Birmingham photographic agency Rhubarb-Rhubarb is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a retrospective exhibition and a high profile, with two other exhibitions running in the city centre.
At the Three White Walls gallery in the Mailbox, Photography is Dead is a review of some of the best work featured in nine years of the Rhubarb International Photographic Review. Rhubarb invited 12 international and national reviewers to nominate one photographer and one image and to write a piece saying why they thought the image stood out.
The featured photographers are Andy Lock, Anthony Crossfield, Astrid Kruse Jensen, Chino Otsuka, Elaine Duigenan, Ferit Kuyas, Han Sungpil, Michael Lundgren, Penny Klepuszewska, Simon Roberts, Stuart Whipps and Toby Smith and the show continues until August 18.
Meanwhile, Observance, which opens today at St Martin’s in the Bull Ring, is a collaboration between Rhubarb and St Martin’s Arts. Photographer Nicola Dove, whose work came to international attention through one of the annual reviews, has been carrying out a project since 2004 in which she has made a series of long-exposure portraits of people from a wide spectrum of faiths in a meditative state of prayer.
She has approached people including Ela Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter), Yonah Metzger (Chief Rabbi of Israel), and His Holiness Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje (Head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism). Sitters were invited into a meditational space to recite a prayer or mantra and photographed with a 15-second exposure while looking into the lens.
Nicola has had work featured at international festivals including Format 09, Nooderlicht in Holland and Liangzhau in China and been published in the British Journal of Photography, Next Level and Ojodopez. Observance is showing at St Martin’s until August 9.
The other current Rhubarb exhibition is Obama’s People, Nadav Kander’s portraits of members of the new American administration, at the Museum and Art Gallery until August 31. Over the weekend of July 25-26, the public can pose for their own portraits as members of the Obama administration.