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Always the urge to migrate

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Here, again ebook

The iPad and iPhone version of Here, again, the book that was made with writer Angelina Ayers and artist Thomas Mann, can now be downloaded for free.

To view it you’ll need to install the iBooks app on your device. Here, again can then be downloaded via this link.

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The limited edition print version of the book can be bought from the Here, again website or the Sheffield branch of Blackwell’s, Cupola Art Gallery in Hillsborough and The Old Sweet Shop in Nether Edge.

See also: Finding Lost Time ebook

This summer… a short course in Nottingham

From August 5th- 9th the five day short course Photography Summer Sessions is running again at Nottingham Trent University. Last year eleven people took part and spent five lively days looking at and talking about the work of a diverse range of photographers, before heading into Nottingham to take photographs that considered various aspects of life in the city. Afternoons were concluded with everyone organising, editing, and uploading their day’s haul to the course’s Flickr group, before on the final Friday devising, shooting and editing their own small independent project- including this one on local cafe culture. Some of the work produced during the course was then included in an exhibition at the university.

Experience is not an issue with Photography Summer Sessions, and you’re welcome to take part regardless of your ability, interests or ambitions. At heart, Photography Summer Sessions is a course about looking, seeing and responding quickly and creatively to a series of very do-able tasks; about experiencing and looking at the city differently and reflecting on how you take photographs. Last year people used a diverse range of equipment, from compacts to iPhones to dSLRs to iPads, so the gear you use and how much you know your way around it is much less of an issue than being prepared to immerse yourself in a week of taking on new challenges and seeing photographic potential in things that you might normally disregard… or not even notice.

You can book your place on the course by clicking here.

Karen4

Karen Pham

Some thoughts from last year’s students:

‘Great job of getting students out of their comfort zones to expand their horizons.’

‘It was great!’

‘The tasks that we were assigned each day were very interesting and challenging. The course was very enjoyable and I learnt a lot about photography in such a short time.’

‘Fantastic introduction to photography with a fantastic instructor.’

‘Good balance of lectures/ discussion, pertinent examples, on-site photography, and editing.’

‘Excellent course’.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about the course email andrewdconroy[at]yahoo.co.uk.

Photography Summer Sessions is a shorter, more intensive version of Exploring Photography, a course that runs one evening a week from October until December, and then again in January. Click here for more details.

See also: Further selection of students’ photographs from last summer’s course

Trust is the foundation of everything: Jim Mortram’s Small Town Inertia

If you’ve ever come across Jim Mortram’s Twitter feed you’ll know that he’s amongst the most committed, driven, engaging and inspiring photographers currently working in the UK. For three years Jim has been following the lives and telling the stories of several people ‘stuck in a maddeningly unbalanced position’ who live within a three mile radius of Dereham, the East Anglian market town that’s his home. As he says: ‘My work is all about acknowledgement, listening and sharing. My photographs are a by-product of those initial elements and are the extension of shutting up and paying attention to the world around us. On your own doorstep there are people with a universe of stories within them, and the place you are at can answer every question you have… you just have to look hard enough.’

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Jim’s multimedia work, which also features interviews with the people he photographs, has previously been screened in Sheffield as part of an event at PushPull. On Tuesday January 15th this will be followed by a three week print exhibition at Bank Street Arts featuring a selection of his challenging, moving- and very much ongoing- Small Town Inertia series, coinciding with a hugely well-deserved nod from the British Journal of Photography, who’ve highlighted Jim amongst their ones to watch for 2013.

For someone whose work is based on documenting and telling the stories of others, Jim’s own story is enormously inspiring and gives a real insight into his level of dedication. An entirely self-taught photographer who initially shot using borrowed gear, Jim raised the cash to fund his own equipment and production costs by crowdsourcing and selling prints of his work through his website. Remarkable enough in itself, but much more so when you consider that Jim is a full-time carer for his parents and that photography is something he fits in around his commitments at home.

