Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition 164

30th September 2016

Every year the Royal West of England Academy has an open exhibition of painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, mixed media, everything.

Now, three years ago, I made a series of photos.

At that time I was quite pissed off about the so called War on Terror and the fact that Barack Obama had seemed to promise much but it was just business as usual.

So I used to sit in front of my screen with my iPhone and take these pictures of dead people and drones and bombings and Guantanamo that were just frightening but real.

Afterwards, the pictures just sat on my hard drive for three years until this summer when I put five of them into a print competition at BPS. They hated them and said they weren't really photographs but the guest judge seemed to understand them and like them and awarded me third place.

Then I thought about submitting all of them to the RPS to see what they thought but unfortunately they have these rules about copyright and using other people's images (which I understand completely.)

However, now the RWA have just accepted them in their Open Exhibition.

Which is great because while they may not be photographs in the normally accepted sense of the word, whatever that means, they mean something. To me, at any rate. And they might mean something to someone else.

This is what I wrote in support of my photos when I was thinking about submitting them to the RPS:

"Part documentary, part polemic, this series of pictures aims to show the 'War on Terror' as conducted by the USA and its allies and the way it is presented to us on the internet and via social media.

For almost the first time in our history we are free to witness scenes of violence, death and cruelty taking place thousands of miles away as if they were happening in our own homes.

Played out on our screens the drama of the West's continuing persecution of those who would defy it becomes almost commonplace.

What effect this will have on our collective consciousness remains to be seen.

I hope in this panel of images to address not only these issues but also the centrality of seeing in photography.

All photos were taken with the camera of an iPhone 5s and the Cameramatic iPhone app."

The exhibition runs from 9 October to 27 November 2016 and all work is for sale.