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Tag Archives: Giles Duley

Don McCullin Retrospective

There is a retrospective of Don McCullin’s work at the Tate starting tomorrow. It will be one of the great exhibitions this year and I would recommend you find the time to go. It will be tough, his war photography is uncompromising but he is a man of genuine compassion. As he said in a recent Guardian article while in conversation with Giles Duley…DMcC It’s about the emotional – we’re not just photographers, we gather emotionally. A camera doesn’t mean a toss to me. I just put it in front of me and transfer the image through that piece of glass and that film. But I’m using my emotion more than I’m using that piece of equipment. And at the same time there’s a thousand thoughts going through my brain saying: “Is it right do this?” I’ve seen men executed and I haven’t photographed it and I thought my God, if my editor knew that I hadn’t pressed this button he’d give me the boot. But it’s my moral duty not to take that picture because the man who’s about to be killed hasn’t given me his permission…….When a man is standing in front of you about to die, you can’t help him. He’s crying and he’s looking at you. He’s looking up to where he thinks God is and he’s scrambling around like mad to this last chance to keep alive and you’re standing there, you can’t help him. You are ashamed of humanity.

It is a dangerous mistress, and it’s one of those love affairs that never ends, you know. It just never ends. You’re totally captive to photography once it gets a grip of you.

There is a review of the exhibition here

x78Screenshot 2019-02-06 at 15.05.57Catholic Youths Attacking British Soldiers in the Bogside of Londonderry 1971, printed 2013 by Don McCullin born 1935Cyprus 1964, printed 2013 by Don McCullin born 1935

Shell-shocked US Marine, The Battle of Hue 1968, printed 2013 by Don McCullin born 1935

All images Don McCullin as seen at Tate Retrospective

The 10 best … photographic self-portraits

OK these are not our choice but that of  writing in the Guardian. Sean is a really excellent writer on photography and whenever we feature one of his pieces we get comments both in agreement and opposition. This list is by our consideration controversial and seems to miss some of the obvious and maybe that is the point. We would ask, where is Robert Mapplethorpe or more importantly Cindy Sherman but that is something you might completely disagree with. Do go and have a look and either nod sagely in agreement with Sean or howl at all you think he has missed.

From Andy Warhol in drag and Giles Duley’s ‘broken statue’, to John Coplans’s back and Gillian Wearing as her father

Andy Warhol<br /><br /><br />Andy Warhol: Self-portrait in Drag, 1981

Andy Warhol: Self-portrait in Drag, 1981. Photograph: The Andy Warhol Foundation

Warhol’s pop art depended on photography. He used found photographic images as the basis for many of his silk-screen paintings, but he also took thousands of Polaroids. Some became the source material for his commissioned portraits, but most were filed away in his archive – a kind of intimate visual record of his life. His most famous self-portrait features an exaggerated version of himself in a fright wig, but the series of self-portraits he made of himself in drag in 1981 is both more restrained and more formally accomplished. Here, the persona of celebrity blankness he so carefully cultivated is refined to an almost self-parodic extent: a mask of a mask.

See the other 9 best here

Giles Duley: ‘I lost three limbs in Afghanistan, but had to go back … ‘

Photographer Giles Duley was nearly killed after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan. Back home, fighting for his life in hospital, he made himself a promise: to return to Kabul to complete his mission of documenting the savage toll that war takes on civilians……..

This is his story. From The Guardian

A few months earlier, I sat in the searing heat of Sudan with Gino Strada, the charismatic chainsmoking surgeon who set up the Italian NGO Emergency, discussing the plight of civilians caught in the Afghan conflict. I was visiting their project in Khartoum, documenting their groundbreaking Salam Cardiac Centre. Over dinner, Gino told me about the work Emergency was doing in Kabul. I had shied away from Afghanistan because I felt so many great photographers were already working there. I’ve always said that if I get somewhere and there’s another photographer there already, I’m in the wrong place. My main interest has been the untold stories of human suffering around the world. However, as Gino explained, with his typical Italian passion, about the plight of civilians caught up in the years of conflict, I realised it was a story I had heard little of. So I resolved at that point to go and document Emergency’s work there, and I made that promise to Gino……….

Afghan boy Ataqullah tries prosthetic legSeven-year-old Ataqullah at the Red Cross limb-fitting centre in Kabul. A year before, while walking to school, he’d stepped on a landmine, losing an arm and leg. Photograph: Giles Duley

While on this embed, one cold morning in February 2011, I stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device), which had me fighting for my life in intensive care for the next two months and left me a triple amputee with only one arm intact……….

Giles Duley with Afghan boy SediqullahGiles Duley with Afghan boy Sediqullah at the Emergency hospital, Kabul. Sediqullah’s hands were damaged when he played with an unexploded fuse. Photograph: Neil Bonner/Minnow films

Read all of this moving and powerful story here If you can’t read there will be a documentary on the tv Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline will be shown on Channel 4 at 10pm on 21 February

Giles Duley’s portfolio

From the pages of the Guardian.

A fashion photographer who left celebrity behind to capture humanitarian issues, earlier this year Giles Duley lost both his legs and an arm during a landmine explosion in Afghanistan. Here he talks through his best shots.….more

To see more of Giles’ work visit gilesduley.com
To contribute to Giles’ fund and aid his rehabilitation visit gilesduley.org

South Sudan 2009
‘A Nuer woman in delivery at the moment of her child’s death. This reflected the dire need for better healthcare in South Sudan; as the nurses were limited, I’d had to help the doctor. I stopped for a moment to take this. It was so private but I felt it should be recorded. In the horror of such an event, there was a strange sort of calm. I’m not a religious man, but that was the closest I’ve felt to something spiritual. Months later, the photo won an award and I felt incredibly uncomfortable about that’