Posted in News
05/11/2021

Robin Friend photographs the Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in Lewes, while exploring the fragility of today’s social frameworks

Reading Time: 3 mins

The annual Bonfire celebrations are captured in darkish monochrome, as they hyperlink to the larger narrative of British life

In the monotony of regimen and repetitive narratives of custom, the unusual aspects of our environment ceaselessly mix in combination, reworking into the deceptively mundane backdrop of on a regular basis existence. For photographer Robin Friend, our collective dependancy of overlooking the peculiar is what drives his creative apply. His earlier e book, Bastard Countryside, highlighted the dating between Britain’s rolling pastoral landscapes and its unkempt wreckage. Continuing to show the tensions at play in cultural conduct, Friend’s new paintings, titled Apiary, specializes in Guy Fawkes Night, a night of explosive birthday celebration specifically famend in the the town of Lewes, the place he these days is living.

Annually celebrated throughout the UK on 05 November, Guy Fawkes Night loosely commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Positioned as radical Catholicism effectively being snuffed out by way of the state, its ancient context has been bent, re-molded, forgotten and appropriated over centuries, ensuing in a generalised Bonfire Night. “While many of us attend to look at the evening spread, the ancient and cultural causes in the back of its life turn into extra difficult to understand and ambiguous with each and every passing 12 months,” Friend displays. “In some ways, it has typically turn into an evening so to protest and feature one’s frustrations heard.”

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints

As households and buddies accumulate to have interaction in the collective catharsis of protest, something is sure: fireplace is very important to all of their interpretations, and its chaotic luminosity is the protagonist in Friend’s photographs, whether or not a bonfire, its mirrored image in onlookers’ eyes, or sparked remnants losing from the sky. The sunset celebrations were closely documented by way of photojournalists over the years, masses of photographs alight with the orange glow of burning effigies.

In stark distinction, Friend’s photographs are monochrome, filtering out the evening’s overpowering noise, quietly linking the birthday celebration to the larger narrative of British life that effects in the perpetual want for one of these riotous evening. “The fireplace in Apiary hyperlinks the e book, in some ways, to Bastard Countryside,” Friend explains. “Our ancestors had been ready to grasp fireplace, which set us on a trail to the Anthropocene and started our adventure of separation with nature, and the collision of the human and the non-human.”

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints

© Robin Friend 2021 courtesy Loose Joints



“To be truthful, Apiary isn’t essentially about Bonfire Night. I used to be extra in the usage of the evening as a backdrop to discover some of the subject matters and concepts I’ve been enthusiastic about and suffering with over the previous decade.”

Sequenced in combination in a brand new e book printed by way of Loose Joints, Friend’s cinematic photographs be offering a shadowy back-and-forth between the person and collective enjoy, the libertarianism that someway manifests out of democracy, best to depart us frantically on the lookout for group. Friend concurs that his function was once to situate Guy Fawkes Night as a small slice of a better complete.

He explains: “To be truthful, Apiary isn’t essentially about Bonfire Night. I used to be extra in the usage of the evening as a backdrop to discover some of the subject matters and concepts I’ve been enthusiastic about and suffering with over the previous decade.” With Brexit, the upward push of far-right populism in Europe and North America, mass protests and violence in Hong Kong, the previous couple of years have laid naked the fragility of democracy.

“I see Apiary as a prelude to Bastard Countryside in some ways, as each pose dystopian questions: What occurs to society when it breaks down? What occurs when our freedoms disappear? Democracy is way more fragile than we’d like to recognize, and Apiary explores some of those notions by way of posing the query: What if? It’s no longer the ultimate curtain, but it surely’s a top in the back of it, to test in and remind us to seem after this refined factor we ceaselessly take as a right.”

Robinfriend.co.uk

Apiary is printed by way of Looise Joints, and is out now

The publish Robin Friend photographs the Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in Lewes, while exploring the fragility of today’s social frameworks seemed first on 1854 Photography.

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