Wednesday, 24 December 2014

" A Book Connecting You Even More Intensely To The Incident And Puts You Literally On Scene."

Before the year is out, the last work post! I am very pleased to see another Review of my last book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI from the wonderful Josef Chladek, and here is what he has to say about it...

"I have quite a number of old books, over the years you learn to distinguish between the different smells and their sources (damp, too much sun, smoking, ...), and it's like with some people - there are ones you can't stand and you stay away from them, others you return to just to get your mind going and "smell" the history. I realized that when I first heard and read about Melinda Gibson's new book - an investigation on what happened to her studio after it was heavily damaged by fire (and water). She documents that in this book (in strange, abstracted patterns and high contrast images) - but on top each and every book got smoked. What sounds like another (photo)book gimmick turns out to add a creepy and mystery note to the "object" of the book connecting you even more intensely to the incident and puts you literally on scene. Just afraid that it will loose the smell over years - love it!" Josef Chladek

See the book on Chladek's Photobook Self -

Friday, 12 December 2014

Photo-Eye's Best Books Of 2014 - Smokey Self Published Be Happy Books Make The List!

Before the year is out, comes a mass of lists and more lists that are compiled by industry professionals giving their take on the 'Best Book's' of the year. Among the numerous compilations, comes the predictable, the worthy, the exciting and the unknown, so I am very happy to say that I have made the cut for a second year with my latest publication, SPBH Book Club Volume VI! It seems all those hours of smoking paid off.

Colin Pantall selected my book in his 10 publications and had this to say about the work, very Pantall as ever. 

"There have been some great gimmicks in photobooks this year, and when those gimmicks tie in with a photobook's content and move the medium of the book forward, they are a good thing. They even get you on Best of Photobook lists! She plays great games with photobooks, making the viewer want to see her pictures and making them remember them when they are not there. A book in smell-o-rama; it may be a gimmick but, boy, does it work!" Colin Pantall.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

New Exhibition - REIN QUE POUR VOS YEUX Opens 13th December At Rose Gallery In LA

As the festivities get well on the way, I am very, very, very proud to have my last exhibition of 2014. My series, "The Photograph As Contemporary Art" is part of the holiday exhibition "RIEN QUE POUR VOS YEUX/ FOR YOUR EYES ONLY" at the wonderful Rose Gallery in LA!!!!

Proudly showing with some extraordinary artist, that include original works by, E.J Bellocq, Jo Ann Callis, James Gallagher, Mayumi Hosokura, Rinko Kawauchi, Christian Patterson, Steve Galloway, Mercedes Gertz, Leanna Hicks, Summer Mann and Arthur Tress. I am very excited indeed and it's a true pleasure to work with the team in LA.

What a great way to end this busy year, I think it's now time to celebrate!!!!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Christmas Homage - Limited Edition Cards

The last month has been rather eventful, so much has been happening, I have some what forgotten to update my blog, so I am back with a collection of new things this month - December has got very busy indeed, before the resting, relaxing times can begin!

To start off the festive cheer and month long celebrations, here is my annual appreciation - The Christmas Card Homage! Last year saw the first of my homages, to the great John Baldessari and this year will see the dedication to the wonderfully talent artist Dirk Stewen. I have been a momentous fan of Stewen's work and with a truly stunning show this year at Maureen Paley, it just consolidated all that I adore about his practice. 

So with this in mind, 2014 see's me produce two Limited Edition Cards. Each card's source material is classically festive, but hand drawn in pencil and toned with watercolours, in that signature Stewen style! The cards are produced in an limited edition of 40 + AP's (each card in an edition of 20) and each one is signed on the back. I will be posting the cards out this week, so a massive thank you to all the people I have worked with this year, may it continue for many years to come.

