Silvia Ragel-Serrano on her Photography.

What first drew you to photography?

I carry the love (obsession?) for photography in my genes, I had no escape, I was born with it. At age of ten my dad gave me an old, very old, camera which then started an insatiable obsession. The more I worked with it the more I wanted to learn and the more I learnt,  the more I wanted to work with it! Then, when I went to college and learnt to develop and print my own photographs, a whole new world opened for me. I used to spend endless hours in the dark room experimenting and exploring different techniques.

The lonely boat. by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

The lonely boat. by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

The first time I developed and printed my very own photograph in the dark room was one of the happiest days of my life, only comparable to the day I sold my first photograph and then the first time I sold a photograph in my birth city, Barcelona. Still today I get a happy buzz when I have been working with a photograph for few days, which I think is lucky really, I should stop working with photography if I don’t get that excitement anymore.

Who is your favourite photographer, and why?

To ask me to choose a favourite photographer is not an easy task to answer, I like so many for so many different reasons. For one of my essays at college I had to research about Dorothea Lange, the research ended in a massive mountain of books, hand outs and photocopies invading my studio. The way she portrayed the consequences of the American depression in the farmers’ families is, in my opinion, one of the greatest works in the history of Photojournalism. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get an invitation to a private exhibition about Lee Miller’s work in Barcelona. I met her son, the curator of the exhibition, Antony Penrose and it was amazing to hear him talk about his mother’s life. I was so impressed about Miller’s professional trajectory, going from the subject in front of the camera as a model, to a very high profile fashion photographer and then a war correspondent during the Second World War. There’s also the great variety of B&W portraits of Richard Avedon, they are stunning.

Urban Landscape #2 by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

Urban Landscape #2 by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?

My main problem working with photography is the heavy weight of my SLRs. I also love using my old Mamiya TLR but it weights a ton! So for me the ideal camera would be a very, very light one with all the features of an SLR, plus a little button that could switch between analogue and digital, so that I would have both in one! That is genius isn’t it?? Has anyone ever thought about that, yet? I may be sitting on a golden egg here!

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

For me the best thing about my work is that it doesn’t feel like a job. It is never an obligation, nor a struggle to do it, it gives me so much joy and pleasure that I could spend many hours working with it and not even notice the time passing by. I combine photography with art and I create mixed media work, so I am constantly in a creative mood. Some people are inspired by tranquil picturesque landscape; but I get inspired from a completely different one, the big unstoppable buzz and craziness of the city. To me the urban landscape is an endless source of inspiration; architecture, contrast of patterns and colours, people, anything!

Frozen river by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

Frozen river by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?

In my case bursts of creativity are linked with the state of mind and environment, the busiest I am the more creative I become. Especially when I have so much work to do at home or at University, but that is called procrastination, isn’t it? And again, I have produced some of my best work while procrastinating!

6th December 2012 by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

6th December 2012 by Silvia Ragel-Serrano

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

I don’t have the magic answer and I believe we all have very different concepts and approaches when it comes to appreciating photography or art in general. For me it is important that the piece of work is transmitting something, it can be a feeling, a message or simply some interesting colour/pattern composition. I strongly believe you should stay true with your own style. Do get inspired by other artists but DO NOT try to copy them just because they are successful!

Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else’s, and please send us a copy/link from their website if you have can!

One of my favourite photographs is Migrant Mother, 1936 by Dorothea Lange.

Migrant Mother, 1936 by Dorothea Lange

Migrant Mother, 1936 by Dorothea Lange

I could stare at that image for ages; there is so much we could write about it even if we didn’t know the historical context behind it. That is what impresses me the most in a photograph, all the stories that it can tell you without words.

How do you spend a creative day?

Creativity can catch me anywhere and anytime! But I feel very comfortable working from a busy coffee shop surrounded by lots of chatty people and of course lots and lots of good coffee!! If I am working on a big mixed media piece, I will get quite messy and of course I will work from my studio. Then the hours will fly by and I will forget about everything else in the world! I must be one of the luckiest people in the world being able to love my job that much – I am so thankful for it!

Print your own for the Muse Exhibition!!

In our exhibitions we usually sell well and replace images as they sell with images we hold in stock and also show on shelves and tables around the gallery in various sizes. If you wish for us to hold stock photography images to sell then we are offering to print your work at a special discounted exhibition price for a limited period only.

Please email us at info@theshedphotography.com with the email subject ‘Print my work for Summer Exhibition’, for further details. We can take payments over the phone or send BACS details for online payments.

If you wish to have images in stock the closing date, including payment received is July 12th.

Please remember it’s very important that any image selected to be printed is uploaded onto the Shed Gallery website in print ready high resolution format.

