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An interview with Tom Oldham: The Herder Boys of Lesotho
We managed to grab some time with Tom Oldham for a brief interview about his exciting upcoming exhibition, The Herder Boys of Lesotho:
Tom, could you tell us a little about a bit yourself and your background?
I’m a London-based portrait photographer. I have a rich experience in shooting the great and good from music and sporting arenas but do lots of personal projects alongside my commercial work.
How would you describe your photographic style and what inspires you to shoot?
Hmmm, you’re probably better qualified to describe my style than me, but just to help you along, you could include words like iconic, clean and crisp, powerful and of a premium quality. What inspires me to shoot? Apart from obvious things like having a mortgage and two children that seem intent on eating us out of house and home, the need to document every interesting face I see compels me to keep shooting. The drive to want to see and therefore hopefully understand more of the world is continual for me. The extent to which I love my job can’t be underestimated too, it’s given me everything – but please don’t worry – I’m permanently grateful for the perpetual opportunities I seem to attract.
The Herder Boys of Lesotho project which you are exhibiting in June, is unlike your usual work. Could you give us some background details and inspiration for the project?
Well, it’s only unusual in that the subjects aren’t famous musicians, sportspeople or artists I think. These are people with the hardest lives imaginable and are genuine icons of Lesotho, so I feel they deserve the same levels of lighting and lensmanship that any celebrity or sportsperson might. Arguably, more so. I went to Lesotho in 2009, shooting a group of motorcyclists riding through the mountain kingdom for a wonderful NGO (Riders For Health) and whilst winding through the highest roads on what felt like the top of the world, I would see these blanket-wrapped herder boys tending to their animals. I grew up in the countryside and it really struck a chord with me, so I swore I’d return to shoot their portraits, as I just couldn’t shift the idea from my mind.
Do you have any hopes to develop this project further?
This kind of shooting is the most special work I will ever accomplish – I already know this. It means everything to me and there are so many more incredible stories to be told in every country in Africa. I would love to do this and only this for the rest of my career, so if your readers feel similarly inspired to help me achieve such fantasy, they can contact me through my website or twitter and together we can make this dream a reality. Sound good?
Metro Imaging has printed your work for this exhibition, could you tell us about your experience printing with us? Did you have set ideas about how you wanted your final prints to look, what paper, frames, size etc. prior to coming to us?
It’s a bit like the Hasselblad connection for me really – there’s real comfort in working with a team of people so dedicated on achieving a singular goal, that is absolutely optimizing every aspect of the show’s capabilities. From initial discussions about marketing with Kate O’Neill to production with Courtney, framing options with Nick (an absolute don at his craft) and then the aesthetics of the print show itself with Steve – it’s a very rounded facility on offer. There’s this general assumption that the artist always knows what they want but what kind of idiot wouldn’t seek the counsel of this bunch? Their experience and expertise has brought much to the party I assure you – with more to come too.
You are a Hasselblad ambassador could you give us an idea what that entails?
I wanted to shoot Hasselblad as they are the best, it’s that simple. I bought one and it improved my output immediately and quite dramatically. I started flowing them some work I was enjoying shooting and they posted it on their website – which was a life goal in itself. Then they asked if I would shoot the campaign to launch the new H6D, which I leapt at of course. Their only stipulation on the brief was the delivery date – I could shoot whatever I wanted for their global campaign. Imagine that!? This illustrates everything you need to know about them – Hasselblad are completely focused on photographers first and truly care about your experience. They’ve offered me incredible levels of support but it’s without compromise on my output. I just really respect what they’re trying to achieve with their new kit, I use it and know it’s the best in the world right now so who better to work with?
You worked closely with Metro’s Creative Director, Prof Steve Macleod on the layout and curation of this exhibition, how was this this process for you? How was it for you having someone curate work which, I imagine, is intensely personal to you?
Steve’s been really bloody useful actually. I had a tight edit of images I wanted for the final cut but he really saw a different something in them and we’ve played with the format quite a bit – much to the exhibition’s gain I feel. He’s helped hone them into a flow and format and given them a patience and a sense that will undoubtedly add hugely to the visitor experience – though you best judge the fruit of this for yourselves. Steve’s advice was invaluable, made more so by him being the busiest CD in the capital.
Will any of the prints be available to buy?
Oh yes. Very short editions will be available on 26th June from 11am. See link below.
