“The effort required by the quality of this work is simultaneously one of recollection and projection – perhaps essential actions in the reading of any literate photographic image, but in the context of our historically amnesiac culture an effort of ever-greater importance. The objective must be to see past the sheen of nostalgia to the pattern of a continuing complaint: that of our inability to find true solace or joy in the bright baubles we are persistently instructed either to seek or to become. Beyond the rewards of their humane lucidity (something not to be confused with individual generosity, but rather with respectful honesty) the virtue of time spent with these wonderful images lies in their timeliness. It is us they so clearly saw traipsing listlessly down this same street, some three decades into their future. We can no more disown them than the all-pervasive normalcy of the landscape that they so clearly prefigured.”
"Once upon a time the art student’s aim had been to absorb and then extend an established tradition; by the 1970s the overturning of tradition had become the established aim. The avant-garde had succeeded so well in demolishing the authority of the past that the challenge was no longer to outgrow the master but to find one — to seek out sympathetic precedents that would help define and enrich one’s own artistic future. In the fragmented landscape of contemporary art, each artist is obliged to fashion his or her own tradition out of a bewildering diversity of achievement and sensibility."
"Poetry is part of everything. You can’t have a really good work if it’s not touched by poetry. Poetry manifests itself in millions of ways: as rhythm, metaphor, mood. Sometimes it’s a type of emotional outpouring or necessity that’s not expressed through characters but through feelings. To me, poetry is the tragic sense of man. It’s a way of seeing things in the most complete way, the most absolute, and, to a certain extent, the most perfect. Where there’s no poetry, there’s no beauty, and without beauty no kind of artistic work can exist."
A small selection from the ongoing project National Trvst by photographer Jay Turner Frey Seawell, which looks set to deliver an excoriating and imaginative assessment of the relationship between politics, power and illusion.
A rare, lengthy and tremendously forthcoming interview with the phenomenal portraitist Judith Joy Ross, from October 2012. The discussion ranges across all of her series up to the work that comprised the wonderful book Living With War, and in it Ross is unhesitant in her frankness about the moral complexities of making the sorts of difficult, beautiful portraits that have continually marked her remarkable career.