Author: PDBarton

Proverbs 21:13

This image was made underneath the arches of the 16thC Stonebow in the centre of ancient Lincoln, in the East Midlands of England. Before Covid it became the natural  haunt of an ever-changing group of Jehovahs witnesses; capturing – or hoping to at least – the attention of the thousands who pass by on their way from downhill Lincoln, the commercial part of the city, to uphill Lincoln, where the Cathedral and Lincoln Castle stand, the tourist part of the city. Thousands of tourists and local shoppers pass through here everyday. Once upon a long time ago, amazingly, motor buses did the same, long since stopped. This day, a homeless man and his dog sat under the historic shelter too. In the time I stood there, several minutes, the pious Jehovah’s Witnesses, with their scrubbed shiny faces and their clarion – and yet ironic – message of “Find Family Happiness” paid him no attention; cast him ne’er a glance; certainly they didn’t offer him or his dog any comfort. There seemed something utterly at odds …

Harry Burton. The man who shot Tutankhamun.

In late 2017-early 2018, The Collection – a modern extension to Lincoln’s Usher Gallery – held a small exhibition of the photographs of Harry Burton. Who? You may ask. The Story of Harry Burton. Without doubt  Burton, himself an Egyptologist, was considered the finest photographer of antiquities of his day. It was natural, therefore, for him to be chosen by Carter as the photographer who would document the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings near to Thebes – modern day Luxor. Harry Burton – on the left of the picture above – is shown with Howard Carter at the dig site in the Valley of the Kings. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Who was Burton? Where did he come from?

The meaning behind ‘The Greenhouse’

Recently, I was musing on the relevance of images to each of us and how that changes from person to person. People see an image and it means different things to each person. The image  effects them. To some that effect is deep and meaningful, visceral even, and to others it’s trite and meaningless. I can’t account for that except it’s perhaps what allows us to “edit” the millions of images we see, into piles – important/trivial, like/dislike – and I have to say, in the main, that’s how my own editing works. Binary. On / off – like / dislike. Phil Cosker, a dear friend of mine, a photographer, writer and all round Renaissance Man, produced a set of images nearly 40 years ago. Recently he displayed them – printed very large – in a number of churchyards around Lincolnshire. Even more recently he has included them on his web site <<<HERE>>> under the title “Landscapes”. I was assisting Phil with his web site at the time and as I was uploading the images, …

The little cares that fretted me…

Out in the fields. Original by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. My apologies for the corruption. The little cares that fretted me I lost them yesterday, Among the fields above the sea, Among the winds at play, Among the lowing of the herds, The rustling of the trees, Among the singing of the birds, The humming of the bees. The foolish fears of what might happen. I cast them all away Among the clover-scented grass. Among the new-mown hay, Among the husking of the corn, Where drowsy poppies nod Where ill thoughts die and good are born— Out in the fields with the dog. Then the snarling farmer barks, “Get Off My Fucking Land” And breaks up the reverie. PDBarton May 2020

Immunology.

With all the talk about Covid-19 and immunology washing around I was surprised to find a family connection of sorts whilst carrying out some family research. Some of my forbears, on my grandfathers side, are from around the Berkeley area of Gloucestershire. So what, you may ask? The founding father of immunology, Edward Jenner, was from Berkeley and whilst researching my forbears I came upon the record above. It is the actual frontispiece  of the register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials from the small town of Berkeley in Gloucestershire.  Many of my forebears are in these records. I don’t normally start at the very front, and I’m guessing not many others do either, but this time I wanted to see the full record. That’s where I discovered this note. For those of you who do not know, Edward Jenner was the local doctor/surgeon. He is credited with the popularisation of immunisation. You can see in this document a note dated 1795 by the curate, William Davies, to the effect… “ In the spring of the …

Book Review: An Inner Silence.

Book review Title: An Inner Silence: The Portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Authors:  Forward by Agnes Sire. Introduction by Jean-Luc-Nancy. Publisher: Thames and Hudson. 181A High Holborn. London WC1V 7QX. ISBN: 0-500-54317-8. The book draws images from the  permanent holdings of the Collection of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson. The book generously features 97 tritone reproductions of Cartier-Bresson’s works. “The true portrait, (is) one in which the subject represented is not caught in any action, and does not even show any expression that might detract from the person themselves…” …writes Agnes Sire the curator. That clear phrase captures the essence of Cartier-Bresson’s portraiture. There is a naturalness to the images together with a deceptive ease. The images are not contrived, neither does the sitter fill the frame. No, the subjects are generally in their own apartments, galleries, studios etc, which become part of the image; frames them if you like, and so becomes as much of the portrait as the sitter. I don’t know if the sitters were posed and directed. I suspect not. They may well …

A Line Runs through it – online.

Back in early April I wrote here about the possibility of an on-line exhibition of the works comprising this show. I’m pleased to say the exhibition of the images produced is now live. It can be found here. “A line Runs through it.” The work describes, both geographically and in pictures, the transit of the 0deg Meridian line as it passes from just above first landfall in Holderness in the east Riding of Yorkshire, South across the Humber and continuing on through Lincolnshire until reaching the Lincolnshire / Cambridgeshire border some 76 miles due south. The image above shows some of the Ordnance Survey maps and photographic and GPS navigation tools to make images. I would like to thank Masshaus Exhibition Design of Birmingham for the renders of a virtual gallery for these images and, in particular to Kate Naylor-Barton, the Design Director at Masshaus – our daughter – for the design and production of the website. Images are available to purchase. Please contact me on peter@peterdbarton.com for details. PDBarton Lincoln, UK 2020

A tale of coffee and a great postman.

 I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to coffee. For over 20 years I’ve owned a Gaggia Espresso maker. I got so much use out of the original it died and I bought a replacement. Even the new one ( 10 years old now)  was suffering from over use but I found a Gaggia service centre in Nottingham and a delightful engineer called Giacomo  picked up the machine and delivered it back to me as good as new. Yes, you can see my obsession can’t you. Don’t judge me too harshly. Some people smoke or drink. I do neither. Some play the horses or gamble. I don’t. No, my singular addiction is good coffee. This week I had a catastrophic upset (Yes, yes, I know. This may be insignificant and trivial to you, and in the current circumstances it probably is but…) when the handle on the coffee basket snapped off, making the machine unusable. It was my own fault. I had put it in the dishwasher for years and the corrosive effect on the …

Looking backwards

As the Covid-19 lockdown bites, the ability to get out of the house has been curtailed. Consequently, images from an unfettered past are seen from a new perspective. A couple of years ago I worked on a project photographing along the length of the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through Lincolnshire. I started just north of the Humber estuary. Though not strictly in Lincolnshire, the Meridian first hits land in this coastal part of Yorkshire before entering into Lincolnshire. Using a series of 42 images I describe the passage of this notional line across 75 miles of its journey. I took many more than the 42 images I’ll eventually use. I was helped considerably by Phil Cosker who spent time with me editing down the images to the curated 42 I shall be showing. But where to show them? With the Corona virus raging across the country galleries are closed. So what to do? A while back I produced an on-line gallery of sort, now removed, which was an attempt at showing the work virtually. At …