Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Free Range 2011

Every year I plan to go see the Free Range show at the Old Truman Brewery in East London, and every single year I miss the bits I want to see due to holidays/work/being generally ridiculously busy. But not this year. This year I actually got to go to see the show, AND I got to see the photography work.Although not all of it was to my taste (I am slowly but surely turning into an art snob!) I really loved seeing what other people are creating and recognising trends and patterns in art and photography.

This was one of my favourite photography pieces from the whole show - love the colours and the dreamy landscapes. Oh, and the bulldog clips to hang the pictures of course!

 Origami paper crane installation created to commemorate the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami.

 This piece totally blew my mind - it consisted of huge black and white photographs of what must have been thousands of beetle specimens all neatly laid out in rows and carefully hand labelled. My fascination for this sort of thing goes beyond a simple love of things neatly organised. It was like looking down on the world from space and seeing that everything can be contained in a tiny little space.

 My photo does not do this piece justice - it was an installation comprised of hundreds of lightbulbs filled with water. The room was actually really dark (I opened the curtain to take the photograph) and there were small lightboxes dotted around the space with slides projected from them.

 Simplicity will always appeal to me - these glass bottles held relics of the past including items such as love letters from sweethearts who died long ago.

And finally, one of my favourite pieces from the entire show. Each jar is filled with formaldehyde, the chemical used for preserving human bodies. Inside each jar is a photograph, representing the artists attempt to preserve, quite literally, the dying art of film photography and darkroom printing. Of course formaldehyde is not intended for preserving photographs, and so you can literally see the images fading away before your eyes. It was a message that resonated deeply with me - the idea of photography being an attempt to preserve memories and imagery, but the fact that we are doing little to preserve this method of preservation.

 Of course I couldn't pass up an opportunity to wander around Brick Lane whilst I was in East London, and I snapped a few of my highlights from my afternoon off work.... Iced coffee from Rough Trade is always a winner.

 A spot of reading whilst waiting to meet my friends for dinner. The book is 'Let the Right One In' (which is an amazing book, do read it if you haven't already. and watch the film too. the swedish original though, not the crummy remake.) The bookmark is a tag from a present sent to me by Emma.

 A wee wander around a vintage clothing market. I didn't buy anything because I am very, very poor, and also because I am a total cheapskate.

 Snacking on freshly fried doughnuts which I have become addicted to. They always have vans selling them at car boot sales, and I can't leave without getting one. I tell myself the sugar rush is necessary when waking up at 5am...

 Does anyone else have this problem? I always see gorgeous light coming through windows - really soft and diffused, usually with a pink or a peach tinge. So I take a photo and think "yes, nailed that shot" and then when I get it back it just looks like any old window.....

 And a little poster I spotted which I mentally filled the blank in to read 'the end is extremely fucking nigh.' (which, in case you aren't a total geek like me, is a quote from '28 Days Later.')


  1. That all looks like the kind of art I like to see! I like art that resonates. I love the jars! Ow, I shouldnt follow so many blogs about London. It gives me severe longings to go back again! Loved this post (:

  2. Everything here is so gorgeous that I simply cannot pick anything to specifically comment on. You have such ace taste x

  3. Love the first photo Zoe, looks like you had such a wonderful day! I'm very jealous as my holiday is now over and I'm stuck in an office for what feels like forever!! Great post xx

  4. Looks like such an excellent exhibition of work and what an brilliant way to spend a day in London. This post has really made me want to visit the capital again! Love the colours of the first set of photographs, just beautiful. xx

  5. i really like those lightbulbs filled with water, that's superb


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