Homage to Stewen "Mistletoe, 2014" Mixed Media, Pencil,Watercolour, 2014
Homage to Stewen "Robin, 2014" Mixed Media, Pencil,Watercolour, 2014

Keep looking for more updates on exciting things happening this month and plans for 2015...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Follow Your Nose To Paris, SPBH Book Club VI - The Sweet Smell Of Smoke At Off Print

I am very happy to say that as Paris Photo opens to the crowds, my new publication, SPBH Book Club Volume VI will be present with the SPBH Editions at Off Print. So as everyone gets into the Parisian spirit, our new book was today the Book du jour as well as presented on #SPBH Live, demonstrating the performative element to the book. Don't miss out experiencing the smell-o-rama element of the publication in person. You really can't miss it, just follow your nose!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Shift School Of Photography

What a wonderful three days! London to Berlin to Dresden and back, to teach at the newly opened Shift School Of Photography in Dresden. Founded by the incredibly talented Curator, F/STOP Festival Founder and Photography extraordinaire Kristin Dittrich, this school opened for the first time with an intense 5 teacher, 5 days workshop, with participants that came from all over Germany and even further a field! 

It was an excellent few days, with German efficiency really assisting everything along. It seems the stereotype is true, German transport is something to be reckoned with, not only is it on time, for both arrivals and departures, it is also cheap!!! This is something as a native Englishwomen, I could only dream of having one day.

The school itself is situated in the wonderful city of Dresden. Within high ceilings, every corner you turn is another collection of artist books and inspiration. The light that floods into the teaching rooms highlights each and every curvature of the space, there is an overwhelming sense of calm and inspiration, probably one of the nicest places I have taught in for a long time. 

The entire experience was truly fantastic and I can't wait to return to teach again soon, keep a watch out for future workshops, pop-up spaces and the schedules, this School is going to be offering something very special.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

London - Berlin - Dresden - Berlin - London

I am very, very excited to announce that I will be heading off to Berlin early tomorrow morning to make the journey down to Dresden to the newly opened Shift School Of Photography, where I shall be conducting a 1 day, intensive workshop around Found Material, part of the first course prepared by the school - a 5 day workshop with 5 tutors!

The Shift School of Photography is pioneered through concept, enabling students to be taught in a manner whereby they choose their specialist field. From curation, written, making to collecting, each course is delivered by tutors that see Photography in all its guises and have a distinct specialism in their own practice. 

See more here about the school and keep up to date with all the news:

SPBH Book Club VI in 291 Art World Magazine

Very nice to see that my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI is being viewed far and wide, including in this excellent Chinese based magazine, 291 Art World, based in Shanghai. The magazine has a collection of very interesting contributors including, Li Zhenhua and Lu Pingyuan.

This current issue is jampacked with articles, reviews and interviews with many publishers, curators and shows a varied collection of publications including the much anticipated Chinese Photobook By Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren, of which the wonderful Silvermine books, by fellow collaborator Thomas Sauvin are part of! Other SPBH examples include the excellent Esther Teichmann and Johan Rosenmunthe's books. It's great to have my new book in such wonderful company which includes great friends.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Studio Burning, Book Smoking, Colin Pantal

I am delighted to say that my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI has it's first review out already and none other than by one of my favourite photography/book reviewers Mr Colin Pantall! Pantall writes on his blog about my new publication, placing it into the contexts that surround both my practice and the idea of the photobook itself, coming up with some excellent phrases like "So all was well and good in Gibson land" and "this book comes in full smell-o-rama."

Here is a little excerpt from the review, "I think that distances the effect from what makes it so interesting - its directness and the manner in which it changes the way you experience the pictures and puts you in the place using very basic sensory tools. So the gimmick here does not change the ease of how you see the pictures, it isn't something incorporated into the page design. Instead it adds something to how you see the pictures. It's a caption that works on a primaeval level. Smoke and its associations is a fundamental smell that has been with us since some woman rubbed two sticks together and came up with fire."

Monday, 27 October 2014

La Semaine Dernière à Galerie Paris-Beijing

This week is the last week to catch Lunar Caustic at the Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels, part of our exhibition, Beijing Silvermine, don't miss out!!! If you are in Brussels or close by, head on down to the gallery to see our work as well as the amazing show by Wang Bing!

Signed, Sealed, Smoked, SPBH Book Club VI

This weekend saw the Smoke Press start up in London, as the first shipment of my new book, SPBH Book Club Volume VI, a wonderful collaboration with SPBH Editions arrived from the printers, ready for the finale, to be smoked! 

