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Friday, 1 February 2008

John Davies

John Davies is the next nominee for the Deutsch Borse, nominated for The British Landscape exhibition. I love his work because it is so simple, direct and uncomplicated. His pictures are very familiar to me (Stockport Viaduct above is a couple of miles from my home ) and instantly recognizable. I also like him because he is a straightforward documentary photographer, something of a rare breed in the UK, and the layers of meaning in his images, the conflict between the rural and the urban reflect the layers of Davies' own life and British society as a whole.


Anonymous said...

How about something on Esko now?

Stan B. said...

Holdt's photographs are the all too revealing snapshots of an all too incredible life's episode. Davies' photos are a lifetime's dedication to one's artistic convictions.

colin pantall said...

Hi Stan - absolutely. I love John Davies' work, but then Jacob Holdt is quite committed in his own way and has quite strong ethical and political convictions.

He returns again and again to America, he photographed there in the 80s and 90s and still goes back now. He was there last week, visiting some of the people he photographed way back - including Mary, whose house it is getting burned down. And he has his slideshow projects that he shows at American universities. So he has campaigned on issues that include poverty, race, gender, housing, drugs, labour and so on... for over 30 years.

Which counts as a lifetime's dedication in my book.

I don't think he cares too much about art, though. But then nor does John Davies.

Stan B. said...

Point taken!

colin pantall said...

You're right though, Stan. The prize is to do with the visual offerings of the previous year - and The British Landscape is the culmination of a life's work as you say, and the new American Pictures is not.

So it could be John Davies' year - I hope so.

brendadada said...

I hope so too. Wonderful works.