To celebrate its tenth anniversary, private equity company Actis commissioned photographer Harry Cory Wright to capture the communities, projects and businesses the company has invested in worldwide. His photos, taken using a nineteenth century plate camera, are now on display in a touring exhibition and book designed by London studio Rose.
A Vantage Point features photographs of a vast range of people, places and projects; from a tea estate in Mukono, Uganda to a hair salon in Mumbai and Johannesburg's Nelson Mandela Bridge. The series offers a fascinating look at changing infrastructures, rural communities and local businesses, as well as promoting the company's work in emerging markets.
George Goch-Johannesburg-Naledi Railway, S Africa
"The idea was very simple: to try and represent the breadth of the company's work, which is very diverse, and shape that into a show," explains Cory Wright. "It was important to represent the key markets [the company invests in India, Africa, China, Latin America and South East Asia] and key sectors but most importantly, the set had to work as a series ... we wanted each image to capture not just the investment, but the life around it," he adds.
Based in Norfolk, Cory Wright is best known for his landscape photography, such as Journey Through the British Isles, a series documenting the British countryside. His series for Actis, however, features a mix of portraits and still lifes, from close-ups of industrial machinery to scenes of chaotic cities, building sites, busy restaurants and medical centres.
"It's quite different to the photography used in a lot of our branding, which is more people based [often featuring close-up portraits], but every picture tells a story," says Actis chairman Paul Fletcher.
A picture of a jeweller outside his shop in Cairo, for example (below) represents the swathe of businesses in emerging markets switching from cash payments to card in a growing economy, while one of a family outside their home in rural Uganda (top) represents investments in the electricity poles and cables supplying power to the area. Insulated cables make it more difficult to tap into the power supply, while reducing the risk of death or serious injury when attempting to do so.
7 Days Inn, Beijing
Emerging Markets Payments, El Beeb jewellers, Cairo
Cory Wright travelled to India, China, Africa and Brazil to shoot the series, spending around two weeks in each country he visited. "I didn't have to report back much [while shooting] - Actis put a lot of faith in me," he says. “It’s quite an unusual project for them - and for me, having that level of freedom and no art director around - but they realised that if you allow people to just do their thing, the result is ten times better than it would be otherwise."
The full set of over 60 images is compiled in a book, designed by Rose, which will be sent out to Actis' key clients. Twenty-one have also been reproduced as large scale prints for an exhibition curated by Nicola Bunbury.
Investments in tractors, ATM machines and electronic payment systems may not seem like compelling subject matter for a photography series, but Cory Wright has captured some beautifully detailed scenes that offer a real snapshot of life in the areas where Actis invests.
Byculla Pharmacy & Stores, Mumbai
Images were shot on a large format plate camera, which Cory Wright has been using for over 20 years. "It's very slow, and expensive [the cost of film and processing is around £50 per shot] but it's very good at dealing with place and space - it affords everything a relevance in the picture," he says.
"It's very easy to compose in a way, as such a large screen, but [with this kind of camera], it's not so much about the precision of how you take the picture. You can only ever get the notion of something – you can never read the scene closely when you’re there – so you just rely on what the camera will reveal later. It’s a very pleasing process. You know when the film comes back there’s going to be all this other stuff in the scene that you hadn’t thought about," he adds.
One of the biggest challenges during the project, however, was transporting the camera and film, explains Cory Wright. "The biggest concern was travelling through airport security - as there was no guarantee the film would survive X Ray scanners [which can damage unprocessed images]. After travelling to India we had to come back to the UK, have pictures developed and restock with film before we went to China," he says.
Following a display at London's Saatchi Gallery this week, the exhibition will travel to Sao Paulo later this month, before visiting Mumbai, Beijing and Johannesburg.
Super-Max, Precious Hair Cutting Salon, Mumbai
Heritage Place, Lagos
Banque Commerciale du Rwanda, Kigali
Spread showing image of tea estate in Mukono, Uganda
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, Easter Cape
Exhibition invitations designed by Rose, who also created the identity and graphics for the show
Images on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London last week
As part of today's #1mCR Twitter fun we are giving away a couple of splendid prizes, including this set of six new titles from Laurence King. To be in with a chance of winning them, all you have to do is get your visual-thinking hat and read on...
As we reached 1m followers on Twitter this morning, we thought we would like to say thank you for helping us get there and offer up a great prize for one lucky CR reader.
