Portrait Salon

Jonathan Knowles


Jonathan Knowles’ portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is part of his series ‘Bagsie’. ‘The introduction of the word ‘selfie’ into 
the Oxford English Dictionary marked a huge change for the world of portrait photography, brought about by the flood of self-portraiture across social media channels. But is this how we really see ourselves? Does this truly reveal a part of ourselves to the viewer? Looking to explore the current notions 
of the self-portrait, #Bagsie is a creative collaboration between Creative Advice Network, Soapbox & Sons and photographer Jonathan Knowles. The project sought out the talents and personal interpretations of 10 artists, asking each to draw/paint/create a self-portrait on a paper bag that reflected the personality within.’

Stacey Knights

Stacey Knights

Tash Wilcocks

Tash Wilcocks
‘Oh what’s inside you can’t hide…I spent several days having moments with the bag on my head. At first it would make me feel nervous and uncomfortable, but whilst I sat in a busy restaurant I realised I was actually calm and relaxed in the safe warm paper casing and actually it was the others around me who really felt uncomfortable. They couldn’t tell what I was thinking, if I was smiling or serious… They came to fear what was happening inside the bag… The unknown…To quote Frank “Would it help if I said my facial expressions out loud?”’ (hyper island.com).

Matt Stokes

Matt C Stokes
‘My #Bagsie self portrait is made up of lots of items I’ve kept and never really done anything with. I hoard items, y’see, and battle with throwing things away, stashing random toys and everyday items under the bed, around the desk, in cupboards, corners and bags. Any surface is a storage area. To steal a word off my hero Philip K Dick, it is the kipple that grows around me – and this is me trying to deal with it. This is me curating some of these items, reluctantly parting with them, setting them free… but alas it is done.’ (mattcstokes.com).

Oli Frape

Oli Frape
‘My contribution to the #Bagsie project is a simple experiment in lettering and image. I’m a lettering artist and my focus is on the hand-made, the authentic lettering that holds all of the kinks and wobbles of something created by human hands on paper in paint. The statement ‘None too perfect, but charming and honest’ is a phrase recently penned as part of a self-promotion project but has rapidly become the mission statement of my professional practice.’ (olifrape.co.uk)

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Emma Russell
‘Something that interests me is showing force or fury from unexpected or mundane sources, a kind of inner voice. For example, my logo is a tiny rabbit who is growling; he’s fragile, but cheeky. To illustrate this yell from the meek, I made a paper sparrow’s head for my bag. Sparrows are a nice representation of this idea, they’re small, delicate, common, but can be rowdy or brave. Maybe the anonymity of a bag gives added courage to let inner feelings out as the bird’s head has burst through the front. The other important factor? I thought it would look funny!’ (helloemma.co.uk).

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Emily Peacock

‘This project has caught me at a moment when, in middle age, I am starting a new life. I don’t yet know where I am going, or who is coming with me. As so many old roles fall away, I am remembering the person I was before I had to become a grown up. I still worry at times, but I now laugh more, sing more, love more and judge less. I observe more and I talk less. I give more and I need less. I reflect more and I care less.’ (emilypeacock.com).

Jonathan Knowles is one of the leading photographers of his generation. Specialising in graphic still life, liquid and beauty, Jonathan’s unique photographic style has earned him award-winning advertising commissions worldwide. In the past ten years, Jonathan has consistently featured in the ‘200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World’ books. He is one of the top 10 all time award winners in the Graphis Annuals. Notable commissions include campaigns for many globally recognised brands, such as Coca-Cola, Guinness, and Smirnoff. He is also the creator of the famous O2 bubbles. He shot the Black Sabbath 13 Album cover, as well as directing and filming the footage that is currently played on stage during performances. Black Sabbath loved the imagery and invited Jonathan to the album launch in New York, where he received a friendly strangle of gratitude from Ozzy.


Angus Fraser

Santa Muerte

Angus Fraser’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is part of his series Santa Muerte, a study of a Mexican cult popular with marginalised communities. Angus Fraser is the winner of the 2014 Bar Tur Photobook Award and his debut book Santa Muerte launches tonight at 6.30pm The Photographers Gallery Bookshop in London. Angus will also be discussing his book with Hannah Watson, Director at Trolley Books.


‘The origins of Santa Muerte – a religion/cult that has been denounced as satanic by the Mexican Catholic Church – can be dated back hundreds of years. It was developed through a syncretism between indigenous Mesoamerican and Spanish Catholic beliefs and practices. Only in the last decade however has it become more predominant in Mexican society, where many commentators have noted its rise with the killing and violence associated with the war between rival drug cartels and the Mexican Government.’


‘For the past three years I have visited Mexico several times and have researched, interviewed and documented the devotees, as well as recorded the shrines and altars they visit. I have made contact with many individuals who have built and manage the shrines, and who by default are now considered to be guardians and spiritual leaders of the faith.’



‘They have given me access and permission to photograph not only in their places of worship but also in their private homes and in prisons, where Santa Muerte has a very strong following amongst the Mexican penitentiary system.’


‘I admit that along the way I encountered individuals who lived up to the Santa Muerte stereotype that the US and European media have created. But on the whole the hospitality, kindness and warmth I was shown contradicts all the negative perceptions I had read, seen and heard. I want to tell their side of the story and in part my own.’


More details of tonight’s book launch at The Photographers Gallery Bookshop can be found here.


James O Jenkins

Jan Klos

The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London.

Jan Klos’s portrait of the people who work at The Nelson’s Head pub in Shoreditch, London (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and comes from his series ‘The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London’. The work will be exhibited during Photomonth London at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club from 7th to 14th October.

Nelson's Head

‘East London is home to some of the oldest and best pubs in the world. Some are historic, steeped in tradition, while others put on popular gay nights or serve locally made beers. There are lots of them, and at the heart of what makes them worth visiting is their staff – the bar men and women who pull pints, keep locals entertained and often become like the closest of families.’

Pub on the Park

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Mahogany Bar (Wilton's Music Hall)

Wilton’s Music Hall, Shadwell

‘Inspired by the 18th century conversation piece and the traditional family portrait, photographer Jan Klos presents The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London, a new series of striking group portraits that introduce viewers to the colourful and dedicated teams behind some of East London’s much-loved drinking dens.’

Star of Bethenal Green

Star of Bethnal Green, Bethnal Green

The George Tavern, Stepney, October 2014 - "The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London" by Jan J Klos

The George Tavern, Stepney

‘Since 2008 one in five pubs in the UK have shut down in the face of a struggling economy, rising alcohol taxes and smoke-free policies. The Times labeled them an ‘Endangered British Species’ and East London has seen its share of public houses shut their doors for good. Some of them, including The Nelson’s Head and Joiner’s Arms feature in this exhibition. The Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London serves to celebrate and raise a glass to East London’s public houses and the people in them, but it is also a timely record of what the area has lost in recent years.’

The George & Dragon

George and Dragon, Shoreditch

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak, Shoreditch

The opening night of Jan Klos’s exhibition at 6.30pm on 7th October will feature short video interviews with landlords on the importance of pub culture, the role pubs play in local communities and what the future might hold for them. Visit www.workersplaytime.net for more details.
Jan Klos is a Polish-born photographer. Specialising in portraiture and documentary, his work has featured in publications worldwide including Telegraph Magazine, Newsweek, Wallpaper*, Metropolitan and N Magazine. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at venues across the UK, including MAC Birmingham, Quad Derby, Lighthouse Wolverhampton, cueB Gallery London, Four Corners London, FUSE Bradford, Oriel Colwyn, Wales and Napier University in Edinburgh. He lives in London.


James O Jenkins