John Byford ~ Visual Artist   |   Skegness, England
 
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Daily Dose Review

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 REVIEW - Daily Dose by John Byford


VIBRANT images, truly capturing the spirit of people and places, is what local photographer John Byford's A Daily Dose exhibition showcases.


He launched his exhibition in the Embassy Theatre's lower foyer at a sneak preview on Wednesday which was attended by hundreds of people eager to catch a glimpse of his work, and they were not disappointed.


John is anything but traditional, and can be counted upon to spot something in a moment the rest of us would never see, even if we spent a lifetime searching for it.


His imaginative eye brings to life objects as seemingly mundane as a can of lager trampled in the sand, and displays the easy companionship of three old men keeping each other company on a bench in Spilsby.


The way he has photographed the Grand Parade fire site of 2007 is simply stunning, demonstrating the rage of the fire and the eerieness of the damping down.


The montage of headshots is fascinating and you could certainly spend ages looking through it, spotting lots of local faces and personalities.


The image of a bride having a cheeky fag after her wedding is delightful, her expression worth more than a thousand words; and the photo of his dog happily running through the surf on Skegness beach is just captivating.


At the launch, John revealed it was his first exhibition. He said: "Images need to be seen and looked at. Images need a viewer, without a viewer images mean nothing."

Helen Bell
[Skegness Standard]

 


 

Hi John,

I saw your work recently at the Embassy, Skegness and had a quick chat with you (about the photos which seemed to 'pop' out of the canvass).

Just wanted to say how much more I got from your photos after looking and reading the comprehensive booklet accompanying the show.  I found I rushed looking at your work, as I was with someone (never a good idea!) and the crowds (for me!) and my only criticism was that although I loved the way you displayed connected pieces together, I felt they could have had a bit more space between them to separate them a little more to make it easier to focus on each picture individually.  I guess I am not a visually "busy" sort of person, and need space and time to take in fully the wonderful composition and colours/patterns of your work, and appreciate their connection to each other, so it is very individual isn't it.

Couldn't believe the lung tree... incredible observation! and amazed at how the ruins of the burned buildings looked so hauntingly beautiful... I don't even remember noticing them while I lived here growing up for 26 years!  Also agree... two fires along the sea front... very sus.  It is pretty amazing that you were there at the time to capture history before it was destroyed forever.

I admire your technical and artistic ability.  I loved the double photo idea... brilliant.   One of my favorites would have to be the Skegness Pier... strangers wouldn't understand where it went!  Bizarre... but I think the photo in itself is thought provoking, balanced and beautiful.  Other two which I really liked were Chairlady and Nelson / Moove Over and Web Address :)  wonder how long you have been taking photos?

Colourful, amusing, creatively and intelligently accomplished.  Loved the local characters in your pics too.  Keep on keeping on... will check your work from Australia and will be taking the book home with me as my only souvenir of Skegness.

All the best in your future work,


Anne Ridout
Australia

 


 

Thank you for inviting me to the exhibition of your work staged recently at the Embassy Centre in Skegness - I applaud you for an interesting and entertaining evening!

The selected pieces on display created a comfortable and sociable atmosphere for myself and pictures depicting scenes of high emotion, amusement and general interest absorbed my attention completely or left me commenting and remarking to people around your abilities and imagination when taking your shots!

I have never not been impressed with your creative abilities and at times envy your flair to capture the moment and deliver the emotion and texture of your interest. The intelligence behind the lens to deliver the spirit and transport the viewer to the point of origin is uncanny -you truly are gifted and certainly understand photography as an art form and of personal expression.

The fabric of life that captures your imagination passionately enough to encourage you to present to people like myself is commendable and though I realise I was privileged to see only a slither of your work at the Embassy, I relish the opportunity when next you stage a viewing and I am invited again to ponder your technical knowledge and artistic achievement!

I would recommend anyone to consider your pictures and identify your skills and I congratulate the Embassy Centre for providing you the opportunity to display and present your work to an appreciative audience.

Martin Brown
Skegness
- visit the seaside.com

 


 

“Heaven is dull. Go to hell.”

These are some of the milder words captured in stunning photographic form in an insightful new exhibition at Lincoln’s Sam Scorer Gallery.

Hailed as “capturing the essence of personality”, John Byford’s “A Daily Dose” certainly offers an intriguing perspective into the human psyche and interaction with the world around us.

Whereas some styles of photography can seem strangely empty, this is definitely not the case here. Unlike some more clinical exhibitions, Byford’s work is largely unstaged. This produces a strong sense of realism that adds a splash of colour to everyday life.

