Photofusion Salon/13 Public’s Choice Award
From the work of the 101 photographs on the wall in this year’s Photofusion Salon exhibition, Dec 2013 – January 2014, the public had the opportunity to choose their favourite to be nominated for the “Photofusion Salon Public’s Choice Award 2013”.
The three nominated artists with the highest number of votes are: Andrew Meredith, Edward Street and Lydia Goldblatt. As their prize they get to have their photograph exhibited in the Photofusion Street Gallery…as shown in last year’s exhibit below:
Lying off the coast of Nagasaki on the southwestern coast of Japan, Hashima Island (or Gunkanjima as its locally known), was once the most populated place on earth for its size. The tiny island was owned and developed by Mitsubishi into a coal mining settlement in the late 1800’s where coal was dug from under the South China Sea, Pretty soon the Island started expanding high and wide to accommodate the workers and their families to live and work, school and play. At Its peak the island housed over 5200 inhabitants all snuggly living on the tiny 150×400 meter island. The concrete apartment buildings were densely constructed one next to another to fit everyone on the island as no one was really allowed to travel to and from the island without the express consent of the guards. In 1974 the Mine was closed by the Government of Nagasaki to protect Mitsubishi’s interests, as drilling for oil was more financially rewarding. Swimming Pool, Hashima Island, Japan.
Everyone was swiftly relocated on mainland Japan leading to a mass exodus from the Hashima. People left their possessions where they were in apartments, schools, hospital, playgrounds as there simply wasn’t enough space to take everything. Over many years Hashima Island was left to rot and to be battered by typhoons, high waves and wind. Concrete crumbled, wood rotted and fell apart, walkways and corridors where split by tree branches, stairs where blocked by falling debris. There were rumours of ghosts from previous caved in mines, which kept locals from exploring. The island was closed and considered too dangerous for anyone to step foot on its concrete banks. In Mid 2013 we travelled to the Hashima to start documenting the island with permission from the Government of Nagasaki.
To see more work by Andrew Meredith please visit: meredithphoto.com
As a photographer, I’m mainly interested in colour and light – and this photo is from a series simply exploring that. I love abstraction and this was a lucky shot (taken from a train of another train) – and a good example of why you should take a camera everywhere… Website coming soon. Email me if you’d like to know when it’s up ([email protected]).
Goldblatt’s series, Still Here (2010-2013), takes as its point of departure the family home, focusing on the transitional experience of the artist’s parents as they age. The work stems from a desire to address the inevitable changes wrought by her elderly father’s approaching death. Her image making combines close observations of the human form with still lives, portraits and abstract works resonant of planet and origins.
Marked with tenderness, the work is far removed from the haste and public face of contemporary family self-representation. It offers instead a concentrated meditation on mortality, time, love and loss, in which corporeal scrutiny courts metaphysical wonder. Still Here explores the indefinable thresholds that mark out individual existence, and the subtle process of erasure that returns us to the state from which we emerge. While the work is about the artist’s family, it is equally a means to contemplate the nature of life and the invisible bonds of love. It engages with the shifting nature of time, and the potential of photographs to open up the realm of experience via their poetic as well as indexical reality. In making work about a personal experience of mortality, Goldblatt explores the cyclical scope of existence that sees nature’s fingers unpick our fragile yet insistent efforts to build, construct and create.
To see more work by Lydia Goldblatt please visit: lydiagoldblatt.com
These photographs will be exhibited on the Photofusion Street Gallery, on Electric Lane, just opposite the entrance to Photofusion. They will be on show for the next few months, so make sure you come by to have a look!