H.M. Coroners Post

To the side of the ‘city park’ – Bradford’s redemption – is the pre-existing courts complex and police station. The latter emptied to make way for redevelopment and improve the lots of the copper, the latter showing it’s age. This zine looks at the interaction between the buildings, the controlled natural elements and some of the humans who inhabit the space.

Available to buy online, at Impressions Gallery (Bradford) and Village Books (Leeds)

Full online preview

Photographer: Jon Eland

First Edition: 50 (numbered)
16 page A5 booklet (8.3″ x 5.8″) on recycled stock.
Contains 14 images.

Twas the day after Xmas…

Xmas (Just) Past cover. Image © Michael Brohm (2014), cover design © Jon Eland (2015)
Xmas (Just) Past cover. Image © Michael Brohm (2014), cover design © Jon Eland (2015)

Back in December I issued an event call on social media to get photographers out taking new imagery once the immediate excitement of the festive period was over.

And so, in Leeds a bunch of a dozen trepid photographers set out into not the best of days to capture the post-Xmas feeling. In addition to other photographers who couldn’t attend also shot to the same simple brief and in total 14 creative folk sent images in to me – and I in turn took those images and created a publication from them.

And so ‘Xmas (just) past’ was created.

The resulting  printed publication is 28 pages – containing 29 original images and 2 short texts. The zine comes hand-wrapped with an explanatory brochure.

In addition – until all copies are sold* – anyone buying a copy gets unique access to the archive of submitted images (and mini interviews from those who contributed) *after this time it will become a public resource.

You can order copies at £7 + delivery

A sample of images from the publication:

‘Reconstructed’ project

My take on the concept of the ‘Imaginary Museum’ project looks at how images of a battle reconstruction, re-touched into a museum context subverts the concept of the museum.

In this series of images I looked at how the museum removes things from context, but how also it can apply a subjective view of history. General thought is that ‘history favours the victor’ – but geography, local culture and fashion will impact on how history is presented at any given time – with objects often used to provide the ‘proof’ of a particular concept.

The battle reconstruction (or re-enactment) has, for several years given a chance for people to take part in creating an approximately accurate re-run of the events of a decisive military event – and thereby sidestepping the museum and text book’s roles as ‘authentic histories’. The Shireoak Photography collective have attended and photographically recorded such events throughout the north of England – covering a number of eras – from pike men of medieval times to the more modern warfare of the Second World War.

This series of images took the photographs taken by Shireoak as it’s starting point and places these fake histories into a gallery environment escorted through the process by the gallery attendant – himself a member of the collective who created the images. What is left to the viewer now is to make a decision – is this art, is it entertainment , is it a record of an event – and if so, is it contemporary or historic? And what is the real historical truth?

Originally produced for the Artist’s Book Collective project ‘The Imaginary Museum’ – that was itself created as part of PAGES | Leeds International Artists Book Fair 

A long distance Louisville love affair

The following article was written, but submitted late for inclusion in the final edition of ‘The Paper’. I thought it was worth publishing here instead…

Jon captured on his first visit by fellow exchange photographer and Louisvillian, Michael Brohm
Jon captured on his first visit by fellow exchange photographer and Louisvillian, Michael Brohm

There was a time, not so long ago, when I had no knowledge of ‘Louisville’ – sure I’d heard of the Kentucky Derby, KFC is a household name across the globe and the brands of the Brown-Forman corporation accompany many a Friday night’s wind-down. But the city, found on this bend in the Ohio river, was all new to me.

I first heard of the city when I was asked if the photography group I help run would be willing to host a photographer. Once we’d discussed the ‘why’ – that Leeds, UK (my city) and Louisville were partner (sister) cities and that he wanted to come and work in our city – we quickly moved on to turning this into something more extensive – an exchange.

Upon arriving in the city I didn’t know what to expect. I’d seen what Hollywood and television had said about middle America – so I was more than a little trepid; with hints of Dorothy as she first arrived in Oz!

It was also my first big transatlantic adventure as an adult – so I was only too happy to be met by a friendly face (and hug) from Michael – who we’d hosted a few months earlier – when I arrived, late on a small jet at an otherwise empty airport.

From that moment on my fears seemed to quickly vanish. Michael’s family started this by warmly welcoming me (while giving me my own space) and my ease increased from there. Almost everyone I met made me feel like I’d just met a new friend and, in honesty, many are still good friends – I’ve more Facebook buddies in Louisville than in any city other than Leeds!

My visit to the city included the amazing Idea Festival, but I also took advantage of opportunities across the city meeting everyday people – students at Spalding University, photographers on a picnic in Bernheim Forest, residents around the Nulu area and those working in Home of the Innocents and around the Highlands – to name but a few.

I was based in the East Market district – just hitting the ‘trendy’ status it’s since embraced – but I worked to make contacts from around Louisville who could share their city with me – and the people of Leeds.  As I went I introduced myself and my mission – aiming to bring our cities a little closer together – creating a visual record of the trip by recording all those I met and paying to take those portraits with pin badges. On that first trip I gave away 200 pins, to a largely enthusiastic bunch of recipients (some much more enthusiastic than others). I also promoted a photography walk along Frankfort Avenue, and amazingly 20 photographers turned up at the meeting place and accompanied me.

How did this work for me? Well – I feel like an adopted son of the city; I’ve made friends for life – it’s rare a day goes by without me talking to one friend or another in the city. I loved it so much I came back the following year – shooting more portraits, running another photowalk (50 showed this time), an exhibition of the previous year’s images and delivering three talks – including a Pecha Kucha talk in an agricultural store!

