June 28, 2012

The painterly work of Nagib El-Desouky

Nagib is one of those incredibly talented individuals, with several creative pursuits. He is both a musician and a photographer. As a photographer he has developed a very unique style, very painterly in feel but totally based on photographic images.
I am featuring him here. He was most reluctant to discuss his work or even supply titles to the images. He sent me however an excerpt of Khalil Gibran's The prophet,which I am copying below. "I think it is quite beautiful" writes Nagib "and describes the nature of work (and the creative process) well and in a way that I can relate to"
Here it is with his images interspersed. Nagib's website is here and you can contact him directly should you wish to.

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.

Thank you Nagib for sharing your work with us and wishing you well for the future

June 18, 2012

“Beauty is to the lonely mind but a shadow fleeting.” Christopher Morley 1890 - 1957

It's been a while since we posted but today it is our  pleasure to feature the photography of Britalicus, who hails from Edinburgh, Scotland.

This is what he says about himself:

"I was given my first camera at about the age of eight and knew instantly then that photography was something special. To be able to capture a moment, a feeling, an emotion, was something that I felt was possible, and so it has remained with me since, but capturing that special and perfect image remains just as elusive today as it did then.

Bending nude: a contrast lighting study. Model: Raphaella

      Bow: a pose to create symmetry. Model: Katy Cee                 
After many years of photographing landscapes, portraits, and events, as very much an amateur photographer, I ventured into artistic nudes in January 2010, my wife, I’m glad to say, being very supportive of the idea. Once passed the ‘how do you find a model?’ stage, it was a case of finding an approach to the subject with which I felt comfortable. It’s plain there are many different approaches to photographing the nude female form, but for me respect for the beauty and integrity of the model comes very high on the agenda in addition to the creation of 
an artistic image.
 Dance: a shot from a dance shoot using fabrics to create shapes in contrast to the models. Models: Katy Cee, and Kayleigh Lush

EdinburghCastle: the well known landmark of Edinburgh Castle and a cloudy sky used as a backdrop to this rooftop shot. Model: Katy Cee

Modern dance and classical ballet have been a strong influence on my shoots. I am fascinated with the shapes and forms that can be created in this art form, all too fleetingly, especially when emphasised by contrasting stage lighting. It will continue to be an underlying theme of my work, and has also influenced the choice of models with whom I have worked, many of them having formal dance training and experience. It is also probably why I have a preference for monochrome, this giving emphasis to the captured shapes and forms, focusing the eye on line, light, and shadow, and coming from the age of Tri-X film a reason why I like contrasty shots.

I treat external location work with caution as I think shooting outside risks being clichéd. However, a location with a strong photographic identity in its own right can add significantly to an image provided that model and location are integrated as one in the composition.

Horse and nude: an early morning shoot on Camber Sands, Kent, using the wide open space to contrast with model and horse. The underlying desire was to create a level of romanticism. Model: Kayleigh Lush

Iveta : a pose to create a dynamic shape. Model: Iveta Niklova

Iveta: capturing movement. Model: Iveta Niklova

Kayleigh: an implied nude with soft lighting. Model: Kayleigh Lush

Nearly two years on from my first shoot, a solo exhibition and a magazine spread and publications behind me, together with a website that regularly attracts visitors from around the world, I do not see my desire diminishing to try new concepts as well as developing on existing. In doing so I can, hopefully, get somewhere closer to capturing those elusive moments, those fleeting shadows, that I perceived all those years ago in the days of my youth!"

Kayleigh: posed to create a symmetry. Model: Kayleigh Lush

Thank you Britalicus! We wish you well in your future work.  Anyone interested in viewing his latest work please visit his website

                                                                                              Raphaella: a pose to show the model’s flexibility. Model: Raphaella

Thonet Rocking Chair: a pose to reflect the shapes in the chair. Shot with natural light. Model: Raphaella