Once again, Daily Duranie is everywhere…thanks to good friends both near and far! Today we bring you a first hand account from our “Special Correspondent” Anu Lehtinen. Anu was able to be in London (she’s from Finland) to see the pop-up gallery for Careless Memories, and she was kind enough to share her experience. Additionally, we have some fab photos from Byrony Evens, who was on hand for the arrival of the band to the gallery opening and book release party. Thanks to Anu and Bryony!!
By Anu Lehtinen & Bryony Evens
photo by Anu Lehtinen
WOW! YES! The possibility to see never before seen photos taken during Sing Blue Silver tour, in a gallery – pure coincidence! A late November trip to London was planned well ahead, with gig tickets bought, but this time on the menu was Howard Jones, Ultravox and Simple Minds.
And then Duran Duran, Denis O’Regan and Olympus announced the collaboration for a pop-up gallery right in the heart of London for a week or so. It would be open from late November to early December. Definitely a MUST visit while in London. What a chance!
The address was clear when on Friday 29th eyes wandered to find the green entrance. Huge video installation was running in one window, the other contained two prints. The gallery was dimly lit. A humble sign hanging on the door said open. Another sign stating opening times was also on the door, but no information was written on it. Should we go in? Is it really open?
Few people were inside. I did not really notice any of them. Instead the rough industrial surroundings in a warehouse type of a setting complete with portable lamps, LED candles, familiar looking photos and large video screens – they all took my attention. This was a photo gallery setting – as quality art photos would and should be shown, getting all the attention they need. No fuss, no bling, and certainly no luxury. The stars of the exhibition were the black and white photos. Never before seen though? I’ve seen that… And that…And that. Was my memory playing tricks? There are so many photos from over the years. So many published from Sing Blue Silver. At first I felt like I must have seen them all.
Took a while to breathe and take it all in. There were about 40 photos. One video playing on 5 screens and one wall. The video was the same on all screens, but unsynchronized so that you have different picture on each screen at any given time.
Are we allowed to take pictures? No signs saying no. No one stopping them from being taken. As soon as I took the first photo, I realized how cleverly the lighting was arranged. Lamps, lit furniture and LED candles all made sure photos would have reflections. Perfect for the art and artist.
Behind a makeshift reception desk, a very helpful lady told that 90% of the photos were new
– as in not seen before. They had a familiar feeling since there was always more than one picture taken from every occasion, and only a select few made it into the Sing Blue Silver book. One of them being John’s huge stage grin. Other photos were merely just similar, not exactly what had been seen, so while many of these photos might be recognizable, most have never been seen. All photos were available for purchase. Most of the photos in the gallery had 25 prints for purchase, but some just 5.
I asked her about the video. These were still photos, and in some of the video the photos seem to have a 3D effect. She explained that it is an expensive technique available nowadays. Photos are broken down to layers, and these layers are then placed to form the effect. It is actually a 2½D effect. For full 3D, you would need 3D equipment to start with. That is an expensive technique used sometimes by companies. For this exhibition they wanted to try it for some photos.
And then out of the blue, she asked me a question, “Would you like to talk to Denis?” What? He is here? Would I really? This is his work. His photos. The subject just happens to be Duran Duran.
I asked him, “How difficult was it to organize a pop-up gallery?” “Very!” he said. Location is key. It was really difficult to find an empty location in central London that would be fitting for a gallery. And then everything needs to be done in the time frame when the location is rented – setting things up, marketing, opening. Some of the things take more time than expected. The flyers for this exhibition were printed in Italy, and they are not here yet (on Friday). They were expected to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.
He continued, “Then there’s two prints arriving later today (on Friday). Two photos are printed on huge acrylic sheets. Both are two meters wide. They will arrive later today and be in place tomorrow.
Anu with Denis O’Regan
“One other thing I thought about trying with the prints, was to print some as a work desk cover. The one with Simon, where there’s a lot of white – that could work nicely. You could have your laptop and papers in one part of the desk.” (I suggested that a similar setting was behind him, with Andy and black background.) “That’s true”, he said. “The other one I had in my mind, is the contact sheet of John and Nick taken in France. That contact sheet from a photo shoot could really be a nice desk top.”
We talked a bit more about the book, promotion and travel. He found it amusing that some preorders had been made for a specific copy of the book – 7, 58, 60, 61, 62, 78, 80, 81, 82, and so on. Yes, we sometimes have our fixed specifics. Duranies!
Returned on Saturday to see the HUGE acrylic prints, and enjoy the peaceful exhibition once more. Impressive!
I do remember there was music playing softly in the background. What it was, I cannot recall. I thought the choice would be pretty clear, but it clearly wasn’t what you might have expected…
And if that weren’t enough, we have some wonderful photos and video taken from the band’s arrival at the gallery opening and book release party, along with this short postscript from Bryony that everyone should give everyone a chuckle:
On the evening of the reception, 5th December: the band was due to arrive, and the very lovely and helpful door manager at the venue kept getting calls & texts to say the band would be arriving ‘in five minutes’, then when they didn’t was very apologetic. The fans had to explain to him that we understood completely, and even had a word for it: Durantime!
Nick’s arrival: (sorry this is a link but Blogger won’t let me upload it directly)
Anu Poukka lives in Helsinki Region, Finland. Her DD journey began in May 1982 with purchase of two LP’s – entering the record shop to buy Rio and only then realising that it was the second album of this fantastic Band! Nowadays she’s not sure which is more fun – touring with Duranies or the actual DD shows!
Bryony Evens has been an unashamed pop music fan for the last 30-odd years. Here’s all you need to know in musical terms: first album: Super Trouper by ABBA; first single: Rio; all-time favourite song: Dr Mabuse by Propaganda; favourite band: you need to ask?!; favourite solo artist: Liverpool’s elusive Thomas Lang; all-time perfect non-DD album: ABC’s Lexicon of Love; guaranteed mood-lift song: the 12” of Walk Out to Winter by Aztec Camera; compulsory-to-dance-to song: OT Quartet – Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like a Skyscraper mix); favourite classical music: Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Rach 3 and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances; first gig: The Sugarcubes; bands seen live most often: either Duran Duran or Misty’s Big Adventure; next gig: Glasgow’s A New International – truly a band to discover; best new album: Electric by the Pet Shop Boys. She loves to sing. She also plays the viola badly