Gallery Open Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday 11-4pm – 15th October
I took a whole series of photographs of the night Jesse James Wood was born to Ronnie and Krissy Wood. We were partying at Woods’ Malibu Beach House when Chrissy went into labour, it was Mazzeo (Neil Young’s right-hand man) who turned up at the house with an old hearse, which he normally used to transport Neil Young and his guitars to gigs, but which neatly doubled as an ambulance that night. We beat all the speed limits to get to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Jesse arrived the following morning after a long night.
Dust to Dawn documents the visual adventures of Volkers at Nevada’s notorious festival, Burning Man, which he took over a 10 year period.Every year 75,000 people descend on a blisteringly hot alkaline lake bed in Nevada, to let loose and make art, few people are fortunate enough to experience a decade of Burning Man, one of the most extraordinary human gatherings in the world, but as official photographer, Philio Volkers has captured the many raw and spiritual moments from the festival over the past 10 years.
Volkers’ passion is the documentation of spiritual, hedonisitic gatherings and exploring the meaning behind them.
“I have always had a fascination with human gatherings and what first attracted me to Burning Man was that it is one of the only places on earth that transgresses commodification; a place where people from across the globe are stripped of social crutches such as mobile phones and gather to push themselves to the limit of survival and express.
Burning Man is a completely unique opportunity to see amazing art combined with cutting edge technology.
Having been part of Burning Man for 10 years, I have seen it evolve into the global phenomenon that it is today, but at its core the fundamentals of what Burning Man stands for remain the same, and Dust to Dawn, and the exhibition are my way of celebrating Burning Man and revealing a little of the magic that lies under the surface”
After studying Indian Philosophy and Shamanic Studies at SAOS, Volkers forged his early career in fashion as an assistant at US Vogue, moving to become a stills photographer for the BBC during which he won the coveted Royal Photographic Society Award for Aspiring Photographers.
“I have always been fond of stories, listening to them, telling them performing them, singing them. One way or another my life has been that of an observer and story teller”
Photo-journalist Marilyn Stafford, who now lives in West Sussex, was born in Cleveland Ohio, in 1925. She originally trained as an actress, at the age of 7 she was scouted to train at the Cleveland Playhouse Theatre, along with big names like Paul Newman. She then studied drama at university and went to New York to act, finding work off Broadway and in television.
Her photographic career began in New York in 1948 when she was asked to photograph Albert Einstein for friends who were making a documentary about him. “The director gave me a camera and said you are going to be the photographer. I said I didn’t know how to take pictures. I had only taken them on a Brownie. So, in the car from New York to New Jersey, I learned how to use it.” This single experience set her on her future path. She went on to assist Francesco Scavullo, a controversial fashion photographer whose work has been published widely including in Vogue and Cosmopolitan “I was not really interested in that kind of photography, but that was where you could earn a living as a woman. I was interested in telling stories in pictures and showing the world to people as I saw it, maybe to make them see something and then act on it or enjoy it.”
In December 1948 Marilyn moved to Paris briefly singing with an ensemble at Chez Carrère near the Champs Elysees, and photographing for a Fashion PR Company. At the club she met Edith Piaf and also became friends with Robert Capa and during this period she was also introduced by her life-long friend the Indian writer Mulk Raj Anand to Henri Cartier-Bresson who encouraged her photographic career. “I often went out photographing with Cartier-Bresson – the time I photographed him, was at a household and appliance exhibition at the Grand Palais”
Marilyn photographed the neighbourhoods of the Bastille and Boulogne-Billancourt and her images of children from Cité Lesage-Bullourde near the Place de la Bastille are a very rare insight into the street children living in one of the city’s notorious slums. Demolished in 1984, it is now the site of the Paris Opera Bastille. Many of the negatives have been lost, but thanks to modern technology Robin Bell the renowned darkroom printer has created new negs and printed these historically important images for the first time in 67 years, creating an edition of silver gelatin prints.“I did these pictures long before I met Cartier-Bresson, I never showed them to him as I was very shy, but I felt honoured that he let me tag along, it was only after taking the Algerian pictures that I prevailed on him to help me select the pictures, that I would then send over to the Observer. These became the first front page pictures I had published”
Richard Ansett is an award-winning photographer known for his provocative and thought-provoking images.
Richard has a long-established collaborative working relationship with the artist Grayson Perry, he has worked with Perry every year since 2013 developing photographic strategies to promote Perry’s documentaries of contemporary British life. This relationship yielded ‘Birth’, the portrait, that won first prize in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards, depicts Perry as his feminine persona holding a newborn baby in the centuries old motif of mother and child.
Richard Ansett’s work can be found in prestigious permanent collections including the National Portrait Gallery, London, the National Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Smithsonian Institution. He has won countless photography awards including 1st Prize at the Sony World Photography Awards 2019, People’s Choice Award, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2018/19, 1st Prize Moscow International Foto Awards 2014, Overall Winner Art Laguna Prize ’13, 1st Prize Grand Prix de la Decouverte ’13, Gold Award – Prix de la Photographie ‘11.