Publishers Laurence King have kindly dontated six new books for us to giveaway (as displayed above).
They are: Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars; Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts; TM by Mark Sinclair; Editorial Design by Cath Caldwell and Yolanda Zappaterra; Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera by Robert Shore; and 100 Ways to Create a Great Ad by Tim Collins.
As we're celebrating a digital achievement, for this competition we thought we would turn the focus onto our other love: print. So to win this fine selection of paper-based objects, all you have to do is correctly guess the height of the pile when the six books are placed on top of one another*. Old school competition! (*Not end on end! Books will be piled up on top of one another, you know, in a conventional book-piling manner.)
If it helps, page numbers (and dimensions) of each of the books are available on the LK website. But you're a canny lot – and we reckon someone can have a decent go at guessing the combined thickness of all six. If you guess correctly, or if you come closest to the exact figure as verified by our ruler-wielding friends at the publishers – you win the stack.
A few pointers:
– Answers in millimetres, in the comments below, please. Remember to leave your name and also email address along with your guess. If you don't leave an email we won't be able to contact you if your guess is correct.
– Tt would be wise to try and plump for a figure that no-one else has guessed so far, but in the event that the correct answer is left by several commenters, the first to have left the answer wins.
– The competition closes on Monday October 20th at 11am. Any answers posted after this will not be counted. The correct answer and winner's name will be published on the post later that day.
This competition is now closed – Winner announced!
Thanks to everyone who entered, but we can now reveal the winner of the six Laurence King books.
The height of the pile of six books was measured at LK HQ and confirmed as:
Our winner is "Stephanie" who was the first (and only) person to guess 151 mm correctly at 16.08 on October 16. Well done Stephanie! An email is on its way to you now.
To celebrate reaching one million followers on Twitter, we're also offering 30% off all subs packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.
CR reached 1m followers on Twitter today, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to look at some of our most retweeted stories and, if you're a CR follower, tell you a bit more about the million-strong gang you're part of. To celebrate, we also have a great CR subscription offer for you...
Thanks to our followers we've just reached a milestone on Twitter – to celebrate that fact we're offering 30% off all subscriptions packages until midnight (GMT) on Friday October 17 – go here for details.
Our very first tweet, sent out on February 23 2009, read "Creative Review's first tweet". We like to think that it was this kind of in-depth yet pithy analysis that helped us on our way to reaching a million followers this morning.
Looking back over our 14,000 or so tweets (exporting data from Twitter Analytics) many of them certainly did OK, plenty did very well, but a select few went RT-crazy.
In fact, two of our most popular tweets ever were sent out within the last couple of months: one linked to a story on the design of Aphex Twin's highly-anticipated new record; the other linked to images of, yes, some radical Norwegian banknote design. A look back at the stats reveals that our followers are interested in a huge range of subjects.
So, where are you from?
Well, according to TweepsMap, 29.1% of our Twitter followers are in the US, 26.3% in the UK, 3.5% from Canada, and 3.2% in India.
Indonesia represents 3% of our Twitter audience. It's a very international crowd with a further 8.7% of followers based in 191 different nations. Listed by city, the top five places are London (6%), New York (3%), LA (2%), Jakarta (2%) and Washington DC (1%).
And what do you like?
The results show that it's as wide a set of subjects as our audience is international – and also reflects the breadth of creativity CR aims to cover.
Using MyTopTweet we can bring up the most retweeted CR tweets of our last 3,200 but, again, exporting from Analytics and reordering the data gives us a better idea of what was popular over the last two years.
Our most retweeted RTs or MTs – i.e. retweets of images tweeted by other people, or links to external sites – include a shot of a Dutch bricklaying machine in action, a Richard Jolley cartoon for Private Eye and the news that twelve of Tom Gauld's Guardian strips are now – or at least were at the time – available as prints.
But looking at the most retweeted tweets that link to our own blog stories, there was a really interseting mix. So, here's the top ten, covering the last two years.
1. We've noticed how images have become key to Twitter over the last few years and this one, which linked to details on our just-published World Cup issue, seemed to sum up the state of the beautiful game:
Communities, Collectives and Collaboration is the theme for the sixth edition of Brighton Photo Biennial, and with so much to see this year, a single visit won't seem like enough time to take it all in. So here are just a few highlights, including a show at the soon to be demolished Circus Street Market exploring the resurgence of photography collectives.