If the images do not sell then we will send them to you for your own purposes to have to show clients or exhibit or if you wish they can be sent to the gallery in Barcelona. The amount you order is unlimited and P&P costs after the show will depend on how many images there are and size but will average £15 for next day courier delivery within the UK, and £30 to the Shed Gallery in Barcelona, Spain.

If you have been accepted for the show you can still have work printed to be in stock!!

Muse – The Shed Summer Show 2014.

We are delighted to announce our annual Shed Summer Show of affordable art and photography. This years show will take place from Wednesday 20th of August to 3rd of September at the Malthouse in Lyme Regis. This years’ show takes as its title ‘MUSE’.

The idea came as one of the most fascinating aspects of any creative person’s work is what drives them to create or get up early in the morning to go out with a camera in hand. That illusive thing that drives us to create or capture: the dawn, a perfect portrait, rusting steel, a field of poppies.

The exhibition is open to anyone who is a member of the Shed both artists and photographers.

This year, as so many of you wish to take part in our selling shows, we have decided to curate the exhibition in a slightly different way. The gallery website has a category titled Muse. Simply upload or tag existing images (as we did with the Albion exhibition) in your profile with the Muse tag.  This is done by logging onto your profile and editing each image.

Once you have done this please send the URL links of the images to info@theshedphotography.com with the email subject ‘Muse submissions’ that you wish to be considered for selection in a word document titled Muse –Summer Show along with a 250(ish) text explaining what Muse represents to you. Your submission of images is unlimited however please make sure they come through in just one document per exhibitor. 20 exhibitors will be chosen for the start of the exhibition and will have 2 images plus the accompanying text that you have written on the wall. If you are submitting original work please make sure it will be available to sell at the show.

The closing date for submissions is June the 20th. We will then make our decision and let you know who has made the show by June 29th. 

If you wish to give a talk or demonstration during the show then please contact me, Chelsea on chelsea@theshedphotography.com and I’d be delighted to help you organise any ideas you may have.

Below are a few of my thoughts as to why exhibiting is so important.

Our exhibitions perform various functions.

They allow us to give life to some of the amazing images in the Shed by liberating them from a computer screen. It gives us the opportunity to ‘educate’ the viewing public that they can own an affordable, ready to hang photograph or original piece of art. They also allow me the opportunity to have frank conversations with the public and eavesdrop conversations as people walk around the show. It is also an important time for me to connect with the exhibitors in the Shed and have time to talk through concerns you may have or mentor exhibitors who would like some advice or feedback on their work. To help those of you who are making the leap to Fine Art selling and how to sell.

From these conversations the following issues seem to arise with frequency:

Distinctive voice 

I have been making a living as an artist and photographer exclusively for the past 10 years. Before that, even though I studied at Chelsea, Valencia and the old Hornsey art college and turned down an MA in sculpture at the RCA (madness!) it took me many years to find my ‘voice’. As David Bailey says ‘When I see a Bruce Weber photograph I know it’s a Bruce Weber instinctively’. I believe now my work has a vein that runs through it that ties it to me. It took me years and travelling away from home to find it or allow it time to develop and evolve. I am fortunate enough that it is now my passion and my career, however making work does not automatically make it commercial. There are many images and paintings I make that do not translate into a ‘commercial success’ they are things I love and possibly a stepping stone to one day making a better version, part of the process or a piece that resonates with the buying public. Does that mean I don’t do it? No, but I may not pursue it when I’m planning for a ‘selling show’ or art fair. On the other hand I feel fortunate that I have taken a couple of images that seem to just talk to the public, my Cobb Steps being a classic example and sell when shown in the right place and possibly at the right time. It is a tough market out there as we are swamped by images but it can be done and we can all sell work.

Manipulation of images 

Take care over processing work. There is a point of restraint or a tipping point unless that is the aim of the piece. There is magic to photography and photoshop has a place but can also create ‘unbelieveable’ images.

Psychology of buying 

Time, place, timing, weather, couples arguing, couples agreeing, children running around, advertising, desire, curation, capricious shopping habits, lust are just some of the factors that go into the psychology of buying artwork. If someone stumbles across an exhibition while they are on holiday and happen to have spent years and years trying to find that perfect piece to fill that spot in the holiday cottage and have had a lovely relaxing time may feel predisposed to buying a piece of artwork. Trudging around endless art galleries and bickering will most certainly not entice someone to spend their hard earned money on anything other than a pint or cake. These and endless other variables all go into the psychology of the potential client. I try and read them and their mood when they walk in, sometimes a little persuasion is all that’s needed and other times the story behind the piece, some people don’t want to talk at all, others just want to look, comment, marvel but will never buy. Owning a photograph or a painting is a commitment like no other purchase. It is highly personal. It speaks of so many things and is rarely a flippant purchase. However many people give the gift of a piece of artwork or photograph and rarely fail to give a present that will be valued and adored for years.

