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Scratch the Surface Photographic Collective & Auction

25 April 2012 - 1 May 2012 th


Holly Birtles Rachel Cunningham Paul Lobban Chantelle Nash Debbie Naylor Andre Pinkowski Bridie Riley Jessica Stockdale Bindi Vora

East Gallery 214 Brick Lane E1 6SA

Scratch the Surface Photography collective ‘Scratch the Surface’ presents an exhibition at East Gallery on Brick Lane in the heart of London, of photographic work surrounding the theme of identity and memory. This exhibition sees the collaboration between artists working primarily with the medium of photography. Holly Birtles, Rachel Cunningham, Paul Lobban, Chantelle Nash, Debbie Naylor, Andre Pinkowski, Bridie Riley, Jessica Anne Stockdale and Bindi Vora, have all employed a diverse approach in response to the notions surrounding Scratch the Surface. Besides giving the artists a platform to show their work we will also be raising money for The Alzheimer’s Society through an auction. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that is the main cause of Dementia affecting over half a million people in the UK gradually damaging the brain resulting in loss of memory, mood changes, problems communicating and carrying out even the simplest of tasks can become a challenge. Alzheimer’s touches many lives, and it affects almost all of us directly or indirectly at some time or another. All proceeds raised, from this newspaper, auction and private view will be donated to The Alzheimer’s Society.

Scratch the Surface is proud to have an association with the following exhibitors, contributors and sponsors, without whom this exhbition couldn’t have been made possible: Our Exhibitors: Holly Birtles, Rachel Cunningham, Paul Lobban, Chantelle Nash, Debbie Naylor, Andre Pinkowski, Bridie Riley, Jessica Anne Stockdale, and Bindi Vora Our Sponsors: METRO, Neerali Vora, WESTPHOTO, ONIMAGE, Vora & Co. S&A Studios, The Newspaper Club, Nina Vora, and Hendon School Photography Department Our Contributors: Beryl Bean, Jo Carter, John Carter, Tony Lobban, Sue Lobban, James Lobban, Kanak and Naresh Mehta, Richard Nash, Tinu and Kinneri Parekh, Harish Parekh, Martina Schmid, Alka and Kamlesh Shah, Harshad and Nina Vora, and Neerali Vora And a special thank you Heather Barnett, Holly Birtles, Ulrike Leyens, Debbie Naylor, Allan Parker, and Andre Pinkowski for their dedication, help and enthusiasm throughout the process of organizing the show. Scratch the Surface Collective

Paul Lobban, Chantelle Nash & Bindi Vora

We also fund innovative research in the areas of cause, Alzheimer’s Society is the UK ‘s leading support and research cure, care and prevention. We work with scientists and people charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. affected by dementia to ensure that the medical and social Dementia affects over 750,000 people in the UK. research programmes we fund have a positive impact on The Society provides information and support to people with people’s lives. www. any form of dementia and their carers through our publications, National Dementia Helpline, website and more than 2,000 local services throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland .We support health and social care professionals by delivering high quality education, resources and training. We influence politicians and policy-makers, and campaign for better quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers and greater understanding of dementia.

Holly Birtles 1f Opera Series

Phantasmagoria explores an anxiety caused by the passage of time in relation to things that disappear through the development of ideology and technology while reflecting upon notions of being extinguished, of disappearance and redundancy. Focusing on the traces of generations of students that mark the walls, floors, books and studio background paper of a university photography department, its studios, darkrooms and work environment, the work explores photography’s capacity to record these marks as an index of presence, the continuation of which is no longer guaranteed. The footprints, scratches, and holes on photographic paraphernalia etched into the films emulsion act as a reflection on the extinction of an idea of photography as well as the disappearance of higher education as we understand it.

Rachel Cunningham Phantasmagoria

deface, verb [ trans. ] To spoil the surface or appearance of (something), e.g., by drawing or writing on it The camera and film capture the indexical essence of the subject present, the darkroom has reproduced these qualities into multiple photographic objects and finally a vestige has interrupted the surface. Using 5x4 negatives, 100 unique photographic objects were created in the darkroom the surface of which was then presented to an audience with the sole instruction of deface. Additional layers of vestiges were introduced to the photographic plain changing the meaning and interpretation of each portrait. The resulting collaborated images have multilayered meaning and representation that have raised the question about the relationships we have with the photographic object. The resulting one hundred images engage the fascination with the varied creativity and spontaneity evident throughout the body of work. The interpretations of different people have raised questions about their personal reaction to the materiality of the photograph and how they have altered the physical object. It is rare that the photographs are treated in this manner the interaction with the physical object and the vestige creates an alternative meaning to an otherwise banal portrait.

