Bakhtiari

The Bakhtiari are one of the largest of all the Iranian nomadic tribes. I walked kuch with the Faridgi family. This migration traditionally takes place twice a year, the families walk their livestock over the Zagros Mountains, from the winter to the summer pastures. My pictures of this were exhibited at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, alongside …

See moreBakhtiari

Iranian crafts and craftsmen

As I started to visit Iran, I started to meet Iranian craftsmen – often high up on rudimentary scaffolding. I also started to realise how little is understood about their impressive skills and knowledge. With many master craftmen (ustads) relatively old, and relatively few young men now wanting to undergo the lengthy, often dirty, and …

See moreIranian crafts and craftsmen

And suddenly I disappear

And Suddenly I Disappear. Some of the cast. Image: Guardian

When I saw And Suddenly I Disappear,  it felt that, suddenly, there was actually a chance that I might personally appear. Not definitely. I still don’t know where. But at least now there’s a chance. For maybe a chance appearance. Thankyou thankyou THANKYOU for that to Kaite O Reilly and the whole splendid ensemble! Kaite explores …

See moreAnd suddenly I disappear

Tin types: more collodion

My collodion at NPG: the photographers upside down view before the tintype is made

Chelin Miller kindly shared her film of ambrotypes (collodion on glass)  being made at the NPG: it’s not the same as tin types (on metal). This includes me – at 1.38 – as one of the people talking about taking part at the NPG: I’ve already written something about this here – including more details …

See moreTin types: more collodion

The Cycle of Life

Watered by the warm water I used to wash my dad's dead body, the little black and white forest grows and greens. As it starts fruiting., the cycle of life becomes obvious

I’ve produced a series of artworks sharing some of what I learnt about the Cycle of Life whilst my dad was dying. My dad wisely didn’t stop living just because the doctors told him that he was terminally ill. Like many doctors, I had thought I was something of an expert at dying. But then …

See moreThe Cycle of Life

Memory Palace

In the Mind of the Beholder. Gilbert and George. Seen in White Cube Memory Palace 2018

I was in Bermondsey and so grabbed the chance to have a look at the Memory Palace in the White Cube. The accompanying booklet tells me that “memory defines us”. And that art is “a powerful medium for stories missing from history’s official record”. Three of the items felt especially relevant to my current work …

See moreMemory Palace

Bosch, strawberries, and high fashion

Detail from Hieronymus Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights: one of many strawberry symbolising the pleasure of forbidden fruit

I always learn something from the regular Sotheby’s Selects emails. This month the focus is on Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights c.1490-1505. Here, I’m adding a little to Sotheby’s excellent summary. This reminds us that Bosch’ triptych starts closed to display the third day of the Biblical formation of the earth . The left wing …

See moreBosch, strawberries, and high fashion

Dorothea Lange and the Politics of Seeing

Barbican exhibitions of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship 2018

I was excited to go to the Barbican exhibitions of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship‘s photography. But what I found out is the Politics of Seeing can be just as rotten as any other Politics. Lange has been described as “principled .., a heroine of the lens“. After her most famous photo, Migrant Mother, was …

See moreDorothea Lange and the Politics of Seeing