But the question I set out to answer is – if this is a love letter to Louisville, then who is it written to? Well that has to be the people of Louisville – you’re a wonderful bunch! You have made me call your home my second city – if I was to choose to leave Leeds right now I know which city would be top of my list! You’re enthusiastic, open, friendly, welcoming, embrace challenges, love the arts and embrace other cultures, intrigued by the unusual and (most importantly) you almost never say ‘no’ to having your photograph taken!

Louisvillians – I love you and cannot wait til we meet again.

Back from my third trip to the 3 Harbours

I’ve been a busy old bee lately (so busy this post is being written long after it was due and back dated – sorry if this confuses!)

But I thought it would be good to flag up my recent visit to East Lothian, Scotland to again take part in the 3 Harbours Arts Festival. As with previous years I’ve done something new this time around – as I was aware I’d only be there for half the festival I exhibited from  two projects of work to make up for it.

My first public showing of ‘the Broxburn Bings’ (working title) project – a work in progress started during the previous year’s festival. This project documents these ageing industrial waste mounds; the leftover material from the shale oil mining of the Victorian era. I presented my images alongside those by Shirley Anne Murdoch and Wendy Walker of ShyMerge. The project is in association of the Broxburn (Wrest Lothian) community arts project, Artichange.

I’ll be doing a longer post about this soon, but for now you might want to look at the associated Flickr set.

My main project was a selection of images printed from a book project I started at the 3 Harbours in 2011. During that year’s photowalk we dropped in on Samuel Burns & Co – who classify themselves as second hand good dealers; with house clearance and bankrupt stock forming some of their amazing treasure trove. I loved shooting there – especially using my somewhat less than perfect combination of 35mm lens and wide angle adaptor (from a compact camera). The inky black and whites and wonderful image shapes give greater depth to the documenting of the location. Alongside this solo exhibition in Cockenzie House I also re-exhibited a reduced set of the images shown last year within the main ‘Photospace’ photographer’s gallery meant I essentially had three showings this year!

View a digital preview of the Sam Burns book project on Issuu. A limited number of copies of this book are still available – contact me for more.

You can also see images I shot at this year’s festival over on Flickr.

“devoid of sentiment but elegant and evocative”

A friend whose photography has inspired me for years recently acquired a copy of 24 hours on the coast – and left a wonder ful comment for me…

A good, respected, friend checked out, bought and commented on a recent publication – I was chuffed to bits to see what he had to say:

“I really enjoyed Jon Eland’s book – 24 Hours on the Coast. The landscapes have a vernacular quality to them, devoid of sentiment but elegant and evocative all the same. The cover of the book doesn’t show the sea or any obvious element of the coast, but somehow you know that the sea is at your back. The menacing feel of the wall implies that the residents behind need protection from what lies beyond. Eland’s seascapes and landscapes have an undercurrent of menace in that they have no people but clearly have been shaped by man. A series of benches looking out to sea, but nobody admiring the view. The absence of the human form leaves a palpable void, a sense of loss and in some cases foreboding. A sense of timelessness too. I also liked Eland’s treatment of the various elements on the beaches, stones, seaweed, ice – like his landscapes, they have a vernacular feel to them, but they are studies on structure, colour and form. A smooth bright white pebble juxtaposed against a bed of sand with its thousands of constituent parts. Well worth a close look.”

Vincent Keith.

He produces some wonderful imagery himself – from stunning portraits of men to beautiful landscapes.

Down at heel (watch your step)

When walking we’re usually looking ahead to the ground; but how much do we really see?

After a large rainstorm I wandered my local city. My focus was on the world around our feet; the beauty, geometry and fantastical world of the ankle. Follow my soles in a journey across ground-level Leeds.

This photobook is delivered within robust frosted packaging which will protect your publication when not being viewed.

Pages: 16 | Size: 12cm x 12cm (cd booklet) | full colour | View a digital preview | £2.95(+P&P)  – signed and numbered edition of 50.

This booklet is a brilliant companion to Upwardly Immobile – buy both for £4.95 (+P&P)

Shipping options
UK delivery£4.65 GBP
Europe delivery£6.35 GBP
N America delivery£6.70 GBP
UK delivery (inc. ‘Upwardly immobile’)£6.65 GBP
Europe delivery (inc. ‘Upwardly immobile’)£8.35 GBP
N America delivery (inc. ‘Upwardly immobile’)£8.70 GBP

Leeds through a lens

First exhibition of the year sees a series of images from 2011 showing breadth to the artist’s home city.

It’s been a busy time of late – if I haven’t been getting ready to launch LVLLDS, there’s been an activity for Exposure Leeds or activities around other initiatives I’m involved in (Loosely Bound, 3 Harbours Arts Festival or my return trip to Louisville…) – not to mention the prints arriving for Upwardly immobile and sending the print for it’s sister publication.

And breath.

But, among all this I’m overjoyed to announce that I was invited to tak part in a group photography exhibition highlighting some of the many aspects of Leeds.

When Leeds Gallery had invited me I thought long and hard about the type of imagery I wanted to share. I am aware that city centre, urban decay and portraits would be well represented. What I wanted to look at was providing a glimpse into the breadth of the city. Because of this I turned to the several photowalks from last year and the zine project (which is still being completed).

I was carefully selected to choose images with common theming – all include people and all include a ‘do’ of some description – the images represent community events, recreation, commuting and social eating. But, in addition to this they represent different areas of the city – from under the train station in the very heart of the centre to the rural market town of Otley – by way of the suburban centres of Armley and Bramley.

A selection such as this – especially when chosen from an archive – cannot hope to show a complete picture; I just hope it shows a good representation of the people and place that surrounds me.

You can see the exhibition at Leeds Gallery (Munroe House, near the Bus Station) until May 17th. Alternatively you can view the catalogue online.

The four images are also included on this page as a mini gallery.