A View from the Bridge

I went to see this last week. It was magnificent. There is an option to sit either side of the stage - when do you ever get to be this close? - so I got a front row seat, and delightedly watched powerhouse acting and spittle metres in front of me. I loved the graphic, stripped back set of sharp black and white lines, with no props or shoes, and coloured water used to dramatic effect at the end reminded me of an art installation. Read the Guardian five star review here.

Mark Strong in The View from the Bridge. Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian.

Mark Strong in The View from the Bridge. Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian.

Acne Studios

I've been cycling past these posters on New North Road every morning for the past couple of weeks. I love Acne's minimal branding. An old fella watched me taking pictures, then glanced up at the posters looking quite confused.

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Constructing Worlds

I have just got back from the Barbican to see Constructing Worlds. I'd been meaning to go since the Autumn but instead joined a long queue in the final two hours of it's run. The crowds and the clock ticking wasn't the ideal way to view everything so I wish I had gone a few weeks earlier - I would have definitely visited again.

"Constructing Worlds brings together eighteen exceptional photographers from the 1930s to the present day who have changed the way we view architecture and perceive the world around us".

Guy Tillim, Apartment Building , Loanda, Angola, 2007, pigment ink on cotton rag.

Guy Tillim, Apartment Building , Loanda, Angola, 2007, pigment ink on cotton rag.

Of the many favourites in this exhibition my standout is Guy Tillim. Tillim is a South-African photographer known for his work focusing in on the troubled regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. His work is an exceptional cross between photo journalism and art. Printed on matt, cotton paper and framed without glass, on close inspection the edges seemed slightly soft and solorised giving it a painterly quality, and the colours and tones were exquisite.

Guy Tillim, Library, Sports Club, Kolwelzi, DR Congo, 2007,  pigment ink on cotton rag.

Guy Tillim, Library, Sports Club, Kolwelzi, DR Congo, 2007, pigment ink on cotton rag.

Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim

I loved the contrast between the dark building and the blue boiler suits below, in Bas Pricen's Cooling Plant in Dubai.

Bas Princen, Cooling plant, Dubai, 2009. 

Bas Princen, Cooling plant, Dubai, 2009. 

Hiroshi Sugimoto has made a series of images of iconic buildings including the Gugenheim and World Trade Centre. The soft focus and contrast removes all the finer detail, leaving an almost abstract structure. They were beautiful.

"Pushing my old large-format camera’s focal length out to twice-infinity―with no stops on the bellows rail, the view through the lens was an utter blur―I discovered that superlative architecture survives, however dissolved, the onslaught of blurred photography. Thus I began erosion-testing architecture for durability, completely melting away many of the buildings in the process".
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Marina City, 2000-2001.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Marina City, 2000-2001.

Looking at Thomas Struth's  Bukseo Dong, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2007

Looking at Thomas Struth's Bukseo Dong, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2007

And finally, we all loved this series of water towers by Bernd and Hilla Becher. The married couple who worked together for five decades, organised their clear black and white work in groups. Singularly they would have been a little bland, but as a group they highlight both the difference and similarity between structures (kind of like human beings really).

Bernd and Hilla Becher. Water Towers, 1980-89.

Bernd and Hilla Becher. Water Towers, 1980-89.

This Is Yours

I've just found this picture on my laptop - I was asked to photograph a guerilla marketing campaign for a local band The London Fields. The campaign was called 'This Is Yours' and was literally that - CDs with artwork designed by Phil Bold were tied to railings and balloons in London Fields for people to take home. The Creative Review blog posted about it too.

Lest We Forget - guest post by Andy Rumball

I guess we all make mistakes in life, some more than others, but Anna may have made her greatest mistake yet to believe friendship is a good reason to allow somebody the opportunity to guest post on her blog. Ah well, she has and here I sit late on this day of remembrance, cup of tea to my right awaiting my attentions, as I cast my verbal net over the sea of this poignant day. 

Tower Poppies, a few minutes before 11am on 11th November 2014. Photograph: Anna Wilkins

Tower Poppies, a few minutes before 11am on 11th November 2014. Photograph: Anna Wilkins

The poppy red waters which fills the moat down at the Tower of London has had the final touches done and I as a visiting artist and photographer leading a 3 week project in 3 London schools placed the final touches to a mid-way mini installation.

Andy with the installation at Newport Primary School, Leyton.

Andy with the installation at Newport Primary School, Leyton.

How easy is it for these younger generations to bridge the lives they live amongst the digital screens, brand encrusted double decker buses and the usage of double negative speech ("that's sick!!" = that's great) to a conflict a 100 years before is for them to answer. But the opportunity to place them directly in the same space, if only in image seemed a interesting starting point to a project which will start with WW1 and progress into the modern lives of 10 year olds. Portraits drawn in the first session were mounted on boxes containing portraits from a 100 years before, in the flick of an eye generations are jumped and perhaps in a quiet moment bridged. Installed on chairs and arranged in a grid formation the young participants found themselves and their work in what for most will be their first installation.

