The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

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Over the weekend I received a rather wonderful email from the Royal Academy of the Arts. It started with, “We are delighted to inform you” My dear friend I think you’ll find that I am more delighted than you..:-))

Earlier this year I entered Syrrus and Lupestripe having a barbecue in Leeds into the annual Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I had put in two pictures from the series over the past two years and been shortlisted once, so I thought there was a decent chance of getting into the actual exhibition. Especially seeing as the curator is the artist and sculptor, Grayson Perry and its the big one, the 250th year of it running.

Syrrus, a fox and Lupestripe, a wolf having a barbecue in Leeds, 2017
Syrrus, a fox and Lupestripe, a wolf having a barbecue in Leeds, 2017

These things are always a bit of a lottery so having already been shortlisted, I was a bit overwhelmed and blown away to receive the email that said the picture has been selected.  With that of course it means that the furry project is now at the top table of the art world^^ For those that don’t know the exhibition, it’s possibly the biggest and most prestigious open art exhibition in the world. It opens on June 12th and will be on show until August 19th at the Royal Academy on Piccadilly. Here’s some more information about it https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/summer-exhibition-2018

This is obviously fantastic and furtastic news, especially seeing as At Home With The Furries will be published later on this year and on that note..

At the end of April  I visited the illustrator, Dane Marinkovic and we finished off the sketchbook pages. This extensive section at the back of the book consists of handwritten notes, additional photographs and illustrations relating to all the furries I’ve photographed for the project.  Included is a text from Uncle Kage as well as anecdotes, thoughts and stories from the furries featured.

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For the rest of the book, the design and text is nearly there, last week I finalised the design with Roger Fawcett-Tang from Struktur Design. I am so happy with how it all looks, feels and flows.

Roger also made a miniature version of the book, which really is a thing of beauty.

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The book is being published through the imprint, Stay Free Publishing and as such is now available to pre-order through the website. Rob Clayton is a photographer I’ve exhibited with and he self-published his book, Estate in 2015. Check it out here, copies are still available to buy. We decided to make At Home With The Furries the second book that Stay Free will publish. Stay Free is dedicated to publishing the best British photography projects.

The book will be published in September this year.

Pre-order a copy of At Home With The Furries click here

To buy Rob Clayton’s book, Estate click here

The Royal Academy Summer Show click here

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It’s a furtastic feeling, it’s Friday and the furs are fully funded!

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Yesterday morning (April 5th) just before 8am, the Kickstarter campaign came to an end. It was a very dramatic last week and it finished, I’m pleased and also extremely grateful to report fully funded. There are 205 superb supporters of At Home With The Furries, time for a furry conga…

London Furries Winter Ball

The target I set at the beginning of the campaign was reached early on Wednesday morning, a good 24 hours before the deadline, so this is a double celebration.

A special thanks to all the supporters who not only pledged, but also tweeted, shared and mentioned the campaign to everyone they know. Thanks to you, we managed to get this over the line.  I’ll be writing about the campaign and book plans in more detail over the coming weeks.

In the meantime here’s a few pictures from the beginning of the project, at RBW 2008 to photoshoots, selfies and more. There are some great memories here, shoots with dragons, rabbits, demon lords and bats to name a few.

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If you missed out on the campaign and would like to pre-order a copy of the book, At Home With The Furries, you will be able to do that via Stay Free Publishing next week.

I’ll be talking about the furry project at FFEATURED 15, on April 19th at The Signal in Forest Hill, South East London, tickets available here

In the meantime, connect with me:

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Thanks fur all your support

Tom

Fursday Kickstarter Update

I feel like we are heading into the home straight now, At Home With The Furries is 73% funded with 132 backers and six days left to pledge. So don’t hesitate, please support the project. It’s an all or nothing campaign, that is if we don’t make the target, the book is a bust. All being well, that won’t be the case. So pledge, pledge, pledge..:-)))

At Home With The Furries

Saethwr, a dragon from Cardiff. Available as a pledge through the Kickstarter as a limited edition print, comes with a signed copy of the book and set of four postcards, £85

Time Out featured the project and an interview with me on their website today, see link I recall my first encounter with the furries at RBW, which set me on the path to where I am today.

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“It took Broadbent around a year of going to furry meetups in London – which can sometimes attract as many as 200 people – and building up trust with members of the community before he began photographing them in their houses. ‘Now, many of them have become my good friends – I’ve even worn a borrowed furry suit myself many times – and the response has been phenomenal, both from the furry community, many of whom have pledged money towards it and other people and media outlets.’

