Global Stories was
an exhibition held in 2019 at the Four Corners Gallery, Bethnal Green, London. It comprised a series of photographs taken,
as the name suggests, in various countries across the world. Some of the photographs derived from
deliberately attending and recording pre-planned events, while others arose
randomly from happening upon events that occurred during travel, akin to
street photography. The concept of a
story contained within a photograph has a good analogy with the term “compressed
file format” used in recorded music.
The photograph, a visual image taken in a fraction of a second, like
the compressed file, contains all of the information that is required to
recreate the whole. The key
difference is that the imagination of the onlooker is required to rationalise
the time, place and circumstance to complete the story.
The principal challenge was always to capture the “decisive moment”, as
expressed by the great photographer Hernri Cartier-Bresson, such that the
“photograph was part of the event itself”.
However, equally important to the photographer was ensuring that the
aesthetic appeal of each photograph, in terms of composition, timing and
capturing movement, was robust.
Whenever appropriate, humour or the surreal were used to augment the
story-telling. Satire was also used
extensively in the titling of the photographs. One of the key observations from the series
as a whole was the importance of rituals – work, religion, leisure etc - to
give a structure in all countries and cultures. The rituals could be diverse and full of
contrast, such as rich and poor, work and leisure, formal and informal and
dynamic and static. Mostly, but not
exclusively, people seemed to derive much pleasure by participating in the
The photographs are an extraction from previous projects by the photographer
and are all presented in black and white format. They were printed digitally using pigment
inks on baryta coated paper for archival permanence.
Click here or on the themes on
the left hand side of the screen to see the photographs