Thursday, 20 October 2016

Small Selection at the Clerkenwell Gallery, October 2016

My new London exhibition is opening on Tuesday next week - 

Rooftop Collective Edition 5
25th - 30th October 2016
Clerkenwell Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DP

Full details, with all the events, times etc. are on a lovely PDF linked here.

As part of a group show, I'm showing a series under the title 'Small Selection'. These are all pictures taken on my phone and drawn from my Instagram feed @paulcliffordartist. This is certainly a departure for me - in the past I may have thought it impossible to show images from a phone. But, by shooting carefully and choosing a phone at my last upgrade pretty much solely based on camera quality, I am able to get pictures I'm not only happy with, but very proud of.

This is the first time those pictures will be off the screen and on the gallery wall. They'll be sitting amongst some powerful imagery from analogue and experimental photographers, and I think the combination of the 7 photographers will benefit all the images and make for a great show.

Although it's the 5th annual exhibition I've had with this group of photographers from the Rooftop Collective, it's the first one where the hang has been handed over to an independent curator, Amy Caiger of Caiger Contemporary. Whilst the selection of my work has been left to me, how it interacts over the 2 floors with the other 6 photographers will be left to Amy. That's very exciting as I'll be experiencing the show for the first time the same as everyone else.

So, as I'm now approaching my 600th daily image on Instagram, how did I make the selection for the show? In some ways I had a head start on this, as I had created a one-off book of thirty favourite images to mark my 500th image post. However, that was a personal selection, and I wanted the sense of community and interaction with the circle of photographers that have sprung up around my Instagram gallery to feed into the show.

I made a shortlist of 25 images - some of those personal favourites mixed in with some of the most popular images, based on 'likes' with my followers on Instagram. I then took that selection to my Facebook friends - which includes all kinds of people who are by no means 'arty'. I asked them to 'vote' on their own favourites, and had a great response. I also printed them out and showed them to friends and family for more opinions.

Combining all these reactions and votes with my own feelings I came up with the final 8 you'll see if you come to the show. It's always painful deciding what to leave out, and whilst the 8 were by no means the most 'popular' in the process, the votes did give me a bit of guidance about which ones could be dropped most easily.

I've written elsewhere on the blog about how Instagram has revitalised my photography, so it's great to have this show to validate that, and kind of put a line under my first 18 months or so on the platform. I'm really excited to see how these new pieces mix with the group, and I hope some of you are too.

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