Naomi Harris – ‘The Haddon Hall’

The Haddon Hall is a lovely portrait of the aged residents of the titular hall, taken between 1999 and 2002 by Naomi Harris. It was Charcoal Book Club’s photobook of the month for September, 2021, and, in 2019, took Second Prize at the Kessel Dummy Award and won the FUAM Dummy Book Award. It was copublished by MASA and Void, and seems largely, and sadly, sold out.

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Justine Kurland – ‘Girl Pictures’

Girl Pictures was Charcoal Book Club’s photobook of the month for July, 2020… As a long time Kurland fan, at least since I laid eyes on Highway Kind, I preordered a signed copy from Aperture as soon as it was announced, so I contacted Charcoal and traded Girl Pictures for George Georgioiu’s Americans Parade. This is one of the perks of Charcoal membership: if you already have (or just don’t want) a particular book, just email them and say “please swap xxxx for yyyy” (where ‘xxxx’ is the just-announced photobook-of-the-month and ‘yyyy’ is any book in stock in Charcoal’s store) and it’s no problem. They’ll often even include the card and print from the book you declined.* I’m a big fan of Charcoal and what they’re doing.

But this isn’t a review of Charcoal…

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Anna Fox – My Mother’s Cupboards & My Father’s Words

My Mother’s Cupboards & My Father’s Words reminds me some of Rosalind Fox Solomon’s Got to Go. For the tiny little zine (and, I guess, exhibition), Anna Fox pairs simple images of the contents of her mother’s cupboards with statements made by her father, who struggled with dementia or Alzheimer’s at the time and said some simply awful things to or about the mother. Like Got to Go, it’s sorta maddeningly depressing. The almost funny, sorta madcap existence (and filthy, cockroach-infested environment) depicted in Fox’s Cockroach Diary is here replaced with what must’ve been a near-nightmare last few months or years that belie the pretty china patterns and simple home objects.

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Anna Fox – ‘Cockroach Diary’

To whoever alerted me to Anna Fox’s work, thank you thank you thank you! And if this is the first you’ve heard of Fox’s work, you’re welcome!

You may know that I have a love for the so-called onnanoko shashin era of Japanese photography. The diaristic work of Yurie Nagashima and Hiromix is the sort of work I wish I could make and when I need some inspiration, I grab one of their books first. Well, at about the same time Hiromix was blowing up, Anna Fox was living in a flat on the other side of the world, making what amounts to, in my imagination, a British version of pretty much the same sort of work. Her rather rare Cockroach Diary is a sort of zine/book facsimile of a diary she kept between 1996 and 1999, when she lived in a roach infested squat flat with a shifting group of friends, and it’s really incredible.

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Scenes from the Garden

I’ve been in something of a photographic funk lately. As of 18 September, 2021, I had 4 cameras with film in and three rolls awaiting development, and had no interest in doing anything with any of them.

I pulled myself out of this funk long enough to develop the three rolls—*yawn—and here are some scenes from the garden.

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The Curious Society No. 1

I first heard about The Curious Society is a nonprofit organization created to support and promote photojournalism and documentary photography. To this end, they publish a large, rather lavish quarterly magazine, provide education and training opportunities, and offer a small grant to college students, among other things. I first heard about the Society maybe a year ago. I was intrigued by their mission and purpose, but was in debt reduction mode and balked at the membership price. Despite following them on Instagram, I forgot all about the group until a couple of weeks ago and, feeling flush for a brief moment, I went ahead and joined.

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