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Metro has been a supporter of young, upcoming photographers for many years, believing that nurturing student and undeveloped talent is a rewarding and satisfying commitment.

As part of our student programme we were delighted earlier in the summer to announce Michal Bar-Or as the winner of the Royal College of Art/Metro Imaging Prize 2013, awarding a £1000 credit at Metro plus an invaluable year’s worth of professional practice mentorship.

Steve Macleod, Metro’s creative director and part the panel of judges for the RCA Prize commented, “It was a very difficult task I must say as the level of work was incredibly high this year. We are delighted to be working with Michal, her work has the potential to go in so many directions and it will be a pleasure to see how it progresses over this next year.”

Israeli born Michal titled her project ‘Works from the Palestine Exploration Fund Archive’ using her artistic practice to rethink the mechanisms we use to construct our histories and identities. With a collection of objects and images from the archive of the Palestine Exploration Fund (the first organisation established specifically for the study of Palestine in 1865) she looked at the very first European attempts to transform the notion of the land of Palestine by creating evidential links between the physical landscape and the Bible, using different conceptual and material approaches to challenge, disrupt and intervene with those past archeological documents challenging our notion of the land and our relationship to it.

“These (items) were imported, like me, from Palestine to London, in order to re-view my motherland through a foreign timeframe and ideology” Michal Bar-Or comments,

“This transformation still affects the reality and the politics of the region today.  Archaeology was one of the main tools for this transformation, as it created material evidence that could transform the biblical stories into historical facts.

“The work reflects upon my own identity. It exposes the dual relationship I have with my motherland as both a daughter of colonialists (Zionists), and as a native, as I don’t know any other home.

Click for more information about ‘Works from the Palestine Exploration Fund Archive’ project
Click for more information about Michal Bar-Or
A short profile film about Michal has also been produced. Channel 4 & Saatchi Gallery as part of a group of films about the shortlisters in this year’s New Sensations which selects the best UK art graduates  These will run during Channel 4’s Random Acts strand.

Images © Michal Bar-Or

Metro is delighted to support Kathryn Prescott, London born photographer and actress, in her first solo exhibition ‘What Makes Us Care?’ which opened this week at St. Martin in the Field’s Crypt Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. The project focuses on, explores and challenges the way in which modern society desensitises the homeless and individuals in need, on the street.

After spending several years acting and working as a portrait photographer she became aware of the strong reaction many people have when they recognise a face from the television. This combined with her interest in the issues surrounding homelessness was the inspiration for her project with all profits from her limited edition prints sold, split between The Big Issue Foundation and Centrepoint homeless young person’s charity.

Kathryn made a decision to use recognisable faces (Klariza Clayton, Craig Roberts, Sophie Wu, Jay Brown, Megan Prescott) from film and TV, looking destitute and broken as models for her images, with the aim to spark a sense of familiarity with the viewer and hence encourage them to take a second look.

Kathryn comments; “The idea is that this change in reaction will make the viewer wonder what that change in reaction really was, why suddenly they need to take a second look and why this person’s face causes them more of a reaction than would do a homeless person or runaway they passed on the street.”

Metro produced all twenty black & white resin and C Type prints for the show which continues until 13th October 2013.

Click for more information about the exhibition and for an article in Big Issue Magazine
Click for more information about Kathryn Prescott

St Martin-in-the-Fields Crypt Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JJ
Exhibition dates: 18th September – 13th October 2013
Opening times:
Monday & Tuesday: 8.30am-1.00pm & 2.00pm-6.00pm.
Wednesday: 8.30am-1.15pm & 2.00pm-5.00pm
Thursday: 8.30am-1.15pm & 2.00pm-6.00pm
Friday: 8.30am-1.00pm & 2.00pm-6.00pm.
Saturday: 9.30am-6.00pm
Sunday: 3.30pm-5.00pm

Admission to the exhibition is free.
Limited edition prints can be purchased at the venue for the duration of the exhibition

Images © Kathryn Prescott

Metro talks to photographer Tif Hunter on his recent exhibition ‘On Maltby Street’ and his fascinating use of Tintypes and the wet plate process.

Photographer Tif Hunter discusses his latest exhibition ‘On Maltby Street’ with Metro. Back in October 2011, Tif hunter set about taking Polaroid’s of stall holders he had met and befriended selling food and produce on his local market on Maltby Street in SE1, just round the corner from his studio.

As well as producing the Polaroid’s, he also took still life images of the goods available. Using a hand-built wooden camera, with nineteenth century lenses he employed the tricky use of the wet plate process inside his studio.

Tif discusses his passion for the almost lost art of Tintypes, a photograph which is made by creating a direct positive onto a sheet of metal that is blackened by painting, lacquering or enamelling and is used as a support for a photographic emulsion, first used circa 1853-1856. He also discusses his collection of old Polaroid film, some of which he used for his portraits, and treats like gold dust as well as his passion for his local market and the importance of supporting our local traders.