on that as well. Sometime after mid-April we hope to meet up with Belgrade Raw again and start turning our ideas into an actual joint project. And towards the end of September we’re likely to return to France, to make some extra work for the exhibition we’ll be having 23/11 – 4/12/2011 in London… Lots of exciting stuff to look forward to – and who knows what else might come our way?
So hey, happy birthday to us!