(Pictured above: Image by Jack Simon, from Burn My Eye Collective)
From the series Parana River: A Silent Death by Toni Arau (Ruido Photo)
From the series La Sala Negra, by Pau Coll and Edu Ponce (Ruido Photo)
Barcelona-based Ruido Photo, who work across Spanish speaking countries, present two series of dark, documentary work. Sala Negra looks at the pandemic levels of violence in Central America; and Parana River: A Silent Death, explores how the encroachment of large companies and pollution is effecting the disappearing communities around South America's second largest body of water.
Falling Angel by Zisis Kardianos (Burn My Eye)
Frédéric le Mauff (Burn My Eye)
Burn My Eye, made up of 14 members across three continents, was formed in 2011, through 'the Hardcore Street Photography group', an online Flickr community. They are exhibiting a selection street photography from various members, who share a passion for straight and candid shots but with each artist being distinct in subject and style.
From I Reminisce and Cry for Life, by Agnieszka Rayss (Sputnik Photos)
From The Winners, by Rafal Milach (Sputnik Photos)
Primaveral Forest by Jan Brykczynski (Sputnik Photos)
Sputnik Photos, founded in 2009 by nine documentary photographers, are based across Eastern Europe. Although working geographically separately, they are united by a desire to share their experiences of post-Soviet transformation, and present Stand By, which documents life and communities in Belarus - ‘the last dictatorship in Europe'.
Red Shoes, from the Still Here series, by Lydia Goldblatt (Uncertain States)
From the Realm series, by Carolyn Lefley (Uncertain States)
From the Res Extensa series, by Federica Landl
Uncertain States are also exhibiting, a loose confederacy of 100 writers and artists working through an open submission process. They primarily publish and distribute a free quarterly broadsheet of lens-based art, with the aim of creating a space of shared language and purpose.
Installation shots from The Photocopy Club: A Giant Collective
From A Return to Elsewhere by Kalpesh Lathigra and Thabiso Sekgala
From A Return to Elsewhere by Kalpesh Lathigra and Thabiso Sekgala
Also in this space catch The Photocopy Club: A Giant Collective, with the international exchange of work in partnership with Joberg Photo Umbrella, produced through an open call for people to form collectives and submit work around the theme of communities. And A Return to Elsewhere by Kalpesh Lathigra and Thabiso Sekgala, who work collaboratively to document communities in two locations (Marabastad and Laudium in South Africa, and Brighton).
Demonstration against the Historic Compromise, alliance of the Christian Democracy (DC) and the Italian Communist Party (PCI), Rome, 1970s, by Team Editorial Services/Alinari (Courtesy: The Archive of Modern Conflict)
Other highlights include Amore e Piombo, a collection of press photos by Rome-based agency Team Editorial Services, tracing the politics and celebrity of 1970's Italy at the Old Reference Library in Brighton Museum; Real Britain 1974, with postcards from the Co-Optic group, including social documentary photography from the likes of Martin Parr and Nick Hedges, at Dorset Place Gallery; Stories Seen Through a Glass Plate with lightboxes around in Lewes, showing images from Edward Reeves, the world's oldest photo studio; and Simon Faithfull's boat-sinking project, Reef, at Fabrica.
Girl on a Spacehopper, Sirkka-Liisa-Konttinen, 1971 (Courtesy Amber and L Parker Stephenson)
Enoch Powell Electioneering, by Paul Hill, 1970 (from Real Britain 1974)
Many of the other archival and contemporary exhibitions are taking place in public spaces across East Sussex, plus there's Brighton Photo Fringe, and an extensive events programme of talks and workshops running alongside.
Brighton Photo Biennial runs until 2 November. For more info visit bpb.org.uk and photoworks.org.uk
Our latest pick of the best work submitted to CR's Feed includes a charming ad for Not on the High Street, some surprising pictures of paradise and a new identity for Australian production company Revolver. First up, though, is Craig & Karl's dazzling series of illustrations for Milk Studios, depicting designs seen on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week:
Photographer Oli Kellett and Martin McAllister's photo project, Welcome to Paradise, documents places in the UK with paradise in the title - featured locations include an industrial estate in Wolverhampton, a Bradford car park and a bland 1950s-style Brighton crescent, and are more unremarkable than idyllic.
