‘The ETHER is usually defined as an imponderable elastic fluid, permeating all bodies and all space. But it must have weight, or mass, if it is matter. Ether cannot be a mixture of ordinary gases, for these do not penetrate all substances, and they act differently upon those they do penetrate, whereas ether is everywhere the same. Many learned men suggest or express belief in ether as the primordial matter of which atoms are formed, and in which they float just as stars and planets co-exist with un- agglomerated cosmical dust.’
By Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev on
‘Ether’ is a traditional Birthday art exhibition by Anastasia that will run from the 6th until the 19th of October.
The photographs on display are not something that has been done by myself in the past and were born very unexpectedly and on a whim – I sincerely hope you like them. I think they are still recognisably ‘me’ but a little more surreal and mysterious than usual:)
Pop in for a glass of fizz and my Birthday party on Saturday, October 9th between 5 and 9 PM.
Looking forward to seeing you!
You can view some of my other work here:
Same as last year I’m celebrating my Birthday with an exhibition… A bit short notice but I’ve been MAD busy with Chester Art Festival! It’s been a massive success and now I can concentrate on my own art and not Pablo Picasso:)
The Illusory Temptations of the Subconscious Self-Doubts is an exhibition of my abstract art photography and has NOT been planned. Improvisation in its purest form it will give you a bit of insight into the world of illusions, reflections, shadows and rays of sunlight.
Looking forward to seeing everybody at Chester Art Centre this Saturday, 13 October for a few Birthday drinks and some of my abtracts. Hope you like them!
P.S. The name of the exhibition has no deeper meaning or grandiose message behind it. It’s just me trying to seem clever:)
Neil Kendall has been established on the worldwide Vintage Photography scene since 1990. He currently lives in Chester.
He is known internationally as an award-winning photographer shooting campaigns for such celebrities as Dita Von Teese who called him ‘’a genuine talent ‘’. And underground heroes such as Violet Chachki, a recent winner of RuPauls Drag race in America .
In 2018 He was voted National Vintage Photographer of the Year and Number One Burlesque Figure in the World in the international Burlesque top fifty poll.
His Portraits are inspired by his love of Hollywood and each set is a miniature production. Often working with local Chester Artist Russell Kirk and Painter Mark Bell.
My portraits are as much about placing my sitter in an fantasy, a magical world. I want my sitters to have the old Master treatment as I often find them so Royal and aristocratic to shoot. I want my subject s,who are often other worldly to recline and pose in miniature worlds which match their own inimitable aesthetics and ultimately create vintage inspired but uniquely charming portraits.
The Exhibition will spring to life on August 11th at St Mary’s Centre with a live Cabaret featuring Burlesque and Boylesque from around the World at St Mary’s Centreto coincide with Chester Pride.
A focus of this exhibition is on artists who are part of the international Lesbian, Gay and Trans communities and Neil Kendall is proud to be associated in partnership with Chester Pride on August 11th.
The exhibition will run from 2 August until 15 August.
We look forward to seeing you at the private view on 2 August between 6.30 PM and 9 PM for a couple of glasses of wine and some amazing images!
Capturing both familiar local landscapes and the people & places of less familiar world, this diverse, thought provoking retrospective, draws upon work previously exhibited in London, New York and Singapore.
In this first of a two part series, Andy W Langton, puts pen to paper and takes us on a visit to Burma’s Rivers & Roads Less Traveled.
I had spent the previous month in the remote hills of Northern Thailand photographing the indigenous tribes, many of whom had fled Burma over the last 30 years to avoid persecution, resettlement and civil war to forge a new life.
Initially, I was hoping to cross the border at Mae Sai into Burma’s Shan State but no such luck. Whilst access to this amazing country is rapidly opening-up, the crossing north of Chiang Rai was still closed to foreigners. Instead of a few miles into Burma I chose to take a 450mile bus ride to Bangkok and a 600mile flight to Mandalay. From Mandalay, we were to be picked up by our contact and driven overnight to Lashio, the largest of the towns in northern Shan State.
