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My Perspective, Hills and Triathlons…….June 2018

 

MY PERSPECTIVES, HILLS AND TRIATHLONS…….JUNE 2018

Following on from the Positive Energies exhibition last month, the Down’s Syndrome Association held their annual photography competition ‘My Perspective’.

The competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that:

1. You must have Down’s syndrome.

2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.

Of the 300 entries entered into the competition I am tasked to ‘whittle’ it down to 25 images which are then sent off to a panel of judges to select their favourites. This years entries were again outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was Emily Buck, who also won the competition in 2016.

Two photographers shared second place – Christopher Diedo with his image ‘Prayer Cards’ and Yasman Ran Balouch’s image ‘Spring Has Arrived’.

The competition is open to people with Down’s syndrome across the world and this year 47 out of the 95 entrants came from outside the UK, with photographs sent from Iran, Canada, USA, Australia and Greece.

Rabobank International UK kindly hosted the event and are also partners with the DSA’s WorkFit programme.

You can see more of the images and the event by clicking HERE.

Apart from that I cycled the London to Brighton bike ride for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even managed to cycle up every hill, even Ditchling Beacon! It’s busy, but there is a great atmosphere, I might even do it again next year…

And we also swam, cycled and ran round Blenheim Palace for our annual triathlon. I beat my twin brothers time last year, but he has been getting a ‘bit’ of training in  and he beat me by about 15 minutes this year…….must try harder…..

 

ffff1_Buck,Emily copyEmily Buck – Winner of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018

bbbb3_RanBalouch,YasamanYasaman RanaBalouch – Runner-up of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018

xx2_Diedo, Christopher copyChristopher Diedo – Runner-up of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018

ooo3_Beale,Tim copyTim Beale – Finalist of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018

ii1_Caccamese,Giuseppe copy

The Blenheim triathlon. It’s a family affair with brother, sister and wife!

Blenheim tro 2018_01Blenheim tro 2018_02Guiseppe Caccamese – Finalist of the My Perspective Photographic competition 2018


Positive Energies exhibition…….May 2018

POSITIVE ENERGIES EXHIBITION…….MAY 2018

Although Shifting Perspectives has stopped touring….I am still doing talks and showing the images.

This month I organised an exhibition for the Japanese photographer Mr Fumio Nabata, to show his images of children with Down’s syndrome.

I met Mr Nabata In 2014 when the Shifting Perspectives exhibition visited Tokyo. As part of his job Fumio travels the world taking photographs of children for a number of different clients. After seeing the Shifting Perspectives images, he decided to take photographs of children with Down’s syndrome and produce an exhibition that would eventually be shown in Tokyo. Mr Nabata’s images reveal an engaging, tender and very personal view of Down’s syndrome, which expresses the energy of a positive life. His portraits not only leave the viewer with a happy feeling, but truly have the power to shift perspectives.

His images are a welcome addition to the discussion around children with special needs and their place in families and society as a whole.

Called Positive Energies, this exhibition follows on from the hugely successful Shifting Perspectives exhibition in breaking down pre-conceived ideas about people with Down’s syndrome.

Myself and another founding member of Shifting Perspectives, Fiona Yaron-Field also showed work and we held it at thegallery@oxo on the South Bank.

Fiona’s work portrays women who are pregnant in the full knowledge that their unborn child has Down’s syndrome. These are particularly powerful portraits in light of the current debate around blood testing for genetic conditions and the fact that at the moment, in the UK alone, 92% of women will abort a foetus diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.

The development of a new completely non-interventionist test, that will give virtually 100% in terms of screening result, seems likely to increase the number of terminations.

And yet ironically, young people with Down’s syndrome have better health and life expectancy and more access to education and the work place than anytime in history.

To this end my images show individuals with Down’s syndrome in their workplace. Attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome have changed and twenty years ago images such as these would neither have been seen nor made. Over the years we have seen attitudes towards people with Down’s syndrome change, and this powerful exhibition forms a part of that movement.

