Happy Lunar New Year! I thought I’d post some photos from the last Pig cycle (12 years!) These were taken in Liverpool, U.K. and shown as part of a Lunar New Year exhibition at the Chinese Museum of Melbourne Australia, now residing in their permanent collection.
As Liverpool has one of Europe’s oldest Chinese populations, the lunar new year celebration each year is always a colourful, noisy and fun affair. It is also really crowded, but as a photographer you have to try and find your angle somehow, which is an interesting challenge. The event is held underneath the gorgeous arch made to mark the millennium by expert artisans from Shanghai, Liverpool’s twin city in China.
Exhibition photos courtesy of curator Lorinda Cramer.
Last night was the opening of a pop-up art show in Downtown LA at Hatakayama Gallery, curated by Arturo Aguilar. The exhibition features work by myself and nine other LA based artists, in photography, painting and time-based media.
I included an Americana-inspired photography triptych and Chris exhibited his beautiful large scale series of the misty Golden Gate Bridge. The images garnered a lot of interest despite not currently being for sale – archival quality pigment prints will be featured as special short-run editions at our upcoming online store, I will update this site when they become available.
Thanks to everyone who came down to the opening, it was such a fun night!
Here’s some info on the artists:
Arturo Aguilar: Los Angeles lifer, photographer and computer artist. He has spent the last decade in the film industry creating simulation art for DreamWorks and Sony Pictures. Art-speaks.blogspot.com
Asylm: Asylm is an L.A.-based graffiti artist, fine artist and muralist. Asylm.com
Chris Cunningham: Photographs, lights, composites, musics, and 3D enthusiasts. Chasethelight.com
Liza Lemsatef Cunningham: Artist, photographer, designer of fine web and print offerings, art history nerd. Not necessarily in that order. Ellelens.com | Jaunty Angles blog
Eyeone is an artist and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. His work is rooted in graffiti, printmaking, photography, and punk rock. Eyelost.com
Sofia Gonzalez has been professionally designing and screen printing in LA since the 90s, yo! Sofialeegonzalez.com
Michael Hackett: Michael Hackett explores the space where an information system becomes so complex, that it’s orderliness diminishes and begins to take on organic characteristics.
Mad Guru: Adnan was raised in both the U.S. and Pakistan on a childhood of writing stories. Besides visual effects and animation on feature films for the likes of Disney and Sony, he works under his company Mad Guru, to create animated films and projects designed to provoke thought and bring diverse people together. Madguru.com
An exhibition of a series of mine and my husband Chris’ photography is currently on show in Maya Liverpool, UK.
Fifteen A3 and three A0 sized archival prints are exhibited in an atmospheric Mexican inspired environment. The opening night of the show was a great success (although I was on the other side of the Atlantic at the time) and included Mexican street food and libations, general revelry and calaca-style face painting in a Dia de los Muertos spirit!
With ‘Light Curtain’, artist Liz Rideal paints the fabric of the building with light, as a sophisticated LED rig and video projections illuminate the exterior of the Whitworth Art Gallery during the evenings.
This video, shot on Canon 5D MKII, is one of a series of videos and photos I captured for the COTTON: Global Threads exhibition website, my latest project with the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester. Creating the website has been a great opportunity to indulge my love for art history and cultural theory, exploring themes in the exhibition including globalization, ethics, cultural hybridity, identity and beauty.
I was fortunate enough to interview some of the international contemporary artists involved with the exhibition such as Lubaina Himid and Aboubakar Fofana, and work with the curators and conservators to bring it to life online. The aim was both to inform and inspire people who are able to visit the gallery, and offer an engaging experience to those who will experience it in the digital realm – with some behind-the-scenes peeks and exclusive content created specially for the site, featuring a multiplicity of voices and perspectives.
COTTON: Global Threads opened on February 11th and runs until the 13th May 2012. Visit the Whitworth Gallery if you can, its a great show. Delve into the website and blog at www.cottonglobalthreads.com
So much fun being back amongst the glitter and feathers, preparing for a samba parade! This time I was on the other side of the camera, instead of playing percussion with the bateria as I used to back in the UK, as I was the official photographer covering Brazilian Day LA for organizers Samba Lá and the Brazilian Consulate in LA. The event in Hancock Park was bigger than ever with two parades, a raft of performances and busy stalls selling authentic regional street food, and everything from Havaianas to Contemporanea drums and ‘fio dental’ bikinis.
