Monday, 30 January 2012

The INSIDE OUT and Proud! Project - the portraits!

The regular readers of my blog will notice that I put up a press release about the INSIDE OUT and Proud! Project a few weeks ago and in the meantime we have been working hard to organise a group of people who would best represent the project and photograph them.  We, in this case is myself and Michelle Savage, big boss at Shelly Telly TV who I am collaborating with on this project.  Apart from being an excellent filmmaker, Michelle is also deeply involved in Norwich Pride.  We met as participants of the Business Growth Programme at the UEA a few months ago, and a few creative collaborations have stemmed from the group, including the INSIDE OUT and Proud! project.

I have always believed that there should always be a part of my work that is involved in Social issues.  I would like my work to be socially useful, to create dialog and make people look at issues differently. Social inclusion for me is a subject very close to heart.  I believe in equality and making sure each member in the community is respected whatever their colour, creed or gender.   I think it is important not just to feel and think in this way but also to live in this way and do somehting about it.

Luckily, I came across the INSIDE OUT project which provided me an ideal platform for me to work from, and it was only natural that I collaborated with Shelly on the project.  Norwich Pride has grown so much in recent years.  However I am amazed it has been going on for only 4 years. So what was happening before that?  So things haven't really been so open and easy for the LBGT community here.  However, Norwich Pride is managed by an amazing group of people, several of whom I got to know whilst sorking on this project, and they have achieved so much in this short period of time.  Big kudos to them.

All the participants in the project were photographed with a 50mm 1.4 Nikkor, either in natural light or via tungsten lighting with additional fill from a video light.  The participants were asked to think about how they felt at the moment.  Some chose to look directly, and nearly all required very little prompting to achieve the intensity of the image which was photographed.  I admire the them all as I appreciate how difficult is is to be photographed in such a way. 


Name:  Di Cunningham
Personal Statement:  "4th year of Norwich Pride!  All Good!"



Name: Anthony Phillips
Personal Statement:  "My name is Anthony, Anglo-American, 42 years old. I live in Norfolk and actively campaign for those in my community with HIV/AIDS. I look a bit stern and intense yet forlorn in this photo as I had just recently lost a very good friend who helped me through one of the darkest episodes of my life. I wish to dedicate this image to that person."



Name: Stevie Read
Personal Statement: ‎"Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true". I love singing with the Pride choir.



Name: Michelle Savage
Personal Statement:  "This is how I feel on the day of Norwich Pride, just after the Parade has reached the Forum, feeling amazing, feeling proud, feeling relieved!"



Name: Eloise O'Hare
Personal Statement:  I've been gay all my life.  I don't know how to tell my boyfriend.
Eloise O'Hare



Name: Sally Chix
Personal Statement:  "No one knows the story behind my picture, except me, my God and maker, and if I have to justify it I will do so with him or her not you !. Proud and still standing."



Name: Sean Seraphim
Personal Statement: " I am never proud to be anything but myself. If opening my heart and mind to accept other people for who they are is something to be proud of then i welcome it. I am proud to share an honest heart and mind with like minded others and those still catching up x"



Name: Michael Stonard
Personal Statement:  "I'm thinking about Shelly Telly at the moment.  She makes people smile!"




Name:  Julie Bremmer
Personal Statement:  'This was taken at Future Radio during the Pride Live! show. I love DJing and raising the profile of the LGBT community in Norfolk so I feel excited and happy."



Name:  Kim Gibson
Personal Statement:  " Very happy and excited about Norwich Pride 2012 and all the good thing to come in the future!!"



Name: Gary Fox
Personal Statement: "If there’s a story behind my picture it lies in the many sad and happy events that have shaped my life and brought me here today, I would not have missed the journey for the world, proud and still standing"



Name: Maggie Beat
Personal Statement:  'It’s not who someone is or what they are that matters - it’s how someone makes you feel that’s important. Embracing equality and valuing everyone that’s what Norwich Pride means to me'. xx
The photos and supporting statements have now all been uploaded to the INSIDE OUT site and we are awaiting processing and delivery of the posters.

More updates from me soon about how this progresses and with our plans on displaying the exhibition.

Keep following! :)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Let's take Manhattan

Just finished watching the fantastic David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton biopic on BBC4, which, if you're in the UK you can watch on BBC's iplayer here...

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, infamous British photographer Bailey wa instrumental in changing the vibe of fashion photogaphy in the sixties, and his muse Jean Shrimpton was what inspired this.  The film is great in terms of showing off how difficult it was for Bailey to break the mold in an environment that, up to that point, was so rigid in it's approach.  The film's really made me wonder about the dilemmas I often face in photography and life in general.... 
do you follow your heart and your vision, facing resistance all the way?
How much are you able to push?  Would you risk losing everything for your ideas and dreams?
Do you, like Bailey, take a tough stance and just push your agenda through, or do you grit your teeth and smile as you take the bull by it's horns or do you just give up?  (though the latter's really not me!)

It's a difficult choice when you either focus on being yourself and doing things as you believe is best, or you let go and do as you are advised, just because it it just too difficult to continue. Personally, I admire Bailey for the clarity of vision he had when he photographed for vogue.  He was lucky that he did not have to take decisions based on marketing, which is what the modern day photographer has to consider.  Work which is too innovative and possibly too intelligent may not be understood by the masses and the balance betweeen the 'art' and getting the food on the table is often precarious.

I'll probably watch 'Let's take Manhattan' once more before it is taken down from iPlayer, just as it's created a few thinking points for me and is generally so inspiring from the fashion photography point of view.

So let me know what you think of the film. and how would you respond to this situation if you had to be in it.

Speak soon! x


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sneak Preview shoot with Kiki


I know, I know!  It's been absolutely ages since I've blogged regularly! Although I've been really busy and have lots to blog about I just can't find the time or inclination to post as often as I should do.

Just wanted to show you what sort of work I'm up to lately.... :)

Blog update soon.... x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

the INSIDE OUT and proud! photo art project


Just cutting and pasting a  press release that should find it's way to the local press in the next few days.  Will be blogging about the project more in depth soon! :)

LOCAL TALENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PROJECT

Great Yarmouth photographer Antonella Muscat and Norwich film maker Michelle Savage (Shelly Telly) are joining forces in local group action focussing on the LGBT community, for the International ‘INSIDE OUT’ project.
INSIDE OUT is a large scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.  Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world.  These images are made into posters and sent back to the groups to be exhibited in their own communities.  These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.
Antonella and Michelle met whilst during a Business Growth Programme at the UEA and decided to collaborate artistically on the project after Antonella spotted the call for participation via TED.com.  “‘INSIDE OUT and proud!’, are looking for individuals in the LGBT  community who are willing to participate in the project by having their photo taken”, said Michelle.  “The resulting images will be turned into posters that will be displayed during the LBGT History Month in February.”
Individuals interested in participating in the project are asked to contact Antonella Muscat on 07748 197522, by Friday 13th January, for further details, or by joining the ‘INSIDE OUT and proud!’ group page on Facebook.

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