As the day dawned, sunlight shone over the stacks of plywood, tiny screws glistened and the smell of smoke filled the air as the flat packed Smoke Houses, reminded me of their last performance at Unseen Amsterdam, now a month ago. 

Freshly axe cut wood chips where chopped and soaked in water, four smoke houses where put back together and a roaring fire was started with charcoal. The next step was to order, number and sign the books, a fair few hours passed before the smoking could commence and then, everything was ready, it was time to start!

The four smoke houses bellowed with thick white smoke, as one publication after another was placed inside for ten minutes, soaking up all the aromas that the wood, coals and plywood could muster up. After the strict timings where abided by, each book was quickly and carefully placed into plastic, to seal the smell. They were still warm to the touch, a literal nod to the saying, "hot off the press." 

As night drew in, the fire still roared and smoke still poured from the smoke houses, until the first batch was finalised and a weekend of smoking was complete. Signed, sealed, smoked and delivered... very shortly indeed!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The New Yorker & Le Soir - Arts Libre Review


With only a few weeks left to see our Brussels based exhibition, it is fantastic to see how far reaching the works from Lunar Caustic are proving to be and none more so that the 'swimming lady' herself! I am delighted to see that The New Yorker Photo Booth did a great follow-up article on the Beijing Silvermine, after Thomas Sauvin took over their Instagram account last week. 

It is truly extraordinary to see how the use of Instagram is in many ways revolutionising how audiences get to view new imagery.  With an account of 106,000 followers the images that make the cut are seen far and wide by a very active audience.

Reviews are coming for the exhibition Beijing Silvermine and it is great to see that Lunar Caustic is being selected out, here in this double page spread in the Arts supplement, for the newly released French, Brussels based newspaper Le Soir, article written by Jean-Marc Bodson.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Frieze In All Its Wonder

This week saw the opening of Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters. London is overflowing with exceptional work, every corner you turn there is another opening, another fantastic exhibition to put on the list and as you wonder through both fairs, the delights await and entice! 

This year saw a slightly different layout, and it was by far the most easily navigable, as the flow of one stand to another didn't throw up any confusion, only once did I find myself a little lost, a sure improvement on past years! I also decided to take on a solid approach this year, working alphabetically, up on side and down another, eyes wide open, head turning left to right, right to left as to ensure I didn't miss any galleries, it seemed to work well.

As I started my mission, there were key galleries that I knew I wanted to spend sometime in, particular artists work that I adore and other finds waiting to be found. Herald Street with Pablo Bronstein's incredible architectural drawings, Frith Street with Tacita Dean's "Quatemary" absolutely stunning, David Zwirner's installation with Wolfgang Tillmans and Francis Alÿs was quite unbelievable. Jack Lavender's works on glass at The Approach were excellent, as too were the stands by Maureen Paley, Vilma Gold and that's just a start! 

As I meandered on, I saw weird and wonderful installations, a giant dice, corrugated cardboard Jabba the huts, classic 8mm film projectors intermixed with weights, powdered pigment canvases, concrete foundation blocks,  all a feast for the eyes, every gallery booth you turned into, something else caught your eye to excite and entertain, and that was just at Frieze Art Fair!

After a fair few hours, taking in the contemporary delights, a relaxing walk up to the Masters, to be yet again overwhelmed by an abundance of unbelievable artworks. What I find wonderful about the separation of the fairs, is the space that it not only physically creates, but psychologically too, as the fresh air, autumnal natural surrounds truly cleanse the mind, ready for the next digestion. 

Frieze Masters in its second year, really is something to be experienced. A complete opposite in every sense from the Art Fair, the Masters has a much softer, gentle atmosphere, a quietness the other couldn't possible have. Works by Pablo Picasso, Hans Bellmer, vintage Gilbert & George, Francis Bacon, Heniz Hajek-Halke to Cincinnato Baruzzi, Auguste Leveque, Vincenzo Civerchio, the list goes on and on, it is really quite astounding! 

