Videre (taken from Latin, meaning ‘to see’) is the artist’s documentation, through images, of her own version of the 19th Century ‘Grand Tour,’ as she travels to learn and understand the world she inhabits.
Images reflect and document the work she sees, operating as if a botanist discovering, labeling and categorising rare flowers. Vetch examines and creates art works using various papers and linen, different print techniques and by sewing threads through photographic paper, exposing and manipulating light to achieve the sense her intuition found out in the field.
Vetch takes us alongside her on a journey through her lens, revealing an empathic, humanitarian abstract way of seeing. Images of lives glimpsed in Indian cites are translated through colour, the beads and colours draped across shop fronts, cars and buses or the silk of a sari being blown by the speed of a motor bike. The deserts and plains of Africa evoked through the blood red smear of the sun and red earth and the looming figure of her guide.
We managed to grab some time with Tom Oldham for a brief interview about his exciting upcoming exhibition, The Herder Boys of Lesotho:
Tom, could you tell us a little about a bit yourself and your background?
I’m a London-based portrait photographer. I have a rich experience in shooting the great and good from music and sporting arenas but do lots of personal projects alongside my commercial work.
How would you describe your photographic style and what inspires you to shoot?
Hmmm, you’re probably better qualified to describe my style than me, but just to help you along, you could include words like iconic, clean and crisp, powerful and of a premium quality. What inspires me to shoot? Apart from obvious things like having a mortgage and two children that seem intent on eating us out of house and home, the need to document every interesting face I see compels me to keep shooting. The drive to want to see and therefore hopefully understand more of the world is continual for me. The extent to which I love my job can’t be underestimated too, it’s given me everything – but please don’t worry – I’m permanently grateful for the perpetual opportunities I seem to attract.
The Herder Boys of Lesotho project which you are exhibiting in June, is unlike your usual work. Could you give us some background details and inspiration for the project?
Well, it’s only unusual in that the subjects aren’t famous musicians, sportspeople or artists I think. These are people with the hardest lives imaginable and are genuine icons of Lesotho, so I feel they deserve the same levels of lighting and lensmanship that any celebrity or sportsperson might. Arguably, more so. I went to Lesotho in 2009, shooting a group of motorcyclists riding through the mountain kingdom for a wonderful NGO (Riders For Health) and whilst winding through the highest roads on what felt like the top of the world, I would see these blanket-wrapped herder boys tending to their animals. I grew up in the countryside and it really struck a chord with me, so I swore I’d return to shoot their portraits, as I just couldn’t shift the idea from my mind.
Do you have any hopes to develop this project further?
This kind of shooting is the most special work I will ever accomplish – I already know this. It means everything to me and there are so many more incredible stories to be told in every country in Africa. I would love to do this and only this for the rest of my career, so if your readers feel similarly inspired to help me achieve such fantasy, they can contact me through my website or twitter and together we can make this dream a reality. Sound good?
Metro Imaging has printed your work for this exhibition, could you tell us about your experience printing with us? Did you have set ideas about how you wanted your final prints to look, what paper, frames, size etc. prior to coming to us?
It’s a bit like the Hasselblad connection for me really – there’s real comfort in working with a team of people so dedicated on achieving a singular goal, that is absolutely optimizing every aspect of the show’s capabilities. From initial discussions about marketing with Kate O’Neill to production with Courtney, framing options with Nick (an absolute don at his craft) and then the aesthetics of the print show itself with Steve – it’s a very rounded facility on offer. There’s this general assumption that the artist always knows what they want but what kind of idiot wouldn’t seek the counsel of this bunch? Their experience and expertise has brought much to the party I assure you – with more to come too.
You are a Hasselblad ambassador could you give us an idea what that entails?
I wanted to shoot Hasselblad as they are the best, it’s that simple. I bought one and it improved my output immediately and quite dramatically. I started flowing them some work I was enjoying shooting and they posted it on their website – which was a life goal in itself. Then they asked if I would shoot the campaign to launch the new H6D, which I leapt at of course. Their only stipulation on the brief was the delivery date – I could shoot whatever I wanted for their global campaign. Imagine that!? This illustrates everything you need to know about them – Hasselblad are completely focused on photographers first and truly care about your experience. They’ve offered me incredible levels of support but it’s without compromise on my output. I just really respect what they’re trying to achieve with their new kit, I use it and know it’s the best in the world right now so who better to work with?
You worked closely with Metro’s Creative Director, Prof Steve Macleod on the layout and curation of this exhibition, how was this this process for you? How was it for you having someone curate work which, I imagine, is intensely personal to you?
Steve’s been really bloody useful actually. I had a tight edit of images I wanted for the final cut but he really saw a different something in them and we’ve played with the format quite a bit – much to the exhibition’s gain I feel. He’s helped hone them into a flow and format and given them a patience and a sense that will undoubtedly add hugely to the visitor experience – though you best judge the fruit of this for yourselves. Steve’s advice was invaluable, made more so by him being the busiest CD in the capital.
Will any of the prints be available to buy?
Oh yes. Very short editions will be available on 26th June from 11am. See link below.
For more information about Tom Oldham
To buy limited edition prints
White Space, 5 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7HY
Exhibition dates: 26th June – 1st July 2017
Opening times: 11:00am – 7:00pm daily
Images © Tom Oldham 2016
Metro is thrilled to be supporting Simon Brann Thorpe in his first UK solo exhibition, Toy Soldiers, which opens at the Hospital Club Gallery, London. Metro has produced Vinyl prints and large C-type prints for the exhibition which provokes a dialogue on war and conflict, through conceptual art.
At this critical time of socio-economic conflict and upheaval, Toy Soldiers blurs the boundaries between documentary photography and art as Thorpe uses real soldiers, posing as toy soldiers to shine a light upon the impact, legacy and dehumanizing effects of war.