…and selling

The power of artwork is an illusive thing. One of the many stepping stones in my work was learning not to give work away and I can’t say I haven’t ever but I now know my ‘worth’ and this is my living. There are many stories of ‘would you mind just designing…..’ and it takes a while to politely say what your price is to ‘just’ photograph a wedding….It is always with good intentions and is highly flattering. I tend to now just take some sneaky shots, blow them up and send it as a present. Then friends and family may see it and ask for a copy and that is how selling your work starts. The other very important factor is to take pride in your own work. Surround yourself with it, hang it on the wall at home. Have a dinner party to show your work to friends. I’ve sold many pieces that way. If you live with your own work then others who may need a little imagination as to how it would look can then imagine it too. It is also a hundred times easier to show a physical example of what you do then opening up a laptop…trust me, there is no substitute for the physical presence of a painting or photograph. Also explore avenues however small to sell. Print work for an exhibition ask at the local gallery or shop if they would like to show or sell your work, take part in again however small, a group show. It may take a while but it will be a start and be BOLD! Photography in large format just transforms into artwork, have a go you won’t regret it.

Chelsea Davine, Creative Director, The Shed Gallery.

Advice on buying Artwork and Photography.

We are delighted to announce a new initiative supporting young artists and photographers in July run by Odile Moreno in the gallery.

Odile will curate her first show titled ‘Sang Jove’ – Young Blood.  The exhibition will be a collective concentrating on giving the opportunity to young talent in the city that has yet to find a voice. We wish Odile every success and will release more details nearer the date in how you can participate. If you wish to get in touch with her or know someone who may wish to participate then contact Odile on odilemoreno@gmail.com.

As always it wouldn’t be summer without our sojourn to the seaside and pop up gallery in Lyme Regis, our spiritual home and site of our first Shed! This years’ exhibition is titled ‘MUSE’.

The idea came as one of the most fascinating aspects of any creative person’s work is what drives them to create or get up early in the morning to go out with a camera in hand. That illusive thing that drives us to create or capture: the dawn, a perfect portrait, rusting steel, a field of poppies. Details as to how you can be involved will be published very soon.

Our exhibitions perform various functions.

They allow us to give life to some of the amazing images in the Shed by liberating them from a computer screen. It gives us the opportunity to ‘educate’ the viewing public that they can own an affordable, ready to hang photograph or original piece of art. They also allow me the opportunity to have frank conversations with the public and eavesdrop conversations as people walk around the show. It is also an important time for me to connect with the exhibitors in the Shed and have time to talk through concerns you may have or mentor exhibitors who would like some advice or feedback on their work. To help those of you who are making the leap to Fine Art selling and how to sell.

From these conversations the following issues seem to arise with frequency:

Distinctive voice 

I have been making a living as an artist and photographer exclusively for the past 10 years. Before that, even though I studied at Chelsea, Valencia and the old Hornsey art college and turned down an MA in sculpture at the RCA (madness!) it took me many years to find my ‘voice’. As David Bailey says ‘When I see a Bruce Weber photograph I know it’s a Bruce Weber instinctively’. I believe now my work has a vein that runs through it that ties it to me. It took me years and travelling away from home to find it or allow it time to develop and evolve. I am fortunate enough that it is now my passion and my career, however making work does not automatically make it commercial. There are many images and paintings I make that do not translate into a ‘commercial success’ they are things I love and possibly a stepping stone to one day making a better version, part of the process or a piece that resonates with the buying public. Does that mean I don’t do it? No, but I may not pursue it when I’m planning for a ‘selling show’ or art fair. On the other hand I feel fortunate that I have taken a couple of images that seem to just talk to the public, my Cobb Steps being a classic example and sell when shown in the right place and possibly at the right time. It is a tough market out there as we are swamped by images but it can be done and we can all sell work.

Manipulation of images 

Take care over processing work. There is a point of restraint or a tipping point unless that is the aim of the piece. There is magic to photography and photoshop has a place but can also create ‘unbelieveable’ images.

Psychology of buying 

Time, place, timing, weather, couples arguing, couples agreeing, children running around, advertising, desire, curation, capricious shopping habits, lust are just some of the factors that go into the psychology of buying artwork. If someone stumbles across an exhibition while they are on holiday and happen to have spent years and years trying to find that perfect piece to fill that spot in the holiday cottage and have had a lovely relaxing time may feel predisposed to buying a piece of artwork. Trudging around endless art galleries and bickering will most certainly not entice someone to spend their hard earned money on anything other than a pint or cake. These and endless other variables all go into the psychology of the potential client. I try and read them and their mood when they walk in, sometimes a little persuasion is all that’s needed and other times the story behind the piece, some people don’t want to talk at all, others just want to look, comment, marvel but will never buy. Owning a photograph or a painting is a commitment like no other purchase. It is highly personal. It speaks of so many things and is rarely a flippant purchase. However many people give the gift of a piece of artwork or photograph and rarely fail to give a present that will be valued and adored for years.