The most striking aspect of this artist’s work is colour, intense, vibrant colour that adds an almost child-like energy to each composition. People also feature strongly, to bring a highly-expressive human element into each piece.

Even when the people themselves are not in the frame, humanity remains fully intact, an example being a pair of shoes thrown over an electricity line, a piece of buttered toast smothered in strawberry jam, or a set of two chairs awkwardly opposing one another. You can easily imagine a young child, overcome with excitement, throwing his shoes and cares into the air.

What’s interesting about this exhibition is that a large amount of the photographs are shown in pairs.

“I tried to create a relationship between the two images,” explained Byford.

Although this intention is not always obvious in every pair, there is a suggestion of a connection just beneath the surface. The themes of each combine to form a short storyline. While simplistic, it somehow manages to capture an idea, instead of a mere moment in time.

A favourite among gallery viewers seems to be a photograph of a bride, dressed in her finest, caught smoking a crafty cigarette after the ceremony. Whilst unflattering, the image is arguably more real than any typical wedding photograph.

Stripped of the glamour and the rosy sentimentality, this portrait of a worried woman is a perfect example of Byford’s ability to capture an image as candid as the man himself.

“I tend to pick out things that are missed by many”, he said.

His quirky and expressive style foregoes idealism to produce something that is utterly and unquestionably real. This is the world as you see it, but in a way most of us never do.

Jamie Hogue
www.thelink.co.uk

 


 

A Daily Dose Photographic Exhibition.

Although we are familiar with john's work through regularly viewing his blog, we were unsure what to expect when we visited his exhibition.

In our opinion John has a unique aptitude for instinctively judging the optimum moment to press the shutter button to freeze frame those moments the rest of us are unaware of.  In doing so, he enables us to immerse ourselves in those images which would pass us by unnoticed.

We were extremely impressed by John's obvious passion for his art.  His guided tour gave an opportunity to fully appreciate and evaluate his work.

Our only misgivings were the positions of selected exhibits.  In particular his depiction of Nelson-one of my favourite images- was not prominently displayed.  However, this was rectified during the latter part of the exhibitions run.

Furthermore, though we could see the relevance of hanging a series of linier images adjacent to the stairs it was challenging indeed to absorb and study them while teetering on a step!
These are minor points and overall we found "A Daily Dose"  uplifting; humorous; thought provoking and poignant.

A TONIC FOR WHATEVER AILS YOU!

Steve & Wendy Gould
Skegness, England - www.stevegould.co.uk

 


 

John Byford looks a little bit closer than most. Turning the not so obvious, into something so obvious, we wonder how we could have missed it ourselves. It seems that he takes time to stop and look at what is there, but all with an effortless ability to make time stand still on a fleeting moment or glance.

Seeing the world as it should be seen, he captures the moment, its movement, its stillness, its very essence. Each image has an impact on the senses. Whether we are saddened, a little shocked, give a belly laugh or just a knowing smile. An emotion is instantly caused, insisting that we take notice.

John's vibrant use of colour and his ability to photograph almost any subject with a great sense of humour makes his work come alive. His work is exciting and his talent should not be ignored!!!!!

Mia Manning
Alford, England

 


 

I had never come across John's work before I came along to the exhibition so had no idea what to expect of it. What greeted me though, was a beautiful mix of colour and startling images, that bought a smile to my face at nearly every picture. Some like 11:11 and Skegness is so blazing were very striking images that I'd imagine for most skegness people were very moving and poignant. Some were funny and I defy anyone who lives here not to take the time to spot someone they know in I'll shoot anything!, its fun!

My personal favourites were the faces photographed by john, he captured so much about the people in those shots you can almost read what's behind their eyes!

Miranda Perry
Skegness, Lincolnshire

 


 

John Byford's work was part of the SEAS international festival held at Skegness, Lincolnshire during September 2009. His brief was to portray this corner of the world through the medium of photography. He has a passion for the locality and its people. This is apparent not only in his art, but in the relentless manner he encourages the preservation of history whilst also promoting the importance of embracing future opportunities within Skegness and the surrounding areas to residents and visitors alike.

I particularly like the two images below. The one of Sutton Bridge on the left is entitled Power and was taken on 20th June 2004. I love the black sky behind with the sunlit factory and he has timed his shot to perfection to include the car and used a shutter speed just slow enough to show movement. The rainbow caps it.

Jerry Springer on the right was take in February 2008 at Skegness. An excellent example of 'catching the moment'. Henri Cartier Bresson would be proud!

He also has many images in the exhibition that fit this course on People and Place superbly and the three below are good examples.

The men and the girl are aware they are being photographed whilst the couple on the left are unaware. This image also keeps their identities identities hidden.