Paul Lobban Vestiges of Defacement

Following the shooting of Mark Duggan by the police on 4th August this year, a series of riots, or as some would say “looting sprees”, took place in many areas in and around London. Throughout the following week “riots” spread to further parts of England. The series London Riots was made as a response to these events. This series is photographic representation of a select few out of the group of people that got caught looting during the London “riots”, with the loot that led to them getting prosecuted. The sitters in the image are a representation of the looters.

Chantelle Nash London Riots

Debbie Naylor Souvenirs in Transition

Cameron Diaz & mystery man leave Nobu in Malibu, CA, USA Cameron Diaz enjoys a meal out with an unknown married man at Nobu restaurant in Malibu, California. The 35year-old actress also mysteriously had a ring displayed on her left hand. Malibu, California. USA

Continuous tone photographic prints, Fuji Crystal Archive Gloss, 20 x 16 inch, Mounted on 2mm aluminium with sub-frame

An examination of the fragile and often ambiguous relationship between photography and text, and the ways in which they are employed to create either factual or metaphorical descriptions of the world around us. The source images for ‘A Reconstruction of Codes’ were initially produced for the mass media market. All images were acquired in one day from a leading celebrity picture agency selected from their ‘most recent images’ section featuring celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton.The photographs have been digitally analysed using a specially commissioned algorithm. This software, written by Dr. Sophie Triantaphillidou at the University of Westminster, reorganises each image based on the existing colour values.Each reconstruction results in a new image eradicating any previously intended meaning. The uncompromisingly abstracted images keep their original captions which in turn become the obvious carrier of meaning. Only by reading the captions is the viewer able to attempt to visualise the original images.

Andre Pinkowski A Reconstruction of Codes

“The dilemma between likeness and identity” is primarily centered on the physicality of the image as a product of Camera Obscura technology. The final outcome is two black and white 16/20 negative portraits. The technological process was inspired by the early explorations of the photogram and the daguerreotype, as the final paper product is a direct physical record of the subject. The desired result of using the Camera Obscura technology was to reduce the layers of technology (usually involved in creating a digital image), between the subject and the viewer. The only layers of technology involved in the production of the image is the glass lens of the Obscura, and the chemical development of the negative image. The demise of attempting to bring the viewer closer to the physicality of the subject is the creation of great visual distance between the viewer and the subject. The image no longer appear as an exact and realistic description of the subject, as the format is aimed to reveal details of the physiognomy of the sitters face that the eye would not ordinarily identify with in a positive print. It is not just on a descriptive level that the viewers experience of the subject is altered, but also on a phenomenological and physiognomic level. By identifying with new areas of each subjects face, are we able to make new assumptions about their identity i.e sexuality, age, gender ect. Comparisons can be drawn between the physiognomy of the twins. Most importantly by imposing this ‘new inverted way of looking’ at the subject, the viewer is encouraged to evaluate how the decisions taken by the photographer in the representation and presentation of the subject, altersthe viewing experience. In conjunction with the physical process the work aims to explore “the mediums brute exteriority” (1994, Solomon-Godeau, p.51) and its inability to offer us any definitive facts about the twins. How much does our appearance really indicate the kind of individual we are, and can we ever find these answers in a discourse where “only that which narratives can make us understand” (Sontag, 1979, p.40).

Bridie Riley Camera Obscura

Jessica Anne Stockdale (b. Reading, UK) is an artist working in photography and film who has shown her work in London and Dusseldorf. Her body of work is based on the manipulation of pre-existing images. Using material from a variety of sources such as print archives, magazines and film stills, Stockdale disrupts the original image through the use of amalgamation and juxtaposition. The final product is a corruption, attained by duplicating and disrupting parts of the original material, breaking down the image’s ‘timelessness’ and replacing it with a kinetic energy. Stockdale’s use of popular promotional imagery reveals the mutability of the viewer’s relationship to the image by encouraging a physical reading of that image, the extinction of an idea of photography as well as the disappearance of higher education as we understand it.

Jessica Anne Stockdale

Bindi Vora Film Ends

Proud Sponsor’s

Hendon School Photography Department

Scratch the Surface  

Photographic Collective and Auction at East Gallery, Brick Lane 25.04.12 - 01.05.12 In Support of The Alzheimer's Society

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