Giuseppe Lo Schiavo’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 (and used on the back cover of our publication) and is from his work ‘Ad Vivum’, a photographic series that translates from Latin as ‘to that which is alive’.
‘I have imagined this photographic series as a journey with no space-time boundaries , a bridge that links the Flemish painters such as Vermeer, Jan van Eyck, Robert Campin and even Tiziano, Antonello da Messina with digital photography; an amalgamation of the classical aesthetic with a modern medium.’
‘I wanted to create portraits without explicit time references, chronologically uncertain. In these images, warm and cold colors coexist which are diffused and distributed through the subjects – in a similar manner as in the pictorial portraits – creating sculptures, motionless subjects, smooth and stiff like marble.’
‘The Latin name ‘ad vivum’ is taken from the engravings that some painters inserted under their paintings in order to specify that the painting was painted live.’
Giuseppe Lo Schiavo was born in Italy and now lives and works in London. He studied Architecture at the University of La Sapienza of Rome and specialized in Architectural 3D Visualization. He has exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery in London, The Aperture Foundation in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art of Acri in Cosenza, Mixer Gallery in Istanbul and in galleries in Rome, Turin and Munich and Miami. He has also presented his work at art fairs such as Contemporary Istanbul, SCOPE Art Miami, The Affordable Art Fair Milan and Paratissima.
Adam King’s portrait of ‘John’ (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is from his work ‘Chip Off The Old Block’, a photographic series about father figure influences in his life.
‘This body of work has been an explorative journey into male roles that have featured throughout my life. Some of these father figures have been an influence across informative years of childhood or have given further guidance into adult life. The project’s origins started with a construction worker I met in the summer of 2013. Liviu, a Romanian migrant, was working and living in the UK after moving with his family from Spain. Working alongside Liviu I got an insight into a man that seemed to be the opposite of what some media representations had labelled him or his culture. The man I was working with was an educated, sensitive, religious and caring man whose main ambition in life was to provide for his family.’
‘My project took a change of direction when it was suggested that I look further into myself than into the subject I was documenting. The very notion of documenting another’s life, one which could be deemed the life of a minority, and of hot political debate, could have aroused suspicion of my agenda as a photographer, rather than the project’s subject.’
‘Recognising what I admired about Liviu I used this as a catalyst to search into my childhood and specifically that of the father’s role throughout those formative years. Having a far from linear but also, far from abnormal upbringing, I discovered that these fatherly role models were either given to me or chosen by myself. Even to this day I have surrounded myself with father figures to guide me into my adult life. The photographs in the series are an examination of not only the individuals and their environments, but also my relationship to those individuals when sitting side by side. The subtleties of body language may indicate the condition of those relationships, however no intentional references were made to highlight importance or significance to either of the subjects.’
‘This series has also been a confirmation of my continuous search for portraits of males. Discussions of projection into those I seek to photograph will continue to be of importance in my photographic practice.’
Adam King is a British photographer, who graduated from the University of the Creative Arts, Rochester in 2014. Adam is currently living and working in London and continuing to practice his personal projects. The majority of Adam’s images are a subtle observation of the community around him who inhabit a workplace, social space, or presumed isolation. His interest in masculinity combined with the life he had before photography is often embedded and referenced in his images, however the path his work takes him on is the leading narrative. Adam’s signature is his portraiture and he is predominantly an analogue photographer, preferring the process and the relationship it can construct between him and his subject.
Rory Lewis’s portrait of Sir Ian McKellen (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is from his work ’The Northerners’, a photographic series about well known faces from the North of England.
‘If I was to achieve my goal I needed to produce a body of work that was unequivocally what I wanted to do, and this would help me to attract the attention of magazine editors and photography agents. I decided that the best way to proceed would be to set myself a project, and being someone who was born and bred in the north of the country the idea of celebrating others who had their roots in this part of the world came to me’
Rory’s ‘Northerners’ is a collection of over 100 portraits featuring a cross section of Northern celebrities, sports personalities, actors, politicians and people encountered.
