Continuing our coverage of the Free Range Solo Exhibitions 2018 we were delighted to get the opportunity to catch up with the Manny Melotra and Alexander Mourant who were both awarded the Free Range Award at the Graduate shows last year. Metro provided both winners with annual mentorships and support in the lead up to their exhibitions plus £1000 credit for services at our lab.
The solo exhibitions open at the Truman Brewery on 1st February, here we talk to Manny Melotra about his project ‘The Broadway’.
1. Firstly congratulations on winning one of the Free Range awards last summer, can you describe what it meant to receive the award?
It’s an incredible honour receiving the Free Range award. To me it means I am progressing in my passion and in my work in the right way, it allowed me to believe there is more potential in myself with photography and my documentary work for which I am truly blessed to have won it.
2. Tell us about the body of work “The Broadway” which you will be exhibiting at The Truman Brewery?
‘The Broadway’ is an exploration of diaspora communities living together in Southall, West London.
The question behind the project is “Can you recreate a sense of ‘home’, when ‘home’ is being shared by people from various parts of the world wanting to do the same?”
The Broadway captures themes of migration, alienation, religion, community and austerity. The series takes you into a world full of enigma, as people from various cultural and religious backgrounds find themselves living side-by-side in a space with its own challenges.
3. How would you describe your photographic style and what inspires you to shoot?
Since picking up a camera I have always been curious about how people interact with their surroundings, fascinated with how the environment can shape an individual. I believe a person’s or people’s perspective on politics, attitude, fashion and lifestyle is always influenced by the conditions they are subjected to.
By taking pictures of these subjects, predominantly candid street photographs, it allows me to observe, reflect and find clarity in these situations. I have always been inspired by issues that affect me in some way or another because that trigger of emotion gives me the drive to pursue its meaning. I’m always being inspired by a variety of different artists and art forms but regarding documentary photography the works of Bruce Davidson, Steve McCurry and Don McCullin are a few of my favourites.
4. You’ve been working closely with the Metro team in the run up to your show, how have you found the production process?
The process has been simple and professional with the Metro team. I’ve learned a lot working with Manish on the editing and printing stage of my project, not only did he help bring out the finer details in my prints but also taught me some valuable tips that are crucial for the printing process. My mentors Steve Macleod and Kate O Neill have been amazing, they have been constantly motivating and helpful throughout the entire process, helping me by critiquing my work and building more confidence in my ideas with my project and in within myself as a photographer that will stick with me. I’m extremely grateful for having the opportunity to work with Metro and hope to continue to work with them again soon.
5. Will any of the prints be available to buy?
Yes, prints will be available to purchase at the exhibition and online through my website
6. You are also co-hosting a take over of the Metro Instagram account with Alexander Mourant during the week of the exhibition – how are you feeling about this?
I’m excited to be taking over the Metro Instagram story during the week of the show and really looking forward to showing some of the behind the scenes work of the set-up stages for the exhibition.
7. We know photographers always have one eye on their next project, what’s next for you?
I have already started work on my next project that is very personal to me; I am going to keep it private for now but will begin to show more about it soon in the coming months. You will be able to catch my current works on my Instagram account.
The Old Truman Brewery, Unit 11, Dray Walk, London
Private View: Thursday 1st February | 6:00pm-10:00pm
Friday 2nd – Monday 5th February | 10:00am – 7:00pm
Admission to the exhibition is free
Images © Manny Melotra
Last year the Free Range Graduate shows provided a platform for thousands of students to showcase their emerging creative works and celebrate new talent. Supported by Metro Imaging, the show also awarded two photographers Alexander Mourant and Manny Melotra both an FR Award for Photography – both photographers won the opportunity to exhibit a solo show in London in 2018.
This February sees the resulting exhibitions open at the Truman Brewery: ‘Aomori’ by Alexander Mourant and ‘The Broadway’ by Manny Melotra.
Metro awarded both winners with an annual mentorship and personal support in the lead up to their exhibitions, plus £1000 credit for services at our lab. We caught up with Alexander for a quick chat prior to the opening of the shows.
Watch this space for Manny Melotra’s interview which is coming soon…
Can you tell us about your body of work Aomori, which is being exhibited at The Truman Brewery?
I am showing previously unseen work, photographed in Japan, titled Aomori. I became greatly interested in how we invest ourselves into the medium, with our hearts and minds. I wanted to see if I could expand the possibilities of the photograph by giving it a body too, a soul almost, in which we could experience from the image itself.
Through Aomori, I chose to take a few ideas found in my previous work, refine them, and create a new body of work which directly expanded these metaphorical territories. I sought a location of infinite scale and depth to help activate my photographs. Continuing along the vein of organics and humidity, acting as psychological stimulants, I became interested in exploring the philosophy of the forest.
A notable development in Aomori is employing one singular colour. My interest was drawn, with an almost overpowering urge, towards the colour blue. For me, the immensity found in the colour blue, encourages a deeper reflection on our past, present and future. In the same way, the presence of the forest and the density of its nature, arrests for us, the relentless progression of time.
How would you describe your photographic style and what inspires you to shoot?
My inspiration is often non-photographic. Before travelling to Japan, I read books on metaphysics by Gaston Bachelard, Rebecca Solnit, John Berger and philosopher Martin Heidegger. Through my research, I became interested in Haruki Murakami, a prolific Japanese author, whose storylines fed perfectly into my own work. Artistically, my influence is varied, but I would definitely mention John Gossage, Hokusai and Lothar Baumgarten. However, there was no higher influence than the great Yves Klein.