Anyway, pictures above may bring sense to these words but hopefully the participants, if not now, then at some time in the future may see time is relative and what was true and important for the lost generations of 1914 - 1918 is perhaps true to us now. So my final words are of thanks to Anna for her energy, hard working hands and a good sense of what is straight, helping me get everything finished on time. 

www.andyrumball.de

Archive

I photographed a friend's final knitwear collection at the end of our degree - I loved double exposure at the time. We shot half of it in Trent Park, I re-wound the film and shot everything again around tower block estates in Battersea. I loved the surprise of never knowing what you were going to get, which is so rare now.

Summer mixtape

"Summer music is not the time for bangers or anthems. It's the time for music that is a journey, not a destination.....Summer and music share something: the sense of promise".

Michael Hann, The Guardian

What I've been listening to over the last few weeks...

Archive

Years ago I used to shoot the odd wedding. This one in Scotland 10 years ago was my favourite. Looking at these again, I miss my SLR film camera, Kodak Portra VC film and Panther Imaging on Leather Lane.

Spin Doctor

I was flicking through Marie Claire today and really loved this beautiful portrait of Peter Capaldi, by Emma Hardy.

Fish on a Hot Tin Roof

Shooting a trout….for Unilever Live Better campaign marketing posters. It's a long story.

Snap Studios, July 2014

Snap Studios, July 2014

Photography by Michael Thomas Jones & Art Direction by Matthew Straker.

Photography by Michael Thomas Jones & Art Direction by Matthew Straker.

Croeso i Gymru (Welcome to Wales)

One of the nicest parts of my job is creating audio slideshows - commissioning a shoot and/or researching library images to illustrate audio content, then putting it all together. For Visit Wales, Cerys Matthews talks Welsh food and drink with Chef Bryn Williams and Welsh wildlife with animal expert Dr Rhys Jones. Like gentle mini films, I must have heard both interviews about 25 times, but they are still enchanting to listen to, and I want to go to Wales immediately. Watch and listen here and here

South Stack Nature Reserve, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

South Stack Nature Reserve, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Aberaeron, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Aberaeron, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Rhos-on-Sea, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Rhos-on-Sea, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

The Harbour Master, Aberaeron, by Shaw & Shaw

The Harbour Master, Aberaeron, by Shaw & Shaw

Menai Oysters, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Menai Oysters, Wales, by Shaw & Shaw

Dr Rhys Jones at Cardiff Wetlands, by Shaw & Shaw

Dr Rhys Jones at Cardiff Wetlands, by Shaw & Shaw

Monument Valley

I'm not a massive gamer; I was pretty addicted to Tetris on my brother's Gameboy in 1991,  I've dabbled with Angry Birds and I've bought quite a few first person shooter games over the years for my Dad, but a friend at work showed me this game app - and it is absolutely amazing.

Monument Valley is beautiful, with elegant graphics, a delightful soundtrack that reminds me of Bagpuss or The Clangers crossed with a soothing spa treatment and homages to Escher sprinkled throughout. On several occasions, when I'd worked out the Princess' journey, I audibly gasped at the cleverness. My friend's 4 year old boy loved it too (and probably completed it quicker). 

Village Life

Whilst looking through some old shoots for a pitch, I came across this shot taken by Greg Funnell for ActionAid in Rwanda. What really struck me looking at these again were the beautiful, vibrant colours and patterns and how stylish these ladies are, not to mention the elegance and stoicism conveyed in this portrait.

Watch the audio slideshow here.

Women farmers, Rwanda 2011, by Greg Funnell

Women farmers, Rwanda 2011, by Greg Funnell

Costa Rica 1-1 Greece (5-3 pens)

I went to a lovely little venue in Camden, which hosts classical and jazz nights, but my eye was drawn to these chairs rather than the stage opposite. I really liked the colours against the wood and texture of the curtains. A great place for a potential shoot.

The Forge Music & Arts Venue, Camden, June 2014

The Forge Music & Arts Venue, Camden, June 2014

Sounds of the L'Eighties

One of my favourite radio shows is Sounds of the 80s on Radio 2 with Sara Cox. Whilst half listening at work searching for Welsh wetland birds for an audio slideshow, it was like being 10 years old again when my friend and I got a mention this week - SKILL!

I also requested Boops Here To Go by Sly & Robbie, which didn't get played (you can't have it all), so here it is now instead.

T - this is for you. 



You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties

We are currently running a campaign with IKEA to showcase their METOD kitchen range - made to fit around different lifestyles. The only assets we had were high res images of the kitchens, so we bought them to life bringing out certain elements in 3D. IKEA provided character profiles to fit each kitchen, so I found library images of people to match. I added different props for each shot and my hand is 'slotting' the kitchen into place!

Photography by Sara Morris.

I liked all the leftovers together afterwards....

I liked all the leftovers together afterwards....

....reminding me of Mr Twit's Bird Pie....

....reminding me of Mr Twit's Bird Pie....

                                                 Book illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's "The Twits".

                                                 Book illustration by Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's "The Twits".