Monday, 9 February 2009

WELCOME... to Volume 1!

Thanks for visiting the First Edition of Expiration Notice, the online gallery for emerging photographers 35 and over. We're very happy with the selection of photographers we're presenting today, some names you may already be familiar with, others maybe less so. Styles and content range from hardcore reportage, to the everyday snapshot aesthetic of our surrounding everyday world. And we're quite happy to have extended our originally set parameters from two, to four photographers- and then some (see On Notice- our Honorable Mention Gallery)!

Neither Mark nor I are high tech mavens, you won't find any fancy Flash or other high end bells and whistles here- instead, we'll just concentrate on continuing to feature the work of photographers normally excluded from other venues. Perhaps if truly successful, we'll eventually render ourselves obsolete. In the meantime, we're open to your criticism (hopefully constructive), suggestions, and yes- continued submissions... so we can have yet another go come mid-March!

Please Note:
We received a huge amount of submissions for this our first edition and thanks to you all, we have had to do some tough judging. If you didn't make it into Volume 1 you may well make it into next month's or even the month after. And that's how submissions are now being accepted for future editions, on a rolling basis.

Regarding our judging criteria- there's two of us having similar, albeit individual tastes. After a general consensus of what's in the running, we pick two photographers each according to our considerably subjective criteria. That simple... and hope you enjoy this much deserving work.

Alan George

Last year, I caught one of the very best photography exhibits in all San Francisco not in one of its few premiere photo galleries, but in the lobby of a busy downtown office building. The photographs were of Alan George's stunningly beautiful photographs of eccentrically manicured flora found on San Francisco's residential streets. Not limited to oddly shaped flora, Alan finds beauty in the most Painfully Ordinary of subjects ignored and disdained by tourist and native alike. This is San Francisco through the backdoor- and no matter how worn or seemingly inconsequential the subject matter, there's an overall sense of beauty and grandeur that permeates all of George's work. SB

John Darwell

I recognise so much in John Darwell's series Not Starting From Here. We both live in England's North-West albeit at different ends of the region, and I recognise that light. I know a man like the one leaning on a wall on a housing estate similar to the one I grew up on. I recognise that dining room, the wallpaper, the tablecloth, perhaps laid ready for a "Full English" at a Bed & Breakfast, or maybe the more up market guesthouse, that most quintessential of a stopover for the British traveller. And these are the photographs of a traveller, a traveller contemplating the familiar and wishing to understand a landscape and in the process showing us a little more of things that can be taken for granted. An Englishman's hike in the style of Wainwright, rather than a spitting "Road Trip" by Kerouac. MP

David Wolf

David Wolf's deceptively simple "snapshots" intrigued and puzzled me from the start. His Left Behind photos are, on first glance, not dissimilar from countless other urban street, still life's taken by countless other photographers of discarded or misplaced household objects. The only difference- his work! And there lies the rub. Wolf's photos retain their sense of wonderment, from initial sidewalk visualization to final photographic representation. I'm not sure I'll ever know quite why, but whatever it may be- it's what (in the hands of an artist) elevates a camera from simple recording device to instrument of transformation. SB

George Georgiou

The digital age has made it relatively easy to convert from color to black and white practically on demand, but even today there are few photographers who can shoot either equally well. Classic names like James Nachtwey and Carl DeKyzer automatically come to mind, and as of last year, seems you can add George Georgiou to that small and hallowed pantheon. Although the latter's name and recognition may yet be emerging, his talent and ability have most definitely arrived. SB
Alan George- Immediate Vicinity

"On March 21st, 2007 my daughter was born. My son had, two months prior, celebrated his second birthday. Anyone in similar circumstances can appreciate that there is little time for anything other than domesticated "bliss" and occasionally, some sleep. Photography seemed out of the question. Determined to pick up the camera again, I set about to make the best use of the only time that I had at my disposal, my commute to work which consisted of a 12 minute walk to the subway and a ten minute ride.