The Northerners toured the UK being exhibited at Calumet in Manchester, London, Bristol and Birmingham during 2014/15. Money raised from the exhibition was donated to UNICEF.
Rory Lewis is a portrait photographer based in Liverpool.
Benjamin Haywood’s portrait of ‘Karen’ (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is from his work ‘Uckfield Matters’, a photographic series about his hometown of Uckfield in East Sussex, England.
‘We’d had dinner and I was in the garden with Karen and her son TK playing with their dog Archie. I took Karen’s portrait there whilst the sun was going down. Karen doesn’t much like having her picture taken.’
‘It is a part of a sweet tale of suburban, middle class Britain centred around the town of Uckfield. A body of work that is ongoing, Uckfield Matters depicts a town that is – all at once – awash with nostalgia and intimacy, introspection and distance. Central to the photographs is a sense of place, memory and belonging. It is a survey of the contemporary suburban landscape.’
‘Uckfield is my home. I like to photograph there because it is comfortable for me and I know the people there. Part of my work is about understanding what draws a person to photograph something.’
‘I am fascinated by the transformative power of photography and art. I am not very interested in photographing, for want of better words, exciting or beautiful things. I am much more interested in taking completely, undeniably ordinary subject matter and making it exciting and beautiful.’
‘Uckfield is about contemporary everyday life. It’s about how we live, where we live, who we are.’
Benjamin Haywood received his Batchelor in Photography from the London College of Communication in 2014 and works as a freelance photographer and artist on a range of more and less dignifying projects. ‘Uckfield Matters’ continues to evolve and reshape. Other projects about other subjects are coming up too.
Noriko Takasugi’s portrait, ‘Fukushima Samurai’ (below), was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 and is part of her series ‘Fukushima Samurai – The Story of Identity’.
Takakatsu, 68. When it gets closer to Soma Nomaoi, he practices horse racing every 4am morning with his stable mates in the beach. His house facing the beach, destroyed and some of his horses in his stable next to the house were washed away. September 2012.
‘Since 2011, I have devoted my time to capturing the survivors of 3.11. While I am listening to their story, I could not ignore the unique spirit emerging in these people. For my project, I especially focused on the people who were once residents in the 20km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. These photos are part of my long-term project that differs from the major news stories about the disaster, having been investigating the evacuees not as victims, but as part of a 1000 years old folk culture of the area and representative of Japanese identity, examining how they are surviving such hard times and fighting their fate to retain their sense of self, both as individuals and as part of a group.’
Shingo, 34. His ‘favourite house’ with an ocean view on a hill was washed away 10-meter inland by the tsunami. “All the belongings including armor for the Soma Nomaoi annual celebration and two horses that we had taken care of as family were washed away.” September 2012.
Kunihito, 40. “I lived here since I was born until the disaster occurred. Roof tiles fell off and walls cracked due to the earthquake, but the house is habitable only if the level of radiation exposure was normal.” September 2012.
‘About 18,000 people have past away or missing due to the disaster. It triggered the nuclear explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. About 230,000 are still living as evacuees. Related death in Japan is more than 3,000 including more than 1,700 in Fukushima. The majority of people who lived in Fukushima at the time are still living the life of evacuees, devoting a great deal of their time to dealing with the effects of nuclear contamination.’
Yoshiyuki, 59. His former house was also his small furniture factory. He had lived here since he was born and worked locally for more than 35 years. In July 2012, he moved all the equipment from his former home to his new one in the neighboring city, where he evacuated to and live now, to restart the furniture business. September 2012.
Masaki, 31. Masaki used to live with his three children in Odaka. After the disaster he decided to stay in the next town instead of evacuating farther afield. “Of course I worried about the radiation effects but I did not want to move too far from my town because it is the place where Soma Nomaoi is held”. September 2012.
