EX 47 member photographer and printer Graham Cook and fellow UWE MA print makers Gen Harrison and Ella Sparkes had their first joint exhibition as the Concrete Collective at Bristol’s popular Centre Space Gallery. The 5-day show titled ‘Call and Response’ was well supported with over 250 visitors enjoying the mix of print and photography. The imagery had a very urban street feel that challenged the industrial environment of the space; the work came from individual projects New York Minute, Cook, Word on the Street, Harrison and The Marks That Lead from Sparks. The ‘Call and Response’ theme identified the groups’ visual exploration and interrogation of what a city narrative could be, defining on individual terms a constructed world that creates vision, language and rhythm. Sparkes and Harrison’s output using screen print and mixed media collage and digital print, some three dimensional reflections of the convoluted structure of the city along with two dimensional imagery with punchy collage assigning line, highlight and shadow in a dynamic way. Cook took a minute and revelled all that could happen on the street in 60 seconds combining photographic print and an effective film that looked at the magic minute that draws thousands to the Manhattan Henge, an event that happens daily given the right light. The moving image was capture using a Gopro camera shooting colour running with the same field of view as a still film camera shooting black and white film. The two elements were then cut together to reveal the minute and the photographers eye as Cook chose his decisive moment; the film freezes into the still image at the click of the shutter. Photography by necessity it a singular activity but this must be the closest you could get to being in the authors head. Cook’s black and images featured hard graphic composition and high contrast reminiscent of the Japanese master such as Moriyama. The whole exhibition had the colour pallet of William Klein’s enamel painted contact sheets. A great show that should provoke further creative conversations.
Editor Steve Welsh