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/

Taking it back to the beginning #fursuitfriday

I’m sometimes asked how I started the furry project. Let me paint a picture: it’s 2008 and it’s a cold October day in Bloomsbury, I exit a cab under slate grey skies with a camera bag in one hand and a animal suit slung over my shoulder. Exit stage left into the foyer of a nondescript hotel that feels like every other corporate hotel in the world. Heartless, soulless and just look at that carpet. Three thousand square feet of the most nauseating red and blue fabric ever produced, memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I ask the receptionist about the convention, he doesn’t answer, just looks to his right and nods. I follow his lead and enter a modern ballroom and I’m greeted by a six foot fox who proceeds to give me a great big hug.

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Galdor, the friendly fox

This is a shoot for Bizarre magazine, in the heydays of the magazine. Before it reached the end of the road. The shoot sees me dressing as some sort of mascot style cat, Alix Fox lent me the suit and yes that’s her real name!

The head has to go due to the fact I can’t see through the viewfinder and as a newby I’ve conveniently broken the first rule of being a fursuiter, I’ve revealed my identity.

Still asking furries if they wouldn’t mind being photographed by me draws a mixed response, some are happy to pose. Others are slightly more reticient with “who are you, why do you want to photograph me?”  Er, because you’re wearing a amazing red fox outfit. “I’m worried people will recognise me” That’s a hell of an outfit to hide in.

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After a while, they warmed to me and ended up with a furry being my lighting assistant. Sadly no pictures of this exist ( unless there were any other photographers at RBW 2008 who took my picture..there were loads as I recall)

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The famous carpet

I decided there and then that there had to be a bigger story than just photographing these amazing looking creatures at a convention, although my attention was distracted somewhat by the furry commonwealth games, which seemed to be a game of musical chairs

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And….time to move

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Are you lion to me…

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FFS or For Fox Sake

Alfa Fox in all his glory

Alfa Fox in all his glory

It gave me the first threads of an idea, I wanted to reveal a little more of who the characters are and what identifying as a furry is all about. It took another year or so to gain their confidence and from there on in it was the beginning of At Home With The Furries

  • Seriously though, if there were any photographers at RBW 2008 and they have a picture of me in the cat outfit being assisted by furries, would love to see the picture. If only to prove it actually happened…

John Kasmin for Newsweek

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

“You want to take more photos, haven’t you taken enough already?” And so, my shoot with John Kasmin or “Kas” as he prefers to be called continues in a similar vein. Admittedly I’ve been commissioned by Newsweek as both a photographer and an editor, to go through his many thousands of rare and unusual postcards, photograph 20 or so and get some great portraits of the man.

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

That man, Kas has worked in the art world for many years, initially representing artists like David Hockney and Anthony Caro. Born in 1935, he’s now in his 80’s and over the past few years has started collecting postcards, most are of the photographic ilk although we started going through one of his advertising books as well, that was brought to a swift stop as time was pressing. The writer pointing at his watch and rolling his eyes…no that might have been me actually.

John Kasmin at home. Photographed for Newsweek in London, the former art dealer turned postcard collector introduced his collection of rare, incredible and sometimes bizarre original postcards that he has collected over the years. the most expensive postcard in his collection cost 5800 Euros. Although most were much less than that.

Okay I might have pulled a few animal themed postcards, as though the #furries have entered my subconscious ( no surprises there then), on the whole though it was a case of letting Kas direct us to his favourites and stopping him when my gaze fell on a particularly striking image.

After one of the most fascinating editing sessions I’ve had in a while, there’s nothing quite like working with physical objects, as opposed to digital images for a change. We shot portraits of Kas, some at his desk and a few more on his reading chair in his office. John Kasmin and his postcard collection

How many photographers does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one more

John Kasmin and his postcard collection

The article is in Newsweek’s European edition, out now

Falmouth Photography Symposium: 24-27th February

Next week I’ll be taking the train down to Falmouth University for their annual photography symposium. Gretchen Viehmann, is the course leader down there and we’ve been trying to hook up for a while in terms of me coming down and talking to the students. There are going to be some quality speakers, Roger Tooth the Guardian’s head of photography, Brian Griffin: the documentary photographer, Alex Webb, Tim Flach, Sian Bonnell plus photography writers and consultants, Val Williams and Gemma Padley.

I’ll be talking about the importance of personal projects, as well as photography being one of the skills you’ll need along with editing, writing and much more more.

I’ll try and leave the animal themed puns at the door, but inevitably one or two may sneak their way in.

Falmouth

 

 

 

My talk on the Thursday afternoon will be followed by portfolio sessions with the students on the Friday. I always enjoy seeing exciting work and giving advice to a new generation of photographers.

Links to speakers

Brian Griffin-websitetwitter

Roger Tooth-websitetwitter

Tom Broadbent-websitetwitter

Alex Webb-website

Val Williams-websitetwitter

Ian McCarthy-websitetwitter

Morgan Quaintance-website

Tim Flach-websitetwitter

Sian Bonnell-website

Gemma Padley-twitter

Falmouth Photo Symposium-TumblrTwitter