Product is the title of the exhibition and the book, which Mitchel presented in November at National Glass Centre. The exhibition explores the relationship between two bodies of work – Clothing Recycled and Welcome to Fashion Week. Through 7 colour frames, Mitchell creates a narrative of how the Indian colourful Shaddy blankets are made. Collaborating with Anthropologist Lucy Norris, they both represent this world of mass production and mass consumption and telling the viewer “We are tiny parts of systems beyond our control”.
Pages of a research book
Together with the C-Type prints, there were large scale photos of Welcome to the Fashion Week. Showing the backstage of the events, the work was presented by four projectors, repeating the photographs. Having that in mind, there’s just empty walls, lighted by the bright colourful images of photographers, cameras, tripods, people sleeping, smoking and drinking. The exhibition was involving the audience by this “shocking” photos. Being able to see a different perspective of the Fashion world captured in a Documentary style. Having benches in the middle of the gallery is very useful for the viewer to sit and relax and have enough time to observe the work and think on it. Moving visual content is preferred by the public, because it’s easier for the brain to assimilate the information.
And after looking at this work, I finally managed to open the book. And surprisingly, I get more interested in the book itself. The first thing that caught my eye was the simple linen hard cover of the book.
Tim Mitchell, Product, 6″x9″
Looking at the images, I found out there are 5 different projects that are actually creating this book, making it looks like a puzzle. Comparing different aspects and objects of our lives, Tim Mitchell shows us the connections between ourselves and the surrounding world. Having sociological and historical essays and even conversation with Carol McKay, made me even more curious about what knowledge is hidden there. In his book, the photographer says “I began to be interested in what the things we create say about us, as a group, and what life in the world those artefacts have”. I spent hours in the gallery observing, reading and enjoying the afternoon.
Tim Mitchell’s book launch and exhibition were hosted by NEPN at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. Collaborating with Mike Crang and Naomi A Austin they had a great conversation about the book and the arguments illustrated there.
Events like that always give an opportunity for good networking. Meeting interesting people with different social interests can be the first step in my next project. In the book, Tim Mitchell says that the research is equal to a lack of knowledge plus curiosity.