Gleb Simonov

"The world has no name, he said. The names of the cerros and the sierras and the deserts exist only on maps. We name them so that we do not lose our way. Yet it was because the way was lost to us already that we have made those names. The world cannot be lost. We are the ones. And it is because these names and these coordinates are our own naming that they cannot save us. That they cannot find for us the way again." – Cormack McCarthy, "The Crossing" (1994)

Places are animals: we encounter them unexpectedly and on terms that are not entirely clear to us. Foreign and inarticulate, they present us with semiotics unlike our own, our efforts to understand them now scattered across a variety of sciences, arts and fields. We don't even know, which part of it is important.

Uneven Encounters was shot in the deserts and reservations of new Mexico. It seeks to cover the broad range of the land's structural and geologic variety in an attempt to engage with it.

Jeanne Menetrier

HEN | Sensitive, complex, nuanced, exacerbated, sexual, homo, bi, hetero, white, black, woman... man. There a re a plethora of terms defining a person. But gender is one of those archaic concepts still defining our modern society. Exempt of nuances, this binary idea is, today, questioned. With it, our whole identity evolves. It is then the nuances of the infinite plurality of the interval that humanity is exploring.

Free from all constraints, Jeanne Ménétrier draw up a 3-year cartography of emotional travel where the limit, the box, the sharpness, the simplicity give away to the unknown, to the confusion, to the incoherence of the infinite ambiguity of genders.

With her work, she explores this infinite complexity of human identity, meeting characters, whose only criterion of selection was the emotion they gave to her. Jeanne records the unsettling, foggy and hazy reflection of their gender, but above all, their identity.

Lauren Grabelle

PHOTOGRAPHER X | In the late 1990’s I slipped anonymously into a job in the surveillance department at one of the largest casinos in the world.

There I found myself with over 800 cameras at my fingertips, and at the push of a button, the option to print a frame seen on the monitor before me while searching remotely for human indiscretions.

I became Photographer X.

Pablo and Roxana Allison

Whilst studying photography in 2005 my brother Pablo was commissioned to take pictures inside Wormwood Scrubs Prison for the council-led project Prison Me. No Way! Pablo was unaware at the time that seven years later he would be back in serving a nineteen-month prison sentence.

In early March 2010 the police raided Pablo’s room; cameras, rolls of film, sketchbooks, pens and his computer were all confiscated and he was subsequently arrested. He called me that morning to tell me that this would be the beginning of a long police investigation involving several graffiti artists. We learned that Operation Jurassic (the official case name) was a major anti-graffiti police investigation being carried out since 2003.

 The Crown Court sentenced Pablo and four other graffiti artists to various prison sentences in November 2012. The combined lengths amounted to 11 years.

The result of our journey is this eight-year-long photographic collaboration titled Operation Jurassic. Our visual account includes legal documentation, paperwork, letters, diaries, drawings and photographs that uncover emotions and the passing of time offering the viewer an intimate approach of the legal process whilst raising issues on freedom of expression and justice.

A limited edition self-published book with an introductory essay by writer, curator and educator Pete Brook was launched in 2018 and is now sold out. To view the project visit:

Wayne Swanson

Self-Portraits with Stenosis | I’m not that old. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. But my body would beg to differ. What began as soreness and stiffness in my legs progressed to more intractable pain, stiffness, shocks, and numbness. Getting to “why” involved understanding a fundamental disconnect between cause and effect: the problem is in my back, not my legs.

 The diagnosis: Severe spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. The effect: Narrowing of the spinal canal, which constricts the nerves leading to the lower body. The result: Lumbar laminectomy and thoracic fusion — so far. The prognosis: Who knows?

 I began this series assuming that I was documenting an episode. I now realize that it’s a new reality, shared by many, when we must question basic assumptions about health and personal mobility.

Maria Ansell

89 | I am currently in my third year studying photography at Manchester School of Art, I have an interest in developing narratives based around specific people, places and objects. Especially those I have a personal connection to. I enjoy both traditional documentary portraiture and appropriation. By investigating multiple approaches to image making I aim to create a broader picture of my subject.

  These images are from my personal project '89'.  In this series I have approached the topic of memory in the photographic image. My grandfather's recent Alzheimers diagnosis has challenged the way I think of memories and our obsession as a society with capturing ‘perfect’ moments. So much so that I think we distort our own memories until we no longer know what is true. I am aware that my perspective is biased, I am photographing from the point of view of someone pre-emptively mourning, I am intentionally looking back on fond childhood memories and trying to immortalise a feeling of comfort.

