Magical light here... and everyday it's different.
Magical light here... and everyday it's different.
A special place in Connemara.
New story just published in the March issue of Town & Country.
On a recce in the Wicklow mountains. Always magical here.
I've been studying Sight and Sound's Top 100 films of all time, as polled by critics and directors (two separate lists) in 2012, and have decided to try and watch them all - even though I've seen many of them before. Might make more sense to watch the Directors' Top 250 as this should cover the critics' list as well. Started on New Year's Eve with Billy Wilder's 'Sunset Boulevard'. What a wonderful film - on so many levels. Check out the Sight and Sound lists: http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/critics/
Aother great Christmas gift was the catalogue for the upcoming Saul Leiter show at the House of Photography, Hamburg which runs from 3rd February till 15th April 2012. If you don't know Leiter's work then get yourself a copy of this - as well as his only other book, 'Early Color', which is edited by art/photo historian Martin Harrison and published by Steidl. What I love about the catalogue is the broad range of work on show: fashion images from late Fifties/early Sixties Harper's Bazaar, early black and white photos, his personal colour 'street photographs' and many of his paintings - in the early days he had shown alongside de Kooning, but his work never caught on commercially - as well as a homage to Soames Bantry, his muse and partner. Interestingly, there are some images of Soames from a fashion story shot in Ireland for Nova magazine circa 1967. Although there was a show in 1996 of the early colour street photos at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, Leiter remained virtually unknown. And his colour images were, for the most part, looked down upon - it took near on ten years to find a publisher for his work. It's hard to believe that in the mid-Nineties "the photography world still looked down on color as a commercial device - slick and superficial". How the art world has changed! As Martin Harrison writes in the introduction to 'Early Color': "The evocative, painterly images on these pages vividly demonstrate that in the second half of the twentieth-century Saul Leiter's photographic language of fragmentation and contingency was extending the boundaries of the medium". Definitely worth checking the show when it opens in February: Click Here
My collection of Errata Editions' Books on Books series is growing! Two new ones arrived for Christmas: Ed van der Elsken's 'Sweet Life' and Ked Helmer Petersen's '122 Colour Photographs'. Both beautiful. I hadn't seen either before. This is a wonderful series well worth checking out. There are currently sixteen in the series and some of these are already going into second editions. Will be interesting to see what comes next... http://www.errataeditions.com
I am loving this series Books on Books published by Errata Editions. It's an ongoing series presenting complete reproductions of classic photobooks. Some, such as Walker Evans' 'American Photographs' and Atget's 'Photographe de Paris' are well known, but very hard to find original copies. Others are less well known and even hard to find in this series! I've been looking for the Books on Books edition of Krass Clement's 'Drum' for some time now and finally found a copy in Arcana Books in Los Angeles. This is a wonderful book. The majority of the pictures were taken inside a shabby old pub-cum-grocery in the small County Monaghan town of Drum one night in early 1990 (or 1991 - the book is a little confusing as it claims both dates, but my guess is 1990!). Krass Clement was staying at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre on a grant when he happened upon this pub. The layout of the book is fascinating. Its pivotal movement around the room and use of repetition is more akin to cinema and reminds me of Bela Tarr's 'Werkmeister Harmonies' - though these pictures were made and published long before Tarr's film. It is well worth reading the story of how the pictures and book were made. That's another great feature of these books: as well as including all the original text (very little in this case) there are essays reflecting on the making of the books and details about the original first editions such as print run (500 in the case of 'Drum'), paper stock, printer etc etc. One of the most extraordinary aspects of 'Drum' is that this was a Protestant pub. Other books in this series include Chris Killip's 'In Flagrante', David Goldblatt's 'In Boksburg' and Paul Graham's 'Beyond Caring'. http://www.errataeditions.com
A crisp frost. We give my step-mother a big send off in All Saints' Church, Faringdon. A beautiful service. The choir sing the sublime The Shepherds' Farewell from 'L'Enfance Du Christ' by Berlioz. There are several readings including my cousin Mary reading Mathew Arnold's 'Requiescat'. I read from Corinthians 13, "Though I speak with the tongues..." - a wonderful piece, amazing language.
Arrived back at my parents house in Faringdon this morning. My step-mother, Gay, died on Sunday 2nd December after a short battle with cancer. She has been part of my life since I was in my early teens - my mother having died when I was eleven. She will be greatly missed. Tomorrow is her funeral. It's a misty day. And freezing cold.