Posted on January 7, 2016
My latest project regarding place is based on cultural taboos and fears and problems surrounding death and our society .
So i have been documenting people who have been close to death .
Or places associated with death .
2 Feet .
Everything we do is subconsciously controlled by the thought of our own mortality . Our very culture was brought about to provide herd protection from our greatest fears and to prolong our inevitable fate . Sanitisation . Hospitals . Religion . Medicine . Genetics . Food . Our homes . Diet . Exercise ( to mention just a few ) you name it and ultimately it is a form of self preservation or security against the grim reaper .
But this growth and protection of ourselves through knowing that our final curtain will one day be drawn , leads us to excessive consumption of our surroundings to delay deaths rapid onslaught . Which in turn causes many of todays problems such as global warming and overpopulation .
I find it hard to believe that we could continue to sustain a population as big as ours and each individual within it with long healthy lives and not have the planet pay the ultimate price of complete extinction through our wanting of our own perpetuity . How Ironic ……
Death is like a cultural disease that eats away at society .
I wonder if it is possible for an intellectually evolved society to be convinced it is immortal ?
Posted on December 19, 2015
Ahhh Hallo …. Yesterday the elusive passport arrived and all the christmas supplies came early so I’ve been thinking about where to go for a bit of a wild adventure ( before I get to develop the 10 rolls 120 film I’ve been acquiring over the past 6 months and patiently waiting to look at with fresh eyes ) .
I thought paris as its definitely a photographers dream destination but that can wait until next year . Then columbia was mentioned as you can get a woman bb and drink all night for a tenner …..apparently ( ok for some but Not my scene I’m happily married ) , and … i don’t fancy bumping into Pablo Escobar any time soon I don’t think I would make it home . Anyway its been decided that Amsterdam is a good first choice due to cheap costs and short flying time .
So … with my film supplies arriving early Im very excited to use the pentax 67 and kodak portra 120 for some hopefully ” Gorgeous Documentary Portraits “, I hear it has amazing clarity and fantastic skin tones . Supposedly its the best you can get along with the tri – x .
Opportunitys for street and portraitures should be off the chart as I hear you can legally fuck and smoke weed outdoors . So I presume most people will definitely have a more laid back and different perspective on life in Amsterdam 😉 . Hopefully less of a problem having their picture took , I suppose thats if they even realise , too busy stoned or in the throes of passion to notice my camera .
I hear its not only cannabis you can buy over there but also ecstasy and mushrooms . Also quite popular with cocaine and my pal seems to know the language well ” Hoe kom ik aan coke, kankerlijer ” ? Trust its right he’s an expert .
Mushrooms were banned in 2008 but they always seem to find loopholes everywhere , never mind in a lawfully relaxed place like the dam , so they now sell truffles which contain psilocybin and ecstasy in places called ” smart shops ” .
The food sounds nice as well roti ( curried chicken ) , drop ( sausage and mash dam style ) and stampot ( local liquorice sweet ) being a few to choose from .
So I am looking forward to experiencing the culture of these people and documenting their lives .
Ill try and continue posting and updating but if not and you don’t hear from me in the next 2 weeks either the planes blown up or I’ve been kidnapped and you’ll find me in a window somewhere in the dam . Contact the British Consulate ……. Dank u und Tot ziens
Posted on October 15, 2015
No one knows what it means to be a man or a woman ….. What is a real man or woman but an idea through which we see ourselves . When in our history did this concept become firmly understood in our minds . How did we feel and see ourselves before we tried to make sense of it all . Gender is a reinforced cultural notion that is hard to shake .
What defines gender ?
A skirt ? A pair of pants ? A hairstyle ?
Stereotypes are the views of the small minded .
Male and female . Is there more to this relationship than just man and women ?
Sex is male or female that which you might be assigned when you are born .
Gender is the attributes associated with your sex, it is a mindset…. a clinical thing with Chemical/biological influences etc . Its where you fit in society and how you feel . Whilst people progress through a nurtured cultural moulding that influences them via toys and other means ( solidifying gender specific ideas at a young age ) like food ( hormonal imbalances in the diet ) and media ( Notions of what is right and wrong ) etc which gives this outcome …… Is it always strongly there from birth with everyone or can and does our society create this more-so in our era unknowingly or for reasons yet to be understood by the majority .Is gender always more natural or is it created .
These binarys do not seem to describe difference they create difference .
Transgender . Gender reassignment . They don’t think as them selves as a women or a man . They are genuinely a woman or a man born in the wrong body , or diverge towards one or the other by previously said specific means . It’s not a lifestyle choice . It just feels obvious to them as an individual that they are in the wrong body as they are becoming adults .
Sexuality is if you are straight or gay heterosexual or homosexual etc . How you want to express yourself to others .