For the first week of the trip, I would be taking along Jonas, a 22year old German gap year student from Kiel on Germany’s Baltic coast. He had been working with IMPECT, (Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand), as a teacher for the previous 9 months and had accompanied me on most of the field trips over my time in the Thai highlands.
I got the distinct feeling that the relationship between China and the Burma’s military junta was beginning to wane. I could see that China’s exploitation was on a huge scale, with little of the benefits filtering down to the general population.
Bordering China, Shan State carried the bulk of the trade between the two countries and if Burma was a lush garden of rich pickings, China’s presence akin to a plague of locust, consuming everything that lay before them.
Bumper to bumper trucks and lorries made their way up the steep mountain pass to reach the Shan plateau, making our progress very slow. Upon reaching the top around 2am, headlights from the hundreds of vehicles created a giant illuminated serpent upon which Burma’s food produce and considerable natural resources would exit the country.
Arriving in Lashio we spent the first night and the following day with our contacts. With no food and little water to drink or wash, their situation was a day-to-day challenge. When staying with them began to attract attention, we decided to stay the second night in a nearby hotel catering for Chinese businessmen to minimize the chance of getting picked up.
Whilst in Lashio, we were to visit nearby villages, a visit to Nam Kyan monastery orphanage was to have the greatest impact on me.
Founded and run by head monk U Sasana, this was one of two centers established to provide education, and in the case of Nam Kyan, a home for Burma’s less fortunate children.
The first thing that struck me was how happy the children were. With no immediate family and few material possessions, the children relied on the monastery for all things. Food would come from alms collected from nearby villages and local women would prepare food in the kitchen attached to the schoolhouse. From private overseas donations, work had already started on a larger, better equipment schoolhouse with the stone for the foundations coming from the nearby quarry.
An hour’s journey away and we had arrived at U Sasana’s second project, a newly constructed timber built schoolhouse that provided education to children from the surrounding villages. Under the shade of a Banyan tree in the school yard, U Sasana sat and reluctantly agreed to have his photograph taken before I joined a group of young Monks in the field at the back of the monastery.
From Lashio we were to take the early bus, which left a few hours before dawn, heading to the higher hills and more remote villages and monasteries. The steep and twisting mountain roads left little margin for error, eventually reaching Namshan and its single guesthouse as a thick mist of low cloud descended to accompany the torrential rain.
Reminding me of the Himalayan town of Darjeeling, the narrow single high street of timber houses ran for about ¼ mile until it abruptly stopped. A devastating fire the year before had destroyed a large section of the upper high street as strong winds fanned the flames that tore through the tinder dry houses. An appeal had been made throughout Shan state and enough money collected from other villages to rebuild, this time in brick and concrete. Towards the highest section of the town, Namshan monastery appeared out of the mist as we made our way up the hill.
As a reminder that we were in country in the grip of civil war, an open truck loaded with Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) soldiers drove past belching diesel fumes. As the truck mounted machine gun was swung in my direction it sent a clear message that they were in control of this particular place and taking a photograph wasn’t the best decision. There’s a time and a place for pointing a camera, this wasn’t one. To the North in Kachin State, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) where in the midst of savage fighting with government troops. Rarely if ever reported to the outside world a chance meeting with a British conflict photographer a few days earlier had given me an insight into what was going on. His beaten up Nikon and the look you get when you’ve been in a war zone for a year said as much as his grim accounts.
Towards the highest section of the town, Namshan monastery appeared out of the mist. Probably due to the rain, which was now bouncing off the ground, the monastery appeared to be deserted. Eventually we located the Abbot and asked if we could take a look around, Jonas stayed and joined the Abbot for tea whilst I continued to have a look around. A large dormitory was located at the far end of the courtyard, I knocked on the door and waited.
