Portfolio has decided that, after 22 years of continuous publication, this will be our final issue of Portfolio Magazine. More information is contained on the Editorial page of this website.
I am very proud to present in our final issue ten artists whose work embraces both the specialist craft of photography and technical innovation. Neeta Madahar’s Flora explores the power and social dynamics of portraiture through photographs constructed through a collaborative exchange between artist and sitter. These photography make reference to fashion and Hollywood glamour imagery from the 1930-50s, and in particular to the portraits of Madame Yevonde.
We feature a selection of photograms from from Susan Derges’ series Arches 1-4, covering the four seasons from winter 2008, and the Gibbous moon series, which Charlotte Cotton describes as bringing together all the elements of Derges’s practice. Prayer Places, Tom Hunter’s luminous pin-hole photographs of church interiors, continue the artist’s long-term project in the London borough of Hackney.
Idris Khan is known for his technique of layering photographs, to create high-value artworks from the simplest of devices. In a timely and scholarly essay, Amna Malik discusses his new body of work, seen recently at Victoria Miro Gallery.
Jim Lawson interviews Patricia Macdonald about the perspectives created by her aerial photography of the Hebrides, a series of triptychs, the specifics of a low-level aerial viewpoint, and about environmental change.
Dalziel + Scullion were commissioned recently to produce new artworks for The State Hospital at Carstairs, a high-security facility. Continuing their exploration of the interaction of humankind and nature, they chose to photograph the oystercatcher bird, in the environs of the hospital and its natural habit in the Scottish isles.
These new series are accompanied by essays from some of the most significant writers on photographic art, including Francis Hodgson’s insight into collecting photography. Joanna Lowry discusses the portraiture of Richard Learoyd, produced through the camera obscura method, the vulnerability of the subjects and the mysterious quality of his photographic prints; Susan Bright discusses Sarah Lynch’s still life photography, which she suggests are complex abstract ideas made to look simple; John Slyce discusses Becky Beasley’s new work that follows the fragmented panorama by Eadweard Muybridge produced in the garden of his home in Kingston; and Stella Santacatterina discusses Finnigan’s Teeth, a book and installation by Judith Cowan. It has been a pleasure to have worked with all of these writers on this particular occasion.
The splendour of the physical works represented here – large-scale photographs, photographic sculptures, pinhole photographs, light-boxes, photographs printed onto canvas – have been produced in response to important issues of our time – nature, the environment, religion, the representation of women. It is the skill and insight of artists such as these that ensures photography’s continued evolution as an artform.
Neeta Madahar Flora
Susan Derges The Field at Stiniel
Becky Beasley P.A.N.O.R.A.M.A. 2010
Idris Khan Ritual and Repetition Beyond Conceptual Art
Patricia Macdonald Edge: Hebrides
Dalziel + Scullion Realm of the Oystercatcher
Richard Learoyd The Other Side of the Mirror
Sarah Lynch Lightness and Being
Tom Hunter Prayer Places
Judith Cowan Finnegan’s Teeth
On Taste in Collecting Photographs