Renni Flores and Katia Moraes were such fun hosts with boundless energy and humour, singing numbers in Portuguese including the specially-created enredo (parade song) and presenting a really impressive array of performers. On stage were Capoeira masters to samba kids, cheeky Carmen Miranda dancers, and more with the bateria of Samba Lá sounding really tight, and samba and forró bands leading the partying all day with impromptu dance instruction.
Photography-wise there was so much to capture my eye – everyone’s costumes were exquisite for the big parade, with popular sartorial choices for the crowd being confections in the patriotic yellow, green and blue flag.
The beautiful musa, madrinha, reinha, princesas and their consorts were such fun with the crowd and the elegant porta bandeira, the mestre-sala with the million dollar smile, and sunny tia baianas and passistas made the parade such a joy to photograph. The atmosphere took me right back to Rio’s Sambodromo during carnaval!
An image from the endlessly inspiring Neon Boneyard, Las Vegas, Nevada. In the ever-shifting landscape of Sin City, this is the place where all good iconic signage goes to retire.
We discovered this unique museum filled with acres of casino history and typographic delights on a funny and fascinating guided tour in 2009. After deciding to have a wedding vow renewal in Las Vegas last year, the first thing we thought of was to hire the boneyard for a memorable and fun wedding photo shoot.
I updated our wedding site with some photos and video from the day. Ah-huh huh
Such beautiful pattern and texture – Medjool dates radiating outward on a vintage brass platter. Simple, striking and a welcome surprise at the hotel favoured by Winston Churchill, rediscovered by a new generation of visitors to Marrakech. A visual feast for a weary traveller served up with almond milk.
A few photos from the local Acima supermarché in El Jadida – Some striking colour, pattern and print quality to be found on the shelves – I love how Moroccan appreciation for geometry and calligraphy manifests into flipped diamond shapes, honeyed hexagons and smart typography. Henry’s, so nostalgic -as a child I remember trips back from the local épicerie sharing a packet of these little malted milk biscuits in their shiny wrapper…
The other day I opened a small cardboard box given to me by my Mum. Inside I found delicate pockets with negatives saved from the rubbish tip – the school she worked in was clearing out storage space and everything was being thrown away.
I kept the box for years but recently discovered my husband Chris has scanning equipment to handle the large format negatives, so we set to work…. I never expected to be so excited as each image revealed itself… One after another, fascinating untouched photographs appeared from British missionaries based in Africa, from 1916 and thereabouts…
The arresting images include women with scarification, some sort of military march, impressive Zulu warriors in full regalia, and my favourite – a grinning man with his teeth filed to points. The Victorian lady in white really sets the colonial time period, as do annotations with such comments as ‘a peculiar hairstyle.’ Some of the countries referred to (Rhodesia and Nyasaland for instance) have changed names and borders, some several times in the interim.
The photographer had a great eye for portraiture, the subjects appear strong and unfalteringly return the viewer’s gaze. It is absorbing to think about the equipment the photographers must have used to take the pictures in situ, their feelings and motivations and what the subjects must have felt towards them. Did they ever see the processed exposures? The young girls playing in the pictures would be more than one hundred years old if they were around today.
I am grateful the little box was rescued from the landfill as a thought-provoking glimpse through the lens of another place and time.
Playing on the ‘straight to the bargain bin’ concept, I used an Oxfam charity shop as a backdrop for the new album release by Condor Moments, featuring cover art by artists Rachel Lowther, Alex Baggaley and myself.
‘And Though We’re Told We Have It All, The All We Have Is Freezing Cold’ by Condor Moments, Released by What Delicate Recordings, New York, actually is to be found in record shops and available on iTunes
Experimenting with faking a tilt shift lens effect for that peculiar toytown aesthetic. Fun with Photoshop, or you can use the little online app at TiltShift Maker and see all the other fun fakery over there.
(yes I know Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, and not the clock tower) Anyway
A rainy night for a commission, I was glad the streets were wet and brought up such interesting reflections to play with, even though my assistant and I got soaked battling the wind with an umbrella and keeping the tripod steady on a traffic filled bridge…
I used exposure bracketing to ensure the illuminated clock face wasn’t blown out, and set long exposures to capture light trails from passing buses and the movement of people to add to the bustling feel. I then layered images of festive lights taken at home as the iconic lamp posts lining the bridge were actually out of action and being repaired, necessitating a generous dollop of festive artistic license.
The finished Christmas card designs were used for the UK Houses of Parliament, in their MP print on demand system to send to constituents.