Photo London 15 at Somerset House

Thursday, 21 May 2015

On Wednesday night, CreateVoice (the youth collective at the Victoria & Albert Museum) had our quarterly meeting with the Director of the V&A, Martin Roth. This time, rather than our usual discussion session, Martin had kindly arranged for a few of us active on the Director's Meeting programme to attend the opening night of Photo London. Held at Somerset House, Photo London's programme spans all aspects of photographic practice, featuring exhibitions, talks, book signings, screenings and works exhibited by many of the world's leading galleries. The opening night was incredibly busy (we spotted Boris Johnson, and one of my favourite photographers Susan Derges was apparently around as well), filled to the brim with amazing photography of all kinds.

The exhibiting galleries had an incredible variety of artists on show, and it was particularly difficult to get around to see them all in our limited visit - however, I definitely picked out a few favourites. I loved Flore's Series Choses vues aux Royaume de Siam (shown by Galeria Blanca Berlin): a series of tiny square photographs created using a silver gelatine and gum bichromate process, resulting in a dreamy and atmospheric set of vignettes. Also on display were Sacha Goldberger's humourous yet beautifully executed images of comic book characters photographed in the style of Flemish Renaissance paintings which - justifiably - went viral last year, as well as David Yarrow's spectacular photograph Mankind II, featuring the cattle of the Dinka tribe in Sudan against the cultivated smoke they use to keep away mosquitoes. I was absolutely bowled over by an image from Sohei Nishino's Diorama Maps series: Hockney-esque photomontages of truly mammoth proportions, built of the streets and landmarks of cities to make a map of each.

Alongside the galleries, there are also exhibitions: I popped into Beneath the Surface, which the V&A was commissioned to produce, as well as the show of Sebastiao Salgado's work Genesis in Platinum. Both of these shows were beautifully produced, as expected, and definitely worth seeing. The tickets for the event are a little pricey at £20/£17 (I was glad to be a guest!) - but you get a lot for the money.

FIND PHOTO LONDON AT: Somerset House, Strand, Londond WC2R 1LA
Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd May 12pm-7:30pm
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May 12pm-6pm

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