RPS Series of talks, from featured artists
Please join us on Saturday the 5th November for a series of talks around the RPS show ” Squaring the Circles of Confusion” – Neo Pictorialism in the 21st Century.
Due to the rail strike the talks will now be available on Zoom. See links below.
1st Image : Road into the Valley – Moonrise by Edward Steichen.
2nd Image : The Road to Debden by Ian Phillips McLaren inspired by Edward Steichen’s Road into the valley.
Squaring The Circles of Confusion curated by Zelda Cheatle HonFRPS, celebrates the work of eight contemporary artists. Each adopts a pictorialist approach through their aesthetic or process to their work. They address contemporary issues and at the same time demonstrate the beauty of the photographic image.
Catch the exhibition before it closes on 6 November 2022 and listen to talks by some of the featured artists.
Ideally people should book online (no registration needed) using the individual links here: https://rps.org/opportunities/squaring-the-circles/squaring-the-circles-of-confusion-collective-event/
Squaring the Circles collective event: eight talks
Time: Nov 5, 2022 10:15-1645 London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 861 8619 3760
Program of talks:
10.15 – 10.50 | Spencer Rowell
11.00 – 11.35 | Susan Derges HonFRPS
11.45 – 12.20 | David George & Zelda Cheatle
12.30 – 13.05 | Ian Phillips McLaren
14.00 – 14.30 | Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS
14.40 – 15.15 | Joy Gregory HonFRPS
15.25 – 16.00 | Céline Bodin & Zelda Cheatle
16:15 – 16:45 | Tom Hunter HonFRPS.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity dedicated to making life-changing breakthroughs in diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure.
Backed by our passionate scientists and supporters, we’re challenging the way people think about dementia, bringing together the people and organisations who can speed up progress, and investing in cutting-edge research.
We believe that medical research can and will deliver life-changing preventions, treatments and one day, a cure for dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK exists to make this happen and with your support, we’ll make life-changing breakthroughs possible.
I’ve set up a ‘Just Giving’ page if you’d like to make a donation to Alhzeimer’s.
Here is the link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-phillips-mclaren
A Special One-Off Afternoon Talk
The Royal Photographic Society is delighted to announce a special one-off afternoon of artist talks on 20 October by exhibiting artist Takashi Arai, Ian Phillips McLaren, Spencer Rowell, and a gallery walkthrough with curator Zelda Cheatle HonFRPS and Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS.
This is a unique opportunity to hear Takashi talk about this work featured in the exhibition alongside fellow featured artist and curator Zelda Cheatle.
The event starts at 1pm in RPS Gallery
Find our more and book here
5 November 2022
Gwen, Final Analysis by Zelda Cheatle
A lovely write-up in this months Amatuer Photographer magazine of my ’Gwen, Did I Want To Be Here?’ portrait, written by Zelda Cheatle.
My 5’6” tall image of Gwen can still be seen at the Royal Photographic Society ‘Squaring The Circles of Confusion’ exhibition in Bristol until November 6th along with great work by Takashi Arai, Susan Derges, David George, Joy Gregory, Tom Hunter, Ian Phillips McLaren, Céline Bodin and Spencer Rowell.
My portrait of Gwen is also about to be used to try to raise some awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research.
ng The Circles of Confusion’ exhibition in Bristol.
The portrait is also about to be used by Alzheimer’s Research to try to raise some awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s & Dementia research.
Squaring The Circles of Confusion
Giving the exhibition it’s full name Squaring the Circles of Confusion: Neo-Pictorialism in the 21st Century.
The exhibition is curated by Zelda Cheatle, RPS Honorary Fellow, and features work from Takashi Arai, Susan Derges, David George, Joy Gregory, Tom Hunter, Ian Phillips McLaren, Céline Bodin, and Spencer Rowell. The exhibition will be on display at RPS Gallery, Bristol from 9 September to 6 November 2022
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm, free admission
Venice Experimental Video And Performing Art Festival
I’m really happy that my work has been chosen and is showing at the Venice Experimental Video And Performing Art Festival at the Palazzo Bembo – Venice, Italy | 23rd April 2022.
