I have been surrounded by photographs ever since I can remember. My dad is a photographer, so I got used to the camera always being around, photographs hanging on the walls and plenty of photography on the living room bookshelves. I got a camera put into my hands and got the chance to look through the viewfinder and press the button, sealing that moment forever in a chemically impregnated sheet of paper. One of those pictures still hangs in the bathroom in my parent’s house. The photographs that fill that cottage tell my story and that of my family in their own way, disjointed, non-linear, at once prosaic and fantastic.
This extension of the photograph from the prevalence of a single important picture to a series of images that convey emotion, engaging their audience and communicating a point of view, is what Instant coffees is all about. We want it to be a forum for local and international photographers to show their work and tell their stories. Already in our first two sessions we have shown projections from Belgium, Argentina, the USA, Canada and Spain as well as the UK and we really want this international flavour to continue. But we intend Instant coffees events to be not only a place where artists bring their finished works but where open discussion can occur and new ideas and collaborations can emerge. To that end we want to invite everyone who is thinking of showing their work here to come along and talk to us all about your methods, your projects and your point of view.
At the second session we were lucky to have two of our participants talk to us a little bit about their work and answer some questions from everyone. The first was Will Hartley, whose projection ´Lawrence Hill´ looked at the lives of people living on the edge of society struggling to survive with the help of various drugs, nature and each other. He described how the project came about, having initially tried to document prostitutes at work and how his subjects came to fill his life quite intensely at times for several months.
Our second participant speaker was Michael Reeves, elaborating on his project ‘Fragments’ and the method behind it, which was integral to its creation. Michael told us about the Holga camera and its imperfections, which lead many people to appreciate the individual nature of the images produced by its plastic lens. He also described how the results from the Holga dictate his shooting with it, finding images of decay and pathos that compliment the dreamy photographs the camera creates. The question was also raised as to how much the increased interest in the Holga and other old and unusual film cameras from Russia and China, exemplified by the Lomographic movement, represents a real resurgence in the use of film and appreciation of its unique advantages faced with the recent prevalence of digital photography.
So to sum up, we all enjoyed ourselves and we’re really looking forward to next time.
Many thanks for everyone who have collaborated with Instant coffees.
Text: Jack Bradbury