Kevin Percival – write-up of Photo Scratch #4

Wargames-1 copy

There’s this strange myth that continually persists, seemingly perpetuated by (or perhaps despite) art/photography education, that professional photographers work in isolation. To me this is at best self-fulfilling, and at worst complete rubbish. As a photographer, shooting with a good assistant or partner- having someone to bounce ideas off and riff with- is so much more effective and makes the final images so much better. As an assistant, it’s great to see how other people work, perhaps pick up some ideas for your own shoots, or tips which just make this strange job we do a little easier, or a little quicker. As a photographer, I’ve never been on a shoot where I’ve thought- ‘an extra pair of hands would be useless right now’. Of course this is personal preference and there will be some exceptions to this, but I’m yet to meet a photographer who gets nothing out of chatting to other photographers and comparing work.
Photo Scratch was a great opportunity for this. I showed a project I’ve been working on for a few years, and didn’t quite manage to finish over the course of my MA. It was an ideal event to test the project so-to-speak, try a new way of exhibiting the work and explore peoples reactions. For me the key question was ‘does the work say what I think it does?’ It’s too easy to produce work in a bubble, assuming you know what it’s about, only to put it in front of someone else who reads it in a completely unexpected way. Photo Scratch helped to show the strengths and shortfalls of the work, and in doing so, is pushing me to fill in the gaps and finish the project. It was also a brilliant opportunity to meet some interesting photographers, compare notes and get some feedback from other photographers, artists and enthusiasts. The atmosphere is always really relaxed and conducive to engaging discussion. I’d recommend coming along, even if you’re not exhibiting work just for the opportunity to have a couple of drinks, meet some fascinating practitioners and chat about pictures.

 

Celine Marchbank at Photo Scratch

Photo Scratch gave me the opportunity to show a new and very personal project I’ve been working on for a few years now. It was the first time I had shown it in public, which at first was a little scary, but I received such positive and also very honest and valuable feedback. This has helped shaped the project and started me along the road of working out how to finish it. To know other people were interested in it gave me the confidence and motivation to work out how to end it and to hopefully publish it in full soon. I would highly recommend Photo Scratch, it’s a great concept and a very well run event!

Celine Marchbank showed work at the May 2016 Photo Scratch.

http://www.celinemarchbank.com

Celine Marchbank_2

From Chris Bethell

Chris showed his project in March 2016 at Photo Scratch.

I decided to revisit a project I hadn’t touched in a few years – titled Use Me or Live in Filth. I originally started the project because I realised that I had a vast archive of imagery centring around youth culture lying dormant on my hard drive. Over the past four years I have been shooting commissioned work for VICE UK at festivals, house parties, events and in day to day life. All of this work served it’s purpose in a singular article or advert and then fell to the memory of the internet. I wanted to do something more with the work; to give it a new meaning, so I started re-appropriating it all to work together.   

Photo Scratch gave me the opportunity to revisit this work again. After starting a masters degree this body of work was shelved for a while. For the first time, I showed Use Me of Live in Filth publicly – opening up to criticism about what worked and what didn’t. Receiving anonymous feedback is a strange but freeing process. It allowed people to be honest with their opinions and really engage with what I showed.

It is a really valuable event and I highly recommend others to get involved.

www.christopherbethell.com 

ChrisBethell_UseMeOrLiveInFilth_009