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Y A D I L O H S ’ N A M BUS Exhibition catalogue includes an interview with the photographers

Anita Chandra Caroline Fraser Katie Goodwin Steven Jones


Photographs by: Anita Chandra anitac3@mac.com Caroline Fraser carolinemfraser@hotmail.com Katie Goodwin kate.goodwin@gmail.com

Design by: Mandana Ahmadvazir designer@viewfinder.org.uk Also available as a colour, e-publication: www.viewfinder.org.uk/shop Sponsored by: Hungry Tiger

Steven Jones info@bismarckandherring.com Published by: Interview by: Eloise Donnelly eloisedonnelly@gmail.com

Viewfinder Photography Gallery 52 Brixton Village London SW9 8PS

Curated by:

www.viewfinder.org.uk

Louise Forrester louise@viewfinder.org.uk

First published September 2010

Edited by: Kathleen Brey kathleen@viewfinder.org.uk

Š The artists and authors. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views of the publisher or the editors.


Interview with Anita Chandra (AC) Caroline Fraser (CF) Katie Goodwin (KJ) Steven Jones (SJ) by Eloise Donnelly

tAre you interested in the same subject matters when travelling as you are when at home? AC: When I travel abroad, I get excited about going somewhere new, discovering different cultures, architecture and landscapes. The climate is often different than at home which poses interesting new conditions with natural light. Capturing the atmosphere in cities, for example, can be quite different from going out in the street to shoot at home. SJ: I like taking photos of things that intrigue me or make me laugh. When I'm on holiday I do take more photos in this style, but that's probably because everything is a novelty and I'm generally in a better and more rested state, so maybe I find things funnier and more intriguing (and therefore take more photos) on holiday. KG: Yes my work at home involves recycling/reprocessing waste in its various forms into art and this environmental theme tends to infiltrate my travel photos. Whilst in Thailand, I photographed the results of the unsustainable tourism - the detritus & irreparable environmental damage which will eventually cause the tourists to stop visiting. CF: Yes, but I also like to work on new subject matters and set myself challenges to find subject matter in any situation I happen to be in e.g. at the airport, watching a sheep give birth on a farm, or sitting on a beach. I like to try and capture the essence of a place with images of people, buildings, food, washing, signs, shoes, furniture; anything really. tDid you have any connection to the location you photographed other than as a tourist? AC: It was a special holiday for me, I accompanied my ex boyfriend, a professional photographer, on a working holiday where he was commissioned to take a series of photographs for a certain holiday resort. Although I went as a tourist, I took my camera and started a two week project taking shots of the resort, beach and surrounding countryside. It was not a planned holiday so the location was unfamiliar and not of choice but the project turned out to be fun as I got a real passion for the place, which was romantic and beautiful. SJ: I'm a Christian and like to pop into an open church if I see one as I think they're really peaceful and it's nice to see how they change from country to country, but apart from that I'm just a tourist.

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KG: Yes I was living in Sydney for work for a couple of years and chose to live near the beach for the fun of it.

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CF: My location is in the Outer Hebrides. I had never been there before, but it is in Scotland, where my father was born, and to which I feel a great affinity. I was drawn to go there after seeing a photograph of Luskentyre, and for several years have had it on my list of "places to go before I die". When I got there I was blown away by the beauty of Harris, and was back again a few months later to take more photographs. tWhat attracted you to the subjects that you chose to photograph on holiday? AC: Everywhere I went I found something fascinating to shoot: the vibrant colours, the natural beauty of the island and the interesting buildings and landmarks that I saw while traveling across the island. SJ: See question 1. KG: I was volunteering to help clean up the beach outside my apartment. The sheer volume of waste we found was shocking and mostly invisible whilst sitting on the beach as a holiday maker as you're not looking for it apart from maybe the cigarette butts. I found that some of the smaller items found were often jewel-like in colour and size and decided to collect it over a period of weeks. CF: The natural beauty, the colours, the expanses of white sand unlike anything I have ever seen before. tIn what ways did the projects evolve? AC: Mostly it developed from discovery: taking shots of subject matters that were readily available, almost like doing a study of the place first. Then, taking a longer time to figure out how to get more interesting and abstract shots for each subject. SJ: I went on a lot of city breaks one year and was really pleased with the photos that I took. When I first moved to London to work as a photographer full-time, they were my proudest work and so that's what I took to the Viewfinder Gallery, to introduce myself. It was never meant to be a 'project'. KG: I initially was using the found items to collage into paintings but this didn't really work. So I decided to try photographing them to try to capture what attracted me in the first place to the objects. CF: The first time I visited, I was with my husband, touring the island and hiking. I took lots of photos of many different things. But the ones I liked best when I go home were the sand patterns that I had grabbed as we hiked


