Twitch and Wilkes from Optimo (Espacio)

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

Finally caught the renowned Optimo DJ duo in action at the Reading Rooms in Dundee. Last time I was here, in 2008, I saw Andrew Weatherall in action and I wanted to shoot a panorama but wasn’t able to). This time I came prepared… and determined…

Optimo (Espacio) was a long-running club night/institution in Glasgow. The weekly residency may’ve finished but JD Twitch and JG Wilkes regularly take their show on the road to showcase the mixes which make their DJ sets so legendary.

Eclectic is an oft-used term but it genuinely applies to these guys’ sets. Note the AC/DC sleeve poking out; not often you’ll hear that in a tracklist next to Chicago acid house classics and Boddika jack trax. I’ve been enjoying their mixes for close to a decade so it was good to finally see them in person.

Brittle Crazie Glasse at Islington Mill, Salford

Contemplating Veronica
(featuring Mark Dean’s The Veil of Veronica (offset Halo). 2012)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 15.2mm / f 0.42
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Defying Logic and Absenting Certainty
(featuring Alistair McClymont’s The Limitations of Logic and The Absence of Absolute Certainty. 2008)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 18.5mm / f 0.52
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Details and elements of the current exhibition at Islington Mill in Salford, showcasing work by a series of artists represented by Man & Eve, and curated by Lucie Newman Cleeve.

After shooting a 360° panorama of Susie MacMurray’s Stratum in July, I was smitten by the attic space in the mill, so was more than happy to accept an invite to come along to Brittle Crazie Glasse to capture a further series of detailed photographs. With such a range of scale and media across the exhibits, it’s a fantastically diverse collection.

As with before, I was as taken by the space which the pieces were exhibited in, as by the works themselves. The contrasts of texture, light and volume across the fifth floor and attic are striking and compelling… and chime perfectly with my interests in capturing light, form and texture.

The title comes from a line in George Herbert’s poem ‘The Windows’. However the section of the poem which resonated most with me was…

Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one
When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and awe…  

The exhibition is well worth visiting, and runs until November 4th 2012. More info at the Islington Mill website. Thanks to Shereen at Islington Mill for all her help.

Buy Art Fair / The Manchester Contemporary, Spinningfields

The North’s biggest art fairs return to Manchester! Thursday evening saw preview evenings at both Buy Art Fair, and The Manchester Contemporary: their busiest and best ever.

Despite a rainy day, the weather behaved itself properly as guests streamed into the bespoke marquee set up in Manchester’s Spinningfields, and Quay House, to view the biggest selection of contemporary art either exhibition has yet displayed. Both events ran until Sunday 30th September.

We captured a range of 360° panoramic views of the opening evening and over the weekend: whether you were there with us, or if you couldn’t make it in person, you can now experience the thrill of both exhibitions virtually.

[Update] The organisers have revealed the whole weekend was a colossal success: the number of visitors, and the volume of art sales to those visitors, was up significantly on any previous year. Over 7000 unique visitors across four days… another example to suggest Manchester can claim to be second only to London in terms of both audience receptiveness and cultural significance.

Click/tap the images below to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

Exterior aerial view of the Buy Art Fair marquee, showing the last rays of sunset lighting the sky above Spinningfields

The entrance area of Buy Art Fair 2012 marquee in Spinningfields

Buy Art Fair marquee – rear of marquee with photographer Bill Ward and a selection of his work, as well as the band

The Manchester Contemporary – busy scenes in Room 1 on the opening night

The Manchester Contemporary – Ceri Hand Gallery, Conway, Anne-Marie Ros Projects – NL in Room 3 on the opening night

The Manchester Contemporary – Rokeby in Room 2 on the opening night

The Manchester Contemporary – The International 3 in Room 2 on the opening night

Exterior aerial view of the Buy Art Fair marquee on Saturday, with sun breaking out over Spinningfields

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Look up, duck down: Stratum by Susie MacMurray at Islington Mill

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

This installation, Stratum 2011 by Susie MacMurray is made up from around 80 kilos of feather down, carpeting the floorspace of the attic in Islington Mill in Salford in a dreamlike film of feathers. As you clamber up the steep wooden staircase, you emerge into a veritable cloudscape of soft textured down, providing a curious sense of weightlessness. Talk about having your head in the clouds. The contrast between the infinite bright lightness of the feathers, and the textured wooden beams, cobwebs and dark shadows around is incredibly powerful.

Feather and duck down everywhere

The piece celebrates ten years of Islington Mill as a cradle of creativity, performance and inspiration, and draws on MacMurray’s time as artist in residence a decade ago, when she created a similar installation. I’d originally heard about this when working at a client’s in the Mill late last year, and knew it’d make an amazing subject for a panorama. I’d already seen a short video by Ed Baptist, concentrating on the attic’s entropic decay and detail, so the prospect of shooting the exhibit in such surroundings thrilled me even more. I love capturing contrasts in texture and light in my panoramas.

It’s only viewable by appointment, so when found I had two food photography shoots in Salford booked on the same afternoon, with a spare half an hour between them, I contacted Shereen at Islington Mill to arrange a flying visit. I’ve since spent much longer looking at the photos than I had to drink in the detail in person onsite. A good thing, as I’ve since spotted a lot which I’d never have taken in at the time…

However I’d recommend arranging your own visit if you can… while this high resolution 360° photograph gives some idea of the scale, scope and otherworldliness of the installation, only being there and experiencing all the sensory stimuli can really capture the full impact of the exhibit.

Incidentally, one of my friends told me about him and a few others visiting the original installation a decade ago. Despite copious signage, and their protestations, they looked on in horror as one of their friends cast off her shoes and ran, barefoot, amongst the feathers. Obviously I did not do this…

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A taster of the International Cheese Awards 2012

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Cheese as far as the eye can see: a cheeselovers paradise!

Over three and a half thousand cheeses were entered into this year’s International Cheese Awards in Nantwich… their largest ever show, and the best place in the world to see, taste (and smell) cheeses of every conceivable variety and class.

This was the trade day: a chance to observe the judges at work, the products looking perfect, meet the producers (some familiar, some not), and soak up some of the atmosphere as the winners of each class, and eventually the supreme champions were announced. I shot a range of 360° panoramas from high above the trade floor… probably the only way to convey just how much cheese there was on display!