Recently receiving two nominations for the Prix Pictet Award, Toy Soldiers is a unique collaboration between a military commander and Thorpe in the creation of a unique allegory of modern warfare. Through the project Thorpe creates a critical lens through which we view the projected metaphor of war games and reality re-constructed onto the little known conflict in Western Sahara, known as ‘Africa’s last colony’.
Sofia Vollmer Maduro, a Prix Pictet judge, comments, “By captivating the viewer with the seemingly playful device of ‘Toy Soldiers’, Simon’s images successfully counteract our growing desensitisation to images of conflict. Upon careful viewing, these striking images reveal their poignant message on the fate of victims of warfare, while alerting us to the impact on society of current trends that view war as a game.”
Toy Soldiers is exhibited as part of Photo London, a world-class photography fair and a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. Running between 18th and 21st May 2017, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time. Incorporating venues including the capital’s major museums, auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London it is a must for photography lovers and creators.
The Hospital Club, 24, Endell Street, London, WC2H 9HQ
Exhibition dates: 19th – 21st May 2017
Opening times: Mon – Fri: 7am – 2am; Saturday: 8am – 2am; Sunday: 8am – 9pm
1. Flag Raising Over Western Sahara
2. Dormant Soldier #17
3. LemTailene Road to Nowhere
As the 1970s drew to a close I was all set to make it big in the cutthroat world of toffee apple production when I got the sack. So with my best mate from school I set up Metro. Back then it was just the two of us, Mike doing the Black & White printing and me as the courier (I still love racing my motorcycle). Nowadays my role is to drive the company forward; I’m always looking to take Metro in new directions, making sure we are always experimenting and evolving.
The strength of the Metro brand and what it stands for is very important to me; we are known for quality, service and innovation. However, we couldn’t have achieved this without giving everyone at Metro the opportunity to develop themselves and each other both professionally and creatively. Metro may be my baby, but everyone who works here is its uncle or auntie; it is this commitment and passion for the business that has helped us not only set the industry standard, but also maintain our reputation as an industry leader for over 25 years.
Professionally built bespoke lightboxes have long been a favourite of artists looking to appropriate the dramatic effect of an illuminated image but until recently lightboxes were restricted in size; light spread and weight by cumbersome florescent tubing that required deep profiles for cooling.
Now with the developments in energy efficient LED technology, light is available in sheets rather than tubes, creating new possibilities for lightbox size, weight, design and most importantly, colour-accuracy.
Joining forces with LED technologists, we have developed colour-accurate lightboxes that can be colour-balanced exactly to our Kodak Duratrans film material.
Metro Imaging are the only photographic printers in the UK offering colour accurate Kodak Duratrans prints up to 72” wide and our lightbox service enables our customers to create lightboxes up to this mural size.
At the top of the range are bespoke aluminium lightboxes, boasting the sophistication and understatement of hand-sprayed, powder-coated aluminium frames in virtually any size with a standard ultra slim 20mm profile.
The prices below are a guide to our Lightbox pricing. Final pricing by quotation
Image | Lightboxes produced for Mark Edwards for the ‘Monument’ WW1 Commemoration Project
Metro is thrilled to be official print sponsor for the third edition of British Journal of Photography’s Breakthrough Awards, offering students and recent graduates an opportunity to showcase their work and launch their careers.
Four outstanding photographers will be selected to have their work presented in a group exhibition in East London in addition to having their work published on BJP’s print, online and digital platforms plus expert advice on launching a successful career in photography
The judging panel consists of experts from the photography, art and publishing industries and will select a Series Award and Single Image Award winner in each category. The winning images will be printed by Metro and exhibited as part of the Free Range Graduate Shows at The Old Truman Brewery in June. Additionally Metro are supplying each winner with a bespoke printed portfolio following a portfolio review with our print experts, ensuring the best possible start in their photography career.
Winners will also be invited to professional-practice workshops and events taking place during the exhibition and where possible BJP will be happy to facilitate introductions to relevant industry experts.
Entries can be submitted in any format, style or genre and so long as you’re currently studying a BA or MA course (or equivalent), or have graduated with a BA or MA (or equivalent) within the last five years. The course does not have to be photography based.
A 35% discount on entry fees will be given to Metro followers using the promotional code btmetro17 at the checkout. Enter here
Call for entry close Monday 15th May 2017.
For more details about the Awards
Images (2016 Winners)
1. Daragh Soden – Young Dubliners
2. Jan McCullough – Home Instruction Manual
3. Piotr Karpinski – Woman in the Church No.1
The Saatchi Gallery and Huawei have joined forces recently in an initiative that offered artists, photographers and enthusiasts around the globe a chance to show their most creative selfies and take part in a highly publicised competition #SaatchiSelfie
Metro has printed and mounted many of the images in the resulting exhibition which features thousands of entries from around the world and continues at Saatchi Gallery through to the end of May. Entries have taken the form of a photographic selfie in which entrants were encouraged to submit images that were experimental and innovative and took the selfie in exciting new directions.
The show is the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from Velazquez to the present day, while celebrating the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity. Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work are selfies that have quickly became icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.
For more information
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY
Exhibition dates: closes 30th May 2017
Opening times: 10:00am-6:00pm, 7 days a week
Entrance to the exhibition is free
1. Dawn Woolley (Overall Winner), Cambridge, UK, The Substitute (holiday)© Dawn Woolley 2017
2. Ollie Haywardm Tunbridge Wells, UK, Gayngel 2 © Ollie Hayward 2017
3. Felicia Hodoroabă-Simion, Romania, Walk with myself in the park© Felicia Hodoroabă-Simion 2017