So after an inspirational day packed with culture and artworks you could only have dreamt of seeing, what better way than relaxing with a few drinks as the sun sets on Regents Park for another year.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Exhibition Profiled On Paris Photo, L'Oeil, Agenda Magazine and Case Studies In Wallpaper*


Fantastic to see that our new show, "Beijing Silvermine" at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Brussels is getting great coverage in the press and being profiled on some great sites. 

To start an excellent article and interview with Mister Sauvin in Agenda Magazine, then profiled in the case studies for Wallpaper* which is very exciting indeed. Next, L'Oeil de la Photographie and not forgetting with Paris Photo, on both their website and Tumblr sites, showing "Lunar Caustic" which looks just fantastic up there, especially against their bright magenta title page and it's only been open less than 2 weeks!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Push The Limits Of What Photography Can Be. Weirdfest Jampacked With Genius. Dazed Digital.


Very, very, very excited to see that the reviews are already in on The Smoke House! A wonderful article in the Guardian talks about the third edition of Unseen Photo Fair in an article entitled, "Unseen photo fair: the Amsterdam weirdfest jampacked with genius." Sean O'Hagan writes about the performance,

"As night fell on Thursday, smoke filled the air outside the former gasworks. It was wafting from a barbecue bucket tended by London-based artist Melinda Gibson, who was inviting passersby to partake in a performance called The Smoke House. In four small smoke houses, copies of her new book (the latest Self Publish, Be Happy book-club offering) were absorbing wood and coal smoke. Once hot, they were sealed and sold to the public. It was, so the programme says, “a ritual act of defiance” linked to an actual fire that damaged Gibson’s studio recently – but it became a large gathering of revellers drawn to the campfire atmosphere. I went to dinner reeking of smoked photobook."

Then Unseen itself talks of the performance as, "On Thursday evening, Unseen’s programme spilled out onto a space on the Festival Ground outside the Living Room, to push the limits of what photography can be with a live performance by British artist Melinda Gibson. Always one to challenge the boundaries of contemporary photography, Gibson’s latest publication is a meditation on loss and renewal. The Smoke House intrigued and involved Unseen visitors with its ambiguous tone, slipping between destruction and renewal."

Also great to see the performance mentioned in the review of Unseen on Dazed Digital.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Debut Of Lunar Caustic Opens At The Galerie Paris-Beijing In Brussels

So another day and another city, Friday morning saw me board the Thalys from Centraal station to arrive in Brussels to start the install, and gave me a few hours to rest up before the next stage!

I arrived before midday and was soon at the gallery, admiring the incredible space and starting to unpack and look through all the shipments that had arrived for Lunar Caustic. Galerie Paris-Beijing's exhibition space in Brussels is quite extraordinary, a former Hotel; the swapping staircases, parquet flooring and wooden framing is truly stunning and provided a perfect backdrop to the exhibited series, let alone the roster of artists they hold like Wang Bing and Martin Parr!

The opening was a great success with packed rooms filled with viewers wanting to hear the tales of the mine, exploring the differing levels of the project. The ground floor provided the context, a space where the original images could be seen in all their glory. Intermixed with these were documentaries of the journey and an opportunity to delve into 5 kg's of negatives as well as Sauvin's latest idea - Beijing Silvermine beach towels!

Lunar Caustic took hold of much of the second floor, with three rooms providing a process based context right through to the final pieces. A Nitrate stained tray hovered over a plinth, a concrete slab removed from the testing area, showed the corrosive nature of the materials used and created from this tale/series and vibrant test strips start to show how the materials interact with the photographic paper. 

Then onto the next room, where three plinths display objects from the process, stained acid gloves, a bottle and in between the material compound itself - Silver Nitrate. As the sun rises and the light pours into the gallery space, the compound changes, it starts to evolve, from a clean white powder to a darkening black. As the time ticks on, so too will the Nitrate, until only black is left.

In the final room, a clean, bright space displays 12 pieces, full framed photographic prints. Each one is vibrant and saturated, the acid burns shining through and the nitrate granules dirty brown and thick. As the exhibition continues, so shall the works, as they all twist and turn from the light that pours through the windows.

