Photofusion Member: Kim Shaw
The similarities between music and photography are uncanny. While the two have unique tools, histories, heroes and heroines, music and photography have always been part art, part industry. And in this day and age they both deal with the recording of information. Onto film, onto vinyl, into mysterious computer portholes and into the ether. The language we use to articulate these processes is startling in its similarity: photographers speak of tonal range and the compression of tonal range onto film and paper, while musicians speak of dynamic range, compression of sound and even depth of field. This project deals with another of these similarities, and that is the cataclysmic change both the music industry and the photographic arts have undergone as analog recordings have given way to digital storage of sound and images.
The Old Vinyl Factory is a complex of disused factories and warehouses in Hayes, London. It was once the thriving epicenter of the British music scene. The site was owned by EMI (HMV) and was used for manufacturing of gramophones, hi-fi’s, and, as the name suggests, the pressing of vinyl LPs. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd, among others, had their records produced at the site. At its zenith in the 1960’s, this site comprised 150 acres and employed 14,000 people. Abandoned in the 1970s, these now derelict buildings teeter between irrelevance and oblivion.
Kim has spent the past 9 months photographing these abandoned spaces. The images document the last days of an historic site (scheduled for redevelopment by the end of 2013). But they also speak metaphorically of the passing of an era in photography.
These images were shot on film with a Holga and printed at Photofusion by Nick Jones.
Kim has a degree in journalism and a career in advertising behind her. In 1997 she left advertising to study at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and to work as a photographer’s assistant. A workshop with Don Kirby and Stu Levy on the Oregon Coast sparked an interest in the expressive potential of landscape photography. In 2002 she exhibited her first collection of landscape images in Portland Oregon, USA and has since shown work throughout the Pacific Northwest (USA) and recently at the studios of Willmott Whyte in London. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Kresge Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, She is a member of Photofusion, a resident artist at Kew Studios and has been a guest tutor and competition judge at the Cathay Camera Club in Hong Kong. She can be contacted through her website, kimshawphotography.com