‘Soma Nomaoi is an annual celebration of Samurai culture in Fukushima more than 1000 years old. About 2000 people died in Fukushima due to 3.11, most of who were from the area where the Soma Nomaoi is held. Despite the harsh conditions, loss of lives and loss of hundreds of their horses and much of their armory, the majority of the surviving Nomaoi Samurai warriors agreed to hold the gathering in 2011, just a few months after the disaster. It is not just an event but also an embodiment of their identity and fight for survival. Here, the samurai way of life, “Bushido”, corresponds to the concept of chivalry. This sense of identity represents how and why, they live. The Nomaoi Samurai warriors portrayed here were once residents in the area close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Most of them are no longer allowed to live there but they can enter the area during the day. Each of them stands in the places that had a personal meaning to them in the area in their everyday life, reviving their memories of home.’
‘Although the typical image of current Japan might be still positive with Tokyo’s high-tech buildings, to people outside Japan, the country remains a hidden world. I would like, through my photography, to show this secret part of Japan: the mentality, inner warmth and profound sense of beauty triumphing over adversity, and awe to the nature. Those secrets part are not the extraordinary things for us but accumulation of our choices in our ordinary life. Such qualities are often obscured nowadays in the world as a whole, not just in Japan. My ordinary life and Japanese root came across to these Samurai people while I am taking the light and shadow of them by my camera.’
Hironobu, 44. He took me to a horse stable that his family member and he built on his wife’s parents’ property after the disaster. “I am now taking care of several horses that did not have anyone to rely one anymore because of the disaster”. The three kids and their parents are living separately in different municipalities as an evacuee life. “It is hard to only see the kids on weekends.” September 2012.
Kunio, 65. “I used to stand in front of this kamidana (a household altar) sacred to Odaka Shrine and pray every morning when we were living here before the disaster.” He prayed when somebody in his family got sick, when his daughter-in-law gave birth and also for other occasions. Standing solemnly in front of the kamidana with gratitude as part of his daily routine was such a precious and calm moment for him. He cannot live here now but he prays to the kamidana whenever he visits here. August 2012.
Born in Japan and based in Tokyo, Noriko Takasugi graduated with an MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Working as an editor for monthly graphic magazines led Takasugi to increase her passion for photography and storytelling. She has always been fascinated with connecting with people whose culture is strongly associated with the land and integrating herself with them through photography. Takasugi’s work has been exhibited widely in UK and published in The Telegraph, Independent, Wired.com. She was awarded the Konica Minolta Foto Premio 2014, selected as a finalist of PhotoQuai 2015 Biennale and a finalist of Critical Mass 2013 (Photolucida).
Takasugi’s hand made self-published photobook, “Fukushima Samurai – the story of identity” has been selected for E Book Show and G Book Show.
David Severn’s portrait ‘Ethan and his Mum’ (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2013 and is part of a body of work that comprises two commissions by Dance4 and The Renewal Trust to photograph young people in Nottingham who are dancers with differing levels of ability.
Ethan with his Mum after Ethan’s first dance class at The Chase community centre, St Ann’s estate, Nottingham
‘The portrait that was selected for Portrait Salon 13, “Ethan and his Mum”, was shot after Ethan’s first ballet class at The Chase community centre on the St Ann’s estate. Ethan had visibly taken to the dance session and tried with impressive enthusiasm to perfect the positions he’d been taught. I approached Ethan and his Mum as they were leaving the centre and we set up the portrait on their walk home. I wanted to convey Ethan’s zealous spirit, so asked him to connect with the camera and demonstrate some of what he’d learnt. His Mum stood behind, proudly placing her hand on Ethan’s shoulder.’
Savannah, a participant in a series of outreach workshops with Birmingham Royal Ballet, presenting a ballet pose in the St Ann’s area of Nottingham.
Street dancers sat in the stalls of the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.