The work on show is a video of my ‘Self-Portrait/ There’s someone In My Head…’ installation.
VENICE EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO AND PERFORMING ART FESTIVAL 2022 is focused on the relationship between body and space, and the hybridization between identities and cultural/physical/social/urban settings in contemporary time.
‘Self Portrait/ There’s someone in My Head…’ is an investigation of the inner ‘self’ through a Jungian lens.
Phillips McLaren has hand-crafted four effigies representing Jung’s four main archetypes, which, when combined, represent the whole ‘Self’.
Each video-sculpture characterises separate aspects of his identity, performing independently but at the same time, collectively creating a single self-portrait in a three-dimensional environment.
These performances range in delivery and dialogue and are designed to engage the viewer on multiple levels.
These performances range in delivery and dialogue and are designed to engage the viewer on multiple levels.
Some photos of the venue in Venice and then the video of the installation.
Salt Printing Masterclass at London Metropolitan University
This week I taught a Salt printing masterclass at The School of Art, Architecture & Design which forms part of London Metropolitan University.
Salt Printing is a contact printing process, which means that the final print will be the same size as your negative.
It was great to see the students immersed and having a great time making their own salt prints, all of which I’m happy to say turned out really well. It was a pleasure for me to see them working, enjoying and keeping this 183 year old process alive. Some of them even went back into the darkroom the following day to do more – happy days!
Personally, I think it’s fantastic that the head of the department at The School of Art, Architecture & Design push back the waves to make these masterclasses available to the BA photography students, giving them a larger creative tool-box, allowing them a wider visual language to express themselves.
It’s hard to imagine a time where there was no such thing as photography, especially today when everyone takes photographs.
Salted paper was the first photographic invention, for photography as we know it today.
Henry Fox Talbot’s discovery – making a negative in camera and using that negative to make multiple prints is the basis of all photography today. The Daguerrotype may historically mark the introduction of photography to the world but it only produced a single image.
Historically salt printing was thought to be dull and dead looking because it needed a contrasty negative for the long exposure scale – today with digital technology we can make digital negatives using curves in photoshop to suit salt printing and other alternative processes and creating prints with a beautiful longer tonal range.
Some of my own hand made Salt prints and behind the scene photographs of the Salt Printing Masterclass.
Many thanks to Kasia Kowalska for the behind the scene photos.
If you are interested in photography workshops, masterlasses, mentoring, or one to one photographic tuition, please email me at ian at ianphillipsmclaren.com
Cyanotype Prints & Cyanotype Toning
This week I taught a masterclass on cyanotype printing at The School of Art, Architecture & Design which forms part of London Metropolitan University.
Cyanotype is the most popular of the alternative processes, possibly because it is seen to be easy and cheap – in the past it was mainly associated with amateur photography.
In the 1800’s serious photographers used cyanotype chemistry to proof print their negatives before making silver prints, Edward S. Curtis made some great cyanotype portraits. It is actually easy to make an image with cyanotype but to make a beautiful print with a long tonal range that can compete with silver prints or platinum prints, then it’s definitely more complex.
With the advances in digital technology we are now able to print complex digital negatives that can be manipulated in Photoshop and printed on to OHP transparency film and then used to make contact prints for any of the alternative printing processes – in the past, you would have to have carried around a heavy, bulky, large format camera and tripod to make a negative the size of the images below.
The cyanotype’s here were printed in the typical blue cyan first, then the images were bleached and toned. A cyanotype can be toned in various things like, tea, coffee, wine tannin, tannic acid and various botanicals.