For more information about Tom Oldham
To buy limited edition prints
White Space, 5 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7HY
Exhibition dates: 26th June – 1st July 2017
Opening times: 11:00am – 7:00pm daily
Images © Tom Oldham 2016
Toy Soldiers by Simon Thorpe
Metro is thrilled to be supporting Simon Brann Thorpe in his first UK solo exhibition, Toy Soldiers, which opens at the Hospital Club Gallery, London. Metro has produced Vinyl prints and large C-type prints for the exhibition which provokes a dialogue on war and conflict, through conceptual art.
At this critical time of socio-economic conflict and upheaval, Toy Soldiers blurs the boundaries between documentary photography and art as Thorpe uses real soldiers, posing as toy soldiers to shine a light upon the impact, legacy and dehumanizing effects of war.
Recently receiving two nominations for the Prix Pictet Award, Toy Soldiers is a unique collaboration between a military commander and Thorpe in the creation of a unique allegory of modern warfare. Through the project Thorpe creates a critical lens through which we view the projected metaphor of war games and reality re-constructed onto the little known conflict in Western Sahara, known as ‘Africa’s last colony’.
Sofia Vollmer Maduro, a Prix Pictet judge, comments, “By captivating the viewer with the seemingly playful device of ‘Toy Soldiers’, Simon’s images successfully counteract our growing desensitisation to images of conflict. Upon careful viewing, these striking images reveal their poignant message on the fate of victims of warfare, while alerting us to the impact on society of current trends that view war as a game.”
Toy Soldiers is exhibited as part of Photo London, a world-class photography fair and a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. Running between 18th and 21st May 2017, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time. Incorporating venues including the capital’s major museums, auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London it is a must for photography lovers and creators.
The Hospital Club, 24, Endell Street, London, WC2H 9HQ
Exhibition dates: 19th – 21st May 2017
Opening times: Mon – Fri: 7am – 2am; Saturday: 8am – 2am; Sunday: 8am – 9pm
1. Flag Raising Over Western Sahara
2. Dormant Soldier #17
3. LemTailene Road to Nowhere
Selfie to Self Expression at the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery and Huawei have joined forces recently in an initiative that offered artists, photographers and enthusiasts around the globe a chance to show their most creative selfies and take part in a highly publicised competition #SaatchiSelfie
Metro has printed and mounted many of the images in the resulting exhibition which features thousands of entries from around the world and continues at Saatchi Gallery through to the end of May. Entries have taken the form of a photographic selfie in which entrants were encouraged to submit images that were experimental and innovative and took the selfie in exciting new directions.
The show is the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from Velazquez to the present day, while celebrating the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity. Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work are selfies that have quickly became icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.
For more information
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY
Exhibition dates: closes 30th May 2017
Opening times: 10:00am-6:00pm, 7 days a week
Entrance to the exhibition is free
1. Dawn Woolley (Overall Winner), Cambridge, UK, The Substitute (holiday)© Dawn Woolley 2017
2. Ollie Haywardm Tunbridge Wells, UK, Gayngel 2 © Ollie Hayward 2017
3. Felicia Hodoroabă-Simion, Romania, Walk with myself in the park© Felicia Hodoroabă-Simion 2017
Danny Lowe – Brothers at the Saatchi Gallery
Metro is delighted to be working with Danny Lowe producing large scale C-type prints for his latest project ‘Brothers’ which opens at the Saatchi Gallery this month, in association with The World Wide Tribe.
Lowe’s individual portraits show refugees he met during a stay in the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais, Northern France.
Lowe describes the subjects of his images as “The real-life superheroes who represent the victims of the world’s worst atrocities, who take every knock that life could bring, who continue to get kicked when they are down, yet they do so with a smile. With dignity, and with style.
“Meet the most eligible, most employable young men you have ever come across. Polite, charming, courageous and strong, these victims of war and persecution welcomed us into their makeshift shelters with open hearts and cups of tea.”
The images show the men who have rebuilt what they can from the ashesof the main Jungle camp after it was demolished. The community may have been scattered, but the people, with resilience and perseverance and in the face of adversity, have rebuilt what they can in the surrounding areas of Calais where baby ‘Jungles’ have formed and become home to the youth that know no limits.
For more information about Danny Lowe
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, London SW3 4RY
Exhibition dates: 28th April – 9th May 2017
Opening times: 10:00am-6:00pm, 7 days a week,
Last entry 5:30pm
Admission to the exhibition is free
Images © Danny Lowe
John Stoddart Charity Exhibition in Los Angeles
Metro is proud to have worked with celebrated photographer John Stoddart recently producing black & white fibre prints for his charity exhibition in Los Angeles this May.