As the double doors opened, a group of novice monks came to see who the stranger was. Inside, single beds lined the long narrow dormitory and all eyes were immediately on me, the whole place then irrupted in excitement. Taking a packet of boiled sweets out of my bag brought from Singapore there was soon a mad scramble.
In the doorway, umbrellas stood in a large earthenware pot. By now the monsoon rain was so heavy that torrents poured off the roofs and through the gaps between the buildings. Gesturing for them to come outside they eventually ventured out and the courtyard became a waterpark in the torrential rain.
With the boys heading back inside to change into dry robes I joined Jonas and the Abbot for some tea. As with monk U Sasana, the Abbots English was flawless and we chatted about everything from Premier league football to Aung San Suu Kyi.
We had been told that further up the valley, beyond some truly enormous Banyan tree’s, stood Zetonhone monastery. Our arrival would correspond with the new moon on the 16th and herald the start of Kason Nyaung Ye Thun, Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing to Nirvana.
Arriving unannounced, we were immediately greeted as special guests and made to feel at home whilst daily life continued as normal. The monks continued with building improvements, novice monks had their lessons with meditation and prayers throughout the day. During recreational time, novice monks played football and Chin Lone (kick volleyball), whilst the older monks walked around the hillside tea gardens that surrounded the monastery on all sides. After the communal dinner we climbed the hill overlooking the monastery and watched a fiery red sun go down, silhouetting the Stupas to make a perfect sunset.
Our return journey to Lashio, although downhill all the way, was a much more uncomfortable experience. The bus we had paid for never arrived which meant a 7hr journey in a cattle truck with 50 others which was the more common mode of transport.
With no perceptible suspension and poor brakes, the journey did have its moments of excitement. After about 4 hours we eventually stopped for a welcome break. By this time, I was having difficulty in bending my back and as we walked around the front of the truck Jonas dropped his wallet. Bending down to pick it up, I used the open cab of the truck as a support as a gust of wind slammed the door on the back of my hand. Thrusting the wallet at Jonas, I continued walking telling him I was going to the roadside bathroom, a few steps later I passed out.
Flat on my back on the mountain road, traffic drove around the star shaped foreigner. Jonas had seen me and assumed I was stretching out my back and went off to get some noodles for breakfast. Sometime later I began to hear birdsong and could see blurred figures looking down at me ‘Sir, truck leaving’. Struggling to my feet I headed back and met Jonas who still hadn’t realised I wasn’t stretching out my back, or taking a roadside nap.
Picking up some of the luggage we had left at the Lashio safe house we boarded the overnight bus to Rangoon, a more comfortable 13hour journey lay ahead. Jonas was to catch his flight back to Bangkok and I was heading off to Sittwe on Burma’s west coast for the next stage of my journey along Burma’s Rivers & Roads Less Traveled’.
Andy’s exhibition will run from 4 May until 15 May – make sure it’s in your diary! 🙂
‘Light & Sound’ will be featuring pieces ranging from those taken at Clonter Opera Theatre ( https://www.clonter.org/ ), such as some of the UK and Europe’s finest emerging opera stars, or of London’s internationally celebrated Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club’s House Band & Friends; to those at Jazz & Blues Festivals; or intimate settings with musicians and friends gathering to share songs, stories, and poems at folk sessions and sing-a-rounds; or those which capture audience members and their very personal dialogue with music and life – the ‘Light & Sound’ exhibition showcases the diversity & richness of Jack’s musical portraiture, in which there is such movement throughout, and at the same time, a beautiful sense of stillness, love, tenderness, light, joy, and above all, humanity within.
Jack Thompson is an emerging, largely self-taught photographer and painter, based in Cheshire.
As a portraitist first and foremost, exploring the space in which interaction, dialogue and exchange takes place; the relation and interplay between, is primarily the inspiration and intentionality behind his work.
