A photograph of St. Thomas’s Church, Pendleton, just across the road from my flat, published in the Salford Advertiser this week.
Archive for photographs
A couple of my photographs were published in the most recent editions of the weekly Salford Advertiser.
This one was taken in Weaste Cemetery when I was looking for the grave of Sir Charles Hallé, who founded the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester.
This one was taken at Salford Precinct after the snow fell a few weeks ago; the boy is my son Gabriel.
Photographer James Kendall was rooting through his wife’s 90-year-old grandmother’s larder when he discovered packaged foods dating back to the 1950s. Some canned items were covered in rust.
“She doesn’t really believe in sell-by dates,” explains Kendall. “She holds on to everything, and sees it all as eventually having a use. I think it comes from her living through the war, and being used to rationing.” Among the ageing items were dried onions, smoked cod liver, canned corn, a jar of tartare sauce, and a pack of KP nuts, complete with vintage logos.
Kendall was so excited by the hoard that he took it back to his studio to be photographed – and hopes to exhibit the resulting series at next year’s Brighton Photo Biennial.
“I still daren’t open them,” says Kendall. “They’ve been wrapped in cellophane over the summer, so they’ve had a bit of a baking. I’m not exactly sure what state they’re in now. Probably worse than ever.”
Neil Bartlett’s new production of Tchaikovsky’s great opera of gambling, of secrets, of love and death opens at Opera North today. Bartlett – making his operatic debut – picks his key moments from the production:
Tchaikovsky’s score for The Queen of Spades is an extraordinary thing. At once expansive, excessive and opulent, it’s also strangely interior; the real action of the opera takes place largely inside one man’s head. As heroes go, no-one is more solitary, more at odds with his world, than Herman. At key moments in the show, I’ve chosen to sweep all the glamour of the 19th century setting aside and present him with brutal simplicity.
The second act of the show opens with a grand masked ball – a scene that could easily drown the music in frocks and glitter. The task here was to connect the disconcerting theatricality of the masquerade with the deeper themes of obsession and fatality that run through the music.
A chorus is much more than just a group of people – they’re a team who can act as one, amplifying an emotion or gesture on stage to a scale that a solitary performer can never dream of achieving. Put the simplest action – knocking back a drink, in this case – in time with music as theatrical as Tchaikovsky’s – then amplified by the number of people you’ve got in the chorus, and the gesture can acquire an extraordinary kick. The simplest tricks are the best.
Lee Friedlander went looking for America by car – but unlike other photographers he chose to shoot it through his windscreen, producing a set of strange and powerful images of the varied US landscape.
Lee Friedlander’s exhibition America By Car & The New Cars 1964, is at Timothy Taylor Gallery until 1 October.
The frame of the car window provides a constant in the photographs of vastly different American landscapes. Here, we can also see a reflection of someone in the car, looking out
Reflections from the car’s mirrors add to the complex composition of some of the photographs.
Sometimes the lines, angles and reflections can be perplexing, in this case reflecting the chaos of the city.
Photographs: Lee Friedlander, courtesy Frankel Gallery, San Francisco
A revealing archive of unseen photographs of music stars taken more than 20 years ago is to go on display in a New York gallery on Thursday. The images, which were all taken by Laura Levine while working for a succession of music magazines in Manhattan, show performers such as Chrissie Hynde and Michael Stipe in an unpretentious setting or a pose that often challenges their public image.
“It was definitely my intention to get away from the studio look,” Levine told the Observer this weekend. “I started out as more of a photojournalist anyway and I wanted to get past all the artifice. I wanted to show a side to the public that was really something that they weren’t aware of. To show them something you don’t normally see.”
The photographic show, titled Musicians, is being mounted by the Steven Kasher Gallery and came about almost by accident after Kasher worked with Levine on another show chronicling the same era. Levene’s show is being billed as an insider’s look at the artists at the forefront of rock, punk, indie rock, post-punk hip-hop, new wave and no wave – and it is already causing a stir in the Big Apple.
“We were setting up a punk and post-punk poster show and talking to Laura then,” said Christiona Owen of the gallery. “Steven has known Laura for many years and enjoyed her photography and so we invited her to do a second show with us. We didn’t realise how many vintage prints she had for show that hadn’t been seen in public before.”
The show will be the first solo gallery exhibition for Levine and will feature more than 35 vintage and modern prints, including the photographer’s vintage gelatin silver prints, many of which are one of a kind.
“There’s been a strong interest in seeing the photos so we think the show is going to be very popular,” said Owen.
Levine has not taken photographs since 1994 and has worked instead in painting, video and animation, but in the 1980s she showed frequently in downtown galleries after working as chief photographer and photo editor of underground newspaper New York Rocker. She also published in the Village Voice, Sounds and Rolling Stone.
“My photo sessions would be very relaxed,” said Levine. “Most of the subjects I didn’t know beforehand, although some became friends. The REM photo I took in Athens, Georgia, at a point where they were very good friends. It was one of many times I photographed them. By the time I did that picture in the diner I knew them really well. I flew down to see them and we spent two whole days just going around Athens and we stopped there for lunch. Then I thought this would be a great picture, so I got behind the counter and told them all to look up.”
Among the other images in the show is a striking early photograph of Madonna. “I took it before she was famous in 1982, I think she had her first single coming out, and she was really game,” said Levine. “I knew nothing about her at the time. She came over to my apartment in Chinatown and climbed up all the steps to the top. I think some of the other pictures from that shoot are well known, but not the one in show. She was a pleasure to work with and had a real sense of self even then. I set that picture up by asking her to scream.”
The show also includes an evocative picture of Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and hip-hop artist and DJ Grandmaster Flash. Marking the birth of hip-hop as a popular genre, it was taken in New York in 1981 in front of a wall of graffiti. “I love that shot. It was for the cover of Andy Warhol’s magazine Interview. They look great with those boomboxes,” said Levine.
“I think the most important thing with anyone you photograph is to establish a real sense of trust.”