God’s Own Junkyard

God's Own JunkyardLast September, news got out the God’s Own Junkyard, artist Chris Bracey’s shrine to all things illuminated, was being closed after developers purchased the site. Cue hordes of people, including myself, high tailing it to Walthamstow to see the collection before it was dismantled. Thankfully, a new home has been found for God’s Own Junkyard – resurrection!

Here are some snaps of our visit to the original site (on its last weekend), a feast of glorious, blinding neon:

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God’s Own Junkyard

Unit 12, Ravenswood, Industrial Estate Shernhall Street
London, E17 9HQ, UK

Brick Lane Beigels

When I first visited Brick Lane in 2009, and drunkenly chowed down on a cream cheese beigel, I never could have imagined that two years later I’d live within walking distance. Now the beigel shop is a familiar landmark, a fluorescent neighbourhood beacon glowing at all hours of the day.

Brick Lane Beigel Bake Print by Jo Peel

This Beigel Bake print by Jo Peel really captures the spirit of the place; a bit unruly, a bit unloved, but certainly part of the East London fabric – for now and forever.

Pale horse

Pale Horse - Paul X. Johnson

‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth’

Mugshot - Paul X. Johnson

Venice - Paul X. Johnson

Rachel (Bladerunner) - Paul X. Johnson

Beyond The Sea - Paul X. Johnson

I am very much in awe of Paul X. Johnson’s illustration portfolio. His work is dark, moody and peppered with sublime pop culture references (oh how I adore that picture of Bladerunner’s Rachael). Definitely check out his site for more visual goodies.

Sally Mann

Sally Mann is an American photographer best known for her Immediate Family series. Spanning 1984–94, Immediate Family captured her children as they grew up and explored the countryside surrounding their Virginia home. In later years she turned her focus towards the land itself, with a series that investigated the deep south and key locations in the American Civil War.

More recently What Remains (2000-04), has brought people and the land together in the frame, albeit in an unconventional way. Mann has photographed decomposing bodies at a Tennessee research facility. At first glance the works appear to be simple abstracted textures, but look closer and you’ll recognise traces of the human form. Death and decay, rendered palatable.

Mann’s beautiful images are given an extra ghostly quality from the dust and scratches that arise through the use of antique cameras and the wet-plate collodion process.

A photographic negative is made by coating a glass plate with collodion to form an emulsion. Then the plate is sensitised in a silver nitrate solution and exposed to light while still wet. This gives the photographer only about five minutes to make the exposure. All aspects of the preparation and developing process for the wet-plate collodion print are complicated, delicate and tactile.

Sally Mann often uses the back of her truck as a temporary darkroom when making work outside, which creates its own problems as dust and dirt is constantly attracted to the wet and sticky surfaces of the negative.

Mann’s first solo UK exhibition –  The Family and the Land: Sally Mann –  is now showing at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. It’s on till 19 September 2010. Highly reccomended if you’re in the neighbourhood.