Continuing with my ‘cultural education’ I went with a friend to see Camera Press at 70 – a lifetime in pictures at the Art Bermondsey Project Space. This agency was set up by Tom Blau in 1947 and had Yousef Karsh as the first photographer to join. The exhbition was all portraiture work of celebrities from politics, film, music, art, literature and the Royal Family, both nationally and internationally.

Spread out over 3 floors, the exhibition is quite intimate, primarily because of the space. The pictures on the ground floor (with the exception of the pictures of the Royal Family) were printed on paper that was ‘preframed’ and stamped with the Camera Press logo. Here you had the biggest selection of pictures starting off with the iconic Winston Churchill

In the basement you had a smaller selection of photographs and a video installation. And on the upper floor again, another small selection of portraits – some focusing on the agency’s collaboration with the BAFTA’s. What I liked about this exhibition was the range of work – clearly adhering to the title – it was good selection through the decades. It was very much a name game in seeing who you could get right… some were clearly obvious, others less so. If you go to the Camera Press website you can see the list people that have had their work syndicated – both studio and editorial. The exhibition finishes on the 10 June so hurry if you want to get in there.

© Greg Bartley © Perou © Nicky Johnston © Yousef Karsh © Cecil Beaton © Tom Blau       © Clive Arrowsmith © Godfrey Argent

On the way back to London Bridge station I we came across Peter Layton London Glassblowing workshop and gallery, so I had to pop in. Of course I wanted to buy half the gallery exhibits but alas I did not win the lottery this weekend, so had to content myself with just looking at it all. I was most taken by the work of Tim Rawlinson and Cathryn Shilling.

“Tim Rawlinson is fascinated with the way light passes through glass and this informs his work. He exploits transparency, as an essential and primary quality, manipulating and distorting both colour and form in order to challenge his viewer’s perceptions.” 1. 

“Cathryn is best known for her trademark glass cloth pieces which utilise the Venetian glass cane techniques. The canes are made by drawing molten glass into fine threads of no more than one or two millimetres.  Cathryn uses a painstaking process to bring these together, strand upon strand, and then fuses them in the kiln until they resemble sheets of woven fabric.”

We got to see two of her latest commissioned works, which were simply stunning. So if anyone wants to pay me to go and do a glassblowing course – they run one day courses at London Glassblowing for £475, I am always happy to accept a belated birthday present :)… All dates for 2017 are already booked up……

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