Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works

Again @ National Media Museum. This exhibition seemed to make everybody smile. It seemed about them. About their world. People. People they know. People I know. Or used to. Figures from the past. Grandparents and parents. People we used to be. There is something different here. A strange mix of document & art. Engaged and involved. Excited by the world? It makes it see old. Such things are old hat? The introductory panels reinforced. Images and letters. Full of energy. With a sense of place and no place for the deadpan, the neutral. There were panels of images from a circus working in Lancashire. Of portraits from the bus project. With images from now of the same people. Like us changed but not changed, except for the spaces. Portraits from a Manchester barbers shop. Images from a residency. Films with Meadows talking about his experiences. How he made the projects and engaged with the people around him. (is art too distant now? Does it in some ways try not to engage?) Spreads from magazines. The Lancashire local that allowed him to work the way he wanted. The work he did with Parr. The Front rooms of Salford houses. The mirror to Coronation Street. So full of details. Of past times. Colour work (also with Parr). There seems to be possibility, seems to be hope and excitement, and joy. The images combine. They seem to slip across boundaries. They don’t sit within one sphere. There are portraits but they are also documents. Even within the
portrait he layers elements. The bus but also subtle edges. The barbershop pictures with their dark backgrounds. Not looking menacing but a party? Or cozy? I love these loops of knowledge. Of a postmodern approach teamed with a love and respect and a very human and down to earth perspective.

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Filed under Dec 2011, Thoughts

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