Recognised as one of the world’s most renowned photographers John Stoddart is often credited for the return of glamour to popular culture and his career which has spanned over 3 decades includes work for world-renowned publications and brands such as Vogue, Harper’s, EMI and Virgin, photographing every major record label band and establishing himself as a legend photographer and “the Photographer to the Stars.”
This latest exhibition will provide a retrospective look at his illustrious career showing photographic images of celebrities including Sir Antony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pierce Brosnan and famous bands including The Rolling Stones, to name but a few and will be on show along with boudoir art surrounding the Sofitel’s lobby and Rivera 31 Lounge.
The exhibition is being held in conjunction with Sofitel Hotel, Artography UK Limited and their charity partner, Caterina’s Club which is dedicated to feeding and housing underprivileged children and which will receive a portion of all event sales proceeds.
Sacred Geometries Exhibition – Anise Gallery
Metro is delighted to be sponsoring Sacred Geometries, a photography exhibition to mark the 5th anniversary of Anise Gallery. Drawing its inspiration from trends in contemporary photography and the diverse writings of Plato, author Robert Lawlor and architectural historian Peg Rawes the exhibition is based on themes found in the sacred geometries.
Metro has produced C Type prints for the photography exhibition which features images by Dennis Gilbert, Doublespace, Fernando Guerra, Hélène Binet, Hufton and Crow, Jim Stephenson and John MacLean, alongside film contributions from Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe. Anise Gallery hope to inspire and instigate a conversation surrounding Sacred Geometries.
Traversing through a city the aesthetics of geometry are unavoidable, whether in a grand scale such as skyscraper architecture, or the tiny backs of ladybirds, intricate design can be located in both complex, constructed design patterns and in the minute details in nature.
Sacred geometries have value beyond that of the aesthetic, and are viewed as the coming together of mathematics, nature and spirituality, due to their use in religious iconography. Since ancient Egypt, where geometrics were viewed as a visual manifestation of law and order and later in ancient Greece where they had sacred and scientific properties in helping to solve earthly mysteries.
“Geometric diagrams can be contemplated as still moments revealing a continuous, timeless, universal action generally hidden from our sensory perception”– Robert Lawlor.
For more information about the exhibition
Anise Gallery, 13a Shad Thames, London SE1 2PU
Exhibition dates: 9th March – 15th April 2017
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm
6th April 2017: An evening of short talks and discussion in collaboration with Miniclick
2. Dennis Gilbert
3. Hufton and Crow
The Moon and a Smile Exhibition
The Moon and a Smile exhibition opens in Swansea this month. Metro is thrilled to be supporting artists Anna Fox and Sophy Rickett whose work is part of this group exhibition which celebrates the part Swansea played in the development of photography in the 1840’s and 50’s.
The Dillwyn family circle in particular, was amongst the earliest and most enthusiastic experimenters with the new technology of photography, which was announced in 1839. John Dillwyn Llewellyn (1810-82) and his sister Mary took one of the earliest photographs of a smile whilst his daughter, Thereza, took one of the earliest photographs of the moon. Along with William Henry Fox Talbot an inventor and photography pioneer (1800-1877) and a cousin of Emma, John Dillwyn Llewellyn’s s wife, the family collaborated and experimented together and left a rich and unique record of their experiments, perhaps the most complete record of a family’s intimacy with photography in the 1840s and 50s.
Responding to this unique archive, the Glynn Vivien Gallery has arranged eight new commissions from contemporary international artists. Each artist has created a distinct rich body of work for the exhibition, following their own practice and inspiration. The exhibition encompasses photography, installation, artist books and moving image, and explores themes of memory, archives, botanics, time, family, and industrialisation.
Anna Fox explains about her work; “The work plays with time and illusion, echoing the provocation of the Dillwyn archive. Each image is constructed with dozens of separate images. First a background plate is created and then, together with a team of assistants I photograph what happens in the location over approximately a 3-hour period. Images of the people are selected and then layered in post-production onto the background.
“This process and it’s results has led me to think more intently about photography time and memory and to consider that a single image, shot at 125th of a second, is not necessarily a memento of an event in the way that an image constructed out of many images and in a few hours might be. The picture made up of many images represents what has been seen over a period of time and so has a new relationship to the notion of what constitutes a documentary photograph. These are slowed down images connected to memories of a period of time in a particular place and an event or series of events that happened there.”
Metro has produced C Type and black and white fibre prints for Sophy Rickett and a large panoramic C Type print mounted to aluminium for Anna Fox.