Mike Pickwell
OCA Learning

 


 

Having recently visited the ”A Daily Dose exhibition”  I would like to thank John for giving me yet  another  insight into taking a different perspective on taking pictures, being a photographer myself it is always pleasing to see other peoples work and Johns exhibition did not disappoint, I found the imagery to be both modern and abstract with his approach, especially with his portraiture work.

I found that John has a way of taking a very mundane subject and turning it into something you want to look at and yet surprisingly you would probably walk past each of these subjects in daily life without even noticing them, hence the title of the exhibition I guess, I especially like the landscape images displayed finding his comparisons quite amusing at times, so well done John and all the best for the future.

Shane Bradshaw
Photographer - www.sb-photography.org.uk

 


 

John's Daily Dose exhibition certainly made you view day to day objects and activities from a different perspective.  His creative eye has captured many moments that not only show that our local area is wonderful but also what an excellent photographer he is.  The exhibition was one of the SEAS programme highlights and I hope many more people have an opportunity to view his work in the future.

James Gilbert
Communications Officer ELDC - www.e-lindsey.gov.uk

 


 

I knew this exhibition was going to be different when a bloke in a renaissance mask, nightdress and bare feet met us at the door. No, it wasn't’t John Byford but the Daily Dose exhibition had similar qualities of drama, quirkiness and a connection to the everyday stuff of life. 

There’s no doubt that Byford is a master of his art, but it’s the capture of the story within that makes his work stand out. Social comment and humour sit by historical documentary and strong visuals. Portraits capture real expressions - 'Lap it up' portrays the grueling story of life as a pole dancer. The tantalising beautiful 'Hidden Faces' encourages us to search out shapes amongst the dried skin of a printer's varnish pot.

I met the gentleman with the bare feet by the montage of the 'Faces' canvas. "I hate celebrity culture" he said, "but this is about the ordinary people, the people who do the real work." He was right except that 'A Daily Dose' makes us the star of the show... and our 'stuff' too.

Catherine & Chris Raisen
Lincolnshire Designers

 


 

The Byford Collection Vibrancy was the word that kept jumping into my head as I meandered around Johns photographic exhibition. Whether in the colours, the angle, or the expression of the subject, each and every one made a vibrant statement. It reminded me very much of the Marmite advert, love it or hate it. Thankfully I can say I loved the exhibition, especially as part of the bigger SEAS project into which is sat perfectly. Photography is an often overlooked art form that is far more creative than merely recording a moment, John conveys this with every image presented to the viewer.

The large canvasses were great but it was the smaller, framed, images that mainly caught my attention. The images, taken at completely different times and locations, were framed together in pairs to enhance the statement of each. Some were obviously chosen for their symmetry, while others for common features or colours, the most effective for me was where they were at odds, this seemed even more effective due to the restriction within a frame. I would like to see these particular ones framed in a traditional solid style which would enhance this caged quality and add to their vibrancy further still.

A great exhibition that made me stop and think as well as appreciate, never an easy task.

Thank you John,

Chris Schubert
Lincoln - www.schubert.org.uk

 


 

Daily Dose was an exhibit of photographs taken by a local photographer (John Byford) and displayed at the Embassy Theater Skegness, some of the pictures were interesting, others strange and thought provoking.

I’m into photography myself and I have my own Photography Blog, so on our first visit (youngest son and I) I got more out of the exhibit than my son who found some of the pictures to be inappropriate for him, like the photo of the naked guy in the brussel sprout field playing a trumpet It’s not that bad, he must be a bit of a prude!

I would say it’s definitely worth a look, we’ve been twice (hubby came the second time). It was more interesting with my partner, it gets you thinking and people talking and if your into photography could inspire you to try something new (given me a few ideas).

Was the best art exhibit in my opinion at the Skegness SEAS Festival.

Well worth visiting.

Marie Law
Skegness, Lincolnshire

 


 

John Byford combines unimpeachable technical prowess with an artistic virtuosity that confounds even this non-artist’s determination not to be impressed. Always competent, often offbeat and compelling, and more than occasionally inspiring, John has the ability to both capture major situations, or just fleeting moments, in a way that is both original and yet does full justice to the situation.

John’s photographs of the Skegness fire for example have a beauty that entrances and yet a stark grasp of tragedy that appalls. And yet he is just as at home with children playing and bridesmaids caught off-guard during weddings.

Peter Stephenson
Skegness - www.skeggy.org

 


 

John’s work is full of stories about the people, communities and sub-cultures who inhabit our odd, quirky and eccentric little island, but above all else his work is about us all. His work speaks about how complex and at odds life in the UK can be.

He doesn't aim to show us everything, but constructs only fragments or partial views, documenting our customs, landscapes, characters, beliefs, triumphs and failures.

