Visited Battle in the south of England, near Hastings, for Robin Bell‘s birthday party on Saturday. I’m sure you know that Battle is actually where the Battle of Hastings was fought. What are the chances of that happening?
Great to see Robin and Lucy in such good spirits, a great day was had by all. Robin was using the occasion of his 60th birthday to hold an exhibition in the Independent Photographer’s Gallery bringing together some of his favourite pictures from 35 years in the darkroom. It was an honour for me to have one of my pictures selected for the show.
Kapitulská, Bratislava, Slovakia. November 2003.
Among many new people we met at the party was documentary photographer Colin Summers who has a picture from Banda Aceh in the show, shot in the aftermath of the tsunami. I can’t help but admire the emotional strength of people who take this kind of picture, I’m not sure I could do it. Colin’s a great bloke and deserves to succeed in his chosen field.
The conversation among the photography professionals at the event centred around the inevitable subject: nobody’s selling pictures. It’s a tough time in the photography industry, but it was great to have other people to talk to about what’s happening.
The show itself is really great. I always enjoy shows that aren’t built around a single visual theme, which I find grow tiresome by the time I’ve seen a couple of dozen pictures. The theme here is simply Robin’s taste, and an eclectic taste it is. From hardcore photojournalism (Don McCullin, Tom Stoddart, Colin Summers, Lee Miller) through to high class celebrity portraiture (Terry O’Neill, Bob Carlos Clarke, Terence Donovan), and much in between, Robin has simply chosen pictures he likes. All – of course – beautifully printed.
Go to see the show if you possibly can.