Photography, at least to me, has a direct relationship with the "reality" the photographer experiences, either accidental or contrived. The photographer selects some portion of this "reality," captiures it on a two dimensional plane and presents it as a photograph. The job of a photographer is to manage this "reality" in such a way as to result in interesting photographs. Traveling to exotic destinations, achieving access to the otherwise inaccessible locations/people, constructing film set like concoctions; these are but a few of the many "reality" enhancement techniques. None of which were readily available to me. This series of images is a result of an attempt to make the most of my forced 'reality'."

Alan George was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1968. He received a BS from the University of Tennessee in 1992. Alan began his involvement with photography in 2003 and is currently based in San Francisco, California with his wife and two children.

John Darwell - Not Starting From Here

John Darwell is an independent photographer working with museums and galleries on projects that reflect his interest in social and industrial change and his concern for the environment. His work has been exhibited, and published, widely both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in London, Amsterdam, the USA, Mexico, South America and the Canary Islands, and is featured in a number of important collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has had seven books of his photographs published, including in 2007 a major study of the 2001 Uk Foot and Mouth epidemic entitled ‘Dark Days’, (Dewi Lewis Publishing); ‘Committed to Memory’ at 25 year retrospective on his work to coincide with exhibition of the same name at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle in May-July 2007 and 'Legacy' (2001 Dewi Lewis) a view inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

"This work is a journey of exploration and encounters along the Cumbria coastline (home of the Lake district) in the most north western county in England. The work (all images produced on 6x7 format) travels from the northerly point of the coast to the counties' southerly most point. The only limitation I set myself being that whenever I took a photograph, I had to be able to see the sea somewhere within my field of view. This region is rich in post industrial history and notorious for being the home of the Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Plant. My aim was to produce a personal journey to help me better understand my feelings for this stretch of coastline within the county I had made my home."

David Wolf- Left Behind

David Wolf's photographs explore worlds both seen and imagined. Whatever his immediate subject, making photographs for Wolf is a process of transformation. "By making a connection between one's inner life and the greater world," he writes, "art transforms not only what we see but who we are. At the heart of this process is empathy."

Left Behind speaks to the parallel lives of things and people. Both document and metaphor, the project collects unwanted, forgotten and discarded things, and places them in a context rich with social insight and emotional resonance. All of the objects have been photographed as found, largely in San Francisco’s Mission District neighborhood, from 2003 to the present.

David's photographs have been exhibited nationally at such venues as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Photographic Center Northwest, and the Society for Contemporary Photography. His work is included in a variety of museum, corporate, and private collections.

George Geogiou- Hidden: Psychiatric Institutions in Kosovo and Serbia

"Between 1999 and 2002, I visited three psychiatric institutions while living and working in Kosova and Serbia on a long term project, Between The Lines, on the aftermath of the NATO conflict with Serbia. The work from the institutions, a story on it's own, is also an integral part of this bigger narrative of conflict, division, difference and exclusion. Having spent four years teaching a photography class to people with psychiatric disorders in London prior to this, psychiatric institutions and patients were not alien to me and I was aware of the fluctuating behavioural patterns. What I found in Kosova and Serbia was a far cry form contemporary practice in London.

When I first visited the institutions they were hidden from the gaze of the general public and came as a shock to Serbs when they were exposed. Money, during the years of the Milosevic regime had drained away, leaving filthy conditions, contagious diseases, lack of medical care and rehabilitation and a failure to provide oversight due to an unmotivated low paid staff struggling with their own economic difficulties.

The worst aspect was the total lack of care and stimulation and the high number of people who should never have been in these places. People with physical disabilities, (the boy with no legs was a victim of a car accident and orphaned), downs syndrome, a high proportion of Roma or children whose misfortune was to have been born in the institutions. By living in this environment of deprivation, with little stimulation or compassion they start to display repetitive rocking behaviour and self-injury.

By 2002, on my final visits, money had been raised in a public campaign of awareness in Serbia and with the help of a number of NGO’s conditions had improved. For me, after the initial shock at the conditions and total lack of care, it became clear that the patients from all ethnic backgrounds were able to display more community, affection and care with each other, than the sad situation that their "sane" countrymen were displaying to each other on the outside." GG.

On Notice

Also loving...........

Stuart Parker (details available)

......... ................................................. ...............................................Erik Chevalier