Film

Richard Billingham’s new film Ray & Liz

Reading Time: 11 minutes Multiple jigsaws, almost completed, are laid out in the living room. On the sideboard, porcelain creatures jostle for space with family photos – a marriage scene, a smiling elderly couple, kids in the park. Dolls are piled high on a chair in the corner, arranged in a chaotic arc. White masks, like those from the Venice Carnival, are positioned across one wall. The wallpaper is a scene from a seaside town – spinning Ferris wheels, winding rollercoasters, fairground murals – yet the paper itself is pockmarked with holes and stains.

Richard Billingham, who grew up in this environment, describes the room as “carnivalesque”. When he lived here, in Cradley Heath in the West Midlands, he did so with his mother Liz and, after she moved out, his father Ray. This jam of decorative stuff was all Liz. She had winding, flowering roots and flowers tattooed across her arms. She wore floral dresses and she smoked until the ashtrays overflowed.

When Billingham was 10 years old, Ray was laid off from a job as a machinist. The family sold their home for two grand – a cash-in- hand job to a local conman – and moved here, to what was quaintly referred to as public housing. Ray, who until this point only drank in the pub, began his life as a committed alcoholic and a full-time hermit.

19 October 2018

Edward Burtynsky: The Anthropocene Project

Reading Time: 4 minutes “Most people would walk by a dump pile and assume that there’s no picture there,” says global industrial landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky. “But there’s always a picture, you just have to go in there and find it.” Born in Canada in 1955, Burtynsky has been investigating human-altered landscapes in his artistic practice for over 35 years, capturing the sweeping views of nature altered by industry; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, and silicon. “Of course, it’s important to me to make sure that my pictures are attractive to the eye,” he says. “But beneath the surface there’s always a bigger, deeper environmental issue.”

19 October 2018

London Nights: The exhibition

Reading Time: 3 minutes Journey through the capital after dark in a new FullBleed film exploring the Museum of London’s major photography exhibition

3 October 2018

Chrystel Lebas wins the Kraszna-Krausz award

Reading Time: 4 minutes Chrystel Lebas has won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Photography Book Award, beating off the two other shortlisted photographers – Stephen Gill and Dayanita Singh. Lebas won the prize for Field Studies: Walking through Landscapes and Archives, which she published with Dutch outfit FW: Books. Field Studies is framed by the work of 20th century botanist Sir Edward James Salisbury, particularly his glass plate negatives from the 1920s, retracing his steps and making new images in the same Scottish landscapes. Gill was shortlisted for Night Procession, which he self-published through his imprint Nobody Books; Singh was shortlisted for her multi-book project Museum Bhavan, which was published by Steidl. 

21 May 2018

“The water is witness, it carries the DNA”

Reading Time: 3 minutes Chloe Dewe Mathews has spent half a decade documenting life along the River Thames. In a new FullBleed film, produced in association with British Journal of Photography and the Museum of London, the photographer sheds light on the project

11 May 2018

Fay Godwin – on show and on film

Reading Time: 2 minutes Born in 1931 to a British diplomat and an American artist, Fay Simmonds married publisher Tony Godwin in 1961, and was introduced to the cream of literary London. Already a keen amateur photographer, by the 1970s she had started taking portraits of the writers she met and by the end of the 1980s had shot almost every significant figure of the period – including Philip Larkin, Saul Bellow, Angela Carter, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie, Jean Rhys, and Tom Stoppard. But Fay Godwin was also a keen walker – in fact she led the Ramblers’ Association from 1987 to 1990 – and it was for her landscape photography that she became best known. Informed by a sense of ecological crisis, she shot books such as Rebecca the Lurcher (1973), The Oldest Road: An Exploration of the Ridgeway (1975), and co-authored Remains of Elmet: A Pennine Sequence with the poet Ted Hughes.

23 March 2018

Laura Hynd goes behind the scenes of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread

Reading Time: 4 minutes “It was like stepping into the past,” says Laura Hynd says of her first venture on set of the Oscar-nominated film, Phantom Thread. Set in 1950s London, Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie chronicles the life of fashion couturier Reynolds Woodcock [played by Daniel Day Lewis] and the women that surround him. Hynd’s unique access was granted after Sophie de Rakoff, a friend of Anderson’s, asked if she could document the workings of the costume department. “I have to admit, I considered not doing it at first,” says Hynd – although it soon became clear that the job would expand far beyond the initial brief. Her adventure started when she was asked, last-minute, to go to the Cotswolds to photograph Woodcock’s country house. On arrival, she was instantly won over. “It was amazing to be on set,” she says. “The detail and beauty were astonishing. I spent quite a lot of time photographing his atelier, as the cast and crew were shooting elsewhere.”

1 February 2018