Depending on what culture or society you are raised in the binarys can become different according on how that culture has defined its own gender . All these Ideas of sexuality and gender are enforced via force which unfortunately includes Shame and stigma . Therefore people are less likely to be themselves .
Even though the way we view and understand is getting better all the time we still have these deep-rooted thought processes embedded in us . For example when a man who won’t do a job which would be associated with females due to being uncomfortable or a man who wouldn’t wear a dress ( although David beckham and some stars are recently making challenging statements by wearing skirts and adopting this change in the media ) ( I also find it strange that a kilt is accepted as a masculine attribute in scotland . This for me proves exactly what I’m trying to say that its all because they have been nurtured to accept it ) or women’s clothes due to our feeling of shame to how others would view us and vice versa . But its usually the case nowadays that a woman would feel less uncomfortable doing jobs thought of as masculine through our moving towards equality with feminism , although it isn’t entirely solved yet we are making great progress towards the final solution .
As it has only just started to correct itself with women coming to the forefront in football , rugby and in other previously only masculine dominated areas etc or being more freely thought of as normal in the army maybe sooner than we think the opposite will become more freely accepted by males in female roles as the norm and work through the entire spectrum with less stigmatisation . All these concepts that are created by ourselves to be the norm aren’t nessasarily right .
We have constructed our own gender .
Posted on October 13, 2015
Born on the 11 th May 1976 in Blackpool England UK , Stephen Shaw is a Devoted Artist who uses Photography . specialising in Documentary , Portraiture and Conceptual . Currently in his second year at Blackpool and Fylde college after recently starting a 3 year BA Honours Photography Degree Course and previously worked as a Royal Signal in the British Army .
Source: Stephen Shaw | LensCulture
Posted on June 21, 2015
These are two recent images ( of many ) from a project i am doing , which I will soon be finishing and putting the end result on my website . I focused on the different types of people living on a council estate . The one above is a typical kitchen on the 17 th floor of a council buildings where a suicide took place . The area is renowned for suicides and has the highest rate in england .
More tradgedy and emotion was at one time flowing around this uncomplicated kitchen area than most people in your average family will ever witness in their entire lives . The pure charged Despair and sorrow that once was a reality in this ether … space ….atmosphere of this simple kitchen belies …. is misrepresented by such an commonplace household image and does not give justice to what actually happened here with the numerous suicides on Queenstown . But this for me sums up a stark contrast of the concept of what we don’t see or realise is going on in different places we just do not understand or experience . The idea of the sheer madness of what once existed and was real but is now a just a rested memory abandoned to history .
A forgotten mistake that cannot be learned from …… But photography can solve these problems for future generations . My images carry on this thought so others can witness it and maybe help prevent these problems in the future
In the area they live there are consistently found higher levels of emotional strain, stress, depression, mental illness . It has been and is an important part of our culture to document , making a visual factual testament to the people who lived within them and how thy responded and evolved within it and the problems that arise .
My work shows a group of normal working class people living together , enduring and surviving together amongst the dystopia , living alongside it and all that this entails . A proud and patriotic working class sub culture leaving Queenstown behind but striving towards a better future , which is something we all want and should take heed of .
My work shows ordinary people striving to live alongside social problems and how society has installed rules and ideas to influence and affect these unaware populations , showing themselves clearly amongst these people . It shows ideas instilled by a culture and people acting out and living their lives accordingly through these concepts . They have been moulded by society notions that have been placed upon them ( forced ? ) unknowingly but willingly accepted , innocently but obligingly to a predetermined script . This script needs to be re-written for all our sakes .
Posted on April 16, 2015
“And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We cannot pick it up.
There is no way at all!”
Another image from my ongoing street project involving a group of homeless people and the social hierarchies and group dynamics they have constructed to survive .
I have learnt they have a mini social system just the same as ours and it isn’t always as bad as you think for some of them but others more so , as it is structured very well and they all know the ins and outs of their profession and where the best free meals are etc. Its a frame of mind i think . They have leaders , security , problem solvers , rituals and daily behaviours with different personalities etc I think one of the differences between ” us ” and ” them ” ( wrong words ? ) . They look at us totally different than we look at them ( its all swings and roundabouts ) . We are there survival and some of them don’t care how they get their meal ticket . They are not bothered about sympathy , only if it gets them a meal . Im not saying i believe they are all like like but a majority are . i feel like you can definitely know who is genuine out of them and who isn’t after spending a short while getting to know them . Some of them certainly are not bothered about being where they are and enjoy it as long as they get there money each day to keep the alcohol on tap or whatever . Whilst others cannot assuredly find 2 meals a day , these are usually the ones that seem quite for real , nice and don’t believe they should be there ( which is probably true ) , and others meet somewhere in the middle .
There is lots more and it gets very deep , but I’m rushing and i have to go out now ill maybe put more later
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on The Man Bar|
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on Colin|
|allentimphotos2 on Colin|