OK it is Easter but today it felt like Christmas in the gallery as I arrived to receive two stunning books as gifts from two of the photographers whose work I shall be showing. Ironically as it is Easter they too have the initials J.C.
John Claridge sent me his book of photographs called East End. It's a beautiful tome with lovely prints all shot on film with that beautiful grain that for me brings back a lot of memories of darkrooms and processing. This is an East End that is no more. Ungentrified it reflects life in a day when having a camera was uncommon and people's suspicions less. I have thus far only glanced at the images but recommend the book. Look at the pictures and ask who those people were, what did they do, where are some of them now, what happened.
There is a telling quote on the back which reminded me of Billy Connolly's comments about growing up in the Gorbals,
"People say life was hard in the East End but I found the living was easy and I loved it." -John Claridge
The next envelope I opened was from Julian Calverey and contained his book 'iPhone only' featuring some of his stunning landscapes all shot, surprisingly enough on his iPhone. In a sense, I think, this was a brave book to do as it could damage your reputation by shooting on a phone. Instead it has cemented it and the work has taken off. The images have a beautiful tonality akin to old oil paintings and I am very excited that I am going to have some to exhibit very soon. I can't wait to see them