Shifting Perspectives

Fumio Nabata_Positive Energies_20 copyFumio Nabata_Positive Energies_16 copyFumio Nabata_Positive Energies_07 copy©Fumio NabataFiona Yaron Field_Safe Haven_01 copyFiona Yaron Field_Safe Haven_02 copyFiona Yaron Field_Safe Haven_03 copy©Fiona Yaron FieldShifting PerspectivesRichard Bailey_WorkFit_07 copyShifting PerspectivesShifting Perspectives©Richard Bailey

For new readers Shifting Perspectives had started in 2003 when a group of photographers whom all had children with Down’s syndrome, put up a small exhibition for Down’s syndrome awareness week. One of our visitors was Susan Andrews, from The London Metropolitan University, who asked if we would like to participate in ‘Photomonth’, held in the East End every year.

From there ‘Shifting Perspectives’ developed.

In 2005 the Down’s Syndrome Association asked me if I would like to exhibit my work at the OXO Tower Gallery in London for the start of Down’s syndrome Awareness week. I brought the ‘Shifting Perspectives’ photographers with me and it became an annual event at the OXO.

With support from the Down’s syndrome association and generous funding from GlaxoSmithKline, the touring exhibition visited over 40 venues in twelve different countries and has grown to encompass a large and diverse body of work, by 20 different artists.

Some of the imagery deals with the photographers own emotions and feelings at the birth of their children, some look outside to see how others view Down’s syndrome, whilst others are a document of their lives or ask people with Down’s syndrome how they see themselves. We also have a burgeoning group of artists, who themselves have Down’s syndrome.

Before ‘Shifting Perspectives’ started there was little positive imagery surrounding Down’s syndrome. Many of the images would be of a medical or charity based nature and it should be noted that less than twenty years ago, images such as ours would neither have been made or seen………

 

 

 


‘I Don’t Care’…….October 2016

‘I DON’T CARE’…….OCTOBER 2016

Playing catch up again….as it is now the end of March 2017…….oops!

A couple of years ago our good friend Carolina Giammetta wrote and directed a short film called ‘I Don’t Care’.

The film was conceived after she had visited one of our Shifting Perspectives exhibitions and was particularly taken by a couple of the photographers work, including Fiona’s images of Billie-Jo titled, ‘I Don’t Care’.

The film isn’t about us, but more about how she has come to see Down’s syndrome through her relationship with us and other people she knows who have children with Down’s syndrome. Our daughter Billie-Jo was one of the actors and it is a VERY moving, beautifully shot (by the brilliant Alfie Biddle) and directed film, with wonderful acting by Andrea Lowe, Jo Hartley and Cavan Clerkin.

She has since shown it at many festivals and it has won LOTS of awards.

A little while ago she called up on a Thursday evening to see if we were available to travel to Belguim on the Saturday to pick up an award for her from The Extraordinary Film Festival…….

So, of course we jumped on the Eurostar and had a lovely time at the film festival.

Here are a few shots of Billie-Jo on stage giving a small speech.

You can now see the film here: https://vimeo.com/70405408

(It is about 15 minutes.)

And here is a behind the scenes trailer with me, the Director, Producer and actors: https://vimeo.com/79597184

Photographs courtesy of Julian ‘Hools’ Hills


Poets, Perspectives, Triathlons and a Solstice…….June 2015

 

POETS, PERSPECTIVES, TRIATHLONS AND A SOLSTICE…….JUNE 2015

Well it was a packed month looking back!

First up was the YOUYOU Mentoring ‘I’M A STORY TELLER’ project.

Stars from stage and screen gathered in the the historic home of poet John Keats to lend their support and read short stories and poems penned by young writers, mentored under the YOUYOU Mentoring scheme.

Nyasha Duri, Phoebe Thomson, Olivia Maxwell, Louella Ward and Poppy Turner were beneficiaries of the scheme and had their poems and short stories read by:

Nicholas Pinnock, Charlene White, Leanne Best, Georgina Campbell, Daisy Lewis and Laura Pradelska.