Their work and the work of Greta Alfaro, Astrid Kruse Jensen, Neeta Madahar, Melanie Rose, Sharon Morris, Helen Sear, Patricia Ziad will be displayed alongside a selection of original 19th century photographs that had particular resonance for their projects, on loan from the Amgueddfa Cymru-National
For more information about the exhibition
Room 3, Glynn Vivian, Alexandra Road, Swansea SA1 5DZ
Exhibition dates: 4th March – 23rd April 2017
Opening times: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Admission to the exhibition is free
17th March: 12:30-13:30 Room 1
Join writer Kate Best to look at some of the 19th century photographs and contemporary projects in The Moon and a Smile.
Free admission but booking is essential
Images © Anna Fox
THAW – Exhibition of The Melting Arctic Polar Ice Cap by Timo Lieber
Metro is thrilled to be supporting London based aerial and landscape photographer Timo Lieber producing Giclée prints for his solo exhibition THAW which opens at Bonhams Gallery in February 2017.
Two years in the planning THAW is the result of a collaboration undertaken by Timo and several leading glaciologists. It is a series of eleven beautiful, large-scale fine art images of the Arctic landscape which capture not only the beauty but also the impact of Arctic warming on the region and draw attention to this amazing yet disturbing occurrence.
Timo’s striking and emotive photographs were shot during a visit to the research team on the ice cap in Greenland in July 2016. Photographing melt lakes from small planes and helicopters and flying over several hundred miles over the vast ice sheet, the fine details of the landscape were captured using a 100 megapixel Phase One camera – achieving the incredible resolution for the large-scale prints.
THAW invites the questions: What is behind this beauty? How does it affect us? Timo hopes his images will assist in answering them, with the mission to help make the world more aware of the rapid melting in the Arctic, which is undoubtedly escalated by man’s contribution to global warming.
Speaking of his experience of creating THAW, Timo Lieber comments, “The environment is a key ingredient in all my photographic work. Having travelled to the Arctic numerous times and seeing the rate of change there, I had the idea of creating this new series.
“THAW is more than just a photography project – it is a collaboration between science, nature and our ability to discuss it through photographs.
I visited the scientists in the camp on the ice cap and was overwhelmed by the scale of the landscape and the enormity of associated problems. All of that I brought together in THAW.”
Reflecting his passionate commitment to raising the awareness of the Arctic’s environmental challenges, Timo will be making a donation of a percentage from the sales of these pictures to the Scott Polar Research Institute to help support their essential work.
‘Vogue 100 – A Century of Style’ at the National Portrait Gallery
The highly anticipated Vogue 100: A Century of Style, exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery opens this week celebrating 100 years of cutting edge fashion, beauty and portrait photography by British Vogue.
Showcasing over 280 iconic images from the Condé Nast Archive and international collections the exhibition celebrates the vast range of photography commissioned by one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world since its launch in 1916.
Metro has been working closely with the Gallery’s curators and Project Team from the early stages of production of a large number of the modern exhibition prints. Production has been extensive and we are thrilled to have printed C-Type, Giclée and fibre based black and white images, produced LED lightboxes, as well as mounting and framing a large number of the modern prints – resulting in one of the most comprehensive exhibitions Metro has recently worked on.
Steve Macleod, Metro’s Director comments, “With nearly forty years experience and an unrivalled reputation for quality of service, Metro Imaging could confidently undertake such an important and seminal exhibition as Vogue 100.
“Through relationships developed over years with both the National Portrait Gallery and many of the contributing photographers, Metro has utilised all of its services – some unique to the company, to help produce what will be culturally one of the most important exhibitions in the UK this year.”
Curated by Robin Muir, a Contributing Editor to British Vogue and designed by designer Patrick Kinmonth, the exhibition is set to be an immersive and imaginative journey through the greatest moments in the history of British Vogue.
To book tickets in advance for the exhibition, or call 0303 123 7344National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HEExhibition dates: 11th February – 22nd May 2016, Sponsored by LEON MAX
Opening times: Everyday: 10.00am–6.00pm
(Gallery closure commences at 17.50)
Late Night Opening: Thursday & Friday: 10.00am–9.00pm
(Gallery closure commences at 20.50)
Standard tickets: Adult £17/Concessions £15.50
Tickets with donation: Adult £19/Concessions £17.50The exhibition will also be on display at Manchester Art Gallery from 24th June – 30th October 2016Images © Vogue 100: A Century of Style is at the
National Portrait Gallery, London, from 11 February – 22 May 2016, sponsored by Leon Max
1. Linda Evangelista by Patrick Demarchelier, 1991 © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd
2. Claudia Schiffer in Paris by Herb Ritts, 1989 © Herb Ritts Foundation/Trunk Archive
3. Anne Gunning in Jaipur by Norman Parkinson, 1956 © Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
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