Last week, as a class, we went to view the current exhibition being held by Ewan Spencer at White Cloth Gallery, Leeds. The exhibition is entitled “England’s Dreaming” and offers an insight into the nightlife of England’s youth culture.
Ewan Spencer is best known for his work advertising for the Chanel 4 TV series Skins. He organised a location based in London for the cast and extras to have an actual party so that he could photograph the goings on and aftermath.
The intro to the first series was this enormous party in an old house and others were created for newer series.
He takes this idea out into the real world but following the UK underground grime scene and has taken a number of photographs documenting what the youths amongst this movement get up to both in the day and at night. He also did some interesting work with The streets’ Mike Skinner. So, a mixture of advertising and documentary imaging but all with the same feel to them which integrates nicely making the advertising images have a very real feel to them.
As you can see in this image above, taken in the gallery, the blonde girl in the left image is from Skins. This
was one of the main advertising images from the first series.
There were some more images in another room but the lighting was too poor to photograph them. I like the idea behind these images and the message they portray of carefree youth and how even in the few different scenes documented here you can see the similarities of having as much fun as possible all day every day but the presentation of the images left something to be desired.
I found the size of the image very appropriate as it replicates the size of the movements, the extravagance of youth culture and the elaborate lengths I myself would go to when I was around this age (18/19) to party and get incapacitated. The only thing that bothered me was the sloppiness of the presentation. The images were printed onto fly poster paper and pasted onto the wall but it was lumpy and you could still see the paste on the wall which created more glare down the centre of the image but I can see how using this method of presentation it easily merges his work of advertisement and documentary together but it prevented the viewer from seeing all the detail, which was a shame.
Interesting work to look at overall and a nice space for this work to be exhibited. would be interested to see more work from Ewan Spencer perhaps on a new topic as his technique is intriguing.