The wonderful Laura Pradelska is a long time supporter of YOUYOU MENTORING and her reading of Nyasha Duri’s beautiful short story is available to listen to on SOUND CLOUD HERE:

Thank you to all those who attended and gave their time, it was a lovely event.

You can see more about the event and about YOUYOU MENTORING HERE: and also HERE: YOUYOUMENTORING

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

Leanne Best, Nicholas Pinnock, Laura Pradelska and Georgina Campbell. (Photo Sam Errington.)

YouYou Mentoring Story teller

                                               (Photo: Chloe Thacker.)

MY PERSPECTIVES:

A few days later and we are off to the My Perspectives awards ceremony, held each year at the Orangery in Kew gardens.

This is possibly my favourite night of the year.

Of the 250 entries entered into the competition I am tasked to ‘whittle’ it down to 25 images which are then sent off to a panel of judges to select their favourites. The annual competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that:

1. You must have Down’s syndrome.

2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.

This years entries were outstanding and it was very difficult to edit them down. The eventual winner was David Kenward.

David has entered the competition before with very strong images, so it was great to see him win. You can see more of his work by clicking HERE: David Kenward Facebook page.

Thanks once again to Katie Pinnock and her team at GlaxoSmithKline for their continued support of this competition and the ceremony.

Winning photo by David Kenward

Winning photo by David Kenward

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Klay Green

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Jabbar Jamil

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Carlos Biggeman

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Photo by Hubert Lawless

Then the Blenheim Triathlon loomed it’s head, a bit quicker than expected and with my twin brother racing I was going to have to put some effort in, especially as he is now a member of  a ‘tri-club’ and competing in Olympic distance races!

We had great weather and although he did beat me, it was only by a minute and a half, we raised a ton of money for the charity ‘I Can Dance’, so it was a great day all round.

Here we are just before the swim and me on the last leg of the run.

Blenheim Triathlon 2015

Blenheim Triathlon

And then……..there was a trip to STONEHENGE for the Summer solstice!

I hired a 17 seater minibus, filled it with family and friends and headed down to Wiltshire on a Saturday afternoon.

We wandered in and out of the stones, mingled with Druids, hippies and hula hoopers, got about an hour of sleep and then up again to see the sunrise. We were very lucky that there was a ten minute window where the clouds cleared long enough for us to see the sun come over the horizon, before disappearing behind the clouds again.

It was a truly memorable experience, lots of ‘characters’, banging of drums, and there was something really very special about being able to walk in, around, and to touch the actual stones. I think I must be a punk turned hippy, or at least a ‘cynical mystic’!

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

Stonehenge_Summer Solstice 2015

And it doesn’t stop there, as the following week I was in Hamburg, for a very enjoyable time shooting animals for a Greenpeace calendar…….but that can wait for another time!


My Perspective, Ingenuity and Running about…….June 2014

MY PERSPECTIVE, INGENUITY AND RUNNING ABOUT…….

Although funding for the Shifting Perspectives exhibition ended in 2013, GlaxoSmithKline still sponsor ‘My Perspective’. My Perspective is a photography competition for people with Down’s syndrome.  The annual competition is open to anyone with Down’s syndrome and the only rules are that 1. You must have Down’s syndrome and 2. You must have taken the photograph yourself.

Of the three hundred entries I edit them down to 25 finalists. These 25 images are then ‘judged’ by a panel chosen by the Down’s Syndrome Association. The awards ceremony is held at The Orangery in Kew Gardens, and for the fourth year running it has been a simply beautiful evening. This years winner was Stephen Thomas who received a Canon camera as his prize.

Stephen Thomas

Stephen Thomas, My perspective 2014 Winner

Edward Giffin

Edward Giffin, My perspective finalist

David Kenward

David Kenward, My perspective finalist

Katy Francis

Katy Francis, My perspective finalist

REMAP

I have mentioned this very small charity before, because I just love what they do and I love working with them. Here are two examples of the way they change the lives of the people involved:

Meg loved needlework, but had a stroke which meant that she couldn’t use her left arm. It’s pretty hard threading a needle with one hand, so after her thread had run out she would have to wait for someone to come and thread the needle for her. Remap came along and ‘invented’ this very simple device that now allows her to thread her own needle and carry on sewing for as long as she wants. Brilliant!

