DAY TRIPS TO PARIS, NEW YORK PIGEONS AND OSAKA…..
Paris isn’t that far!
It’s birthday time of year, so we jumped onto the Eurostar at St.Pancras, wandered through Place De La Concorde, had dinner on the Eiffell Tower and sauntered back via the Arc de Triomphe. Home by 9.30. Really very Tres Bon!
My pigeons hit New York. Well The New York Times. They were running a piece on genetics, (why I started taking photographs of pigeons in the first place) and called to ask if they could use some of my photos. Well, since then, everyone is after them. And not just the pigeons, the chickens too!
Modern Farmer magazine is a brand new magazine and they are running a piece on fancy chickens and I’m very proud to say that they are putting one of my cocks on their cover! All under wraps until the first issue comes out in April, but he is a very handsome chap, and you will see him soon. In the meantime here are some of his friends below.
Chicken photos are clearly the way ahead…… so decide to build a website for them. Still a few more to put up, but here they are: fancypoultry.co.uk
I have mentioned the RNIB before and will do again now. No images to show, but I have been taking photographs in their residential homes for a number of years. The level of care is just outstanding and the young people, who over the years I have seen growing up, are looked after so well, it always makes me think how lucky they were to be born here in the UK.
YOUYOU Mentoring had a masterclass held by HarleyMoon Kemp at Holborn Studios. Harley is a wonderful young photographer, who is producing some great work. She has been mentoring a young person and they photographed Tyler James and her dad Martin Kemp. A big thanks to all of them for giving of their time so freely.
Looking forward to March 20th when we have a retrospective of the Shifting Perspectives work from 2005-2012. We will be taking over the gallery@oxo and three floors of The Bargehouse. Also, sending work out to Canada and designing boards for an exhibition in Osaka Japan.
Black Lanshun Cockerel
Light Brown Dutch Bantam Hen
Blue Part Dutch Cockerel
And…….big sigh……a snap of my neighbours Boxer puppy, Monty Dog.
COLD AND WET AND LONG…….
Arrived back from Kenya on New Years Day to a really wonderfully warm reception from our neighbours.
And then….. January was pretty much cold and miserable.
There were though, OF COURSE, a few things to liven the spirits.
A call from an actor friend, Paddy O’ Kane, who had moved out of town and I hadn’t seen for ages.
He is a wonderful actor of stage and screen, having been part of the Royal National Theatre, where he appeared in The Playboy of the Western World and Peer Gynt, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he played the title role in Macbeth. (You may also have seen him in Game of Thrones.)
The last thing I saw him in was War Horse in the West End and recently he has been working in his native Belfast.Anyways, he pops round and we take a few snaps.
(Forgot to say he has just released a book “Actor’s Voices” a series of conversations with modern actors( Oberon Press 2012 )
Braved the cold night air to go to a few Private Views, including the brilliant Emer Gillespie, who is one of the Shifting Perspectives photographers. Emer has her work on display at The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.
Also, did a little talk at City College Brighton, for Roy Mehta‘s students. It was rather nice, as I got to have lunch with another old friend, who has his design group in Brighton.
Playing pool with the Masai. ©Fiona Bailey
Amboseli National Park, Kenya. ©Fiona Bailey
The Rift Valley. ©Fiona Bailey
Curious Elephant, Amboseli National Park, Kenya
PIGEONS AND DUCKS AND ELEPHANTS AND GIRAFFES……
My pigeons have been lying about in the design of a book for a while now. I haven’t taken it any further because I felt there was just a few more shots missing. And then Stuart calls me up and says he is having another National pigeon show and did I want to come up and take some shots. I jumped at the chance and on a very snowy and flood warning day myself and Sam the assistant drove up to Yorkshire for the weekend. Not only were there pigeons, but some very handsome poultry too!
Here are some of the results and I hope to have ‘Darwin’s Pigeons’ – Volume 1, in print very soon.
Oh….. and to get away from the miserable weather we all flew off to Kenya for Christmas. Safari’s, Mango’s on the beach, got to kiss a Giraffe and the kids got to see their adopted Elephant ‘Sites’, at the Daphne Sheldrake Sanctuary. Nicely!
BONFIRE NIGHT, YOUYOU MENTORING AND SWIMMING GALAS
Earlier in the year I became a trustee of YOUYOU Mentoring a small mentoring charity that I have been involved in. This month we had a small fundraising event and quiz at the Paradise bar in Kensal Green. The wonderful Amal Fashanu and Gordon Kennedy were the comperes, Guy Chambers came along with his mentee Farhan to do a short set, as did Tim Arnold – ‘The Soho Hobo’. Both did great sets and a big thank you to everyone who turned up.
The Paradise Bar is very intimate venue and the last I saw of Guy Chambers was of him carrying his own equipment down the stairs with Farhan. The very next evening, at the O2, he was on stage in front of thousands with Robbie Williams….! That’s a good man, right there!
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, ROCK AND ROLL AND STUDENTS
So, earlier in the year the MP for Oxfordshire, Ed Vaizey, happened to visit the Shifting Perspectives exhibition at The Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot. He said why don’t we have an exhibition at Parliament and we took him up on it. Hywel Francis sponsored the Early Day Motion and we popped the exhibition up in the Upper Waiting Lobby. I have taken many photographs at Parliament over the years and it really is a fascinating and beautiful building. A real privilege to wander the corridors and look up at the stonework and paintings and to think of all the people like Disraeli, Gladstone, Kings and Queens, who have similarly walked those corridors. It all seemed very easy getting the exhibition, but I am aware that it was a real coup.
