Posts Tagged ‘Rag Factory’

Pick and mix

I seem to be developing a bit of a sideline reviewing photography exhibitions. Here’s the latest one, written for

If you are in London this weekend and have an hour or two to spare then Jigsaw, a show by photography graduates from the University of the Creative Arts, is worth a quick look.

The exhibition is billed as representing “the finished puzzle of photography, people and individual pieces”. It’s certainly a puzzle, but more like a jigsaw where you are given of lots of random pieces in a box with no real clue as to what the finished item should look like.

Given the number of people being displayed that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Perhaps “Pick and Mix” would have been a better working title because providing you don’t expect the parts to make a coherent whole and you are prepared to dip in and out of varying styles then you should be able to find something to interest you.

On an individual level, the work is hugely varied. The only real complaint is that some if it feels a little too experimental. Either the concept is interesting but the execution doesn’t quite come off, or the technique is there but the idea seems a little lacking. Work in progress rather than the finished article perhaps?

But the show does have some undoubted stars. “Are You Looking For Business” by Richard Fleming is an excellent piece of reportage. He’s done an excellent job in recording the sex workers in his town and the pictures ooze with the feel the meaner streets of Medway.

At the other end of the spectrum, Jenne-Rose Gardiner’s “Genetic Instability” is light-hearted but an equally fine example of social documentary. Her uncle and grandfather strike a series of comic poses. The photos are deftly composed and without any suggestion of the subjects being self-conscious about what they were doing.

“Architectonic” by Steven Pocock is also worth more than a passing glance. He’s resisted the temptation to portray tower blocks and housing estates as grim and gritty places. The way they are printed makes his pictures feel cool and light, bordering on graphic art.

Jigsaw can be seen at the Rag Factory, 16 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ. The exhibition is open from noon until 6pm, Friday June 11 to Sunday June 13.