Jason Wilde

Essays & Interviews

Knocking Dollies Out Of Bed

My former primary school, St Mary & St Pancras, was attended by my nan, my mum and my sisters. The school was recently rebuilt on the same site as the old school in a ward called Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden. I was a pupil there in the early 1970s when the ward was made up of 19 council estates, 13 pubs, 4 primary schools, two secondary schools, a few small shops and cafes and not much else. The population was almost all white and working class and apart from baptisms, weddings and funerals, it was a predominantly secular neighbourhood. I grew up in this very strong and historically bonded community with traditional social structures and a set of relatively straightforward and shared narratives.

These social structures and rites of passage have been eroded by the rapid social and technological changes of the last three decades and it could be argued that without them young people are struggling to occupy a meaningful place within society. We build our identities on the stories that we tell and on the stories that we are told. By carefully arranging two different sets of images, Knocking Dollies Out Of Bed sets out to provide the time and space for the viewer to reflect on the mixed expectations of culture and on a confusing set of narratives that society compels our children to take part in.

  • 2015, Encontros Da Imagem International Photography Festival, Portugal
  • 2010, KTHC, London. Interim Show
  • 2010, Arts Council England funding


 

Estuary English (Work in progress)

The Thames Estuary is the estuary in which the River Thames meets the waters of the North Sea in the south-east of England. The Greater Thames Estuary covers over 800 nautical miles and is one of the largest of 170 such inlets on the coast of Britain. It constitutes a major shipping route for large oil tankers, container ships, bulk carriers and ferries entering the estuary for the Port of London and the Medway Ports of Sheerness, Chatham and Thamesport.

The estuary is bordered on its north bank by the county of Essex and on its south bank by the county of Kent. These low-lying lands are characterised by the presence of mudflats, low-lying open beaches, salt marshes and many small coastal villages. Where higher land reaches the coast there are a number of larger settlements.

The limits of the estuary have been defined in several ways but for the purposes of this project Im using the a line drawn from the port of Harwich in Essex down to North Foreland in Kent as the eastern boundary while the western boundary is defined by the stretch of water between Gravesend and Tilbury.

I have a rough idea of where I want to take the work but as yet no definite project outline. The plan is to keep tripping and shooting along the shoreline and to let the work and ideas develop. My starting idea comes from a sentence in Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ where he describes the estuary as the launching place of England’s great ships of exploration and colonization and in ancient times the site of colonization of the British isles by the Roman Empire.



 

Guerns!

Guern [gurn] - a native of the island of Guernsey.

In 2015/16 the Guernsey Museums and the Guernsey Photography Festival invited me to become the artist in residence on the island of Guernsey with the idea of developing a project based on the island’s social housing communities. The Guernsey Museums and the Guernsey Photography Festival had come to realise that the islands states housing communities were under-represented in the recorded history of Guernsey. By focusing on the women and children living in these communities, the prime aim of the project was to fill a gap in the island’s visual record of 21st Century life in Guernsey and give visibility to a segment of the island’s community that is often invisible and misrepresented.

  • 2016, BBC Radio Guernsey, Jenny Kendal Tobias Show
  • 2016, ITV Guernsey, News
  • 2015, BBC Radio Guernsey, Jenny Kendal Tobias Show
  • 2015, ITV Guernsey, News
  • 2015, Guernsey Museum permanent collection
  • 2015, Guernsey Museum, exhibition

Essay by Greg Hobson



 

I'll Kill All Your Fish

A room inside a home dedicated to grooming and hygiene has evolved as a response to fundamental needs for sanitation and our changing attitudes towards privacy and modesty. In 2004, while employed as a door-to-door portrait photographer, I surreptitiously photographed inside the bathrooms of strangers living on the housing estates of London and its satellite towns.  In these bathrooms people eat, drink, smoke and workout. They leave messages, keep pets and play games. These images of universal intimate life celebrate the idea of the modern bathroom as a private place used by all members of the household for a variety of activities.

  • 2015 - Athens Photo Festival, Shortlisted
  • 2015 - Source Photographic Review 2015
  • 2014 - H Photobook Show, London
  • 2008 - Group Show, Photofusion

Interview with John Duncan, Editor at Source Magazine



 

Jason Wilde's Free Portrait Studio

Jason Wilde’s Free Portrait Studio was a mobile photo studio that ran from 2009 until 2017, making documentary portraits of visitors to a variety of venues in and around London. In return for taking part in the project each participant was able to receive a free A4 black and white print. The initial idea for Jason Wilde’s Free Portrait Studio was as much about travelling as it was about taking photographs. My plan was to spend a few summer weeks over a number of years traveling around the coast of England making portraits of people in front of a white background. In 2009 I left London for my first two week trip but after chasing and wrestling my 9ft x 6ft collapsible backdrop in windy rain along the promenades of various south-coast towns I decided that an outdoor project was too chancy.

