Ukrainian photographers Jeleza Rose, Andrew Onufriyenko, and designer Zhanna Syguta-Milova explore the role of “the creative in the city.” Examining post-Soviet metropolis, Welders is an ironic portrait series depicting the technical worker replaced by the overly resplendent “designer” of modern cityscapes. Each helmet was hand-crafted to depict the various aesthetics of the contemporary creative firm employee. Striking and humorous, the portraits call into question not only the change of the current urban workforce, but our evolving consumer-driven culture as a whole. With the industrial factory worker long gone, the “designer” counterpart feels both superficial and ludicrous. It is the pageantry without substance that givesWelders so much genuine irony and punch.
Even on sunny days, a rarity in Manchester, England, photographer, digital artist and film-maker Andrew Brooks spends hours in a darkened studio striving to show us the bigger picture. Weeks, months, sometimes years pass by as he re-touches picture after picture, to create the perfect moment for us, the viewer, to fall headlong into. In recent years his vision has flourished and evolved into large panoramic scenes of nature and forensically detailed cityscapes. This gives his work a timeless and fantastical appeal capturing the imagination of the public and landing high-profile international projects such as the Hidden City Series and commissions by the BBC. In his work with the Hidden projects he explores the unseen sides of cities to create images that make citizens, city planners, councils, captains of industry and magazine editors see their home with fresh eyes. Brooks’s latest work with the BBC investigates the power and awe in nature. His early experiences growing up in the Fens countryside established the foundation of this view and he cites artists from the Romantic era as re-igniting this lifelong passion.