Saturday 17th November 2012, saw the launch of the Near Neighbours – ‘Faithful Friends’ photography exhibition at St.Martins church in Birmingham’s Bullring. The launch was attended by a large number of guests, many of whom had taken part in the making of the pictures as well as The Bishop of Birmingham, The Lord mayor of Birmingham and the evenings entertainment Phoenix Nights very own Janice Connolly. There was also a recorded interview with the Bishop, which was aired on BBC WM on Sunday morning. Also during the week a segment for BBC news was recorded, which will be aired this week. It was a fantastic evening in a beautiful venue. The exhibition is on during Interfaith Week (November 18th – November 25th ). Images in the exhibition can be see here.
If you dont know who Gregory Crewdson is check out his Wiki . Gregory is a photographer and genius, the efforts he goes to, to set up his photographs is just unbelievable. He made a documentary, that took over 10 years to make, looking at his work and life. Here’s the trailer and blurb for the movie: “Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work—through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus. Childhood fears and ideals, adult anxieties and desires, the influences of pop-culture all combine to form who we are, and for Crewdson, motivate his work.”
I’ve been chosen to photograph the Near Neighbours project. A series of images that represents how different people of different faiths, in the same community have come together. As with any photography project its been amazing so far, meeting different people, with different stories in different locations. In the main, I’ll be creating images of two people in one location that tells a story.
What makes the project exciting and interesting to shoot, other than the people, is the challenge of using a pre-determined location and using lighting to do so. Usually, you scout around for locations or as with environmental portraits a mutual agreement of the location to be used. Then is the challenge of lighting the scene, so far its been kept simple, based on the location and story to be told. Some provide a natural backdrop others have to be worked on and certain decisions made but thats all part of being a photographer.
I’m also taking individual shots of the people who have participated in the project, here’s one of the people that took part. It was a real pleasure to shoot, apart from the wonderful cup of coffee that she made me, it was interesting finding out about her life experiences.
Heres the official project line:
Near Neighbours is a Government-funded programme which works with local faith communities and small organisations to bring people of different faiths together – turning neighbours into friends.
To celebrate their first year of work in Birmingham, Near Neighbours are producing an exhibition of friendship featuring photographs of people who have become friends through the programme. The exhibition will be launched at St Martin’s in the Bull Ring church during Interfaith Week (November 18th – November 25th ) We are delighted to be working with OutroSlide Photography on this project.