‘I was keen to make the portraits in various locations within the city such as the street, the community centre or the theatre, reflecting a shared community and sense of place. From young people taking their very first dance class to those with years of experience, these portraits depict a common interest among young people of diverse social backgrounds. Rather than becoming distracted by the artificiality of performance or capturing dramatic movement, these photographs present the quieter, more personal moments of creative expression and reveal the self-actualization of youth.’
Jasmine, a keen ballet dancer, outside the Sycamore community centre on the St. Ann’s estate, Nottingham.
Dancer resting between rehearsals, Nottingham Contemporary.
‘Many of the young people I photographed are from the St Ann’s area of Nottingham, a neighbourhood that is still being affected by the collapse of the local manufacturing industry and scores poorly on government measures of deprivation. During the project, Birmingham Royal Ballet ran outreach workshops at The Chase community centre in St Ann’s. I spent time getting to know the participants’ individual personalities and documenting their discovery of dance. It was striking to witness the level of engagement in the ballet sessions from the young people involved, breaking down stereotyped ideas of the art form being an elitist interest not meant for them. I made several portraits responding to the relationship between the perception of ballet and the built environment of the St Ann’s estate, posing subjects in their newly learnt ballet positions in front of social housing, shopping precincts and the community centre.’
Young people during tuition with Dance4’s Centre for Advanced Training programme
Teenagers warming up before a dance class and looking out over Wellington Circus, Nottingham.
‘The social aspect of dance is also a significant theme in the work, exploring the bond between dancers both during practice and in downtime. The familiar adolescent story of inseparable friendships, budding romances, and evolving identities plays out through the images and touches more broadly on the adventurousness and heightened emotions of young people.’
Sharmell, a street dancer, on the stage of the Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Enok on his scooter before dance class at the Sycamore community centre in St. Ann’s, Nottingham
David Severn is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Nottingham, UK. His work is concerned with working class culture and the places associated with it, both historically and today. He is particularly interested in the relationship between people, work and landscape. His current project explores life within coalfield areas in the British Midlands. David’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally including at Renaissance Prize exhibition, Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibition and Singapore International Photography Festival. He has worked on editorial assignments for numerous publications including FT Weekend Magazine, The Times and MONOCLE. Recently David was selected as a winner of the Magnum Photos “30 under 30” award, an international competition open to documentary photographers under 30 years of age covering social issues.
‘That night the blind man dreamt that he was blind.’ José Saramago.
Clare Hewitt’s portrait of Eugenie (below) was selected (and used on the cover of our publication) for Portrait Salon 2013.
‘I first started photographing Eugenie in 2011, around ten years after her life had been unexpectedly and abruptly changed by a stroke, which had left her severely visually impaired, unable to walk and talk, and with restricted memory. To this day she can’t be sure of her age.’
‘I was introduced to Eugenie through the Haringey Phoenix Group, a London based charity for blind and visually impaired people. I had approached them because I was keen to spend time with a person who had experienced one of my own fears, loss of sight.’
‘I visited Eugenie once a week for three and a half years and have observed many aspects of her self. The idea that Eugenie would not see my representation of her encouraged me to portray her as sensitively and transparently as possible, valuing all the time we spent together. In the end though, I could not help but make a body of work that is primarily my own emotional response to her adaptation. The work is a truth, whether it is hers, mine, or a blur of both.’
‘Through her own strength and the help of The Haringey Phoenix Group Eugenie’s condition has improved considerably, but her permanent visual damage and memory loss means she still struggles with the changes she has undergone.’
‘In one sense her life has become complicated, vulnerable and overcrowded with frustration. In another it is simple, repetitive and monotonous, an oiled routine. Either way it is far removed and excluded from the society she first lived in, with its warped ideals of beauty, strength and heroism. For her it is now a very different way of the same life.’
Clare Hewitt is a photographer based in London. After completing a degree in law, Clare returned to university to study photography. In 2011 her work was selected for Fresh Faced + Wild Eyed at the Photographers’ Gallery, and has since been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. She is regularly commissioned by various publications including The Independent Magazine and Oh Comely.
