David hurn in conversation with simon roberts at the photographers gallery


A talk given by The Photographers Gallery. One of the most entertaining, EVER!

David Hurn and Simon Roberts, two leading British photographers from two different generations, join us for a conversation covering a wide range of topics such as education, forging a career in photography, authoring major bodies of work, and their different approaches on documenting their home countries of Wales and England respectively.

Hurn and Roberts exhibit together at the National Maritime Museum in  alongside photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, running 23 March to 30 September 2018.

Audience participation is actively encouraged with questions welcomed. 

David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain’s most influential documentary photographers. Hurn is a self-taught photographer who gained early reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. He became a member of Magnum Photos in 1967. In 1973 he set up the School of Documentary Photography at Newport, Wales, now part of the University of South Wales. He has published a number of books, including the seminal textbook, On Being a Photographer. In 2017 Hurn gifted his collections of photographs to the National Museum Wales.

Simon Roberts’ photographs often deal with our relationship to landscape and notions of identity and belonging. He originally studied a BA Hons Degree in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield, a subject that subsequently informed his arts practice. In 2010 he was commissioned by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee as the official Election Artist to produce a record of the 2010 UK General Election. He has published four monographs: Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), We English (Chris Boot, 2009), Pierdom (Dewi Lewis, 2013), and Merrie Albion - Landscape Studies of a Small Island (Dewi Lewis, 2017). 

Susan meiselas in conversation with amy sherlock

Another brilliant talk at The Barbican 

With a career spanning over four decades, Susan Meiselas’ practice has often focused on the visual representation of women and the more vulnerable, marginalised, individuals in society. Primarily working within the documentary mode and in collaboration with her subjects, Meiselas is known for her use of photographic conventions to challenge issues around the male gaze and the relationship between photographer and subject. Here, Amy Sherlock joins her to explore the methods of addressing and challenging the mediums ever changing power as a vehicle for questioning societal norms.

Magnum Photos Now: Photography, Journalsim And Legacy

From a visit to The Barbican on 15th March 2018. These talks are utterly brilliant and worth a visit if you are able.

Marking ten years since the death of acclaimed Magnum photojournalist Philip Jones Griffiths, explore how the legacy, archive and ethics of a committed photojournalist can live on after their death. Jones Griffiths’ work stands as an irreplaceable document of the latter half of the 20th century, and he is best known for his landmark book, Vietnam Inc., which had a major impact on the public perception of the Vietnam War. Noam Chomsky observed of Vietnam Inc.: “If anybody in Washington had read that book, we wouldn’t have had these wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.” Professor Julian Stallabrass will be joined in discussion by Philip Jones Griffiths’ Foundation trustees Katherine Holden and Fanny Ferrato, and Director of Trolley Books, Hannah Watson. Please note, part of the talk will feature images of a sensitive and graphic nature.

*Note that the screaming child at the end was nothing to do with me!

The Day I Met Peter van Agtmael (again)....

The Barbican in London have been hosting a monthly symposium in conjunction with Magnum. The latest one that I attended was hosted by Ossian Ward who was talking with Donovan Wylie and Peter van Agtmael.

Firstly, Donovan's stuff shot in Ireland is brilliant. Recent American project? Shocking. Terrible. WTF!? I am lost... He seems to have done that thing that some photographers do (and artists) when they take themselves too seriously. He has disappeared up his own bottom.

Peter on the other hand, well he was talking about his latest work, a wonderful book titled Buzzing At The Sill. This book is just magnificent. Double page spreads of the most beautiful of beautiful images. 

"Buzzing at the Sill is Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael's work about coming home from years of covering war in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to understand his experiences and his country. The work is a stew of reflections on war, memory, militarism, identity, race, class, family, surrealism, and the landscape. 

It is a sequel to Disco Night Sept. 11, van Agtmael's previous book that was shortlisted for the Paris Photo/Aperture Book Award and was named a Book of the Year by the New York Times Magazine, Time, Vogue and American Photo, amongst others."

I met Peter the first time in the summer of 2016. I shared a table with him and amongst others Mimi Mollica (Terra Nostra), we were on a Magnum quiz night. 

We were terrible. Please see inside the cover of Peters book that he kindly signed...

Ps - Peter has a pet name for me now.

The Day I Met Mimi Mollica (again)

Last night I visited The Print Space in London to see Mimi Mollica's "Terra Nostra" exhibition.

I first met Mimi when I had the good fortune of finding myself on a table with him back in June at a Magnum "Quiz Night". We were terrible and lost heavily...

I started stalking, sorry, following Mimi's work way before then having stumbled across his work. 

Terra Nostra is the result of 7 years work "showing what the mafia has caused in terms of damage to the coast, the economy, and politics" in his  old homeland of Sicily. 

Check out his work here www.mimimollica.com

Mimi's forthcoming book is going to be great. You can also back at the time of writing on Kickstarter. I have.

The Day I Met Chris Steele-Perkins

Recently I had an invite to attend a talk on Documenting Style And Subculture which was hosted by Anna Sparham of The London Museum with guest speakers Ekow Eshun (Face Magazine - remember that) and Chris Steele-Perkins. Chris (if you don't already know) is a Magnum Photographer who was once also Magnum’s President.

My particular reason for being there was because I knew Chris’s book “The Teds” had been reprinted and I like to collect autographed photobooks. Plus to hear one of the worlds leading photographers isn't exactly something that happens everyday... 

Ekow had curated a show earlier in the year at The Photographers Gallery about black males and “Dandyism”. That was a brilliant show, images that were from another world. If you missed it, you really missed something unique.

Anyway… Chris Steele-Perkins had done a documentary of Holkham Hall, not far from where we live. He spent a year wandering around alone and taking pictures. I am yet to secure that book, its on my list. So when the talk had finished we chatted a bit and spoke about Holkham. He may be back in the area before too long. I am a cheeky bastard so I gave him my card and told him I would buy him lunch if he is ever close by. 

His reply "Ok mate", so not an instant dismissal.

Don't ask, don't get. I doubt i’ll get.

Oh and I got the re-print of The Teds. Its magnificent.

The Day I Met Magnum

A few weeks ago I managed to get myself onto the Magnum Quiz night in Shoreditch, East London. It was more by luck than judgement. 

I spent an evening talking with a few people, but notably Peter Van Agtmael. I love Peters work and have followed his stuff for a number of years. Disco Nights is one of the greatest books I have ever seen.

I also met Martin Parr, bought his book, had a conversation and asked him about shooting in general. His golden rule is "shoot more crap photos".... You have to shoot crap ones to get good ones. In the same evening I met Abbas and many other great photographers.

The highlight for me is most definitely walking into a back room to find the man who I think is the greatest photographer of all time - Alec Soth. Guess what he was doing? Playing Ping Pong. I got photos to prove it.

I got Alec to sign his book for me and I look star struck. Like a goon.



Joel Meyerowitz

Recently I met one of my all time heroes Joel Meyerowitz. He was at a book signing of his classic "Cape Light".

Now if you ever want a masterclass on composition, light and form, he is the man.

Maggie Barrett (Joels wife)  nabbed my camera to capture the moment for me as well. What a bloody fine couple they are.