Not being able to afford expensive equipment, tools and materials, his practice; the way he makes art has necessarily required simplicity in approach. He responds to, captures and represents something of the essence of an experience; what is seen and felt, with honesty and sincerity.
Late 2016 saw Jack being offered what, for him, was a ‘chance of a lifetime’ opportunity by Clonter Opera Theatre, to take up a Photographer-In-Residence appointment. This has been a wonderfully suited and fitting role in which to further explore the human condition, to hone his skills, and develop his practice situated in the context of music performance and theatre.
In this role he has photographed, or is due to photograph, amongst others, internationally celebrated musicians such as London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club’s House Band & Friends; Colum Sands featuring special guests Brennan and Buchanan; and some of the UK and Europe’s finest emerging opera stars at the outset of their professional careers. He has also had the honour and privilege to photograph far more intimate music events at Clonter Opera Theatre. For example, those at which residents of local care homes, those living with severe health conditions, and carers were invited to enjoy afternoon tea with live music by Flossie Malavialle and Friends.
With Jack’s strong humanitarian, respectful and holistic approach, and passion for nurturing and enabling independence and growth in others, he is thoroughly embracing and enjoying this opportunity at Clonter Opera Theatre, who, both as an organisation and charity, also passionately believes in the development and education of young people, and in enabling them to realise their potential.
The exhibition will run from October 24 until November 14 with the preview night taking place on Thursday the 26th of October at 6.30 PM!
Join us for some amazing photography, meet Jack and many of those amazing people, whose stories Jack tells us with his pictures.
All proceeds from the sales will be donated to the following charities / non-profit charitable organisations:
Clonter Farm Music Trust ( https://www.clonter.org/about-clonter/clonter-opera/ )
Cheshire Arts For Health ( http://cheshireartsforhealth.org.uk/ )
Marie Curie Cance Care ( https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/ )
Pretty much everyone who has ever visited Chester Art Centre will have met me – I am usually the one hosting art exhibitions, organizing stuff, running around and figuring things out. Most of you will have asked me at some point if I did any art myself and I will have answered, “I do a bit of art photography, but I don’t have much time to do my own art because I’m always so busy”.
Well, actually, I have been doing quite a lot of art photography in the past couple of years as it turned out! In between the exhibitions, my 2 businesses and everyday life I have managed to snap away somehow. I have been doing some group shows now and again but not solos. And now this is finally happening! I have decided to celebrate my Birthday in style, with my art exhibition preview, to which you are of course invited! It’s hard to believe that the gallery will be filled with my own pictures next month as I honestly couldn’t imagine that I’d have time to plan everything and to do it properly. As a matter of fact, I don’t… :). But I’m doing my best with the time given…
‘Labyrinth’ is an exhibition showcasing some of my favourite pictures. I tend to dislike a lot of my photography and always think that I could have done better. I will let you know if I ever do – but for now, you are welcome to come and see my crazy world captured through a lens of a camera and printed on the finest quality Giclee printer (which we’ve got right here!) as I see it every day. I hope you will like it or at least find it interesting! My exhibition will run from the 10th until the 19th of October.
A special THANK YOU goes to Bryn Sutcliffe and Mark Edmonds, who have been encouraging me to keep doing art (sometimes even forcing me slightly – Bryn! Naughty!). You most probably have met them too – Bryn is our artist in residence and master framer and Mark exhibits his beautiful art with us, sometimes helps around the gallery and paints our walls from time to time! They have been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about my pictures and without them two, I probably wouldn’t have had taken that many photos and definitely wouldn’t have been exhibiting now. Love you guys! The rest of Chester Art Centre crew have been fantastic too – cheers everyone for your support and for believing in me! 🙂
So, yes, it is happening. Save the date and join us all at Chester Art Centre for a few Birthday drinks, Italian nibbles and some arty photos on the 14th of October between 5 PM and 9.30 PM! I really look forward to seeing you there.