Photography is an Art form and Photographers are Artists- they select, record and present us with slices of life that they want us to see. John’s images stand alone by themselves but they are also steeped in memory, dialogue, celebration, anecdotes and sometimes plain ordinariness.

His photographs are narratives of who we are and where we are, they speak volumes on a grand scale.

Rhys Baker
Darlington, England - web

 


 

I first came into contact with John through photographs of his on the web later on I took a closer look at is blog, so it was with eager anticipation that I awaited the Opening of an exhibition of his work as part of the Seas international Art festival in Skegness. I was fortunate to get an invitation for the opening night preview which was very well attended and I spent a very enjoyable evening discussing the many and varied photographs on view.

It was impossible to take in all the delights of the exhibition in one evening so I decided to visit it again, in fact I returned to it on a numerous occasions during the nine day period it ran and each time I discovered a new aspect of his work that I had overlooked before.

As a new enthusiast to the hobby of photography (having just a few weeks before purchased a DSLR Camera) Johns exhibition gave a very comprehensive incite into what you could use has a composition to a classic photograph, from ordinary everyday objects, portraits and landscapes.

The many well constructed exhibits were well complimented by a very comprehensive guide book and each print seemed to have a story to tell. The highlight of the exhibition for me was a group of dramatic pictures taken during and after the fire scene of The South Parade Complex that had been destroyed in a very large fire in Skegness a year earlier.

I’m extremely pleased that John’s exhibition was a big success it was well put together and had something for everyone to enjoy. I now look forward to seeing John’s next exhibition some time in the future.

Paul Marshall - Skegness

 


 

I have developed a growing appreciation for John’s talent in capturing “people” pictures.  With an unerring ability to sense the “prime moment” he captures the essence of his subject’s personality. John also has a “fine eye” for seeing strong pictorial possibilities in everyday situations.

His photos of novel patterns and street scenes filled with action and people speak for themselves .Byford's photos show a consistently high level of excellence rare in today’s photo blogging.

Thanks for inviting me to participate. I think it your work deserves to be given more recognition and and wider exposure. Congratulations on this fine opportunity to show your work.

Don D. Wiley
Spokane, Washington 99218

 


Eye Spy

Don’t miss A Daily Dose, an exhibition of amazing photography by John Byford at Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln. Though you can see his work online or may have commissioned his services as a professional photographer, A Daily Dose is a rare opportunity to see his personal work in printed form.

The exhibition was first seen at The SEAS international festival in Skegness at the Embassy Theatre - a fitting starting point because Skegness is Byford’s home town.

The images are immediately striking for their energetic composition, clarity and intense colour. The show, containing more than 100 images, is like a diary of Byford’s visual adventures of the last three years. These are often in Skegness or Lincolnshire, but some are from London, Hull, France and Turkey. People, places and things are all captured with the same attention to detail and nuance, the same love and the same humour.

In A Daily Dose, the images have been printed in pairs creating interesting juxtapositions. Waterloo Sunset, the face of a young red-haired girl peering thought the massive steelwork of a bridge is paired with the Chimp Banksy, a very solid looking Banksy mural overlaid with the slightly transparent image of a chance hairy passer-by. In another more rural pairing, a naked man playing a trumpet in a field of brussels sprouts partners a field of curious cows. There are single, larger images including a huge, happy crowd waving at the camera on Skegness seafront, one to look back on.

Maggie Warren
The Collection, Lincoln - web

 


 

I visited on a drizzly Tuesday – after navigating the torn up roads, and workmen, staggering over the slippery cobbles (note to self; semi-practical shoes are a pre-requisite for Bailgate) I spotted the familiar Daily Dose – “when your chips are down” image beaming from the gallery window display and felt my mood lift.

The stark canvas that is the Sam Scorer gallery plays perfect backdrop to Johns bold, honest images.

On viewing the guest book Lincoln is “loving” the exhibition and so they should – I would challenge anyone not to be, at very least, entertained by it.

Make a point of visiting – you won’t be disappointed… plus it’s sure to lift your spirits even on the most dreary of February days.

For chance to see some of John’s larger canvas pieces in situ visit The Embassy Theatre Skegness from Feb 15th.

Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw
Embassy Theatre - www.embassytheatre.co.uk

 


 

John Byford’s colourful photography exhibition, the backdrop to Café Cityscape discussions in the Embassy Theatre, deserves to be mentioned, providing a thorough investigation into the town that could only be conducted by a local artist constantly and avidly documenting, recording and fictionalising the town’s people, sites and events.

Charlotte Pratley
Nottingham Visual arts - www.nottinghamvisualarts.net


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