around. I had felt frustrated not to be able to stop and work on this subject matter in more detail , so I decided to go back alone for a few days of self indulgence; going wherever I pleased, spending the whole day taking photos. I decided to concentrate on sand and water, and to start working toward my ARPS with this subject matter. Near the end of my second trip I was finding the weather too bright for my subject matter, and started experimenting with long exposures and intentional camera movement using a very small aperture and polarising filter on the lens. This led to some more abstract images which emphasised the mood of the place effectively for me. tHow much planning went into the projects? AC: It was mostly spontaneous at first, but as I got familiar with the location, I started to plan out what I wanted as subject matters. However, the amazing sunsets just happened: it was a case of rushing out on to the beach and capturing what I could get in a short space of time! SJ: Non really, other than after shooting my first holiday in this style (Madrid and Barcelona), I decided that I'd do it this way forever: that is, Nikon FM2n, black and white film, 50mm and 105mm lenses and no flash. KG: I had to hire some equipment but generally it evolved quite naturally. CF: Only a decision to return to work on the project. Once I got there I was guided by the weather and tides. I had planned carefully to be there with spring tides and low tide at convenient times. tIs your work influenced by the style or technique of any other photographer? AC: I always get some inspiration from certain photographers that I admire. It will depend on the type of project that I am working on, I will do a lot of research when starting new work. The photographers that have influenced me in the past are: Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Walker Evans. SJ: My favourite photographer is Elliott Erwitt, so I suppose there are similarities between these photos and his (as they're black and white and some are funny). Apart from that, I just like photos that make the viewer feel something when they look at them and that's what I try to aim for with my work. KG: Not really photographers. Maybe more artists such as Marielle Neudecker, Gerhard Richter & Caspar David Friedrich. CF: The photograph that drew me to Harris was one of Luskentyre by Hugh Milsom FRPS. He takes beautiful semi-abstract landscapes, and has a self -published book "Mood and Colour". tWere you restricted at all in terms of your usual equipment and tools because

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you were travelling? AC: Not at all! I had full use of my ex boyfriend’s camera equipment on this trip. However, normally I would usually travel light: my Canon, flash, one tripod and 2-3 lenses.

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SJ: Yes because camera equipment is stupid and heavy! Photographers all have strong arm and neck muscles, but knackered backs. I don't want to lug three different camera bodies and assorted lenses around with me when I'm on holiday (or stress over a piece of kit that could have made a shot better), so I just take the equipment listed in question 5. For film I use Ilford HP5 and FP4. When I die and go to heaven, God will give me a full set of professional photographic equipment and it will weigh as much as a sandwich. Or maybe one day I can have an assistant and they can carry everything whilst I eat sandwiches? That would be amazing. KG: When travelling/living somewhere non permanently your equipment is limited by how much you can get on a plane so I suppose you have to be more creative to produce something. I would consider myself primarily to be a painter and usually use photography as a form of sketchpad. But when away, it's harder to paint so photography becomes more important as a way to illustrate my ideas. CF: No, but I did have problems getting all my gear onto the tiny aircraft flying from Inverness to Stornaway, due to weight restrictions. tDo you think there’s a difference between travel photography and holiday photos? AC: I think there is definitely a distinction between the two, holiday photos to me mean fun, casual photography that we all like to do on occasion: taking pictures of landmarks, resorts, family, friends having fun abroad while relaxing. Travel photography is more serious, can be carefully planned and the concepts for a project will be more culturally diverse. SJ: Holiday photos are more fun. KG: Perhaps. Doesn't it depend on the photographer? I worked in a photo lab for a while developing people's photos and most were your average holiday snaps of friends/family by a pool on the beach. But then every so often an amazing set of prints would come through - I suppose they were travel photographer's prints. I think the difference can be much more subtle though. CF: Difficult; I think most of my holiday photos are "travel photos". But I also take photos of things that could be anywhere in the world, and they are often abstracts or intimate landscapes. I love photographing grass and water, and these are not holiday photos in the traditional sense of the word, but when I see them again later they transport me back to the place they are from, and the feelings I had when taking them. To anyone else they probably would have


very little meaning or interest. tDo you think we approach photography with a different attitude when we travel? AC: I think so but I also I think that depends on the individual, for some it may be a case of quick fire shots - point and shoot the famous landmarks, for others it could be an opportunity to plan in advance some amazing project for a special location. When you travel there is an urge in you to be on the constant lookout for something wonderful or unusual to shoot. I believe there is a need to capture the essence of a foreign place to keep alive a memory within a photograph. SJ: Yes. It's become an integral part of the holiday experience. People feel compelled to document EVERYTHING on a holiday. KG: Yes it's probably a rare time when everyone always has their camera on them just in case. You have more time to contemplate your surroundings. Everything is new. So maybe you notice something that if it was everyday you wouldn't. CF: Yes; I am concerned to make a record of the trip as well as to take images for projects. I make a self-published book for most of my journeys, so that I have a permanent record. I enjoy using my Panasonic Lumix to take quick pictures that are often less considered and more imaginative. I like the spontaneity that it allows.