The exhibition runs until the 1st November and more can be seen here:

The Embers Are Still Glowing From Unseen

I am finally back in London after quite an extraordinary week or so of airports, train stations, installations, performances and openings! From the wonders that are Amsterdam's Unseen Photo Fair to the stunning architecture and exhibition at the Galerie Paris-Beijing, there has been many highlights, fun times and debuts of collaborative projects.

Amsterdam is such a wonderful city, the people are warm and inviting and Unseen is truly a place for experimentation and pushing the limits of what Photography can be. This years edition was no different, in fact if anything more experimental than other years as that 'Festival Flair' they speak of was in full swing, with events going on in and around the festival ground, day and night!

The Unseen programme started with a wonderful Foam Museum opening of the new show, "Under Construction - New Positions In American Photography" with drinks in the garden on a warm sunny evening. The show is excellent and it was brilliant to see Daniel Gordon's work up close, a perfect start to the Unseen schedule! 

Next saw the opening of the fair, but before the fun could start, the installation of the performance piece, "The Smoke House." In the early morning of the opening, I quietly started the build of the four plywood handmade smoke houses that I made in London. Each one assembled well and before a few hours had passed they were complete and ready for the next stage - Thursday's performance!

The time dawned and the four smoke houses sat in a square in the festival ground, ready to partake in the performance, gently smoking the books. A fire was created in the centre and as the crowds grew around the fire, which turned to thick smoke, a true campfire atmosphere was created. As the light fell, the smoke grew steady, the books where placed in the houses, smoked then sealed and packed slightly warm. The idea of 'hot off the press' surely has the most accurate sense here!

Three hours of performance time passed then the books were collated, the houses de-installed, packed and ready for the next performance in London. A great little meal was had, a small time asleep and then off I went onto the next city, for the next debut.

Monday, 15 September 2014

2 Collaborative Projects Debuted In 2 Different Cities, 2 Days Apart!!!

What more can I say than, 2 collaborative projects debuted in 2 different cities, 2 days apart - Remind me never to do this again!!! First off will see the release of the SPBH Book Club Volume VI in Amsterdam at the Unseen Photo Fair, then off to Brussels to open the exhibition, Beijing Silvermine at Galerie Paris-Beijing where our series "Lunar Caustic" will debut for the first time!

It's going to be an amazing week and you shall find me in Amsterdam, in a cloud of Smoke and in Brussels covered in Nitrate, either surely not too be missed! Here are a few links to all of the happenings going on this week. See you on the other side!

Lunar Caustic In Emaho Magazine

As the week commences, the next seven days are sure to see a wealth of activity and the previewing/ debut of two of my new collaboratives series within 2 days of one another. So what a better way then starting off the week, with a wonderful editorial of the series that Thomas Sauvin and I conceptualised from Sauvin's archive of found Beijing imagery, "Lunar Caustic" in Emaho Magazine!

It's a great editorial, where the imagery really jumps from the page, the colours so vibrant against the dark background, a big thank you to everyone at Emaho!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Coming Soon... SPBH Book Club Volume VI - MG

Very, very, very, very excited to announce that I am the next artist to work with Self Publish Be Happy and produce their latest SPBH Book Club Volume - VI!!!! We were on press all day yesterday and as I write this the sheets are being printed, bound and ready to smoke.

It is soon to be released, coming out in late September and for those of you at the Unseen Photo Fair, you will be the first to see the preview of the publication in the performance, "The Smoke House" which takes place on Thursday 18th September from 18:00 pm.

More information can be found on the SPBH Editions section of the website, including an opportunity to pre-purchase your own copy, they are going fast and with an artist edition of 300 copies, don't miss out!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Miss Titus At Mt.Rokko Photo Festival In Japan

Very, very pleased to say that my second publication, "Miss Titus Becomes A Regular Army Mac" was chosen by the wonderful Director of Claire De Rouen Books, Lucy Moore, for her selection at Mt.Rokko Photo Festival in Japan! 