I took a few snaps of my good friend Damon Wilson’s band The Temperance Movement. They have been playing a few low key gigs at places like The Water Rats in Kings Cross, but I have no doubt that in 2013 they will be playing arenas! They have already played a couple of numbers at The Royal Albert Hall for the Sunshine Jam.
The shoot at the beginning of the month at Uni of Gloucester was great fun and another week’s shoot at Middlesex University proves to be great as well.
That would be me…..
BACK TO SCHOOL, OHIO, THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT, MAYORAL PROCLAMATIONS AND MUCH MUCH MORE………….
Last September the Dublin Arts Council in Ohio invited me and the Shifting Perspectives exhibition to show in their gallery. We shipped the work out there and they said that it was the best attended and most successful exhibition they had had. So….they invited me out again. This time though, I suggested that local photographers should produce some work to cut down on costs. This they organised and local photographers, Barb Schwartz, Jim Langman, Katie Shannon and Hosanna Tekie worked with the local Down syndrome community and produced some beautiful imagery!
I was out there for 10 days and was spoilt rotten by David Guion and his team at the Dublin Arts Council. There were VIP receptions, Private Views and artist talks, I visited and spoke at elementary and high schools, we went on the Columbus Buddy Walk and I saw myself talking on the Jumbotron and did another workshop with young adults with Down syndrome……..
We even visited the Dublin Mayor who again honoured Shifting Perspectives with a proclamation. They film each city council meeting, so for a slice of small town Americana and me saying a few words click HERE and start about 24 minutes in.
David and his team really are quite wonderful and produced another fantastic exhibition, getting it out into the community. A couple of interesting things happened at the elementary schools. I was showing the kids my website and the pigeons came up. A little hand went up..”Does that pigeon have Down syndrome?” A very good question say I and one that I can’t answer right now, but I suppose there is a possibility….
The next day whilst I am at the gallery a Grandad comes in, whose son has just had a child with Down syndrome. He is visibly moved and comforted by what he sees. But, even nicer, a ten year old boy comes in with his mother. He had been in the class that I spoke to the day before and had asked his mum if he could come along…….
Fly back on the Monday early morning and then drive down to Cheltenham for a week long shoot at the University of Gloucestershire. The team down there are great fun and the week whizzes by.
But……at the beginning of the week I go and see The Temperance Movement at The Water Rats in Kings Cross. They really are too good and will be playing arenas before we know it. Watch videos of them HERE.
This is a note from David Guion the Chief Executive at the Dublin Arts Council. Excuse me for posting it, but it does say more about Shifting Perspectives than the photograph of the gallery above:
Hi Richard – this note is long overdue. I wanted to thank you for everything that you have done to make this exhibition such a success and for the gracious way you have allowed your ideas to continue here in Dublin. We have a steady stream of visitors with larger groups of all ages scheduled throughout the exhibition. It is really having such an amazing impact – just like last year.
We had a workshop this week entitled “Trisomy 21 and You.” We had four doctors in the room and some parents of children and adults with Down syndrome and people grappling with DS as parents with newborns. I wanted to share some thoughts that one of the doctors made.
The group talked about the changes in attitudes about Down syndrome. Individuals can now live better lives, both physically and emotionally. With advances in medicine and early mental/psychological/ developmental testing, a person with DS can really see a brighter future. The parents can see the potential.
The doctors talked about how 20-30 years ago, people with DS would be relegated to an institution or some other place that they would remain separate. They would be told (as well as their parents) that they have no potential, and so in turn they would not be challenged, perpetuating a downward spiral. One of the doctors stated that this exhibition is marking that time beyond when DS individuals were “discarded.” Now this exhibition demonstrates the unimaginable capabilities that can be achieved. Now because of these photos, 15 years from now there will be even more acceptance. This exhibition will be a springboard for future generations and the cycle of acceptance and potential.
I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea of the progression of time and perception as well as breakthroughs on multiple levels. So, I hope you know that this exhibition and all of your work, continues to impact now, and will have even greater impact in the future – it is cumulative!
My very best to you and the family,
GREAT WHITE SHARKS AND MISSED REUNIONS
Well, this turned out to be an interesting month.
Headed off to Cape Town for four days to put up the Shifting Perspectives exhibition in time for the Down Syndrome International conference. All the work was delayed in customs and then we found that the printers, Colorset UVI, got the order wrong, so I ended up with half an exhibition! Very annoying and very embarrassing.
The delay did mean that we could climb (long walk) up Table Mountain AND go Great White Cage Diving, both of which were fab.
Quite a few years ago a friend of mine died after a long and terrible battle with cancer. Growing up in Weston-Super-Mare during the early eighties we all had silly hair and went to see all the punk bands and generally had a good time. I took photographs then as I do now and put them on a Facebook site as a nice way to remember Adam.. The page now has lots of greatphotographs from the time, not all mine. Alternative Weston-Super-Mare! There was supposed to be a reunion of sorts, but I was watching Great White Sharks glide casually past.
Also did a nice shoot for a company called PPR, who own pretty much every high class brand you can imagine. Marie Georges came over from Paris and we went to Holborn Studios for the shoot. Three delightful models turned up from Louise Dyson’s VisAble model agency, we shot had lunch and everything was ‘Tres agreable’!
The campaign, I liked, as it was talking about getting people with disabilities into the workplace.
And couldn’t resist putting in a shark……..We’re in that cage bottom right, covered in chum……