 I have combined both appropriated family photos and created my own images, focusing on the house in Nottingham my grandfather has lived in for 50 years, which he has now left to come and live in our family home. I am trying to encapsulate the sense of nostalgia in a grandparents home which I think a lot of people can relate to. There is a strange juxtaposition in his house, warm childhood memories combined with the sombre feeling of leaving a space and being unwilling to lose the memories attached to it. My aim with this work was to draw on shared experiences, nostalgia and stereotypical family moments. I hope that after you view these images you are reminded of your own family, moments and spaces you find important.

Emily Porter

This collection of work is from multiple series, shot while traveling and living in the west coast, meeting amazing individuals, grieving my first love to addiction and finding love again.

Due to my work, travel used to be a constant. This aided the creation of several bodies of work filled with inspirations, chance encounters and character defining interactions. While my work is soul searching in its’ own right, it is also therapeutic and cathartic. Some photos defining each step of my grieving process but also narrating a journey into a new chapter of my life.  

At the same time it is an ode to the ever wandering being. We wander to find ourselves, we wander to find the individuals who become our family and we wander to experience the essence of the flora that creates the world around us. This life and world are temporary and fleeting but the desire to find oneself and create connections is universal and unyielding. Taking it all in while we exist is how we remember that we are alive and I do so by photographing the world around me.

Evan Perkins

I began photographing my younger brother, Ryan, on his 11th birthday. He was born when I was eleven years old, and with working parents, I became his caretaker. At a young age, that responsibility hastened my own necessary maturity from boyhood to adolescence, fostering a relationship between us that was more complicated than just brothers. 

On Ryan’s eleventh birthday, I began to notice traits in him that I also possessed when I was his age. I began to reflect on the origins of our relationship, and this photographing lead to an exploration of Ryan, myself, and boyhood on the blurred line of adolescence. These images are a documentation of my brother and the landscape in which he’s maturing, yet they also contain my own reckoning with his growing up and the nostalgia of youth that accompanies it. 

Kerry Mansfield

THRESHOLD | noun: thresh•old / The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result or condition to occur or be manifested.

Extreme sleep deprivation will push you to the edge of sanity’s cliff. Once you’ve crossed that threshold jumping is the only remaining option. In early 2016 a doctor directed me to stop taking a mental health medication incorrectly prescribed 7 years prior. Unbeknownst to me, withdrawal from the drug Seroquel is considered markedly worse than heroin withdrawal, often lasting for 3 months or more. And so my unintended journey into a timeless world began.

Patricia Bender

Euclidean Pursuits | After producing traditional analog photographs for many years, working with black and white film in the chemical darkroom, I recently decided I want to be even more hands-on in creating images, and I began to experiment with photograms.  At first I played with typical photogram stuff, arranging plants, glass objects, fabric, and other sorts of odd things on photographic paper to get a feel for the process of creating these camera-less images.  I was uninspired, and so was the work.

Then, with a bow to Bauhaus, I set my sights on constructing geometric abstractions, largely from collaged paper cutouts and hand-drawn paper negatives, and an obsession was born.  I could not get enough, and I have been working with single-minded intensity on this series for the past year.

An image of complex and intricate beauty can be developed from the simple mark of a line.  This fascinates me.  Rudimentary geometric forms -- circles, squares, dots -- can be combined in infinite ways to generate moving and mysterious nonobjective images.  A line leads to a triangle, which leads to a cascade of circles, and before you know it, you have created something no one has ever seen before.

This, for me, is the wonder of abstraction and the crux of its power:  its ability to move you in deep, inexplicable ways with the simplest of forms and with no reference to reality.

This work has been guided by a constant voice in my head asking, “What if I . . . ?”  What if I added crayon, folded the paper, smudged the graphite?  My creative process for all this work has been a joyful, intuitive, ongoing series of experiments in the darkroom to see what will happen if I . . . . 

My only rule has been no erasing, no removing.  Every mark or fold or tear I make stays and serves as a building block for the next mark or fold or tear.  There can be no mistakes because the image I’m creating does not exist in the real world.  It can’t be wrong.  This rule has helped mute the insistent critic in my head and given me the freedom to try new things until an image feels right.

So I continue to play and experiment with objects, lines, papers, shapes, light, shadow, texture, size, and depth in the darkroom to construct my own abstract creations. To paraphrase one of my heroes, the artist Dorothea Rockburne, I want to create photograms that are solely of themselves and not about something else.  It’s a heady and exciting process.

C.J. Pressma

Evidence & Inhabitance | In 1972 I was watching the Fellini film Roma and was captivated by splashes of light involving sparks from a street car at night. It seems strange to me (almost absurd) that such a momentary scene became a motivation for an entire body of work that is interwoven throughout my artistic career. I call this series Evidence & Inhabitants. They are the evidence of places and people I can never fully remember, but manifest themselves in the photographs I make. Today, I am still discovering what this work reveals to me. Its dark nature and surreal quality causes me to think that it constitutes a narrative about my subconscious life.

