As I got ready to go to the opening night of Mo.tion, I pondered about making some effort with my appearance to hob nob with the art glitterati. Then it dawned on me that this was Old Street not Jermyn Street, so I toddled off in my normal unpolished state.
On walking into the pub The Foundry, I felt like I was walking back in time to my student days, except I don't remember the union bar being quite this scruffy. Thank god I didn't smarten up.
It was founded by KLF so I guess they didn't burn all their money. There are posters, notices, old monitors flickering, and chaotic graffiti. Amongst all the clutter there are photos. Now I understand why galleries have clean white walls, I can't think in here.
After adjusting my eyes to the light and the aura of chic squalor, clutching an organic lager, I try to make sense of it all.
Husband and wife team Ian and Kati Byrne are Travel Photographers. The travelling came first, the photography followed and now they are passionate photographers. They both have proper jobs in Multi media and PR, but like many of us dream one day of going full time into photography.
The exhibition's concept is about photographs of people travelling taken while travelling. Ian explained: "The theme of Mo. tion is two-fold. It is about people and objects in motion as well as the photographers being in motion through their travels. These are like a collision of cultures and moments. The traveller becomes stationary and it is the world around him that moves. Instead of travelling around the world the world travels around the photographer and it is these moments you capture and show."
As Kati and Ian told me that they travel light with just one Canon 405d with a 18-55 lens or a Olympus E10 on a fixed lens. For me it conjured up this image of a fantastic scene being missed, while they were fighting over the camera to grab it. They assured me this never happens.
There are some excellent photographs, dynamic and full of life with interesting angles on people and travelling. They are more artistic than record, with good use of slow shutter speeds and point of view. They also have great colours and atmosphere, particularly the night shots. Most of the shots are for sale and in keeping with the groovy right on atmosphere, are very good value.
I have to admire Kati and Ian for doing what most of us don't, getting out there and presenting your work in exhibition. It's so easy to make excuses why you shouldn't - they are just getting on with it. It's a great way to meet people and network. Even while I chatted with them, a guy came up and asked for their card as he was in the travel business and needed material.
If you would like to exhibit, the Foundry has certain rules, which are printed on a big poster with the title, ‘SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO F****** better? ( my asterisks) - now there's a challenge.
Kati and Ian's current project is one year old, keeps them awake a lot, and has inevitably drawn them into portraiture, the travelling will have to go on hold for a bit.
You can see the Mo.tion exhibition at:
86 Great Eastern Street,
(Old Street tube)
Closing date: 6th December 2008.
Words by Martin Jordan.
Visit Developing Dreams for more information.