Words and images by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog
'Mother' London played host to a large exhibition of 18 up-and-coming finalists last week. Their exhibited work spanned 3 age groups from 16 to 31+ across a wide range of subject matter from across the globe and into your back yard, covering human life, war and our own difficulties in daily life.
Each set of photographs from the finalists told a photographic story on a theme. With the younger group up to 22 years old covering serious themes of the country of Mongolia, the state of Gaza, and the Kolkata Slum. But their work also portrayed personal stories of Burlesque performers, abstract motorway service station views and even weekend warrior Airsoft war games. It showed some of the life experience many others may encounter.
The older, up to 30 years old group covered the woodlands in England, a Lithuanian village left desolate by the youth moving out, cruising as an outlet for gay sexual experience and the current mod scene in England as shown in the above image by Owen Harvey. The other two entrants' themes were Doo flying and Polaroid images.
The 31 plus group tackled issues of Obesity and human feelings, and also that of the rooms used by prostitutes in Tel Aviv as well as the drying up of Lake Umria in Iran and the devastation it would cause to the area. They also took a frozen in time look at the traditional life of Moto-hanto in Japan. And in a similar reflective mood the separation of women from their men folk in the second world war was covered. Another series was a personal reflection of losing one’s Mother through the change in house occupants.
Nine of these were chosen to go forward to the next round, and this presentation was done by IdeasTap chairman Peter De Haan, Magnum Photos Cultural and Education Manager Fiona Rogers; Amy Christian - Film & Photography Project Manager at Oxfam and Emma Bowkett - Photo Editor at the Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine.
Though what was most amazing to me was IdeasTap, with 120,000 predominantly UK members of which over 10,000 were photographers. IdeasTap wanted to help facilitate finding many of these people professional opportunities and vocations. So I’ll be recommending younger photographers check them out for help from now on.
As a final note I can’t not mention the massive picture wall in Mother London where every employee is encouraged to bring in a picture of their mum and help give the venue its name. See the Mother London website
for more information.
IdeasTap is an arts charity that supports creative people through opportunities, funding, jobs and career development. Since launching in December 2008, IdeasTap has awarded more than £1.5 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists. Its membership currently stands at 115,000+ and its partners include BFI, Magnum Photos, Mother London, The National Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre and Sky Arts.
Magnum Photos is a photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction, founded in 1947 by four pioneering photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Today it remains a cooperative owned by its photographer members and encompasses over 45 working photographers and 15 Estates. With powerful individual vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues and personalities.