Sunday 24 November 2013

"Splash Bang Wallop" at Cupola Gallery, Sheffield

As mentioned in the last post, we have been given the chance to participate in another Open-Call Exhibition (making three in a month), this time with the Cupola Gallery in Sheffield.  Cupola is somewhere we've shown at a few times in recent years; in fact, we can't underestimate the importance of this place in our artists CV's, as they have regularly given us the chance to have our work in a 'proper' public art gallery.  And of course, Cupola are letting us basically take over the place with our "Home is…" show in 2014.

Appropriately enough for the weekend with the 50th Anniversary of Dr Who, the Tardis-like building of Cupola.  Once inside, the place goes on forever, with a sculpture-filled courtyard at the back, stairs up to rooms which extend out over other shops, all manner of spaces for showing artwork.

This call, titled "Splash Bang Wallop", is their big Christmas exhibition, and apparently there are about 60 of us exhibiting.  We turned up unfashionably early, which at least meant that we were able to get a few shots before the crowds arrived for the opening night...

We got the chance to exhibit some pictures from our respective Underwater projects (as featured in earlier blog posts this summer, whilst we were shooting them).  It was a nice opportunity to show these works, the original open call they were made for having chosen not to pursue these series for the time being.  Slightly odd to be showing work on summer seaside and featuring inflatable beach toys on a night where temperatures hit minus two, but hey-ho.

So thats that; probably no more exhibitions this side of Christmas, if for no other reason than the fact that we've run out of work to show, which is a pleasant state of affairs.  We have a few more shoots and projects underway this month though; more in an upcoming blog post.

October into November; exhibitions galore, and also Daleks.

Right, as promised, a catch-up on the last month.  A day-trip to York saw us visiting both the National Railway Museum (to catch the "Great Gathering", showcasing all six of the A4 Pacific locomotives together in the same place- with the two temporarily repatriated locos from America and Canada due to be sent back soon, this seemed about the only opportunity to get to see them).  Photography conditions were not great, with so many people there, and the lighting inside mucking up the sensor on the camera a bit, but we managed a few nice shots.

This was followed by a visit to Treasurers House (National Trust) near the Minster; chance for a few more experimental pics, including the one of the chandalier, below.

We got the opportunity to exhibit some work at Cottingley Cornerstone, for the second time following our participation last year.

It was a nice show, with a good mix of work on display, and a good friendly atmosphere on the opening night.  I was exhibiting an unused pic from the "Inflate-Deflate" series, as well as one from my Dromology/Intercity project from last winter (one of the images not chosen by South Square Gallery at the time).  Amy showed one from her "Light Trails" project, and the sculpture piece below, from her wildlife boxes series, made from found materials.

One which really interested me, this very nice bar, done in miniature, with working lighting.

We're also exhibiting some work with Cupola in Sheffield (more in a separate post), as well as our ongoing contribution to the Bradford Open at Cartwright Hall; that means we've participated in three open-call exhibitions within a month, which is a pleasant if somewhat stressful experience, from an organisation point of view.

Something else which will be featuring in a separate post, is that we're decorating the National Trust Tearoom where I work in one of the Day Jobs.  Being done tastefully, subtly, and on a budget, with lots of arty creations…  The Reindeer above, made from recycled delivery boxes and scrap card, should give some indication of what sort of work we're going for.

We've also ended up doing some Dr Who themed making; coming up with cardboard/recycled Daleks for the Scouts and Beavers we are leaders with.  The example ones we made are shown below, during a suitably spookily-lit shoot done after the activity had been completed…. 

…along with one using proper toy Daleks, just for the sake of doing a miniatures shoot.  Anyway, to save boring people with the details here, there's more on this blog:

So that was the last month; mainly spent doing exhibitions.  Next posts on our showing at Cupola Gallery, and then on the Tearoom Christmas Decorations.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Railway Photography- Worth Valley and Ffestiniog

Been a little while since the last blog post, which is mainly down to a temperamental internet connection.  Some more updates coming soon, but for the time being, something I meant to post a few weeks ago, some railway photography at both the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Steam Gala, then the Ffestiniog Railway "1863 and All That" Gala, back in mid October.

Keighley was a bit of a let-down in terms of weather- the lighting was poor, which made for some blurry photographs initially.  I therefore gave up trying to do straightforward shots, and just went for more experimental panning shots and zooms.

I thought I'd try artificially ageing one shot with digital filters afterwards, with this loco which the railway had cosmetically weathered to make it look more authentically 1960's.

Then it was literally straight up to Wales for a few days, combining some railway shots with some miniatures pics (more in a separate post) and the "Home is…" photos at the lake, from the last post.  The Ffestiniog gala was a celebration of the introduction of steam power in 1863, meaning lots of vintage trains and other stuff worth shooting pics of.

One of the weirdest trains I've ever photographed, the gravity-powered inspection vehicle, seen in the woods at TanYBwlch.

This is something I'm trying to do again in miniature- first chance I've had to do a tracking shot from a vehicle running parallel.

Poor lighting in the woods led me to doing more experimental shots, trying to create something abstract.

The Sunday featured an impressive line-up of all the vintage locomotives at Harbour Station, with all four surviving 'Englands', so we joined the crowds at early-o'clock to get some shots.

I know I have a reputation amongst some of my fellow railway photographers for taking extremely low-angle shots, but this wasn't the most low-down pic from the day by any means...

And finally, it wasn't all about trains- migrating swans flying over the estuary, and a vaguely arty shot of a Heron in flight from the Britannia Bridge.

Coming tomorrow, a catch-up of the other photography/art/exhibitions done over the last month, whilst we have access to a decent internet connection...