Habits and Mindsets - Punk Rock Art Photography Project

My project #habitsandmindsets was started out from me looking at the punk rock music scene and documenting bands . I’ve played in bands and gone to shows for years and theres a uniqueness about the punk rock movement that makes up huge part of my practice.

Luckily I was accepted for an Ma with it and over the last 2 years I’ve been pushing myself in as many ways as possible thinking about the role of the photographer and the power of our images and more importantly how we can try and make the world a better place from that.

I started looking at artists like Nan Goldin and Larry Clarke and with their visual strategies and that led me to other artists that think about our relationship with image and if something is real or not, Jeff Wall in particular. The work has slowly morphed from a straight reportage project on the punk scene into a wide art project that is looking at a generation of people and how dyer things are for them right now. My most recent influences have been photographers like Spencer Murphy Robert Chiltern and Anthony Luvera.

Music and art have always been a cathartic process for me and I wanted to bring together this relationship with music, art and themes of community together by producing work that was equal parts portraiture and a constructed scenes that deliver a feeling. The text used is from punk bands (including my own ). The songs are often about that dyer state of affairs currently, community, sticking together and looking out for each other.

I’m currently exhibiting it around the country with opening nights for shows with bands and raising money for mental health charities with Heads Above the Waves being the main partner. In addition to this I’ve started a podcast where we discuss ideas and talk about everything and occasionally cover mental health and other issues in the hope to raise awareness and direct people to some information that could help.  I’m selling prints and zines with the first edition out as we speak and profits from that are being split with Heads Above The Waves.

 If you could leave some of your thoughts via email or in a box If I figure that out that would be great I am looking for some peer reviews to include for my critical review of practice and whether there nice words or not there all important and I will not be offended by anything anyone says. 

High res images of show prints are below and the installation shots are after that.

Opening Night Promo Video Speakers start at 3:12 after Music from Brightr

Anonymously leave your thoughts here if you prefer

Original Proposal

If I said the words ‘Punk Rock Band’ some people might think of extravagant hair styles, brash attitudes, and crude lyrics.

I think of something different. I think of progressive minded men and women who don't define themselves by retro fashion. They might look your average person or they might look different, but they are people who have something different or unique to say, and they use fast, loud music to express genuine emotions. To me, punk rock has become more inclusive and sincere, using the energy and outspokenness of the earlier punk movement to deliver new messages.

Most punk rock bands that I see today are playing modest venues and saving money from their day jobs to record and tour. With songs steeped with feelings of powerlessness, uncertainty and existential angst, these bands reflect something profound about today’s world.

But what is it that drives these people to do what they do and persevere in such a small scene? It costs money for equipment touring and recording, most of these people don't ever expect to make any serious money from playing music, all of this commitment and passion to work musically whilst working and living at  a particularly tough time, strikes me as inspiring.

Do they reflect a large proportion of young adults today? If so are these messages inspiring people to take charge of their futures and be assertive?  There definitely commentating about social issues going on today, I feel they are doing so in a sincere way and with the best interests at heart.

I really feel that the punk bands I listened to when growing up helped me to become a better person. Bands who were singing about things that I was and still am experiencing, bands who delivered really positive messages. About understanding, equality, and fairness.

I first thought about this project whilst I was on the other side of the world. I heard ‘ Church Street’ by Bangers. I was like ‘ Whoa’ Listening to people with similar feelings, referencing the same street I used to walk down every day for 3 years. That gives me a sense of interconnectivity that perhaps wasn't as global a decade ago.

I remember listening to a podcast in which a band member touched upon how he thought about all the hard work and experiences that were going un documented and that in years to come it would be like none of it had ever happened.

I want to take a closer look at these artists. I want to know their take on what they do. What their music means to them, 'How they want to impact the world, and people around them.'