tWhat are your plans for future projects? AC: I am working on a new series of photographs that are of local parks taken at night, focusing on children’s playgrounds and the unusual scenes they portray when shot out of context, late at night when empty. I hope to travel abroad towards the end of the year to start a new project but I haven’t figured out what the main subject will be yet. SJ: I'm getting married in May. My girlfriend (the glorious Princess Nata) is my favourite subject so that should be a fun shoot. Apart from that, future shoots are being planned around Shakespeare, The Bathroom, Dangermouse and Old-Age Chic. Keep your eye on my website for updates and feel free to drop me line if you'd like to get involved. KG: I have a couple of projects underway one involving waste again but from a different source. And I also have a new portrait series underway about our idea of beauty - challenging our concepts of beauty is something I always touch on in my work too.

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CF: I start at Central St Martins in October to study for a PG Cert in Photography. I will be working on a project about "home" and what it is for those in care who are no longer to live in their own homes ( elderly and physically disabled). At the moment it is an idea waiting to be developed. I hope to experiment with film and medium format cameras, and have no idea where this will lead, but I am very excited about the possibilities and new opportunities that the course will give me. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Louise Forrester at Viewfinder for her guidance and support with my application. Coming from a medical background I had no idea how to write a project plan for an arts subject!


Anita Chandra anitac3@mac.com

MAURITIUS SERIES 12

When I set out to take pictures in a foreign country, my aim is to get an alternative, fresh take of the environment. Travel always becomes more real, somehow, when visual evidence of it is taken back home, documenting experiences of nature, culture and iconic landmarks. Wherever I am, however, setting out to seek just ordinary subjects that could be overlooked and to transform them into something of beauty is an exciting challenge. In some instances, one merely harnesses the sheer visual impact of the scene that presents itself in front of the photographer; and this is where I always try to exploit every photographic element in my interaction with the subject. Mauritius, therefore, is a particularly fascinating island: one can feel absorbed in its exquisite beauty, or exposed to its depth and mystery. This series juxtaposes scenes of romantic grandeur - sunsets and landscapes, for example, with unpredictable details of more everyday subjects. Each picture is its own narration, inviting the viewer into its world, be it beautiful, pedestrian or simply intriguing.


Caroline Fraser carolinemfraser@hotmail.com

HARRIS ABSTRACTED These images are from a series that explore the natural form, colour and moods of Harris, Outer Hebrides. It is a place of extraordinary beauty and ever changing light. The white sand beaches and colours in the sea on a sunny day could be mistaken for the Caribbean. At other times brooding grey clouds soften the palette down to much subtler tones. I have used the natural landscape to create abstracted forms from sand, water and sky. The beaches of Scarista and Luskentyre were the source for most of the images. Wind and waves mould the fine sand on the dunes and beach into delicate patterns that change daily and can never be re-created. Sea, clouds, sand and estuarial sediments move in harmony, reflecting the tides and the season.

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Kate Goodwin kate.goodwin@gmail.com

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My practice involves collecting waste in its various forms and recycling it into art. Whilst in Sydney, Australia, I collected litter from a harbour beach, rearranged it on a window sill and transformed this eyesore through a lens into the ‘Crap Landscapes’ series. The resulting photographs are crazy luscious landscapes that look otherworldly. As well as using photography, I also explore the theme of waste through the mediums of painting and animation, always visually reprocessing the useless into something worthy of a second look.


Steven Jones info@bismarckandherring.com

Three years ago, whilst packing for a BMX holiday to Spain, I was suffering the eternal photographer's torment of trying to decide what camera gear to take. After laying it all out and staring in horror at the sheer amount of kit, I decided to emancipate myself: it all went back into the cupboard, except for my old Nikon manual camera, two lenses and a load of black and white film. lt was so much fun to shoot in this way and I was so pleased with the results that I've taken the same kit on every holiday since. My contribution to Busman's Holiday, therefore, is a collection of my favourite holiday snaps taken over these last three years. Happy holidays!

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Viewfinder Photography Gallery 52 Brixton Village London SW9 8PS www.viewfinder.org.uk


Busman's Holiday