See also: Jim interviewed by the BBC / Details of Jim’s multimedia piece Jimmy and the Jacks screened at PushPull / John McIntyre’s Photomonitor article

In the bricked dark of a dream

Here, again is a new book that’s been made in collaboration with writer Angelina Ayers and artist Thomas Mann. There’s a website at www.hereagain.co.uk.

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The book’s available in very small numbers and can be bought online and at Blackwell’s Book Shop, Cupola Contemporary Art, and The Old Sweet Shop in Sheffield. Buy one of the copies of the book that are available online and you’ll also receive a print, bookmark and a link to download the book for iPad.

An exhibition opens on 15th January at Bank Street Arts.

Further Lost Time

James LuckettAmanda MasonBrian HenryHaner Pamukçu, Yaniv Waissa, and Robin Cracknell are some of the photographers whose work will be appearing in the second volume of Finding Lost Time, a publication related to the ongoing photoblog that in 2010 led to a book and a series of exhibitions in England and Spain. This new volume will be handmade and available in 2013 in a very limited run.

Ten black and white/ monochrome images will feature in the book. There’s an open call for one of them. If you’d like to submit an image for consideration you can do so at the Finding Lost Time Flickr group, by emailing a jpeg no larger than 1000px on the biggest side to andrewdconroy[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk, or by tweeting it to @andrewdconroy.

See also: Finding Lost Time book v.1 for iPad and iPhone

Stories found by the side of the road

The idea of ‘the road’ in art and popular culture still seems to most immediately evoke imagery and themes from films of a late-60s and early-70s US countercultural vintage: existential journeys across sprawling, arid landscapes; wind howling through long-abandoned frontier towns; displaced outsiders forlornly searching for a sense of belonging. ‘The road’ in British art and visual culture doesn’t usually have quite the same epic sweep or sense of doomed romance, perhaps because, as Jez Conolly notes, the ‘claustrophobic repetition and inescapable smallness of the British road’ gives UK-based takes on road culture a particular resonance that contrasts with those where the ‘transcontinental vastness of the States’ provides the backdrop.

A British road story that defies the geographical limitations of the UK is Paul Graham’s 1981 A1- The Great North Road series of photographs of a journey that started outside the Bank of England in London and worked its way North, taking the restless impulse of the road movie and splicing it with low-key observations of austere British life: ‘an essentially American idea with a drizzly British sensibility‘. A1- The Great North Road is also a key reference point for Sam Mellish‘s book Roadside Britain that also provides the basis of a touring exhibition that’s coming to Bank Street Arts at the start of August for three weeks. An exploration of the marginal cultures and service industries at the side of Britain’s road networks and ‘a proper labour of love’ that came together over four years, Roadside Britain‘s world is one that sits in quiet opposition to the corporate slickness and branded uniformity of the service stations that line the UK’s motorway network. Sam says of his work on the project:

‘…where Jack Kerouac used the road as a metaphor for coming of age, while Paul Graham documented cultures and societies along its way, by following a web of road networks, I sought to learn more about the social cultures instilled in our traditional roadside services industry. Many would argue that the age of prosperity of truck-stops and ‘worker’ cafés has long passed its glory days, yet at the vanguard of our trunk-roads remains a steadfast workforce playing host to countless commuters, day-trippers and truckers alike, while clutching a rich bond of social diversities.’

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Roadside Britain gets underway on Tuesday 7th August at Bank Street Arts with an open afternoon, kicking off at 3pm and running until 5. Sam will be around to chat about the project and drink tea with anyone who’s interested in coming along.

Sam is also taking part in The Motorway Service Station as a Destination in its Own Right, a photographic response by a series of photographers to writing by poet and Bank Street Arts patron Simon Armitage. Also involved are US artists Tribble and Mancenido, whose Hurry Up and Wait series of photographs of life in and around American truck stops works as a sort of transatlantic counterpart to Roadside Britain.

See also: Sam Mellish interview / Roadside Britain book launch video / A Different Look At America  / Written in the West 

Hear also: Chill Out

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