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Artistic intuition and the abstract in Jessica Backhaus’ A Trilogy

Jessica Backhaus' A Trilogy was born out of intuition. After 2015's Six Degrees of Freedom, a project that saw the Berlin-based artist confronting personal topics of “identity, family, origin and memory” she craved something new; something rooted in minimalism and abstraction that would be wholly artistic and natural. Published now by Kehrer Verlag, the resulting book is a triptych of sorts, in which Backhaus takes her experimental sensibilities to a place of lucid colour, playful collage, and radical reduction. “I felt a cycle was finishing,” she says. “After Six Degrees of Freedom I felt empty, but not in a negative way. It was liberating. That notion of emptiness and void made me listen to how I was feeling.”

Suppressed memories of war in Frederike Helwig’s Kriegskinder

“I was born in 1968 in West Germany – that’s 23 years after 1945,” says Frederike Helwig. “One of my first memories of seeing images of the war was at my grandmother’s house, watching an antiwar movie about 16-year-old German soldiers defending a small village against all odds. I must have been 8 or 10 and I climbed into my brother’s bed that night utterly terrified by what I had seen with no explanation or guidance whatsoever. “This ‘shock’ education continued throughout school, where my generation was taught facts and figures about war crimes and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. Nobody was able to articulate guilt or shame, or elaborate on the emotional side of what this meant for modern German society. No one ever asked the question why this had happened, let alone gave an answer. Why didn’t the history teachers encourage my generation to ask our grandparents about their experiences in the war? The perpetrators were always the others – names in history books.” Moving to the UK to study photography when she …

John Davies’ The British Landscape on show in New York

"The British Landscape...is a long-term ongoing project about the enormous changes that have taken place in the UK – the world’s first industrial society and the first to de-industrialise," says John Davies. "Much of Britain’s infrastructure and the rapid expansion of industrial cities were created through the unprecedented growth of the Industrial Revolution. By the early 1980s, when I started this project, many of these large-scale industries and industrial communities were in terminal decline."

Collaboration rules at the London Art Fair Photo50

The London Art Fair is back, with its Photography Focus Day on 19 January and the Photo50 group show curated by a collective the first time - the Hemera Collective curatorial group, which currently includes Jaime Marie Davis, Ashley Lumb, Helen Trompeteler and Kay Watson. The Hemera Collective has put together a show called Resolution is not the point. which gathers photography and lens-based media artists from nine countries, including Larry Achiampong, David Birkin, Qiana Mestrich, and James Tylor & Laura Wills. The exhibition also includes work by several collectives, one of its points of enquiry is the way in which photography is encouraging artists to collaborate as it evolves, "as they push conceptual and technical boundaries of image-making, reaching beyond their own specialisms and drawing on the circulation of images, knowledge, and resources".