Jeff Wookey – Exhibitions / Work in Progress / Publications
Joined the European Centre for Documentary Research
A Bloody History
I revisited Barcelona in 2016 after a considerable gap. Surprisingly my fears about the material annihilation of the old city seemed to have been largely unfounded, although culturally the parts of the city I had previously visited, were almost unrecognizable. Tourism was seemingly entirely out of control, and the emerging independentist Catalan tendency (and resistance to it) permeated almost every aspect of daily life. Ironically, despite a general election in Spain during my visit, the deadlock in Spanish politics remained and remains entirely unresolved, and instead the consequences of Brexit were all that was being discussed everywhere. Currently I am pursuing a number of different angles regarding the project.
1998 – Present
A Bloody History
1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011. All of these studies with the exception of part of the first, engage with the same areas of the city. Ribera, Sant Pere, Raval and the Barri Gotic, The first set of images also includes some of the more recently developed areas of the city as in Montjuic, and around Barcelona Sants, Placa Espanya and the Eixample
The first engagement with the city began in 1998 using a 35mm black and white film. There was no agenda for this project as it was my first visit to Barcelona, but the images do serve as a useful baseline against which to measure the subsequent cultural and physical development of the city, of my photographic practice, and of my changing sensibility towards the city in subsequent years.
In 2003 and 2004 I revisited the city, and focused more specifically on the parts of the city that had interested me on my previous visit. I now worked with medium format black and white film. The work evolved into a photographic exhibition entitled ‘A Bloody History’ which was most concerned with the struggle of the Catalan people to gain a degree of autonomy, and particularly how that was brought to an abrupt end by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
In 2007, 2010 and 2011 I became acutely aware of the ambitions of the local government to redevelop and rebrand the city as the top weekend destination in Europe. I continued to work in particular in Ribera, Sant Pere and Raval, observing the reconstruction of the fabric of the city, and significant shifts in the cultural balance of the different Barrios. I explored ideas relating to Catalan identity and attempts by the citizens to try and ameliorate the divisions that still existed in the community as a consequence of the years of the civil war, and the influence of the rule of Franco, which lasted long after his death in 1975.
Successful completion of MA ‘Photography and the Land’, which will be exhibited in Penninsula Arts in the Roland Levinsky Building on the University of Plymouth’s Plymouth Campus, between January 13th and 25th 2012. The title of the work is ‘The Shadow of the Land’. Statement follows:
’‘The Shadow of the Land’
’The main objective of this body of work is to define a form of landscape photography that is appropriate for the depiction of Dartmoor.
I have sought largely to reject the foregrounding of romantic, picturesque or aesthetic conventions in the depiction of the landscape, and also those of the ‘New Topographic’ movement, related to studies of the ‘man-altered’ landscape.
The intention of these sets of photographs is to engage with the local and the particular, rather than to describe landscapes in relation to general patterns and developments in national historic narratives’.
Joined the ‘Land’ MA program in the University of Plymouth, Part funded by the Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries in Cardiff, with a view to completing and bringing to exhibition ‘The Shadow of the Land,’ a wide ranging photographic study of Dartmoor National Park and the evidence of its historic development. The work will be completed and exhibited in October 2011, both at the University of Plymouth and a number of other venues across the region to include National Park Centre’s Gallery in Princetown, together with a number of village halls within the national park itself.
I began working on a black and white photographic project looking at the historic Castle Park quarter of Bristol, that was entirely erased during the Blitz of the city during the Second World War. The objective of the project is to visually recreate a sense of the absent city through photographing architectural evidence and artifacts that have been collected by, and bequeathed to the City of Bristol Museum in Queens Road. The project had to be put on hold, as the entire collection is in the process of being transported from its current location, to the former Bristol Transport Museum. The process should be completed by Spring 2011 when I can continue the work, with a view to exhibiting in premises managed by the Scarman Trust.
Exhibition of ‘A Bloody History’ at Oriel y Bont
Completed the development of an interactive CD-based soundscape of Venice based on 70 recordings taken in January 2003. the work is based on a Macromedia Director platform using customized ‘Lingo’ programming.
Exhibition of ‘One Square Yard’ at Oriel y Bont
Trefforest, Pontypridd as part of the Cyfrwng Media Conference for Wales
Solo Exhibition at Prema Gallery, Uley, Glos
Funded by the Drama and Performance Group (panel 66) of the University of Glamorgan
‘A Bloody History’ Images of Barcelona
An intimate visual exploration of the ancient medieval quarters of the Barri Gotic, Ribera and Sant Pere in Barcelona, seeking locate traces of the previous inhabitants of the district and to expose the material signs that act as evidence of their passing
‘One Square Yard’
A visual record of the interiors of rented domestic spaces in Bristol, during the 1990’s. Large-scale colour images.
‘A Typology of Bristol Graffiti’
Contribution of an interactive experimental sound application for Soundtoys in the ‘Mechanista’ International Art and Technology Festival, Glasgow for inclusion in their online exhibition in the category of Artists Against Machinic Standards
Participation in the group exhibition ‘The Ideal Home Show’ coordinated by Eshoda Arts, in The Hotbath Gallery, the Gainsborough Building, Bath.
Participated in teaching and organisation of D.O.M. Fotografie, Poprad, Slovakian summer school, this culminated in an exhibition at Liptovsky Mikulás between July and September 2004
Collaboration with Birgit Muller/Mike Moran – Lighting/Camera/programming for an interactive movie ‘Waiting’ Shown in ‘Eat My Shorts’ London, Summer 2003 and subsequently in a number of other locations.
Collaboration with Andy Spackman – Lighting/Camera for a short movie entitled ‘Can’ Shown in the ‘ICA’ London, August 2003
Interactive experimental sound application, published on http://www.soundtoys.net/a/indexa.html
Exhibition of ‘Circumstantial Evidence’ in collaboration with Terry Taylor in Watershed Gallery One. Large format (one yard square) full colour interiors mounted on MDF and laminated.
Exhibition catalogue available
Funded by a South West Arts major project award and by Brymon Airways, and shown in Plymouth, Exeter, and Bristol Airports. The work was also published by South West Arts and added to the Axis Database
This work was included within ‘Proof’ publications by South West Arts in conjunction with Watershed and Exeter Darkroom.
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