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Posts by: Elizabeth Sulis Gear

Nighttime New Jersey devoid of people

New Jersey photographer Matthew Dempsey used to live in Hoboken in New Jersey, a city across the Hudson River from Manhattan. After fifteen years of looking across the water at “the city that never sleeps”, he and his wife decided to leave all that behind.

They moved back to his hometown further west to raise a family of their own. Now in a quieter place, Dempsey describes this move back west as a catalyst for his recent work Nighttime. The majority of the photographs shown here were taken in and around his hometown.

A harrowing portrait of the U.S. opioid crisis

“I want people’s hearts to be broken,” says photographer Jordan Baumgarten on his book titled Good Sick. “That’s what it can be like to live here.”

This is Baumgarten’s harrowing, photographic portrait of the US opioid crisis, shown through its effects on the artist’s neighbourhood in Philadelphia over a five-year period. We spoke with the artist about the book and his thoughts on the documentary genre in general.

One Photographer’s Experience of Chromesphesia in Pictures

Imagine you could not only hear your favourite songs, but also see them as vivid colours.

Dublin-based artist Andrea Lambe has chromesthesia—sound-to-colour synesthesia—meaning her perception of auditory stimulus results in her experiencing colours too.

An alternative view of Japan from a celebrity portrait photographer

The photographs in Super Extra Natural! were taken in Japan over the course of 16 trips made between 2004 and 2016. Celebrity portrait photographer Emily Shur travelled the length and breadth of the country, and on each visit tried to visit somewhere new. The aesthetic and feel of the series developed organically with each new trip and shoot. She turns her lens to what she finds most interesting in the moment with no preconceived idea about what she will find in a given place.

“I hesitate to even call this a ‘project,’ Shur tells me, “I didn’t set out to shoot a specific subject matter, or tell a specific story. For the most part, my guiding theme is to just be myself.”

Intimate portraits of Americans in their bedrooms (NSFW)

 

What goes on behind closed doors? It’s a curious thought that might pass our minds when walking through familiar or alien territory, though we seldom get a glimpse inside the  bedrooms of strangers. And yet the bedroom—a space synonymous with intimacy—may well offer the best impression of a person stripped of all the personas that we wear in public.

For the past two and a half years, Maine photographer Barbara Peacock has been travelling across the United States photographing people in their bedrooms. Her ongoing series American Bedroom is a sensitive, anthropological portrait of individuals, couples and families in the private dwellings we seldom see; the possessions with which they’ve surrounded themselves provide insight into their character, while the familiar environment and unthreatening presence of the photographer allows them to drop their guard. Each image is accompanied with a quote from the person portrayed, providing the viewer with a deeper sense of the subject’s character.

To witness the myriad of different cultures and personalities portrayed by Beacock that coexist in this vast territory—and vary regionally and based on factors such as class—the image of a homogenous cultural landscape that one might associated with this capitalist country is shattered.

A portrait of fatherhood in beautiful Iceland

What if women were not the only ones who received maternity leave—what if it were to become a universal human right? Photographer Callie Lipkin travelled to Iceland with her film team to meet the stay-at-home fathers and those who share parenting roles, taking advantage of Iceland’s progressive paternity leave. This is the latest instalment of her ongoing documentary series Dad Time.

Stories from the Sea in Greenland

90% of the immense land mass that is Kalaallit Nunaat, better known to anglophone speakers as Greenland, is covered in ice. The territory is known for its icebergs, wildlife; its vast wildernesses and traditional communities. But how are climate change and modernisation changing the the traditions of those who have long relied on hunting and fishing for subsistence?

As a consequence of climate change, the ice, which has long defined the territory and the cultural traditions of those whose reside there, is melting fast. The exploitation of finite resources and the threat to the fragile biodiversity are issues with which the people of this land are now having to come to terms.

“Modernisation is a problem for these communities too,” explains French photographer Camille Michel. The suicide rate in Greenland was twice the average of Lithuania between 1985-2012. “Greenland’s rapid development has led to a loss of cultural identity among the younger generations,” says Michel.

Help Protect Elephants at The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and Win a 7-day Kenyan Safari!

In the remote Matthews mountain range in Kenya, the country’s second largest elephant population are under the tutelage of community-run The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, which endeavours to reintroduce orphaned baby elephants to their herds. Reteti is about protecting elephants, but it’s also about empowering people. The local Samburu have recognised the important role of elephants both in protecting their fragile ecosystem, and improving the region’s economy.

Photojournalist Ami Vitale has paired up with musician Dave Matthews to produce this film about The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary featuring his song ‘Mother of Africa.’ If Reteti looks like a place you might like to support—and if you’re lucky, visit—all it takes is a $10 contribution to enter into the prize draw for a 7-day Kenyan safari along with tickets to see Dave Matthews at the Hollywood Bowl—and more! For more information on the prize draw see here. I spoke with Ami Vitale about elephant conservation, The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and her collaboration with Dave Matthews. 

How to make an ethical down coat that will keep you warm

Geese near Kapittelweg, Breda (2017)

Feather Collecting, Kapitalweg, Breda (video still #2)

Filling, sewing and making the down jacket with collected goose feathers (video stills)

“Last autumn, I was selected as an artist of The Arctic Circle Residency, a sailing expedition in Svalbard,” says photographer Sheng Wen Lo, with whom we talked last year about his long-term project White Bear. “While shopping for winter jackets for the journey, I realised that it was impossible for me to tell where exactly the feathers of mass-produced down jackets came from (live plucking, etc). Even though there are multiple certificates (such as RDS, which requires that geese are killed for meat before plucking), I couldn’t be sure about their origin.”

These photographs will make you question your assumptions about the human body

What is a body if not the sum of all its parts? Though strange and distorted, the bodies portrayed here are not manipulated in any way. Whether we regard these curious images with awe, feel repulsed—or experience a combination of the two—this is London-based photographer Chloe Rosser’s attempt “to turn some of our assumptions on their heads.” Her ongoing series Form & Function is on display at the Photofusion Photography Centre in London until 18 June 2018—a solo exhibition organised in partnership with the L A Noble Gallery.

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