Around the same time Professor Val Williams invited me to set up a series of portrait studios inside her Hastings gallery. Accepting Val’s invitation to move the project indoors I held three free portrait studio sessions in August during the 2009 Hastings Old Town Carnival Week. Those indoor studio sessions meant the addition of lights, laptop and assistant into my setup and unlike the the outdoor sessions, whereby I worked alone photographing up to 2-4 people in an hour, the indoor Hastings sessions were very busy with queues of people waiting to take part in the project. The success of those first Hastings studio sessions influenced me to develop my original idea from an outdoor project into an indoor mobile free portrait studio that was set up 51 times in a variety of venues between 2009 and 2017. The 183 Hastings gallery portraits are now part of the 2224 portraits that make up the Jason Wilde's Free Portrait Studio archive.

  • 2016 - The Kentish Towner
  • 2012 - The New Review - Independent on Sunday
  • 2012 - The Kentish Towner

Synopsis and interview with Luisa Le Voguer Couyet, editor of Hate Magazine



 

Somers Town

Somers Town (London) was where I grew up and this project was a way to help me understand the rapid changes in demographics that were happening at the time.

  • 2004, The Lowry. ‘Out of Time’ (G)
  • 2003, Tate Modern. ‘Out of Time’ (G)
  • 2003, Museum of London. ‘Council Housing’ (G)
  • 2003, Research Space Gallery, London (S)
  • 2002, MAP Show, London (G)
  • 2000, RISE Show, London (G)
  • 2000, Islington Arts factory, London (S)
  • 2000, Euston Station, London (S)
  • 2000, St Pancras Station, London (S)
  • 2000, National Portrait Gallery, London. ‘John Kobal’ (G)
  • 1999, National Portrait Gallery, London. ‘John Kobal’ (G)

Essay by Professor Val Williams


 


Vera & John

'Vera & John’ is a series of still-life montages made with a photograph of a note layered over a photograph of a paving stone. The photographed notes in ‘Vera & John’ were all collected from one particular house on a council estate in the London Borough of Camden. Vera & John are my mum and dad

  • 2017, Vera & John book published by Butchers Hook Books
  • 2017, Source
  • 2017, the Vera & John photobook becomes part of the V&A Art Library
  • 2017, Athens Photo Festival
  • 2017, BBC Radio London, Robert Elms Show
  • 2017, The Guardian on Saturday
  • 2017, Photobook Show, St Petersburg
  • 2017, Photobook Show, Brighton
  • 2017, Moose On The Loose
  • 2017, Thats Not My Age
  • 2017, The Woman's Room

Synopsis



 

Silly Arse Broke It

'Silly Arse Broke It' is a series of still-life montages made with a photograph of a note layered over a photograph of bricks. The photographed notes in ‘Silly Arse Broke It’ were all found on the Clarence Way council estate in Kentish Town in the London Borough of Camden. I live on the Clarence Way council estate in Kentish Town.

  • 2015 - Photomonitor
  • 2015 - Athens Photo Festival, Shortlisted
  • 2104 - Guernsey Photography Festival
  • 2014 - Creative Review Blog
  • 2014 - Doc Photo Magazine
  • 2014 - aCurator / June

Synopsis



 

How To Keep Mr Gounders Tea Hot In Cold Weather

'How to Keep My Grounder's Tea Hot In Cold Weather' is a series of still-life montages made with a photograph of a note layered over the same photograph of a ‘Camden’ sky. The photographed notes in 'How to Keep My Grounder's Tea Hot In Cold Weather' were all found in the London Borough of Camden.



Camden Folks Tales

'Camden Folks Tales' is the umbrella name for three different still-life montage projects made in the London Borough of Camden:

  • Vera & John
  • Silly Arse Broke It
  • How To Keep Mr Gounders Tea Hot In Cold Weather

 


The Never Never

'The Never Never' is the umbrella name for a series of projects that are connected through their focus on England’s social housing. The Never Never is a multi-genre study, started in 2003, that continues to expand and develop:

  • Knocking Dollies Out Of Bed
  • I'll Kill All Your Fish
  • Guerns!
  • Vera & John
  • Silly Arse Broke It
Using Format