A look at some iconic reggae album covers, photographed in their original locations around London over four decades later, for Covers, an anthology of classic sleeves and the Thames-side surroundings that informed them, by photographer Alex Bartsch.
Writes Erin MacLeod in Pitchfork:
“London must be, outside of Jamaica, the place that is most richly influenced by Jamaican people living there,” says Al Newman (AKA Al Fingers) of One Love Books, the publisher behind Covers and a number of evocative books related to reggae. “I grew up in London and I grew up with Jamaican culture. But it is also kind of an unknown history to many people in the UK.”
The book has successfully completed Kickstarter funding, but is still available for pre-order here.
2016 was just the second year I had been to the Ballinasloe Horse Fair. I only travel down for Saturday’s activities. The photographic draw of both characters and animals is magnetic.
Last year a couple of online papers slated the photographs and some even accused me of supporting animal cruelty. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Whether it’s a horse fair or a dilapidated building, I find both photographically fascinating and exciting. I record the event and allow the viewer to make up their own mind. I’m a commercial photographer but shoot such personal projects like this for my own pleasure and for no financial reward.
I also enjoy speaking to those who attend and listening to how they manage their daily lives within a culture so far removed from mine. I don’t necessarily agree with some of their traits but I respect them. One also has to remember that the traveller community only represent a part of this huge community. Most punters are genuine equine lovers both buying and selling.
One farmer from Roscommon (who I also met last year) stood in the green for 5 days with 3 horses and sold nothing. He said that sales were way down this year and blamed it on Brexit and the “pound sterling”. It’s a hard old life but they’ll all be back again next year.
Few things are certain in life, for everything else there is an insurance policy. House, car, life, health, pet, travel . Every angle of our mortal existence is covered. Life is sorted and all at a premium. Or so it seems.
A short drive from one of our major cities is a small cluster of rural houses. Most of the residents have been lifelong neighbours. They farm together, they pray together, some have worked the railway together.
But that’s often where the familiarity ends and the isolation begins. Behind closed doors just like any neighbourhood is a story of love, loss, neglect and speculation. A whole world of uncertainty.
In the autumn of his life now, the owner of this house is no longer able to care for himself following a car accident. He left the priesthood to become a garda, never married and grew up surrounded by other males, namely his father and brother.
Locals say a visit to the house would be greeted with the front door being opened just a crack, just enough to have a quick chat and no more.
These men protected each other and showed little interest in widening their circle of friends. A day out was a dinner downtown followed by people watching from the side of the road as cars travelled back and forth to the nearby racetrack.
Yet despite this impenetrable defence, the selflessness of a few of the locals has brought glimpses of human warmth and kindness into their lives. Christmas dinners were prepared by neighbours wives and delivered year after year to the three men. The cats who still occupy the house are checked on and fed by a local lady.
The same lady who helped the current owner and last remaining son carry out basic day to day chores before he eventually went into care. She continues to bring him on weekly outings from the care home and takes him back to the house once in a while to check things over. She too is approaching the autumn of her years.
Nothing it seems is ever certain no matter how over insured and risk adverse we become but we can nevertheless make a few assumptions. Nature abhors a vacuum and will quickly rush in to fill in the gaps.
And love, no matter how we resist and protect ourselves against it, will wangle it’s way in and around us, embracing us and connecting us to the most basic but beautiful risk of all. LIFE.
Paul Carroll, a Cork-based photographer and (full disclosure) a pal of ‘sheet cartoonist Mick Flavin, has spent the last seven years capturing “the action of Gaelic club games in unique surroundings around Ireland”.
Now he wants put the images together in one big buke.
Gaelic Fields will features the beauty of games played on the fields of Aran and Inisturk Islands, South Kerry and the Glens of Antrim to the urban landscapes of Cork, Dublin and Belfast and scores of locations in between…
Of his odyssey he adds:
…99 times out of 100 people were very nice, but wanted to know why a photographer had travelled from Cork to a Junior A football game in Dring, Co. Longford on a Thursday evening…”
A modest Kickstarter campaign [target: ten big ones] is currently active [see below] to ensure Gaelic Fields becomes a coffee table-topping reality.
Images from the life and death of Pat Tierney by John Kelly
Wally Cassidy writes:
A good friend of mine documented for a book project the last few years of Pat Tierney’s life. Pat was poet from Grafton St in the 90s, he established the Ballymun Rhymers Club and several community projects with the Dublin Aids Alliance. Pat, who had Aids, took his own life in 1996 aged 39,, and at the time my friend never got around to showing the photos. Last month he scanned his old negatives, some strong but excellent images [More images and Pat biog at link below].
Broadsheet readers, who know everything, may already be aware of the Phantom Siberia Photo Girl. She had her moment of fame earlier this week, after many years languishing in a dusty collection of photos belonging to the Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum of Local Lore.
But what about the Phantom Irish Photo Boy?
I’ve been intrigued for some time about this stylish little feller romping through the photos of 60s and 70s Dublin in the Michael Walker Photo collection, National Library of Ireland. Is he a Very Junior Walker or just a random stray kid who tagged along at photo sessions?
Also, what’s up with the National Library of Ireland’s policy of brutally watermarking their photos? A very ‘commercial’ decision for a public institution intended to be for the benefit of all this country’s citizens. Perhaps their online curator has an explanation?