#fromthelibrary 4 Tom Wood – All Zones off Peak

As a bonus book from the shelves of Coventry University’s library I found this little gem – Tom Wood – ‘All Zones off Peak’. Well worth a look over the summer break, and much more to look at if you like this one!

“All Zones Off Peak is an extraordinary book. Wood has spent over fifteen years and shot over 3,000 rolls of film photographing Liverpool and its people from a bus. Visually stunning and dramatically revealing it is a body of work of immense power.”

“As good a set of photographs as one sees every five or ten years – if you’re lucky”
– Lee Friedlander

#fromthelibrary 2 – East of a New Eden

This week we will be discussing Kakulya and Mingard – ‘East of a New Eden’ documenting New Europe’s external borders. If you have would like to comment on the book, get involved in the comment section here, or by using the hashtag #fromthelibrary on twitter.

In last week’s session students brought all brought books from the library as well as looking closely at the ‘Border Film Project’

East of a New Eden

Alban Kakulya and Yann Mingard
Lars Muller Publishers 2010
Amazon UK Link

East of a New Eden, Image - Pete Lord

Dipping in and out of this book will be rewarding for those looking for a beautifully presented selection of euro-style images. But the real reward of this books requires investment in it’s documentation and factual pages that accompany the photographers images
– Matt

“Europe’s new eastern borders stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea: 1,600 heavily guarded kilometres between former ‘fraternal countries’. The photographers Yann Mingard and Alban Kakulya spent a long time on the road; one of them travelled down from the North and the other up from the South in an effort to document the places and landscapes that mark the end of the Western world. On their journey they photographed the landscape as well as the border posts with their soldiers and their refugees seized at the frontier, and documented a reality defined in faraway Strasbourg, Brussels, and elsewhere. Explanatory maps and satellite images are juxtaposed in this book with the striking photographs. Articles by political scientists, security experts, sociologists, human rights specialists, and philosophers, as well as literary texts round out this photographic survey of the EU’s Eastern European external borders.”

#fromthelibrary 3 – Paul Graham on the shelves at CU_Photography

Students from Coventry University will be visiting the Paul Graham exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London next week. And so it seemed appropriate to add a bonus #fromthelibrary – highlighting the Paul Graham books on the shelf in the library.

It was great to find rare, original copies of Graham’s earlier books – ‘A1 The Great North Road’, ‘Beyond Caring’ and ‘Troubled Land’, along with ‘New Europe’, and the Phaidon ‘Contemporary Artists monograph’ offering a look at work between 1981 – 1996.

All books are now back on the library shelves for the students to discover before our visit.

– Matt Johnston

A1 The Great North Road, 1983
Paul Graham

Lorry Driver, Beacon Services, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, May 1982 ©PAUL GRAHAM

Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/a1.html
Here, in Graham’s first publication, he documents both the physical landscape and people that inhabit the roadside service stations, rest-stops and motels of the Great North Road in order to ‘weave a picture of England in the 1980’s’.

Beyond Caring, 1986
Paul Graham

Horse Poster, DHSS Office, Bristol, 1984 ©PAUL GRAHAM

Images online
: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/beyondcaring.html#a
‘Beyond Caring’ chronicles the state of employment in 80’s Britain through images made in the waiting rooms, corridors and cubicles of the department of social security and department of employment.

Trouble Land, The social landscape of Northern Ireland, 1987
Paul Graham

Graffiti, Ballysillan Estate, Belfast, 1986 ©PAUL GRAHAM

Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/troubledland.html
Troubled Land was Graham’s last book produced in the 80’s and followed the style of the two previous publications via ‘Grey Editions’. This time examining the subtle relationship between the landscape of Northern Ireland and the ‘troubles of its society’.

New Europe, 1993
Paul Graham

Page 1, New Europe ©PAUL GRAHAM

Images Online: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/neweurope.html
‘New Europe seeks to dig beneath the utopian dream of a united continent arising to face the 21st century. Paul Graham’s photographs reflect on the inescapable shadow of history that falls over each nation’s conscience, from the dictatorships of Franco and Hitler, to the Holocaust and the Irish conflict.’ (From back cover of ‘New Europe’)

Paul Graham Contemporary Artists monograph, Phaidon Press, 1996
Paul Graham, Phaidon

Phaidon - Paul Graham 1981-1996

This book features a collection of Graham’s images, along with essays and an interview to provide a solid overview of his work up to 1996. The extensive interview with Gillian Wearing, is alone worth the read and to find a conversation with the great Lewis Baltz at the end of the book is a great treat.

#fromthelibrary 1 – Border Film Project, Photos by Migrants and Minutemen on the US – Mexico Border

A book from the shelves of the Coventry University Photography library:
Matt Johnston will be discussing this book, among others, with students in a Photo Book Club meeting next week

Border Film Project, Photos by Migrants and Minutemen on the US – Mexico Border

Rudy Adler, Victoria Criado, Brett Huneycutt
Abrams 2007
Amazon UK Link

Border Film Project, Image - Pete Lord

Not only is this a great example of how a photography book can be powerful, emotive, challenging and important, but all without a trained photographers image present. Often we forget that many times, your subject is the best person to tell the story.
– Matt

“We handed out six hundred disposable cameras to two groups on opposite sides of the U.S – Mexico border – undocumented migrants crossing the desert and American Minutemen volunteers trying to stop them”
– Border Film Project

#fromthelibrary – At Coventry University

The Photo Book Club’s Matt Johnston is currently residing in the Midlands, England, and so making use of the excellent photography section in the Coventry University library. Starting shortly, Matt will be posting some of the books found on the shelves of the library along with a brief synopsis under the headline and hashtag #fromthelibrary. As well as this online post, Matt will be meeting with students and holding informal discussions on these books, and the various books that students will bring to the sessions.

As with everything on the Photo Book Club we would love to get your thoughts and discussion on the books. You can use the hashtag #photobc on Twitter, or use the comments section below this post.

And if you want to see one of the #fromthelibrary books given a thorough look by the Photo Book Club and community, let us know!


It is now only 4 days until The Photo Book Club officially opens it’s digital doors for discussion of Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’ (latest version Amazon link). The month-long discussion of Frank’s seminal book will begin with an overview written by Wayne Ford, followed a week later by Wayne’s extended writing on the book.
At any point over the next month (and beyond) please submit your own thoughts/blog posts/tweets to The Photo Book Club and the community by heading to the ‘Get Involved‘ section and letting us know what you think!