REMAP

Then……..there is Kumba who has Polio and also has triplets! What if she wants to go out? Well, Remap designed, and fitted to her existing wheelchair, a system for all three children to be carried. But….. this was moveable so that she could fit through doors with them as well. Ingenious!

REMAP_Kumba_

BLENHEIM TRIATHLON

And it all makes you count your blessings, because then we start running about the place and do another triathlon. In the lovely grounds of Blenheim, we swim, cycle, run and raise a bit of money for Billie-Jo’s dance group ‘I Can Dance’.


Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo…….March 2014

TOKYO, TOKYO, TOKYO…….

Another busy, busy month…….

It was ALL about Tokyo, but before that……..

There was a trip to the Wellcome Trust Awards private view.

Some of my images, which are in their library, were up for the awards. The winning images are quite extraordinary close-ups of such things like flower stamen and a kidney stone…ouch! You can see the images here: WELLCOME IMAGE AWARDS

Still on the medical front, I had the pleasure of photographing Professor Dame Carol Black. She is a family friend and I have been taking photographs of her over the last decade or so. I am always in awe of the good work she has done and what she has achieved in her life.

Another trip to Parliament, this time for Sheffield University. Walking past statues of Cromwell, Disraeli, Galdstone etc the feeling of history pervades the place and even though this country has it’s many faults, I can’t help but feel it is a privilege to live in such a democratic country.

Another exhibition and Private View, this time to Suzie Moffat’s – Heart & Sold.

Suzie has curated a body of work by people who have Down’s syndrome and has produced a quite wonderful exhibition. The work is of the highest standard and she has created an exhibition that shows off the talent well. Here is a short film from the opening night by the young film maker Agi k : OPENING NIGHT FILM 

And THEN it was off to…………..Tokyo baby!

Last March, the wonderful Maiko Watanabe asked me to send over a small Shifting Perspectives exhibition to Osaka. I designed some boards, we had the text translated into Japanese and the exhibition was received so well that the Japanese Down Syndrome Society asked if they could have a larger exhibition in Tokyo.

And then they invited me out to give a few talks…which was nice. (Fiona decided that she ought to accompany me, so off we went to Tokyo.)

A lot of work went in to preparing the prints and (virtually) working out which work should be what size and hang where on the gallery wall, so moments after an eventful and delayed flight, I was very happy to walk in to the  Itochu Art Gallery to see the work brilliantly printed and hung perfectly.

And then it was a whirlwind of talks and engagements and interviews. The highlight was a Q & A session at the gallery, with the internationally acclaimed photographer and all round very decent man, Joji Hashiguchi. It was a real honour to meet ‘George’ as I have been aware of his work for many years.

We met so many people and were treated like royalty.

From visits to the fish market and sushi breakfasts, to visiting one of our hosts grandparent’s house and more sushi, to very fancy BBQ restaurants, to the oddness of Shubaya crossing, to a golf driving range on three floors in the middle of the city at 10pm, to taxi doors that open automatically, to the general politeness and cleanliness………..to the great fashion sense, to all the bowing and handing over of business cards, to the sense of excitement that grips the whole city at the imminence of the cherry blossom, to the sense of tradition………..I could go on, but I think that you can tell……. I LOVE Tokyo!

And, of course, the exhibition was a great success!

One of my works is a series called ‘365’. The Japanese had asked if they could do their own ‘365’ and of course I said yes. The brilliant photographer Eri Takahashi took the photographs and was so happy with being part of the whole ‘project’, that she is going to carry on working with JDS to create their own photographic work.

A huge, massive thank you to all the many people who were involved in the exhibition and who all made it such great success and such a memorable trip.

And here are a few photos!

