Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Shrinking Horizons of Childhood MA Exhibition

Light Sensitive (MA Group exhibition)

I will show four 40x30" prints from my project The Shrinking Horizons Of Childhood
at this event in Baker St London this September. Note This Project now has its own Blog:

The MA Text
Mike O’Toole
The Shrinking Horizons of Childhood

Mike O’Toole’s part fictional part autobiographic series explores the tensions and culture of fear surrounding childhood. The children seem to be wavering between being objects of voyeuristic observation and willingly acting out roles in some vague performance.   

The Shrinking Horizons of Childhood deploys the aesthetic of confinement, contrasting the supposedly safe indoor space and the vibrating light coming through the windows posing no apparent danger, but still inaccessible. Surrounded by intangible, derealized images of nature reflected on the windows, the children come across as over-protected, locked in from whatever “might happen” outside and at the same time posing a threat to the established mechanics of society just by being out and about.

The photographic image functions an imaginary documentary, less preoccupied with reality than with fiction, echoing the essentially representable, imaginary reality learned from books and the internet the children tend to take for granted in their forced spiritual disconnection, and the socially imposed collective narratives of childhood, too vividly imprinted in their parents’ minds.    

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rhubarb-Rhubarb 2010

At Rhubarb I Showed my project The Shrinking Horizons of Childhood to Pat Lanza from the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles
 I also showed a broader range of work that I hope to exhibit at the Alliance Francasie in Dublin.
Over two days I had 15 meetings to show my portfolio and I left each person a limited edition mailer (see below) that was put together by Scott Burnett, at AAD.You can listen to him talk about creativity and the responsibilities of working as a graphic Designer here:

 These review events are a great opportunity to show work to a range of people (each person picks the reviewers they want to make meetings with over one to three days)
Then on saturday night at what was called the Portfolio Promenade,we then laid out our work on tables and both the public and ALL the reviewers came to see us .

“We believe that formal portfolio reviews like this are among the most proactive and efficient ways for serious, career-oriented photographers to meet many international photography experts and colleagues in a professional atmosphere,” said Jim Casper, publisher of Lens Culture. “Photographers connect directly with people who can help them with artistic and business goals. Its great for the reviewers too- they discover new talent, as well as the latest work of photographers who are already established.”

One of the best reviewers at Rhubarb, was a Dutch man Marc Prust from Paris Photographic Institute Spéos, another was Mary Anne Camilleri from The magenta Foundation in Toronto, she was direct, original and very interesting in her review of my work.
I met Tim Paton photo agent from Balcony jump London, David White from Duck rabbit, Jim Casper from lensculture, Maarten from Schilt publishing, Emily from contact editions, John from source magazine, Ute Noll from
Debra from Klomp Ching Gallery in New york, Bill Kouwenhoven from Hotshoe, Anna Reid from Pavilion, David from DMB media, Steven Mayles from V2photo, Simon Bainbridge editor of the BJP, Max Foxhall from Genesis, Anna Nordstrom curator at the George Eastman house.

Photographic artists I met , saw their work or drank with at the bar included: Richard Kolker, Ikuhisa Sawada (came over from Japan for it) Matthew Conduit, Stephen Vaughan, Olivia and Alison, Hin Chau, Nicky Walsh, lena Aliper.

Good face to face contacts were made, opportunities explored and I gained some new perspectives on my work which I am still processing.
This is an event I recommend to everyone for next year.
On the 630am flight over  I met an amazing man studying the five element principles of the art of Acupuncture, a story for another day...