Cuban Life Exhibition

Following last week's 'Cuban Life' exhibition in Shoreditich, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and everyone who came along. What a fantastic evening! I was genuinely overwhelmed at the turnout and how great it all looked.

The display was a quite simple; all the mounted A2-sized photos hung on suspended galvanised wire over two rows around the room. I say simple, but it still took several hours to secure the wire and hardware to the wall properly. The photos were then hung from the wire with bull clips and 'S' hooks. The whole look and feel was quite industrial.

  A panoramic view of the gallery taken with my iPhone before guests arrived

A panoramic view of the gallery taken with my iPhone before guests arrived

In the space adjacent to the main room, a slide show of my Cuban Street Life images along with a Chess Time Lapse were on a loop.  

The evening really exceeded my expectations. It was a lot of work to organise but fortunately I had a lot of help and therefore a lot of people to thank, especially the very generous people who sponsored and supported the evening.

Sponsors

  • Havana Club provided a "trike bar", two barmen and whole load of fabulous HC7 cocktails. The set up looked amazing and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a drop of rum left by the end of the night! Also thanks to everyone who contributed from Pernod Ricard, Steely Fox and MC Saatchi.
  • Fotobox in East Sussex have been printing for me for six years now and always give top quality service. They kindly printed all the A2 photos for me. Thank you Nigel and the team at Fotobox!
  • eFrame were good enough to send me the mounts for all the photos. Another excellent supplier of mine. Thank you Paul!
  • Moo, who are based just around the corner from the the exhibition venue in Shoreditch are responsible for all the fantastic "Luxe" postcards and business cards.

Also to thank ...

  • Dean Wakeling who designed the invitation and flyers
  • Lydia McKee baked the deeeee-licious mojito cupcakes x
  • DJ Fin for keeping the atmosphere going all evening with a fine selection of (sorta) Latin tunes
  • Stuart Howat was the man behind the camera for the evening
  • Adrian Oatley helped get everything set up on the day
  • Tena and all the staff at Celestine Eleven were simply amazing hosts for the evening!
  • And finally, Juliette, without her continuous advice, support, motivation and guidance, the evening would not have been even close to the fabulous event it was ... thank you so much love xx

The Exhibition Photos 

And for anyone who couldn't make it on the evening, I have created a gallery of the Cuban Life photos that were on display. Enjoy!  :-)

  Click on the image to see the full collection

Click on the image to see the full collection

About the exhibition

"I’ve always loved wide-angled lenses because you get so much more in the picture. But they are not perfect for everything and rarely for portraits due to the distortion qualities especially around the edges of the frame. However in the past I’ve found you often get the most interesting results are when you do the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

When I visited Cuba last Christmas, I started to experiment and see how I could make portraits that give us more of an insight into the subject. Using my fish-eye lens, I found that if I more or less kept the subject in the centre of the frame and kept my distance enough, the distortion didn’t affect them very much. At the same time, the lens brought so much more of their environment into the picture, that we really learn a whole lot more about the world around them. My 'Cuban Fisheye Portrait' project was born!

A couple of interesting consequences emerged. Sometimes onlookers were found lurking in the back of the photo and from where they were standing, they didn’t expect to be in the photo. In fact I even got caught out with this myself in one image in a mirror reflection. See if you can find me - or at least my camera poking out!

Another common theme that runs throughout the collection is the fact that so many people are selling goods (or just hanging out) through a window or a door or rectangular opening, many of the images seem to frame themselves. Or you find a frame within a frame. "

All photographs were taken with a Nikon D610 and manual focus Samyang 8mm fish eye lens