"The naming of these service access-roads and industrial parks is so incongruous it manages to be simultaneously prosaic and romantic. It's a kind of naive enthusiasm trying to convince us of what surely everybody will realise isn't true, like an overeager parent naming their child Winner," say Kellett and McAllister. You can see the full set of images and a map of where they were taken at welcometoparadi.se
Production company Revolver's new identity and website, designed by Sydney studio Holt, is inspired by rolling film credits. The company's name appears cut in two at the top and bottom of stationery, to give the effect of motion, and the homepage on its website features a rolling feed of text displaying the names of the company's directors, set against full-bleed stills from a great selection of ads:
These stills from Yukai Du's animation project, Way Out, which reflects on our over-reliance on smartphones, feature a lovely use of colour and pattern (see more images and clips from the animated sequence on Du's website):
WCRS’s spot for Not On the High Street highlights the quirkier gifts for sale via the online retailer, from a dog shaped scratching post for cats to a garden in a fishbowl. The ad is shot in the same style as the retailer's Father's Day campaign (also by WCRS) and features a charming voiceover by actor Michael Gambon:
Adrian Talbot's new monoline font, Kelso, is described as "easy to read and easy on the eye" and is designed for applications which require "a rhythmic and fluid look." You can buy it or download a sample at talbottype.co.k
Last but not least is Italian studio La Tigre's cover illustration for Modus, the magazine for the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors, promoting a feature on infrastructure and public space. The magazine has commissioned some great covers in the past, including typographic designs in chalk and pixellated cityscapes by Totto Rena - you can see more of them on the Modus website.
We will be posting regular updates of work uploaded to the CR Feed. Submitting work costs nothing - just click here to register.
Materials alchemists, designers, artists, dancers and even Sherlock Holmes numbered among this year's hClub 100 list of some of the most inspiring figures in the creative industries
Each year private members' club the Hospital Club invites groups of industry judges, along with the voting public, to nominate inspirational figures across the creative industries, including theatre, TV, advertising, design, fashion and art. This year's group was announced last night.
Kristjana S Williams at last night's hClub 100 event
Creative Review was media partner for the Art and Design category where the final ten was as follows:
The 100 includes the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch along with musician Jon Hopkins, directors Ben Wheatley and Ringan Ledwidge, producer Juliette Larthe of Pretty Bird, Nils Leonard of Grey, Fi Scott of Make Works, Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman and Syd Lawrence and Tom Gibby of We Make Awesome Shit.
Also featured is Sarah Angold (above, as chosen in the Fashion category sponsored by CR's sister brand Fashion Monitor) whose studio combines extraordinary jewellery and lighting design with installations for the likes of the Design Museum and Tate Modern.
And, with surely one of the most unusual stories of the 100, self-styled Materials Alchemist Lauren Bowker (above) who invented the carbon emission sensing ink PdCl2 while still a teenager, went to study textiles at the RCA and now leads consultancy The Unseen "with material science, knowledge and visions infused by Magick".
The Unseen's projects include materials which change colour in response to their environment such as THEUNSEENAIR, a wind-reactive ink
The October issue of CR - a fashion special - is also available for iPad, where you'll find all the print mag content and monograph plus exclusive additional content in Hi Res, our showcase gallery section, and CRTV, with video profiles of creative people, animations and other moving image work from around the world....
In Features we talk to the founder of clothing brand Folk Cathal McAteer and the brand's regular graphic design collaborators IYA Studio; and new British-made shirt brand Tripl Stitched who work with up and coming illustrators including Jack Cunningham (who created this month's cover). Plus the future of in-store shopping experiences; fashion films; the rise of the Instagram fashion blogger; and why carrier bags are collectors items.
Along with a review of new book Read Me: Ten Lessons for Writing Great Copy; a look at the history of VW ads; and not forgetting our lovely regular columns from Michael Evamy, Daniel Benneworth-Gray and Paul Belford.
In Hi Res you'll find emerging talent from new book Fashion Photography Next; we revisit our favourite illustration commissions for CR's last monograph; Jonny Hannah's illustrated tour of the mysterious Darktown; work photographers navigating the balance between art and commerce in The Art of Fashion Photography; design ephemera of 1980s youth culture from new publication Rave Art; a graphic history of Soviet Space Dogs; Mark Wallinger's London Underground project Labyrinth collected in a new book; and absurdist DIY flyers from illustrator Nathaniel Russell.
CRTV includes profiles on illustrators Wasted Rita and Stanley Chow; a selection of fashion films from White Lodge and Nowness; Blue Zoo's animation The First Murder featuring the voice of Adam Buxton; a behind-the-scene look at Film4's new idents; and new work from stop-motion animation duo Kijek/Adamski.
