Steve Russell – Photographer: > Ltd. Edition Prints

Steve Russell’s photines. Blurring the boundaries between photography and sculpture, photines strike an intriguing balance between image and object and display another facet of Steve Russell’s talent and originality. All of Steve’s photines, below, are unique. The silver prints are all in an edition of five.

Steve has been shortlisted in 2015 for the National Geographic photo award 2015 and is a Hasselblad Masters finalist.

Steve Russell has built an enviable reputation as the photographer of choice to many of the most celebrated contemporary artists, both in the UK and internationally. He is particularly adept at photographing sculpture – a notoriously difficult thing to capture thanks to the vagaries of ambient light on three-dimensional objects. Now he has turned his camera elsewhere as part of a more personal project. The remarkable images of African subjects assembled in this volume were taken during his occasional trips to the continent over the past six years. They show for the first time a little-known facet of Steve Russell’s broader creative endeavours, revealing him as an image-maker of great vision and sensitivity.

Russell has been taking photographs since he was a child, his passion for the camera eventually prompting his father into building him a darkroom. That proved an enlightened investment, ultimately helping Russell transform a schoolboy hobby into an award-winning career as a versatile professional photographer of portraits, landscapes, interiors and works of art. Now Africa has opened up a whole new vista.

Steve Russell, Africa

The images of the people Steve Russell met on his many visits to Uganda, Rwanda, and elsewhere in Africa are not just a visual record of his travels. They also represent a more personal journey of self-discovery. It is often said that to meet Africa is finally to meet oneself. That broadening of inner horizons is a gift only a continent as vast and vibrant as Africa can bestow. Russell repays it here in a rich photographic tribute of which we are also the beneficiaries.

We know a great deal about Africa and yet, as these images confirm, there is still so much we do not know. The shimmering horizons of the Masai Mara and the verdant river valleys of Uganda may be familiar from magazines, television documentaries and stock image libraries but they tell only one story. The faces of the individuals Steve Russell photographed, most of whom he came to know, are an infinitely more eloquent testimony to human experience and to dignity in the face of hardship and struggle. Joy pours out of many of these images – generated, perhaps, by the simple pleasure of being photographed by an amiable stranger. There are inquiring faces here too – no doubt evidence of our own curiosity mirrored back at us. All portrait photographs reflect the relations between the photographer and his subject and these images resonate with the trust and empathy Steve Russell shared with the individuals and communities he encountered.

Selected Exhibitions:

Permanent Collection of Prints – British Council, Kampala Uganda
Photines Part of the Permanent Collection ‘Nature and Art’ – Gloucester
Exhibition at The Parabola Art’s Centre in association with Cheltenham Ladies’ College – April 2016
Gallery Pangolin – Christmas Cracker! – November 2015
Studio & The Fabric of Africa Open Day at Steve’s studio – November 2015
Studio & Gallery Open Day at Steve’s studio – December 2014
Campden Gallery – Solo Show – July 2014
Gallery Pangolin – On Home Turf – May 2014
Campden Gallery – Works on Paper – March 2014
Pangolin London – Christmas Show 2013 – December 2013
Gallery Pangolin – Christmas Cracker 2013 – December 2013
Talk at Eton College Photographic Society – March 2013
Nature in Art – Clan totems: in context – March 2013
Pangolin London – Solo show, Katonda Wenge exhibition and book launch – February 2013
Studio & Gallery Open Day at Steve’s studio – December 2012
Gallery Pangolin group show – December 2012