I was surely in great company as other Moore selects where; Joanna Piotrowska, Bruno Zhu, Tom Hunter, Clare Strand, Sarah Jones and a couple of other great artists! The photo festival ran from the 29th August and closed on 7th September, see below for more details and imagery. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Smoke House Performance At Unseen Photo Fair - Thursday 18th September From 18:00 pm

I am very, very excited to announce that for today's news, I will be performing at Unseen Photo Fair, on Thursday 18th September, debuting my new collaborative work with the wonderful Self Publish Be Happy, as I complete their new and latest Book Club Vol VI. It's going to a hot Thursday evening and something not to miss!!!
"SPBH Editions presents artist Melinda Gibson's latest performance in conjunction with the release of her latest book SPBH Book Club Vol VI.
SPBH Book Club VI is a forensic and artistic exploration of loss and renewal by Melinda Gibson. During a fire at her South London studio, Gibson watched as smoke and water poured into the space. In the aftermath, she combed through what remained, analysing and collecting material and drawing it together in the form of a book. The making of the book itself became for Gibson a cathartic process of survival.
In a live performance, Gibson invites audiences to take part in the smoke press; four handmade smokehouses continually smoking books. In a ritualistic act of defiance, each book is ‘smoked’ by Gibson – each one becoming a unique, sensorial object offering an experience that transcends the pages of the book."

Sneaky Peak here:

Monday, 1 September 2014

Lunar Caustic Takes Over Photomonitor

So September has arrived and with this month, exciting days lay ahead. So to start the month off in style - 1st September, we are very, very pleased to have Lunar Caustic take over the homepage of the wonderful webzine, Photomonitor! 

Not only is the invitation image the landing homepage for the entire duration of this month, but the project series is presented in the Portfolio section of Photomonitor along with all the imagery that we are exhibiting, as well as the statement around the project. Take some time to look at the photographs, as they may not be the same the next time you see them!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Hujar, Stewen & Thomasson

Yesterday saw a very welcome break from all the projects that are currently running at the moment, a day of pure relaxation and a time to catch up on some of the beautiful exhibitions I have been meaning to see before they finished with a dear friend, a truly traditional Sunday, like the old days. 

And what more could you want than the two absolutely stunning exhibitions at Maureen Paley, Peter Hujar's portraits and Dirk Stewen's watercolours, then onto the Chisenhale to see the Edward Thomasson's premiere of 'The Present Tense' video.

To start a very welcomed trip to Maureen Paley, I always find it such a pleasure viewing work here, the space is incredible and the curation always so tight, you really are presented with a viewing platform that offers ample space for seeing, a clarity, a cleanliness that l find so inviting. On the ground floor are the beautiful black and white prints made by Peter Hujar himself, as you walk from one photograph to another, you see his gentle, but strikingly powerful images of a New York that once was, Divine, William Burroughs,  Paul Thek, Peggy Lee in all their glory. The prints vary in their tonality, but all have this draw, it must be the touch of Hujar. There is a tenderness to his imagery, a sense that he had great respect for this sitters, that they were friends and shared in much. They are honest, delicate and no matter the subject matter, whether alive or dead, an honest approach - stunning.

Upstair is Dirk Stewen and a focus on his watercolour works on paper. I am such a colossal fan of Stewen's work, I can't really explain in words exactly what happens when I see the watercolours, but there's this sense of sublime euphoria, seeing how the muted colours bleed into one another, that gentle tactile touch of thread hanging from the paper. The meticulously cut out, added circles of colour collaged over one another, the compositions are wonderful and those thin lines that pull your view off the paper, its quite extraordinary. Alongside these are three stunning images, that incorporate pieces of thin wood, that rest so delicately over the framed imagery, it is a truly special exhibition.

Then from all the excitement and joy from Hujar and Stewen onto the Chisenhale to see Edward Thomasson's video, 'The Present Tense', the premiere of his work created and commissioned by the gallery itself and Create, (their residency programme.) The video is an excellent visual narrative where three interconnecting stories explore space and human behaviour towards one another. The use of music is very interestingly placed, as well as the use of the theatrical, in particular the scenes where police offers perform to teenagers, singing their daily routines is quite extraordinary. 

Sadly all exhibitions finished on the 24th August, but you can more about them here:  

All images are courtesy of The Estate of Peter Hujar, Dirk Stewen @ Maureen Paley and Edward Thomasson's image by Andy Keate @ The Chisenhale Gallery. 

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