BRAN JONES – MOONBOW MARGATE PHOTOGRAPHER

Bran Jones became the official Moonbow Margate photographer because of his love of espresso. Up The Line Remembrance 2011, Margate Cemetery Living and studying in Thanet, Bran discovered the Moonbow Jakes café in Cliftonville while researching his beach photography project. He was invited to photograph the amazing Akleriah, a live interactive performance around the streets of Cliftonville, Margate and inside the Turner Contemporary. Only shooting in black and white the resulting images were startling and led to Bran also capturing the Melanie Simpson dance performance ‘On the Horizon’ and a commission for the 2011 Up The Line remembrance performance in Margate cemetery (his only colour work for Platform-7).

To view Bran’s Moobow Margate gallery from 2011 with Platform-7 click here

Bran Jones discusses the project:

06/09/2011

These photographs document the Akleriah performance in Margate of the 13th August 2014. It is a subjective edit of the photographs that I took on the day of Akleriah as they played in the streets of Cliftonville , Margate, and for the visitors to Turner Contemporary. The images have become part of a larger body of work, an ongoing project that I started one year ago when I began making photographs on Margate Sands and on the seafront between the Turner and the Nayland Rock Shelter. This has become a time of incredibly fast changes brought by the opening of the gallery and faster train links with London.

The Akleriah performance lasted some three hours, when it finished I left with my rolls of film realising that the event was over and in the past before the photographs of the event existed. The two dimensional images that will trigger memories and the understanding of what was experienced on this summer afternoon in Cliftonville were still shielded in their black plastic containers safe from light and interpretation. They, the images, will only be visible in the future, subsequent to the event; such is the reality of storytelling. The photograph becomes a heavily charged space, viewed in the present it connects to the past, but how will it be viewed? We cannot know. If truth is always changing and open to interpretation, how truthfully will it be recognised?

My camera, like all cameras, captures images of things that happen and can make situations visible to others. I am comfortable with fast film and slow cameras and don’t have issues with film grain. My concern is making images with content. I recognise that in a world inundated with images, principally viewed online it is difficult to recognise content and distinguish it from appearance. A consequence of this is that it is that the photograph on the screen invites comment, but rarely initiates discourse or dialectic. Photographs I feel should be seen as a tangible reality, as a print the photograph can be viewed as art, but unlike other art it can show us no vision of what will be, but is tied solidly to the moment it was created. Like life.

Bran Jones

Born in London 1962

Bran has travelled extensively through Europe and lived for many years in Sicily and Italy before returning to the UK. He now lives in Margate. His projects are mainly self-directed and he has worked in southern Italy, India and more recently England and Germany. In the summer of 2010 he began a documentary project on the seaside town of Margate.

Bran Jones website: http://www.branjones.com/

Bran Jones Moonbow Margate gallery [click]

Artist Statement:

My introduction to photography came about when I started working as an assistant for an Italian photojournalist. Most of my time was spent in the darkroom developing and printing black and white film. The paper floating in a tray of developer could reveal in a couple of minutes, a two dimensional image that brought in to focus the reflection of reality.

The job gave me access to photo books and magazines, and I became familiar with the work and the names of photographers who were represented by agencies like Contrasto, Grazia Neri, Network Photographers and Magnum. Photographers who defined reportage and the documentary approach.

When I began to photograph in Margate in 2010, I was drawn to the beach, I was very conscious that I was following in the footsteps of other photographers who have chosen the seaside as their subject. Like Tony Ray-Jones in the 60s and more recently Mark Power.

I was a curious outsider looking in and wanted to try to understand what I saw around me by seeking an interpretation through the lens of a camera.Tony Ray-Jones’ own words probably explain this better. “Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking glass and find another kind of world with the camera.”

A large proportion of the images that I take are candid street photographs, I rarely take more than three or four frames of a scene, and the subject rarely addresses the camera. The subject to some extent works for me in creating the image, helping me capture authenticity in my experience of the moment.

Exhibitions

The fact of being… Harbour Arm Gallery, Margate. Exhibition with Shaun Madden, 2012.

Exhibit 1, group show, The Burton Gallery, 2011

Artist in residence at The Old Lookout Gallery, Broadstairs. Funded by Ways Forward into the Creative Arts, 2011

You are Here, group show, Canterbury Christ Church University, 2010

Folio 10, group show ,Canterbury Christ Church University, 2009

Publications Una Pagoda per la Pace, text by Maria Angela Falà, Italian Press Multimedia S.r.l, MilanHow 4 Women are Saving the Planet, New Age Magazine, Usa