I have always been interested in surreal art and this interest has caused me to be influenced by the photographic works of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Clarence John Laughlin, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Frederick Sommer. Their work has inspired me to create the Images & Inhabitants pictures.

I have been drawn to make these pictures in abandoned places and of inhabitants who might have or may still be living there. I search for the “evidence” of humans where very few humans currently reside. I am like an archaeologist sifting through a dream-like landscape trying to imagine what these people were like.

Daniel Kariko

Suburban Symbiosis: Insectum domesticus | This project is an investigation of our relationship to suburban landscape through micro images of locally found insects and other arthropods. My images utilize the combination of Scanning Electron Microscope and optical Stereo Microscope, in order to achieve a “portrait”-like effect inspired by the tradition of 17th Century Dutch Masters.

Insects find way into our homes no matter how vigilant we are in our effort to keep the nature on the outer side of our windowpanes. During my inquiry into suburban experience, I started recording the indoor wildlife consistent with the environment my subdivision occupies.

 These little (and sometimes not so little) invaders are natural product of our own occupation of their habitat. As we keep expanding our subdivisions to the outskirts of towns, we inhabit recently altered environments. In general, I study environmental and political aspects of landscape, use of land, and cultural interpretation of inhabited space. This anthropomorphic presentation of our closest, often invisible, co-habitants in a humorous, quasi-scientific way, is an invitation to consider the evidence of the human impact on the landscape as we constantly redraw boundaries between us and the natural environment.

Insects I photograph are found during my daily routines, either at home, or at work, and are titled after an unspecified location, and a partial date, further hinting on scientific specimen presentation device. These Images are meant to be portraits of our often-overlooked housemates.

Orfeas Sampatakakis

I don't like writing statements for any of my series. In my photography there are no intentions, I don't want to say anything. I think I'm just trying to find beauty in the commonplace. And it's not prerequisite to go far to find that, so I go for a walk and take my camera with me. I believe in seeing photography without context, without having to explain it with words. Thus resulting in fewer assumptions. This way you allow more space for the photographs to exist.

Ioanna Sakellaraki

In the effort to let go of the human obsession for order and rhythm, I led myself adrift in the big wide world. Being away, lost in the strangeness of the unfamiliar, I constantly looked for home but never returned to it. It is said that tortoises crawl about on red earth, going nowhere in plenty of time. They carry their own home with them forever. The power of recalling and rebuilding memory from the nonexistent. Where there is no place to go and nothing to become; the being-ness of human freedom.

Francesca Maria Fiorella

Messapia is the name given by the Greeks to Salento and it means “Land between two seas”, the Ionian sea and the Adriatic sea. Located in the most eastern part of Italy, it is a crossing point for migrants and one of the most important routes in the geography of myth.

This is where Virgil sets the landing of Aeneas in the humilis Italia; this is where thousands of  refugees land today, running away from their home country, like Aeneas, crossing the Mediterranean sea.

Considering how powerful classicism can be, this project was created to relate mythological and contemporary narrative. For this reason, I decided to compare two stories: the escape and arrival of the Aeneas  and S. who, like the virgilian hero, left his country and crossed the sea from Turkey to arrive on the coasts of  Salento.

The images describing them come to confuse the subjects, revealing the slowness and the effort of the journey and recalling symbols and details that the travellers collect to get immediate answers to the uncertainty of their destiny.

Harris Steinman

I have found it very difficult to make sense of my life lately. I grapple with the complex arrangement of layers and layers of busy and conflicting streams.

 In rare moments, when photographing this set of work, I find solitude and harmony. Confluence of the streams seem to occur. A rhythm becomes apparent. The noise abates.

 I wonder if it is in the repetition of shape and abstracted simplicity that gets me there, the dappled dance of light suggesting the way. This becomes the moment.

Ioustini Drakoulakou

INERTIA | According to Newton’s First Law, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  The experience of limbo, due to any sudden incident in the course of one’s life, is the cornerstone where my image narrative is based. Anything can change within a fraction of a second, and this work reflects an attempt to interpret and accept loss and “constant-change” phases. The world that I create and photograph is based on everyday life, but the accompaniment of a cinematic aesthetics aims to give a fictional twist and a sensation where still nothing is real nor surreal. Those images become metaphors to another reality. Characters represent archetypal figures, being “indecipherable” while confronting an internal collision. They are somewhere  in-between, struggling to reach “light” again.