Phil Le Gal’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is part of his work entitled ‘Days of Mercy’, a study of the area Brittany in France. Phil was born and lived in Brittany until he moved to London in 2003. He graduated with an MA at the London College of Communication in 2014.
‘Brittany is a land of many beliefs, cults and traditions. Successively the territory of Celts, Gauls, Romans, Bretons and finally Francs, the peninsula boasts a particularly important cultural heritage. With thousands of places of worship and religious relics scattered across the region, Christian Catholicism is the de facto religion in Brittany. The Celtic peninsula offers a very pious face to visitors, a construct built upon hundreds of years of pagan beliefs. One of the most prominent illustrations of this fact can be seen during the ceremonies of the Pardon (French for Forgiveness).’
‘Every year local Catholic saints are celebrated across the region in an eclectic mix of superstition, religion and rites of pagan origin. For hundreds of years on the same Sunday, relics of saints are paraded around towns, in a procession which goes on sometimes for most of the day. Every Pardon is unique but the general aim is to ask forgiveness and redemption for committed sins from a particular saint. Every saint is a patron for a specific profession (lawyers, sailors, etc), an activity (travellers/pilgrims or more recently motorcycle riders) and even some for animals.’
‘The bulk of the season happens between May and September. During that time, every Sunday sees the celebrations of a saint. This culminates with the most fervent moment around the 26th July when many Pardons are dedicated to Saint Anne, patron of Breton people. Christian Catholics celebrate their religion in many different displays of faith. This heady mixture of tradition, religion and paganism seen at Pardon ceremonies remains an unique occurrence within the Christendom still to date and only visible in Brittany.’
‘The project Days of Mercy attempts to decode the practice of ancient religious rituals deeply buried in the heart of brittany and equally to Breton’s psyche. It also tries to answer questions about the role and place of this ongoing traditions on today’s Breton’s culture as well as documenting and revealing the various forms that the Pardons can take. With a church congregation losing its appeal it is feared the next generation might not be able to perpetuate these century old practices.’
Phil Le Gal is a French documentary photographer who specialises in documentary, reportage and portraiture. Much of his practice stems from his interests in the contemporary social, environmental and globalisation issues. After training in photography at London Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and later graduating with a Diploma in Arts and Design Digital Photography he has completed a Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication.
Michal Solarski’s portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2012 and is part of his work entitled ‘Hungarian Sea’ which saw him revisit Lake Balaton in Hungary where he spent summer holidays as a child.
‘We were heading south. It was the most exciting time of every year. Luggage, fixed to the top of out tiny Fiat made the car look almost as high as it was long. There were three hundred miles to drive but for us it was almost an eternity. Three hundred miles could easly take more than one day if we happened to come accross nasty officers at the border, who would scrutinise our car inside out in case we were smuggling contrabands.’
‘Equipped with government-issued food vouchers and a little amount of pocket money in local currency, we were driving to a warm, colourful and pleasant place. For us, coming from sad, cold, and almost monochromatically grey Poland, it was like a window to the world. On arrival we found ourselves surrounded by a multitude of smells and colours. I would play endlessly on the beach with my sister and my parents. We would swim in the warm waters of the lake. For the next two weeks we would indulge in the holiday spirit until the day we had to make our way back home.’
‘The Hungarian Lake Balaton is the largest in Central Europe. As Hungary is landlocked, the lake is often called the ‘Hungarian Sea’. From the 1960s onwards Balaton became a major destination for ordinary working Hungarians as well as for those from the eastern side of the ‘Iron Curtain’ who were rewarded for their work in building socialism with a permit to travel across the border. As we could not dream of travelling to Spain, Italy or Greece, Balaton was the closest and most achievable destination for ordinary Poles to see ‘what’s out there’.’
