J A Mortram

Exhibitions, festivals and passing it on.

It was a real, rare treat to be able to attend the opening of the Small Town Inertia exhibition at the Camden Image Gallery and truly wonderful to meet up with so many familiar voices and friends from on line.

Meet up’s are a little like viewing photographs in print form, it’s always a pleasure to view work online, or to read words typed, discussions and debates shared with friends and peers on line, but, actually being in the same room, you’re able to truly enjoy the moment, a barrier is removed, it’s more intimate, more, real.

After the previous months dramas of blowing up PC’s it was a hell of a relief to see the Camden exhibition happen, it was the largest collection of images I’ve ever exhibited, close to 50 prints and my thanks, truly, goes to Elena and William at the gallery for being such gracious, generous and helpful hosts.

I believe, totally, in trusting gallery staff and curators, I’d not tell a plumber how to do their job, I’m in no position nor do I have the desire to do the same when working on an exhibition, you have to let go, some times, to trust, and more often than not, your investment is rewarded ten fold, and the curating of the exhibition was perfect, again, my great thanks to the staff.

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Small Town Inertia at Camden Image Gallery window display.

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Portrait of Julie ready for hanging.

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The main viewing room at Camden Image Gallery.

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Huck Magazine feature. *Current issue.

It was a pleasure and honour to appear in the current issue of Huck Magazine. Again, my thanks to all involved, thank you for rewarding my faith with a beautiful layout. It’s always a buzz when the series is featured in print, it really takes the people and their stories closer to an audience.

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Sadly, due to carer commitments at home, I can’t always travel to many of the events I am kindly invited to, so often it’s all about finding a way to do it from here!.

Thankfully, when you get to work with open and creative people such as Max Houghton and the Photography Oxford festival, ways can be found, so, I was able to appear via Skype, well done to the tech team as all worked faultlessly.

It was a true honour to have been invited to speak with a stellar panel of photographers (Adam Patterson, Sophie Gerrard, and David Hurn) regarding shooting locally, something I’m extremely passionate about and it was extremely illuminating to hear and learn from the other participating photographers, for your words and incredible photographs, thank you!.

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Max and David Hurn and #smalltowninertia on Skype at Photography Oxford 2014.

When it’s not possible for me to make a shoot where I photograph or interview, I’ve been using those moments to film cutaways for a coming documentary film with Carl, who will be sharing his experience of bullying and his strength in enduring an almost impossible situation to truly rise from the ashes.

The following screen grabs are of locations geographically specific to his story.

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Screen grab 1.

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Screen grab 2.

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Screen grab 3.

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Screen grab 4.

I’m always making in roads to begin work on new stories, with new people, so it was a real pleasure to make some new connections, hear new stories and have a first shoot with Martin.

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Martin, 2014.

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Martin, 2014.

I’ve also begun work on a coming long form story with Lynn and her daughter Gabrielle. Gabrielle has a rare genetic disorder and their story, is amazing. Gabrielle also has the most infectious laugh ever!, it’s a joy to be documenting their lives.

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Gabrielle’s 21st birthday.

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Gabrielle.

Now, on to the part of this post I’ve been really excited to share, the winner of my Nikon F3HP.

My thanks, to all that entered, the winner is Alex Griffiths with the following image, and text.

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“The image I’m showing you is from a peaceful protest against the English defence league that took place in John Frost Square in 2009, the only time I’ve ever really witnessed community on my streets. If anything stuck with me on that day, it was hearing a white man telling his daughter, who’s skin was a darker shade than his, that ‘today is for you, my beautiful girl’. I wish I had taken a picture of them, but I think I was too busy getting emotional (lesson learnt).”

“The English defence league were apparently coming to Newport to protest against a mosque being built.”

“The reason I’m showing you this image isn’t because these police officers look like they’re queuing to buy a subway, and it isn’t because the officer in the front looks like David Tennant. A call had come through a radio, and the police were told to anticipate the arrival of the opposing protest, they formed a line against the crowd, but instead of the English defence league they were greeted with a group of about twenty Muslim boys. The boys were cheering, word spread that they had been to the train station and watched the opposing protest get off the train, before they were promptly turned around and sent back home on the next train Northbound. I’m not sure exactly what happened, all I know is there was no English defence league on that day, all I saw were the people who were singing, dancing, talking, making friends and fighting for their community.”

Alex, you’ll have started your BA Photojournalism at Swansea now, thank you for entering, thank you for understanding all the give away was looking for, and for supplying such a great photograph and great context for your image.

Lastly, huge thanks to brother Justin, whom without, none of the above could have been possible!. X

More news soon!.

Fight the good fight for there is no other to be fought!.

 

 

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Exhibitions, festivals and passing it on.