Big Pictures

06.03.2012 | Art , Blog | BY:

For the past eight years, photographer Tom Craig and writer A.A. Gill have explored the distance between words and pictures by travelling to countries such as Chad and Albania and recording what they see.

Now on show at Flaere Gallery, 20 unseen photographs by Tom Craig with the accompanying text by A.A. Gill assert not only the continued importance of photojournalism, but how a message is augmented by both words and pictures.

From disparate North Sea trawlers to busy tourist vistas in Turkey their collaboration seeks added dimensions while freeing both writer and journalist to convey a place exactly as they observe it. Two views, same scene.

Twin spoke to Tom about his work…

How did you meet AA Gill?
We first met at Heathrow on our way to Chad in 2004 to report on the refugee crisis. There is an image “Portrait of War” in the exhibition that comes from that assignment.

Where did the idea for the collaboration come from?
We’ve since worked together on over 25 assignments over the last eight years for various publications including The Sunday Times and Vanity Fair. It’s been a long-standing idea to present a series of images from our travels in this way to show the way that this collaboration brings writing and photography together in tandem.

Is one photo really worth a 1000 words?

Was there one particular location that posed a challenge for you photographically?
On every assignment you can travel for days without an event occurring, without any flashpoint, without anything happening out of the ordinary. Life in most countries has a daily routine and tends to take the path of least resistance. At first glance what may seem innocuous  though nearly always has a backstory.

Our job is to capture that backstory; to identify what is interesting, to collect it, to digest it, to report it and from my point of view to try my very best capture it in a solitary image (That’s 125th of one second) and present an image that is as informed as it possibly can be and that is something that is always enhanced by the presence of Adrian.

I can only hope that resulting combination of his crafted comments and my images allow a viewer an insight beneath the skin of a place they may never normally consider.

Is there an experience or memory from over the eight years that stands out from the others?
Two extremes of temperature stand out: Svalbard was the coldest place and Chad was the hottest place I have ever been too.

Have you any other trips planned?
We are going on assignment to Bhutan this Saturday.

The Bigger Picture is at Flaere Gallery until 10th March 2012

Seal Supper, Greenland 2005 © Tom Craig, courtesy Flaere Gallery.

The Day After the Crash, Towton, UK 2008 © Tom Craig, courtesy Flaere Gallery.

The Camera Club, Turkey 2006, UK 2008 © Tom Craig, courtesy Flaere Gallery.

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