There are more than just London based furs in the book of course, most of the furries I’ve worked with in this project live outside the capital.

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Furry tote bag, signed book and set of four postcards, £70 through the Kickstarter. Additional options include a limited edition print of Saethwr the red dragon for £115.

Dog Patch Press also featured the project on their website today, see link,  it has a short interview with me and some lovely words from the editor, Patch O’Furr who has been a supporter of the project over the years.

From Patch “Tom Broadbent has been staging creative fursuit photography for many years. I covered him in: Five pro photographers advancing the art of furry documentary. For each I named a signature approach, and to me, Tom excels at “whimsy”. His carefully chosen fantasy scenes show a depth of intrigue and storytelling beyond conventional scenes. Tom takes great care with relationships with his subjects. I think he’s the ideal photographer that furries could ask for.

That’s why I’m rushing out a post on short notice to urge support for his project. Tom has a dream to showcase furry subjects in a photo book, a beautiful archival object. It’s a few days from the Kickstarter deadline, and of course the funding is all or nothing.

We’ll know on April 4. I usually avoid covering crowdfunding – so this is an unusual request.”

I also talk about the importance of sticking to principles and not compromising in the quest to only have the work shown in the best places, it’s a good read. Thanks Patch

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A sample of the rainbow coloured fur being used to make the slipcases. For £100, you can choose a Custom Creatures designed slipcase with a signed book and set of four postcards. Additional options include a limited edition print of Lupestripe and Syrrus the fox having a barbecue in Leeds for £140.

In exhibition news, one of the images has been shortlisted by the Royal Academy for their Summer Exhibition, which is very exciting. I’ll hear whether we made the cut in late May.

Here’s the Kickstarter link, all book supporters get their name or chosen name (i.e fursona) in the back of the book.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/466109304/at-home-with-the-furries?ref=bpoi2h

The campaign ends on Thursday 5th April at 7.42am

Links

Time Out feature

Dog Patch Press

The Kickstarter Campaign

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FIXPhoto opens with some very special guests

Last Thursday saw the grand opening of FIXPhoto at the Bargehouse on the Southbank , a huge exhibition of cutting edge photography organised by L A Noble gallery with 22 artists showcasing their work including Emily Allchurch, Lisa Creagh, Einar Sira, Robert Clayton and yours truly.

Picture: Neil Massey

The turnout was spectacular and one or two furries made an appearance which went down well. Zuki the gargoyle, Sticks the Fox, Edward Fuzzypaws, Bhavvels Bunny, Quartermane and Kreek put on a performance which people are still talking about. Yes I might have said, ‘explore the four floors of art and photography and have some fun’

Picture: Neil Massey

Outside the gallery. Picture: Neil Massey

 

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Looks familiar! Bhavvels Bunny with well…himself. Picture: Neil Massey

 

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Sticks, Zuki and Bhavvels in the gallery with Ed Thompson’s The Unseen project behind them

 

Here are all the details for the exhibition, which usefully has a coffee shop and bar on the premises.

http://www.lauraannnoble.com/fixphoto/

The writer David Secombe wrote about the exhibition on the London Column here. Here’s an excerpt: “A nod to Lewis Carroll isn’t inappropriate, given that the furry domain shares some of the dreamy charm, transformative power and moral complexity that he represents. That seems obvious enough. But the image of the stag invokes the iconography of the pre-civilized mind and a time when woods were feared and venerated. This stag is a forest god; one that might be worshipped as part of the sacred, time-honoured rituals of Summerisle

The exhibition closes on Sunday, the 22nd at 8.30pm.

The work is on sale as editioned signed prints, framed and unframed.

Thanks to Zuki, Bhavvels, Albrecht, Pickle, Edward and Sticks for the wonderful support.

 

 

 

 

The Furries, Fix Photo and L A Noble Gallery

So bit of a big update for the furry project on here.

Firstly Laura Noble, the photography gallery owner and curator has taken me on as one of her represented photographers, have a look at L A Noble Gallery. This is wonderful news for the furry project. As readers of this blog may have picked up on, it’s very important to me that the work is used and appropriated on the best and most suitable platforms whether that is print, online and now within the context of a gallery; essentially to reciprocate the trust the furries have given me over the years. Laura Noble has been following the project, since I started it and this gallery representation is a boost to the work and also the overall plan of making a book of At Home With The Furries.

