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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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

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Furday update-At Home With The Furries Kickstarter

Straight off the bat, I am so grateful to each and every one of you who have backed, shared and mentioned the At Home With The Furries book Kickstarter campaign so far. This book is about communicating a thought I had nearly ten years ago, I had no idea then that I would be now sitting here writing a blog post about how privileged I am to have this level of support for the project.

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To break it down into numbers, we launched on Tuesday at 8am and since then 67 amazing people have pledged just over £3000, putting us just shy of 33% of the total required to publish the book. The campaign closes on April 5th.

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A sample of the fur being used by Curious Creatures to make the furry slipcases. One of the campaign rewards

It was always my intention to publish a book of the work, and every magazine feature, exhibition, website and press article that has been published in the subsequent years since I started the project helped me along towards that goal.

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From the Absolut Manifesto Festival, Madrid, January 2018

I should add at this point that this project has been and is only possible because I have the support of the furries themselves.  Those who have featured in the book of course,  but also those who I’ve met more widely, through for example social media, sometimes following that up in person at furry meets and conventions. Perhaps furries who have visited from abroad and we’ve met for a coffee, a tea or a pint.

At Home With The Furries

Shooting the film for the Kickstarter campaign with Syrrus Fox and Lupestripe

The project has grown organically, through being given the nod by furries I had photographed, and other furs I met at meets and on walks. In 2013 when The Sunday Times Magazine featured the project, I had no idea that I was only halfway through at that point. Since then, Saethwr, Fangorn, Rebel, Pazuzu, Bucky, Zepp, Blacksnip, Edward Fuzzypaws and many more furs have allowed me to go to their homes and make portraits of them.

At Home With The Furries

Edward Fuzzypaws, a poodle and Teddy, a labradoodle in their drawing room

There are plenty of great rewards, postcards, limited editions prints, furry tote bags, furry slipcases and of course the book! Check out the campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/466109304/at-home-with-the-furries

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At Home With The Furries and The Sunday Times Magazine

The aim of my photo project: At Home With The Furries has been and always will be to make a book and exhibition with the images. About a year ago, at one of the regular furry meets, I was having a catch-up with my furry friends and I spoke to them about getting the series placed in a broadsheet supplement. Mainly in order to give the series added impetus and publicity. They were very supportive of this idea, as they have been of the entire project, from beginning to end ( well near the end at least!!). Couldn’t have done it without you all, cheers guys!!

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Yesterday was a good day for the project. Mainly because The Sunday Times Magazine bought the feature and ran it over three pages in Spectrum

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But this is not something that just happened overnight, as with all long term projects, it’s been a long journey to this point and in some ways, it only feels like the beginning of another one.

Meeting up with Sophie Chapman-Andrews who is the head of art buying for the advertising agency: McCann in London gave me the impetus to release the project. This was in October last year, she loved the furry project and wanted to do something on her blog about it. At the beginning of this year, she posted here. Then she contributed a blog post to Feature Shoot about the furries and then the internet picked up on the furries and my website went stratospheric.

Here is an extra special treat; Slideluck featured the furries with a very special soundtrack a few weeks ago at their Austin event. Worth a look here

At Home With The Furries

It’s a very proud moment for me. Of course every photographer worth his/her salt hopes that their work will find it’s way into the best publications in the world at some point. I’d also like to add that I’m mostly proud of the furries, who have granted me access and allowed me to tell me about a little bit of their very fascinating lives.

If you’re interested to know more about the project, to order a print or just to say hello, email me here

If you’re a furry and you’d like to be involved in the project, drop me a line.

You can find me on twitter as well under: broadbentius