Shubaya Crossing

Shubaya Crossing

Shubaya Crossing (1)

Shubaya Crossing

Shubaya Crossing

Tokyo

Shubaya Crossing

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo

Shifting Perspectives exhibition, Itochu Aoyama Art Square

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (7)

Kazuhiro Takemura, Richard Bailey, Joji Hashiguchi, Maiko Watanabe

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (6)

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (5)

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (4)

Sp Exhibition

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (2)

The film director – Takashi Tokida, Kazuhiro Takemura

Shifting Perspectives exhibition Tokyo (1)

Mr Junko Nakanishi, Director of JDS.

Fish Market Breakfast

Very early fish market breakfast…

Tokyo Fish Market

Tokyo Fish Market (2)

DSC_6857 copy

Tokyo Fish Market (1)

Only Mrs B at Shubaya Crossing!


Pigs and Parties…….December 2013

PIGS AND PARTIES…….

Oh Dear into February and I’m already late.

Note to self….Must keep blog up to date, must keep blog up to date!

Well….Goats, Sheep, Chickens………forget about all of them, it’s now all about the pig!

Those good people at Modern Farmer have got me photographing the wonderful pig, in all it’s variety of sizes and shapes. Clare and Robin, at Oakland Pigs, open their farm gate to me and we spend a lovely day photographing their prize pigs.

It was a real treat to visit their farm and see how well looked after their animals are. We photographed British Saddleback’s, Tamworth’s, Gloucestershire Old Spots and lots of little piglets. The very noisy Tamworth was my favourite, not least because it’s ears don’t fall over it’s face.

Can’t show you any just yet as the magazine hasn’t gone to print, but below is my assistant for the day (school holidays) holding a baby British Saddleback.

After the success of the Shifting Perspectives exhibition in Osaka last year, the Japanese Down Syndrome Association have asked for a larger exhibition to travel out to Tokyo……and they have invited me out there as well…….which is nice! I have spent a lot of time organising the exhibition, designing posters etc, but am ahead of the game and can now just get excited about going!

They are publicising the exhibition really well and have shot and produced a ‘365’ using Japanese children, which is quite wonderful and also a little film, with a bit of me and some ‘interesting’ music.

YOUYOU Mentoring host a small Christmas party at The Premises Studios in the East End. The more than wonderful Laura Pradelska, from Game of Thrones, comes along to lend her support and to read a Christmassy poem, beautifully! Our young Poetry Mentees are there as well and also read a Christmassy poem. (Stuff about that here.)

And then, long-time friend of YOUYOU, Dan Gillespie-Sells from The Feeling , gets up to perform a solo acoustic set, which is just AMAZING and gets us all in the mood for a VERY MERRY XMAS!

Daniel & Pig

Daniel and a Saddleback piglet.

Dan Gillespie Sells.Premises Studios

Dan Gillespie-Sells, acoustic set at the Premises Studios. (Photo: Susannah Altimes)

Shifting Perspectives in Japan

Japanese Down Syndrome Association poster for the Shifting Perspectives exhibition in Tokyo.


I Don’t Care…….November 2013

 

I DON’T CARE…….

Our good friend Carolina Giammetta wrote and directed a short film ‘about’ Down’s syndrome and the choices people make, called ‘I Don’t Care’, which she shot at our house earlier in the year.  The film isn’t about us, but more about how she has come to see Down’s syndrome through her relationship with us and other people she knows who have children with Down’s syndrome. In fact, her main inspiration was the Shifting Perspectives exhibition.

Our daughter Billie-Jo was one of the actors and it is a VERY moving, beautifully shot and directed film, with wonderful acting.

There was a cast and crew screening at the Warner Bros. offices in Soho, where we got to see it on a big screen and it really is beautiful!

She is taking it to all the festivals, so it can’t be seen online at the moment, but here is a link to a snippet of behind the scenes.

I Don’t Care snippet of behind the scenes!

My pigeons are making a come back, with quite a lot of interest, in articles and print sales, so I have decided to have a look at ‘crowd-funding’ to get the book published.

I have it all ready to go, but will wait until the New Year, before ‘going for it’!!

Watch this space.

Here they are hanging at This is Dare, an ad agency in Soho.

