Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Jordi Huisman - Rear Window

I stumbled across Dutch photographer Jordi Huisman's work by accident - as much as I often complain about Tumblr, one thing it does do well is provide photographers with the opportunity for their work to be seen by thousands with one simple "reblog". One image in particular caught my eye while browsing my timeline - a photo of what appeared to be the back of an apartment block at night; the main light sources were the lights inside individual flats. Something about its simplicity struck me. A quick google search led me to his website, where it turns out he has an ongoing series of images of a similar theme, entitled "Rear Window".

"The Rear Window series focuses on the back of buildings in European capitals. It shows how someone decided to put a large satellite dish on his balcony, where the next door neighbour uses the balcony as a storage room… The series also has a voyeuristic aspect: through detailed exposures, small details in the houses of the neighbours become visible. Details that aren't meant to be visible."

The medium and large format images somehow struck a chord with me. It's true that the majority of the time, we will never get to see the back of buildings, houses in particular. I know for a fact that at my parents' house, much more TLC is given to the front lawn as "more people will see it". The back garden currently lies in a state of mild disarray (our enthusiasm for sorting out the weeds lasts for half a day at the most) while the front looks immaculate. From a social point, is it a case of keeping up appearances? Either way, it's great to be given a chance to see the "details that aren't meant to be visible".

Photography collective No Culture Icons are teaming up with the independent Village Bookstore in Leeds to host their first photo exhibition on Thursday 7th February (6pm-9pm). Work by Jordi will be exhibited alongside Alex Cretey Systermans, Bryan Schutmaat and Alex Catt, with an evening of music & drink on offer. I haven't had the pleasure of visiting Village yet, but from the comments I've seen on twitter, this will definitely be worth going to if you're a Northerner with a passing interest in contemporary photography. 

For more information, visit No Culture Icons online or Village's Facebook Event.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Warby Parker Glasses

I've been fortunate enough (or unfortunate, you decide!) to wear glasses for the past couple of years now, after the awkward discovery of not being able to see the board in my Chemistry classes at school. The first time I went to the opticians, I took my father along who wasn't the most fashion forward shall we say, and I ended up with the most unflattering pair of glasses known to man. 5 or 6 years later, I think I'm doing much better in the glasses department. Well... I hope.

Step forward Warby Parker, to make me truly envious of spectacle wearers across the pond. They have the most beautiful selection of frames for both men & women, in colours from gold to turquoise back to the safe yet statement-making black. I haven't found a UK equivalent of these guys yet, and they only deliver to the US and Canada at present so it looks like I'll have to make do with lusting after all of their glasses (and prescription sunglasses) online. Or maybe plan a trip over to NYC to pick up a pair, who knows...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Photo diary: Accra.

For the first time in 7 years, I returned to Ghana's capital, Accra, to spend time with relatives over the festive period. Admittedly, I was initially thrown by the 36 degree heat, the mosquitoes and the weird nausea that comes straight after taking anti-malarial tablets, but my brief stay provided me with many hearty laughs and a new perspective on the rapidly developing nation. It was great not to feel the physical distance that separates me from the rest of my relatives 99% of the time, and it was inspiring to see the changes that are taking place everyday.

I found myself so busy at points that I often forgot to document everything I experienced properly... but the way I see it, it only meant that I was completely immersed in everything. Sometimes I feel a camera can be a barrier between actively participating and being an observer.

Quick portrait of my auntie Frances. 
My cousin, Sena, in Osu. Osu is home to lots of restaurants, shops & tourists.
I saw a lot of 'Remove Now' signs painted onto buildings.
Engagement party before the big wedding the day after. Lots of acclimatising.
I went to a wedding, and it was beautiful!
Grounds of the beautiful Movenpick Hotel
Hair salon in Awudome
Final walk around North Kaneshie. I love the colours here.
A parting view of Accra from the air. Looks beautiful, doesn't it?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

New year, new blog.

Just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend my new year in the city of Accra, Ghana - the birthplace of both my mother and father. As the clock struck midnight, I promised myself that if I would do anything in 2013, it would be to discover MORE. And so, COASTAL IMAGE was born.

I have long been inspired by the blogs that provide you with new books and magazines to read, fashion designs to lust after, new sounds to give your day a bit of a boost. I spent 2 weeks in a somewhat foreign environment thinking on my feet, and more importantly, learning something new. It's a feeling I don't want to get rid of too quickly.

COASTAL IMAGE will hopefully be a combination of the two cultures I am lucky to surround myself by on a daily basis. The things I would wear if I was brave enough (or had enough money), the people I'll never meet doing new and innovative things. A photo diary.

Fingers crossed this goes to plan!