‘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 

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.