At Home With The Furries

Secondly the project will be exhibited in central London from May 13th to the 22nd at the Oxo Bargehouse, part of the Oxo Tower on the Southbank. It’s being showcased alongside 17 other collections of work by some very talented photographers as part of a new photo festival called FIXphoto. It’s an honour to be showcasing At Home With The Furries alongside work by photographers such as Emily Allchurch, Lottie Davies, Marta Kochanek, Robert Clayton, Einar Sina and Chris Steele-Perkins to name a few.

At Home With The Furries

I’m very pleased to be working with Richard Wills at Photofusion who will be making all the prints for the exhibition. I started working with Photofusion about two years ago and their professionalism is second to none.

Fangorn, a Jedi tiger sits in his living room, Swansea From the series" At Home With The Furries" Throughout the year furries dress up in costume or fur-suit inspired by anthropomorphic characters from cartoons, comic strips, myths and videogames. The people inside the suits are by day computer programmers, engineers, mortgage brokers, lecturers even fursuit makers. Most furries have an affinity with animals but some also like to role-play or fursuit for fun. Over the course of a few years, I gained the trust of the furries in the UK and some of their members allowed me to visit them at home, these photographs were taken all over the country. Contact tom@tombroadbent.com for licensing rights

Who are the furries though? Read more here

At Home With The Furries gallery

Fix Photo is on show from the 13-22nd May, there will be a bar, a coffee shop and workshops running throughout the exhibition. See you there.

FIX Photo Festival

L A Noble Gallery

 

 

 

Bee excellent to each other

Whilst I shamelessly rip off Bill and Ted’s line with one hand, I selflessly hold onto the lack of waspish ways within the anthropomorphic fandom. That’s right, where are the pretty stinging varieties; the wasps, the bees and the dragonflies. A distinct gap in the market, until now.

At Home With The Furries

I met Hazel last weekend and she shared my surprise that the bringers of honey haven’t really been acknowledged within the furry community. The birds can call themselves ‘featheries’, the dragons and snakes have ‘scalies’, even horses can call themselves ‘hoofers’. Well maybe. What do the insects have? You tell me.

 

At Home With The Furries

Sticks and Edward Fuzzypaws

As I wandered the streets of the City of London, I came across these unusual looking creatures. This was not planned at all honest. It wasn’t a special Christmas party for the Londonfurs I swear.

At Home With The Furries

The badger who calls himself Feral seems suitably grumpy, he reminds me of ‘Badger’ from Fantastic Mr Fox. Hvedra is a cassiopeia and both are on the radar for At Home With The Furries

At Home With The Furries

Pazuzu is a wonderful creature, calling himself a self-styled demon lord. He speaks as a character straight out of a Bram Stoker novel

A skulk of foxes, a pack of wolves, a terror of dragons and a smattering of cats, sheep and all manner of hybrid creatures lined up for the school photograph.At Home With The Furries

Merry Christmas and let’s have an amazing 2016! At Home With The Furries

A Tale of Two Photo Salons

It’s always nice when photographs are selected for exhibition and doubly so when two of your images are picked for separate shows. One is from an assignment I did last year for Wired Italia and the other is a new image from my series, At Home With The Furries.

Portrait Salon 2015

At Home With Llamasoft
This image of Jeff Minter and Giles Zorzin from the independent video games company, Llamasoft has been selected for the Portrait Salon 2015 exhibition.

They left quite an impression when I met them in spring 2014, going down to their farm in West Wales and being given free rein to explore their working space, chockful as it was with old gaming and computer tech. An Aladdin’s Cave for the gamers among us. More here on a blog post about that particular shoot.

The private view is at 6.30pm on Thursday 19th November 2015 at The Embassy Tea Gallery in London and the exhibition will close on 22nd November 2015. It then continues to Tokyo in February 2016. All welcome!!

More information about the exhibition here: https://www.portraitsalon.co.uk/

Photofusion Salon 15

At Home With The Furries

This image of Sticks, a fox from Wimbledon from my series, At Home With The Furries has been selected for the Photofusion Salon exhibition.

Sticks is an explorer and what sort of explorer would he be if he left his house without a map and animal sidekick! As with so many of these furry portraits, when it comes to working with such a closely knit community, trust is paramount hence the gradual pace of getting to know furries who are interested in being photographed for the project. Sticks is a close friend of Edward Fuzzypaws, more on Edward here.  More on At Home With The Furries here.

The private view is at 6.30pm on the 9th December at the Photofusion gallery in London and the show continues until the 31st January 2016.  All welcome!!

For more information about the exhibition: http://www.photofusion.org/salon15/