Charming graphic illustrations and delicious photography make Here Design's Plenty More cookbook for Yotam Ottolenghi a real treat
With TV chefs aplenty, the cookbook market is a pretty crowded place these days. Most follow a pretty tried and tested formula with a portrait of the chef in question on the cover and the standard 'food porn' shots inside. With its previous publications such as Bocca, Ceviche and The Geometry of Pasta, however, Here Design have consistently pushed things into more interesting territory.
Its latest collaboration with Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More (Ebury Press), is no exception. The cover features graphic illustrations of various pots, pans and dishes (see top) picked out in a spot varnish. The illustrative approach (by senior designer Sakiko Kobayashi who designed the book with Caz Hildebrand) continues on the chapter dividers inside.
There is photography, of course, but Jonathan Lovekin's images are exceedingly enticing
Here Design, incidentally, has just shown the first collection of products from a new sister company Ink Works, featuring British made furniture, tableware, signage, and lighting. "The range [named Cognition] is inspired by the mechanics, machines, equipment and skills of Britain's makers and embodies the spirit of makers and manufacturing processes," Here Design/Ink Works say.
In Flickr's 20under20 scheme a panel of industry judges has picked the 20 most talented young photographers on the platform
“Some 15 to 20 years ago, to explore photography you had to be older, you had to have money to experiment, to buy a decent camera and the photography process was expensive,” said Bernardo Hernández, vice president of Flickr when announcing the scheme. “But today, photography has exploded, devices are portable and we see experimentation starting at a very early age. We believe that the best photography will emerge from people who are experimenting at a very young age.”
Hernandez chose the 20 photographers along with a panel consisting of photographers Lou Nobel, Cuba Gallery and Rosie Hardy. The winners (selection of images shown above) will be flown to New York for a gala prize-giving on October 1.
In addition, Vogue phoography director Ivan Shaw has chose Laurence Philomene (seection of images shown below) for the Curator’s Choice Award as part of which, he will mentor her for a year.
See all the photographers and their work here plus details of how to nominate people for next year's prize
Faber has unveiled the look of its new Modern Classics range, which is set to launch early next year. The new design uses plenty of white space with a subtle band of colour, plus a line from each of the texts...
Ten titles will launch the series in April 2015 (full details below), with a further six publishing in June. The series design has been led by Faber's art director, Donna Payne, who headed up the publisher's rebranding in 2013 (details here).
Continuing on from that work, Payne has brought in several of the colours chosen as part of the Faber palette for use on the new covers. "A translucent slab of intense colour taken from the Faber palette cuts across the central area of each cover to create a striking visual link when the books are spine out or displayed together on a table," she says.
The colour palette is derived from research carried out at the Faber archive in Bloomsbury, Payne told CR last year: "Many of our archive covers, particularly those designed in the fifties and sixties using bright acid shades, have aged down beautifully."
The first set of covers in the new Modern Classics series favour photography instead of illustration – the two others in the launch series, both awaiting approval, feature great photographic images – and are complemented with a clean, unfussy layouy and type design. All the text is set in Faber's company face, Swiss.
Hannah Griffiths, Faber's associate fiction publisher, who led the development of the series, says that the criteria for inclusion was that the tiles were originally published by Faber, and at least twenty-five years old. "This was to give us a real sense that these are books that can justify the term ‘modern classic'," she adds.
While the clever use of colour picks up on both the archive material and references the chosen image (see Nightwood above, for example), what's also encouraging to see is that the additional cover text comes from the book itself. There's no attempt to define or summarise the book in a pithy phrase, just a faith in the reputation of the work – and its new cover – to do the job.
According to the publishers, some of the editions will contain readers' notes, facsimile material from the Faber archive, and newly commissioned material to help contextualise the work. Faber writers have been involved in the selection process, being asked to nominate their classic of choice.
The first ten titles in the series are:
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes with introductions from Jeannette Winterson and T S Eliot
Ariel by Sylvia Plath (chosen by Edna O'Brien)
Pincher Martin by William Golding with an afterword by Phillipa Gregory
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi with an introduction by Zadie Smith
Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (selected by Barbara Kingsolver)
Venice by Jan Morris
Selected Poems by T S Eliot featuring an essay by Seamus Heaney
Look Back in Anger by John Osborne with an introduction from Michael Billington and an afterword by David Hare