Thursday, 15 October 2009

Photo winners

Last night we hosted a drinks reception where the winners of the Photo Competition were announced (we teamed up with the Reading Chronicle newspaper to run the event).

It was a great evening and all of the 7 finalist photos were framed and looked fantastic. Only one finalist was from the church, so well done Kat Starling!

The first three photos below took First, Second and Third place. Friends from the Reading Chronicle were also there and I will link to their article when it is posted.


dave bish said...

Sweet photos.

Tom said...

Why no people?

Sean Green said...

the brief was to capture the changing face of Reading ... no real reason why it couldn't be people. Interestingly, none of the entries were of people.

Tom said...

That's fascinating. And I wonder if this observation is a connection point for something else? Perhaps your next artistic engagment/enterprise? Perhaps film this time?

Even with the word 'face' in the brief for the photo competition, it didn't steer people towards human subjects? I wonder if it would have done in rural life? Or in the developing countries? If you did this in Bolivia, you would have much more human orientated photos.

See for example Yann Arthus-Bertrand work called "6 billion others: Portraits of Humanity from Around the World"

I wonder what the explanation for this lack of people is? Does it show something? Or perhaps it only illustrates something in the minds of the people who are drawn to photography in Reading in 2009? But it might say more than this too? I'm probably reading into it a bit (my experience in Reading informs this a little), because I actually find it a bit disturbing, but it actually might be an observation that puts its finger on something that I felt during my 7 years living in Reading in the last decade.

I wonder how you can explore this? Perhaps you could commission a piece of conceptual public art that tries to raise these question? Or another competition that tries to find where the people/humanity in Reading is (hiding?) from the photographic lens? Or some self-reflective art, which looks at why you have a postbag full of photos of buildings and not many of people? Perhaps its just easier to take a photo of a building?

And the wider question that could be being asked is: Where is the humanity in modernity? Is the modern face the side of the building you work in? Where does 'being me' fit into the frantic and stressed experience of modern life?

What is it to be human in the contemporary world? What are the questions and decisions that we must make? How can we negotiate the terrain?

How can we enjoy the benefits of being modern people, but not worship modernism? How can we be Christians, or even human beings, in a modern age?

For more on this see:
Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age

[Christian responses]
Barrs, Jerram. Being Human
Guiness, Os. Dust of Death
Wells, David F. God in the Wasteland
Lowman, Pete. Long Way East of Eden