…and selling

The power of artwork is an illusive thing. One of the many stepping stones in my work was learning not to give work away and I can’t say I haven’t ever but I now know my ‘worth’ and this is my living. There are many stories of ‘would you mind just designing…..’ and it takes a while to politely say what your price is to ‘just’ photograph a wedding….It is always with good intentions and is highly flattering. I tend to now just take some sneaky shots, blow them up and send it as a present. Then friends and family may see it and ask for a copy and that is how selling your work starts. The other very important factor is to take pride in your own work. Surround yourself with it, hang it on the wall at home. Have a dinner party to show your work to friends. I’ve sold many pieces that way. If you live with your own work then others who may need a little imagination as to how it would look can then imagine it too. It is also a hundred times easier to show a physical example of what you do then opening up a laptop…trust me, there is no substitute for the physical presence of a painting or photograph. Also explore avenues however small to sell. Print work for an exhibition ask at the local gallery or shop if they would like to show or sell your work, take part in again however small, a group show. It may take a while but it will be a start and be BOLD! Photography in large format just transforms into artwork, have a go you won’t regret it.

SIGN UP WITH US!!

Thank you for reading. We look forward to exhibiting your work in the summer and throughout the year in the Shed Gallery in Spain!!

Chelsea Davine
Creative Director

Spring newsletter from the Shed Gallery

This week we will be highlighting many of the events that our community are involved in and news they have as well as letting you know what we are up to in the coming months!

As you may already know that this month we have ‘Tallers Oberts’ here in Barcelona. Open studios are a popular initiative held in many cities and a great way to discover those hidden corners of creativity and small galleries. We will be here in the bohemian area of Gracia in front of the emblematic Casa Viçens over the weekend of the 24th/25th of May – Calle Carolinas 15 and showing work by Paula Youens, Odile Moreno, Andy White, Silvia Ragel Serrano among many others of you.

The Shed Gallery takes part in Tallers Oberts in Barcelona.

The Shed Gallery takes part in Tallers Oberts in Barcelona.

We are number 34/35, and you can create a route for yourself around the many OPEN STUDIOS!

Painter Fiona Roberts is taking part in an exhibition at the Orleans gallery in Twickenham. The exhibition runs from May 3rd to July 27th.

Fiona Roberts has had work selected for The New Georgians exhibition.

Fiona Roberts has had work selected for The New Georgians exhibition.

Painter Hilary Buckley and multi-disciplinary artist Pete Hackett are involved in a group show titled ‘Colour, Line and Thread’ in Lyme Regis from Tuesday the 3rd of June till Monday the 23rd of June.

Rachael Talibart sold (as going to press!) 2 images at her most recent exhibition in Weybridge.

Fistral 1 by Rachael Talibart

Fistral 1 by Rachael Talibart

Tony Antoniou has lots of news to pass on and we are absolutely delighted for him. Five images have been exhibited at the Guildford House Gallery as party of the Surrey Photographic Association’s Bi-Annual Exhibition. To have 5 chosen was a great honour and he also received a Highly Commended. In the largest photo contest in the world “Trierenberg Super Circuit Photo Contest” all 4 of his entries were selected for the exhibition and “Giant Problems” won the Gold Medal in the themed section. Tony also won 2 separate themed competitions with a total of over 100,000 votes cast in association with PhotoCrowd. You can read an interview he gave to PhotoCrowd.

Standing Out From The Crowd by Tony Antoniou

Standing Out From The Crowd by Tony Antoniou

In this months (May) edition of PhotoPlus Magazine, 2 of his images have been published including a double page spread of “Standing Out From The Crowd” and a half page of “Into The Storm”

As if all that wasn’t enough and despite incredibly tough competition Tony recently had confirmation that he had won the “Print Competition” for the camera society he belongs to.

Louise Bougourd also has a solo exhibition in Teignmouth  ‘All Things’ which opened this Saturday 10th May follow the link to find out more.

Chelsea is also exhibiting some work at the Royal College of Art in London at the 20/21 International Art Fair  and in June at the AAF in Singapore

If you have any events that you would like us to pass on then please do by sending me, Chelsea, or Ben an email in point form with any publicity, posters  and links to images included and we will be happy to post them on our social media and in our News/Events section on our website and blog. We are also more than happy to print work for a show.

We are also delighted to welcome to the Shed community photographers Jenifer Bunnett, Marti Andiñach, Jenni Alexander, Rob Nolan, Asmita Kapadia, Martin Gillman, Ewen Foster, Ollie Taylor and Steve Cook and the painters Marian Young and Greg Wellman.

Please take a look at their profiles and follow their blogs, social media or write them a message on the website and if we don’t follow you yet then just give us a nudge!