The kids are swimming and then swimming a bit more. We are gala’s and more gala’s and then another gala…..sweltering on the side of the pool, for a race that lasts a couple of minutes……. but you know we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

IDC POSTER V 2 medium

Pigeons at thisisdare


Mayoral Proclamations, 100 year old’s and lots of sheep…….September 2013

MAYORAL PROCLAMATIONS, 100 YEAR OLD’S AND LOTS OF SHEEP…..

Earlier on in the year David Guion from the Dublin Arts Council  called up to talk about another Shifting Perspectives exhibition. We thought the way ahead might be to team up local photographers, with a member of the local Down syndrome community, and for each to each produce a body of work.

So, DAC working with DSACO (Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio) organised for Columbus photographer Shellee Fisher to work with Jennifer Cunningham Fox, Keo Khim to partner with Kyle McKay and Cameron Sharp to create artwork with Shane Roussi and Jeremy Engberg.

He also suggested that I might like to visit Dublin, Ohio again and that…. perhaps…. I could bring my daughter Billie-Jo along. Guess what..I said yes!

I took some portraits of Billie-Jo, and on a day trip to Dungeness, Billie-Jo produced some great shots, which you can see below. We spent a week in Dublin, being spoilt rotten…. again! David and his team are so generous and such great company that it is always easy to visit them and hard to leave. They really have taken Shifting Perspectives to heart, and to see them taking it out into their community, is a wonderful thing for me to see. There were parties for Bill, VIP receptions and the Columbus Buddy Walk, where the gallery staff were ‘Team Billie-Jo’.

The Columbus buddy walk attracts 5’000 people and raises around $300’000 in one day. I facilitated another workshop for a group of young adults who have Down syndrome, but this time they all took photographs of each other and did a great job of it too. We visited Mayor Lecklighter again, at Dublin City Council. He honoured us with another proclamation and as they film each council meeting you can see Billie-Jo (and me) thanking the mayor, at about 5mins 40secs in, HERE.

Last year, the day after flying back I drove down to Cheltenham for a week of Post-Grad brochure shooting, at the University of Gloucestershire. This time it was the week before. They are such good fun down there, we get some great shots and the days rush past. Looking forward to going back again in November.

The day after flying back, the kids are at Hever Castle for their first triathlon. In fact seven cousins take part and really enjoy it. Even the freezing cold open water of the lake doesn’t put them off.  Very proud of our little nine and ten year old.

Whilst in Columbus cafe I spot a Modern Farmer on the magazine rack, with my goat on the front cover. Well………forget the goats, it’s all about the sheep!! Am driving all over the country shooting sheep, but you will have to wait and see.

Oh, and do you know any 100 year old’s? I was shooting for the RNIB at one of their care homes and took some portraits of a 105 year old. I am now taking portraits of people over 100 and am looking for one hundred, 100 year old’s…..so if you have a grandma or aunt who have hit the century…….do tell!

Billie-Jo and friend at schoolBill and friend at school.

Billie-Jo at school

Bill at school

Billie-Jo at karate.

Bill at karate

Bill's Ohio Artwork artworkBill’s photographs for the Ohio exhibition.

DAC Workshop groupDAC Workshop group

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire


Pigeons, Summer and Outdoor exhibitions…….July 2013

PIGEONS, SUMMER AND OUTDOOR EXHIBITIONS

Got a call from the Independent on Sunday, saying they would like to show some of my pigeon images in their New Review magazine, in the Portfolio section.

Double-page spread and it looks great!

There is no funding, but I am carrying on with Shifting Perspectives.

Get a call from a wonderfully passionate lady called Sherone who works at Luton Council. She wants to show Shifting Perspectives. So, I pull in a mate to build a new outdoor exhibition and take it up to Luton for their Disability week. It looks great at Stockwood Park and also at Luton library.

Summer’s here!

Inependent on Sunday Pigeon spread

Independent on Sunday, New Review

Luton Disability week

Learning Disability week, Stockwood Park, Luton

Luton Disability week.

Learning Disability week, Stockwood Park, Luton