‘My family and I were among the lucky ones who could go and spend holidays in what appeared to us a paradise. Twenty-odd years later, going through the pages of my family album, I found only one photograph of Balaton. It was a blurry picture of my sister and I, that was taken somewhere on one of the lake’s piers. This snapshot was the only reminiscence of six subsequent summers spent by the lake.’
‘These images are my attempt to create what my parents failed to do. I try to see the world through the eyes of a little boy who used to holiday there with his parents and sister over twenty years ago. Strolling among ruins of the glamorous, back in the day, concrete villas of Castro, Brezhnev and Honecker, the memories start to flood back. Balaton has hardly changed, it is almost exactly the same as I left it. Perhaps a bit more rusty, but the atmosphere remains the same. Only now for me it is no longer a paradise. I have grown and changed.’
Michal Solarski is a London based photographer. After graduating in Poland with a Masters in Politics, Solarski moved to London and studied at The London College of Communication where he earned an additional masters in Documentary Photography. He divides his professional career between advertising and his personal projects, travelling extensively between the UK and Eastern Europe where he produces the majority of his work. Most of his photography is strongly based on his own background and experiences, with a strong concentration on migration and memories. Solarski’s work has been widely exhibited (many group exhibitions in Europe, USA and Canada and his first solo show last year in Toronto) and published in many different publications including The Guardian, Time, GQ, Vanity Fair among others.
Andrew Youngson’s portrait of Mastoor Ali Atia (below) was selected for the first Portrait Salon in 2011 and is part of his work entitled ‘The Devil’s Garden’ documenting Bedouin communities living amidst Second World War minefields in Egypt’s Western Desert.
Mastoor Ali Attia (43) was injured at El Alamein in the early 1990s. He was dining in the desert with friends when their campfire triggered UXO buried beneath it. Mastoor lost his left arm, left eye and penis. His left leg is partially lame. After the explosion he was unconscious for one week and is now awaiting plastic surgery.
‘It is estimated that approximately 17 million unexploded anti-personnel and anti-tank mines; artillery shells; bombs dropped by aircraft and machine gun, small arms and mortar rounds remain beneath the sand.’
Negi Helal Khamis (39) was injured in 1998 at El Harabi when he and another man prepared a fire for lunch. After the explosion Negi was left deaf in one ear, blind in both eyes and with shrapnel injuries to his left arm. The other man was killed.
‘Official records of incidents involving UXO have not been kept until recently but it is believed thousands of Bedouin have been killed or injured since the end of the Second World War.’
Looking south into the desert from the Alexandria/Marsa Matrouh Road.
Fouad Abu Sake (67) picked up an object in the desert twenty years ago near Sidi And El Rahmen. When it exploded he lost his right arm above the elbow and was hit in the face by shrapnel. Fouadi’s older brother, Meftah was killed by a mine while walking in the desert in the early 1950s.
‘The term ‘Devil’s Gardens’ was first used by the German General Erwin Rommel to describe the box-like areas of minefields and barbed wire installed by Allied and Axis forces during the conflict.’
Saleh Beha (47) was found by scrap metal dealers after he stepped on a mine in the desert twenty years ago. Saleh bought his first artificial leg 4 or 5 years after the incident and now runs a small shop.
A boy walks in the desert south of El Alamein.
Rabeh Dawi Salem (40) stepped on an anti-personnel mine in 1986, leaving his left leg so badly damaged that it had to be amputated above the knee. Rabeh used to own an artificial leg but prefers to use a crutch.
Andrew Youngson is a London-based photographer and writer whose work explores the relationship between landscape and memory, specifically in conjunction with the long-term effects of armed conflict.
He has worked with UNICEF in Ethiopia; Al Haq in Palestine; SOS Sahel and Book Aid International in the UK; Bedouin communities affected by Second World War land minesin Egypt and unexploded ordnance contamination in Berlin.
After graduating with degree in Fine Art Andrew interned at Magnum Photos and has been working as a freelance photographer since 2006.