Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Meditation on the Graveyards on the North

We're delighted that acclaimed blues musician Charlie Parr has written the foreword to our forthcoming “Midwest” photo book by Tom Cops.

Here's a brief extract:

"It's called The Big Empty up there, the northwest corner of Minnesota, and it's mostly true, but it's a beautiful landscape of pine forests, giving way to farms and little towns set in the prairies vastness....We played a show south of Livingston, at a hot springs saloon and had a good soak. Our B&B was located on land that had been the stronghold of a radical militia separatist reactionary right-wing Christian group.

Tom and I found a hill with an icon at the top, Mary I think, tall and laden with plastic flowers, surrounded by a couple park benches and a ring of little crosses. Tom photographed the place. I sat wondering what was buried underneath that hill, slightly scared of the place. The whole compound seemed a graveyard, but Mary wasn't the epicentre, the ominous gray pill-box that housed the machine gun was the marker that drew you in. "

The book will be launched on 27th October with an exhibition at the Here Gallery in Bristol, and also coincides with a two night residency from Charlie Parr at nearby Cube Microplex on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tom Cops - Midwest, exhibition & book launch

Midwest is the first solo exhibition from photographer, musician and artist Tom Cops, showing medium format photographs of people and places in the American Midwest.

To accompany the exhibition, Betty & Dupree will be publishing a collection of these photographs, also titled Midwest. The book also includes a foreword by acclaimed Minnesotan blues musician Charlie Parr and watercolour chapter pages by Jerwood Drawing Prize nominated artist Aaron Sewards.

In August 2010, Tom travelled around the American Midwest for three weeks with his band My Two Toms playing as many inappropriate venues as possible. During the tour he attempted to photograph everyone he met, as well as the places he passed through. Looking for odd details in the landscape, his colour photographs tell the story of the small towns of Montana, Minnesota, North & South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming, while his black & white portraits tell us about the people that live there.

"Tom led the people outside, one by one, to take a photo. He stopped them all; middle-aged bartenders, tourists, punk rockers, hippies, very old and very young, me, my mom, my daughter, my wife, my son, all of us got stopped in time by Tom’s camera, a kind of living graveyard." – Charlie Parr

The exhibition will take place at the Here Gallery in Bristol, UK.
108 Stokes Croft, BS1 3RU.

Preview; Thursday 27th October, 7.00 - 9.00pm.
The exhibition continues until 19th November, and also coincides with a two night residency from Charlie Parr at nearby Cube Microplex on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.


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