All posts filed under: Editorial

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 …

The Haxey Hood. 2020.

This game, now nearly 700 years old, is held on the 6th of January* each year. Thousands gather in the early afternoon to see the “Fool Smoked” , hear his speech and to watch or partake in the game. The group then moves to a nearby field where the game is to be played. The games start with the Children’s Hood Games where, over a period of time, 12 soft canvas hoods are throw into the crowd. The enjoyment this gives the kids is written over their smiles and heard in their laughter. The adults cheer them on laughing and whooping. Yes it’s violent but there is no anger.  Each throw in of the canvas Hood is performed by the Lord of the game or other notables as well as the Boggins (Marshalls). These children’s games are supervised by one of the fitter and faster amongst the group of Boggins. The kids are a bit quick. This year I didn’t stop for the adult games so I’ve include a  shot from years past. Notable this …

Vibrant art in Lincoln Gallery.

An exhibition of picture by the artist Jacob Lawson opened in the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln this week. It’s hard to believe this is Jacob’s first show. What is not hard to believe is the work is strong, strident and selling well, The first images were snapped up by a buyer from Germany. This is a must see show. Be ready for an overload for the eye. If there is one criticism it would be there is simply too much. Go to see if you can. The show is open until 4pm on the 22nd December. You can find information about Jacob, his work and the gallery here… Sam Scorer Gallery. Lincoln   PDBarton. Lincoln, 16th December 2019.  

You have to be there very early.

The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, except perhaps, when it has swarms of tourists all over it. Sue and I were there at the end of 2007. We arrived in the extreme cold and dark of an early morning. Abhishek had got us out of our beds saying “you have to be early”. As the sun came up the Taj appeared from the obscuring still mist, The rays of the sun glinted off pieces of pieces of semi precious stones inlaid into the dome. It was a truly wonderful experience. Shortly afterwards masses of tourist appeared, all vying to sit on the “Lady Diana” bench to get a selfie with the glorious Taj behind them. The moment was lost. Yes these images are touristy, but that’s what we were, simply tourists. Just two amongst the throng. And would I have missed it? Not a chance. Exquisite and wonderful. PDBarton Lincoln 2019  

Our rosy coloured past. Hmmm.

This picture is of a house in front of one of the gas holders at Saltley Gasworks in Nechells, Birmingham. The image was taken in the late 60’s. I was born just a couple hundred metres from here, within sight, or more accurately within ‘Smell’ of the gasworks. My dad worked there after he came back from fighting with the Desert Rats, Montgomery’s 8th army, in second world war. What’s more, those gas holders were nearly the death of him. He fell off one and survived, but that’s another story. This image is a picture of my youth. Although my parents moved to the newly built council estates out in the suburbs, many of my relatives lived in or around this area. I would return often as a child. What this image made me think about was just how much of a product I am of the social and political thrust occurring after the 2nd world war. I am the product of the time and of the policies of Labour, the  political party in power …

A visit to the Barbican in the City of London.

I don’t know about you, but I thought the Barbican in London was simply an arts centre – “simply an Arts centre” there’s an understatement for a start. Just how wrong can you be? My wife, Sue, knowing I like Brutalist architecture bought me a ticket for a guided architectural tour of the ‘complex’ and complex it is. Not only is it an arts centre – by the way, this section of the development was finalised and built last – but it is a housing project comprising around 2000 flats.  First, throw away all preconceptions of what a ‘housing project’ of this size would look like. The project was conceived in the late ’50s by architects, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. They planned and delivered a high quality, wonderfully detailed living space, and due to the management of the terms of the letting or sale of the units, it has remained so ever since. Strict conditions apply regarding what the occupants can and cannot do –  but I’m getting in front of myself. If I may backtrack; The area …

Skin Heads. Birmingham, ’70’s/’80’s

Recently, I was trying to decide on a picture to put in place at home. Knowing Sue, my wife likes this image I decided on this. It was taken at Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham in the late ’70s, maybe very early ’80s. It shows two of a group of Skin Heads standing on the Waltzers, a fairground ride at the ‘Tulip Festival’.  Both are wearing tight Levi jeans and ‘Doc Marten’ boots, one with a ‘Ben Sherman’ check shirt and with a ‘Crombie style’ overcoat over. And each, of course with the required shaved head haircut, Various pins and badges are worn on the lapels, one being a Nazi Swastika. On occasion, wrongly I’ve printed it without the badge. I print it here without any editing – as I believe it should be. The image portrayed by the skinheads is underlined by the “Love and Hate” tattoo across the knuckles of each hand further enhancing the anarchic, hard man ‘Fuck you’  image they choose to put out. It is a picture of its time reflecting, as it …

Do we stay or do we go?

If, like me, you are sick to the back teeth of hearing the word Brexit I’m afraid this piece is not going to help much. But, but, but – yes. it’s worth the repetition – if we relent in our efforts to push back, then we can blame nobody but ourselves, for not trying to reverse what has transpired to be an uninformed, corrupted and consequently, bad decision. One million of us joined together in London yesterday to protest against what we see as madness. I owe it to my grandchildren to try to protect their future. It would be hard to look them in the eye and say I did nothing. That’s enough of the ‘why’ of it. Here are some pictures of how the day panned out from the people walking through London before the march until my crocky old bones could literally stand no longer a few hours later. I didn’t get to the end. Sorry. As to whether we should stay or go… you have your own opinion – and long may that …

What am I doing this year?

This year sees me working on a number of long term projects plus anything which attracts my attention. I started the year with some additions to the “My fellow passengers” blog where people on local transport grab my attention and I make a picture. I shall have to see where this takes me this year. Lincoln. January. 2019.