The first row of images below were shot using an analogue Rolleiflex f2.8 camera with Kodak Tri X 120 film, the negatives were then scanned, interpolated to a larger size and then printed onto OHP transparency film. This then allowed me to make a large contact print with cyanotype chemistry. The second row of images were shot on an iPhone to show that you don’t need expensive camera equipment in order to make a beautiful cyanotype print. The last of the images, the pear and the foggy landscape were shot on a Canon 5d digital camera.
Below are the samples that I made to show the students during the masterclass at The School of Art, Architecture & Design
Self-portraits with ancient Roman artefacts
I’ve been working on a couple of different projects recently, including this one. I’m looking at the Romans and the Greek (Hellenistic) influences on portraiture.
The Romans were big on hybrid forms of portraiture rooted in Hellenistic art, this period was really significant in the development of portraiture and portrait art.
Picasso and De Chirico looked to Roman and Greek art and classical ideas as a way of understanding the uncertainties of the 1920s. For me it’s a way to understand human psychology and the construction and representation of the ‘Self’ in self portraiture.
Roman sculptors and painters produced only a limited amount of outstanding original fine art, preferring instead to recycle designs from Greek art, which they revered as far superior to their own.
Roman art was mainly derivative and utilitarian. It served a purpose, a higher good: the dissemination of Roman values and respect for Roman power. Classical Roman art has been immensely influential on many subsequent cultures, through revivalist movements – (1900-30) led to a return to figure painting as well as new abstract movements like Cubism.
New Book & Art Cards, Now Available
I’m happy to announce that our new book and art cards for our exhibition ‘Squaring The Circles of Confusion: Neo-Pictorialism in the 21st century’, are now available from the Royal Photographic Society website/shop on this link here.
This book accompanies the exhibition of the same title which will be shown in the RPS Gallery in summer 2022, postponed from 2020. Through the work of eight contemporary photographers: Takashi Arai, Céline Bodin, Susan Derges, David George, Joy Gregory, Tom Hunter, Ian Phillips McLaren and Spencer Rowell it looks at how the craft of photography is being explored by leading artists. Making use of processes from daguerreotype, cyanotype, collodion to photogravure, kallitype and film in their work each uses historical techniques and approaches to make contemporary statements in their work. Introductory essays from Alice Zoo and Michael Pritchard discuss neo-pictorialism and the RPS’s role in pictorial photography and a glossary explains the processes and specialist terms used. The book illustrates all the work to be shown in the exhibition.
A very special thanks to curator Zelda Cheatle.
The book is available to buy here
Squaring the Circles of Confusion will be opening in 2022
The art cards of the artists work are available here
On June 17th I did a practicle workshop exploring themes pertinent to artist Matthew Darbyshireʼs practice and inspired by his new public artwork Hercules Meets Galatea. With museums and collections closed for many months and artists having limited opportunities to show and share artworks, this workshop was designed to consider alternative ways to collect, curate, make and present – from our own home, studio, or college environment.
These sessions were delivered through a series of conversations, creative prompts, practical activities and playful assignments. The group were to test a series of activities and upload images and responses to a shared dropbox. The outcomes will be utilized in the production of a booklet/zine of resources and activities for distribution to a wider audience.
I found items around my studio; a roll of wire, paper and string this led me to the black paper then the wooden balls and the wooden sticks. I then had to lay them out in order of their connection.
I made some fast drawings of the wire, starting out with 3 in a row,
then I did five as quick as I could – after making the drawings, I thought that they looked like wire drawings of pears from above. I then did a single wire drawing of a pear shape. The following day after the workshop I looked at the drawings again, I picked up the armatage wire and decided to turn it into a pear.
I have always loved pears and have photographed pear still lifes.
I have been asked to exhibit one of my pear images which I printed as an albumen print next year (spring 2022) as part of the exhibition ‘Squaring the Circles of Confusion: Neo-Pictorialism in the 21st century’ for the Royal Photographic Society.
My love for pears extend to me growing a couple of different varieties in my garden.
I have a page on pears in the ‘projects’ section titled ‘Pirum’