Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Snow of his young life by Laurie Storey

Snow of his young life explores the manipulation of imagery within the media, particularly tabloid newspapers, this exhibition questions the use of wrought imagery to accommodate a different view point, and the theatrical nature of journalism. 

The relationship wasn't going anywhere until one thing tied it all together, acetate, paint, wood, 2013

The starting point for this project came about from a personal experience which happened over 20 years ago. On a very snowy February 9th 1991, when Laurie Storey was seven and his brother Ben two, his mother walked them from their house to the local shops in extremely cold conditions. Ben cried all the way. During the journey a man claiming to be a news photographer asked if he could take a picture of Ben crying on his sled. Their mother, although slightly confused and finding the situation unusual, obliged, and thought no more about it. The following morning Laurie's mother received a phone call from their slightly panicked Grandmother. It appeared that the image of Ben crying in the snow had been published on the front page of the Daily Mail Newspaper. The photographer had cleverly snapped a shot of Ben at such a moment, that the stretched grimace on the child's face actually looked like a smile. The caption which accompanied the image said, 'Three year old Ben Story, enjoying the first snow of his young life.' This information was incorrect, Ben was actually two, his name was spelt wrongly, he was not enjoying himself, and the previous year he and his family had spent the winter in Colorado, USA, where it snowed every day.

Original news story from 1991

The adjustment of innocent subject matter masks a much darker practice in contemporary journalism. Dates, facts, figures as well as personal testimony are often tweaked and adjusted to make news articles more spectacular. 'Snow of his young life' questions this use of imagery to enhance or convey opinion in the media by creating a selection of sardonic alternative endings or perspectives. The death of Colonel Gaddafi and the murder trial of Amanda Knox were both sensationalised stories, although very different, they both represent theatrical notions of death and power. Specific images taken from newspaper articles are worked into, manipulated and printed onto acetate. In order to expose and influence the images, the acetate is presented in layers to portray the build-up of a story, thus forming a satirical narrative highlighting the absurdity of imagery manipulation.

Snow of his young life runs until Monday 10th June open from 12-7pm

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