Experimentally, I sourced blue glass from a church window, which was then cut to size to fit the filter holder of my camera. I wished to truly introduce this colour into my process, by exposing my film directly to the blue world. Glass, which is normally a material of separation, is employed directly in my process to unite both medium and idea. These photographs bring Solnit’s blue of distance near, into the world of the forest; they are by process, forever blue.
Before departing for Japan, I conducted digital tests with my blue glass. This technically helped gauge my ideal exposure time. However, it didn’t tell how the process would translate to film. Also, whilst travelling, I was continually experiencing varying weather conditions which resulted in inconsistent photographs. I am normally accustomed to shooting in a particular way. As it turns out, shooting the world of blue is ironically more akin to shooting black and white. Bright sunlight is of the utmost importance.
You’ve been working closely with the Metro team in the run-up to your show, how have you found the production process?
Through my mentorship with Metro Imaging, I have gained access to their expertise in all aspects of my exhibition. Technically, with Metro Imaging, I have expanded my skills with analogue film scanning, explored alternative printing processes and exhibition production. I found the team to be extremely passionate and keen to help produce the best results from my work. They have been essential to the transition from student to working artist.
We know photographers always have one eye on their next project, what’s next for you?
Good question. I have been so focused on the exhibition that I’ve yet to form a concrete plan. I am very interested in continuing to push the boundaries of my practice and undertaking residencies would create an exciting space to do so.
Will any of the prints be available to buy?
Of course! I am delighted to have received further funding for the exhibition from Arts Council England and ArtHouse Jersey. This has enabled me to produce a dynamic and visually stimulating show. Through using different scales, the show will have a natural rhythm, something which I feel will help my audience become calm and really engage with the photographs.
The work presented is all in small editions, printed on archival Giclée paper and framed in a pure white box frame. Ideal for young and established collectors.
The Old Truman Brewery, Unit 11, Dray Walk, London, | Tel: 0207 113 7592
Private View: Thursday 1st February | 6:00-10:00pm
Friday 2nd – Monday 5th February | 10:00am – 7:00pm
Admission to the exhibition is free
Images © Alexander Mourant
AOMORI exhibition is supported by Free Range, Metro Imaging, ArtHouse Jersey and uses public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
British Photographer Simon Roberts is renowned for his images of events and places across Britain that have drawn people together in public, reflecting on the nature of our shared histories and communal experiences.
Metro is delighted to have produced a selection of matt Lightjet prints for his upcoming exhibition ‘Merrie Albion – Landscape Studies of a Small Island’ which opened at the Flowers Gallery this month. It brings together some of his iconic images along with many previously unpublished photographs.
Creating a view of contemporary society that is far from straightforward, Roberts critically conflates the traditional genre of landscape with social documentary, layering ideas of national character through relationships to both place and particular moments in time.
The exhibition showcases a variety of Robert’s work from single images from around the time of his major photographic project ‘We English’, to his work as the official artist of the 2010 General Election as well as his series ‘National Property: The Picturesque Imperfect’.
Dewi Lewis Publishing have published a new book entitled ‘Merrie Albion’ to accompany this exhibition.
Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DP
Dates: 19th January – 10th March 2018; Private View Thursday 18 January, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Images © Simon Roberts, courtesy of Flowers Gallery London and New York
- Broadstairs Dickens Festival, Isle of Thanet, 19 June 2008
- Eid al-Fitr Celebrations, Jamia Mosque, Green Street, Bristol, 8 August 2013
- Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Shoreham Air Show, West Sussex, 15 September 2007
- National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, Parliament Square, London, 9 December 2010
An exhibition in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital
Metro is delighted to be supporting Scott Mead, a London-based American photographer and philanthropist producing Fujiflex C-Type prints for his upcoming exhibition Above The Clouds, which opens at Hamiltons this month.
Above the Clouds is a portfolio of images taken on regularly scheduled flights over several years, when during these journeys, Mead has been inspired as he gazed out the window at the endless horizon, finding that the journey itself can be more meaningful than just a means to a destination.
Mead’s photographic career can be seen as an expression of a deeply-lived life of exploration, reflection and discovery. In this most recent body of work Mead captures the physical, emotional and philosophical wonder of air travel with his images of the world above the clouds.
Much time and research was involved for Mead to learn how to best capture images that fully reflected the outer and inner journey. Analysing flight paths, the angle of the sun, the curvature of the earth, the windows and the speed of light, among other factors, Mead gradually began to develop an intuition as to what might come next throughout the journey.
All profits from print sales and a book of the same title, which has been published to accompany the series and exhibition, are donated to Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity in London, where one of Mead’s children was cured of a life-threatening illness many years ago. Since then Mead has been a deeply involved supporter of the hospital.
Hamiltons, 13 Carlos Place, London, W1K 2EU
Exhibition dates: 9th – 19th January 2018
Opening times: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday 11am – 4pm
Images © Scott Mead
1. JFK–LHR 11/10/2015, 08:14:20, Pastel Morning, New York Departure
2. LIM–CUZ 8/10/2016, 23:01:32, The Andes fading into misty sunset
3. JFK–LHR 31/10/2016, 11:32:05, Clouds over Massachusetts