An exhibition of contemporary photographic works by Sam Hadfield and Jamie Tilley
does a cow know when a storm is coming? Jamie Tilley, 2020
The work is a fractured grouping of concepts undefined by photographic genre. Each image in isolation, as well as part of a group, alludes to wider concepts of environmentalism, individualism and mass market consumerism.
The title does a cow know when a storm is coming? refers to the belief that a cow will lie down when rain is due. A simplistic and inane visual cue used to predict complex and multifaceted weather systems based on no scientific evidence.
As we navigate the seamless, sterilised, transient and privatised spaces of our current era - our inferences based on hearsay, stories and social media posts are ill-equipped to deal with today's larger and more complex geopolitical, economic and psychographic systems. We are perhaps the ones laying down, alone as islands, embellishing the devices and methods of our own subordination - unsure if it will rain.
“Every technology or technique of domination brings forth characteristic devotional objects that are employed in order to subjugate... devotion and related words mean submission or obedience. Smartphones represent digital devotion – indeed they are devotional objects of the digital... As a subjugation-apparatus, the smartphone works like a rosary, which represents a hand-held device too. Both the rosary and the smartphone serve the purpose of self-monitoring and control. Power operates more effectively when it delegates surveillance to discrete individuals.” - Byung-Chul Han, ‘Psychopolitics: neoliberalism and the new technologies of power’
The Masterplan, Sam Hadfield, 2019 - on going
Presented is a selection of works taken from the on-going series, The Masterplan, created whilst undertaking an MFA in photography at Ulster University.
Completed in 1959, The Alton Estate in Roehampton, South West London, is one of the country’s earliest, largest and most revered post-war housing schemes.
Lauded by many, the estate can be said to embody the radical, ground-zero approach to the rebuilding of Britain embarked upon in the wake of the war. Yet despite its reputation, throughout its history the estate has also been routinely written off as not fit for purpose; a failed utopia. Now, fifty years since its completion, it is facing an uncertain future as controversial plans are underway to partially demolish and redevelop the estate.
The Masterplan is a multi-layered study, exposing how The Alton Estate has aged and mutated since its inception and the numerous ways it has been experienced and recorded. The rich, often conflicting history of this estate has been shaped by layers of memory and myth, now absorbed by its buildings, landscapes and inhabitants.