What's in a name?

Over the past couple of years I've been taking photos for various events in Brixton on volunteer basis and I love it. Not only does it give me the opportunity to take photos of things I would normally photography but I also meet people I would not otherwise have met. I'm the official photographer for Brixton Splash and last year was the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican independence so they commissioned these graphics to help celebrate.
I absolutely loved them and Brixton High Street has never looked so good. The designer, Jon Daniel,  emailed me to asking if he could use some of my images of his work for various press things such as Design Week. I was of course delighted! But it also turns out that we share the surname! And neither of us have  met another Daniel (that's Daniel, not Daniels - there is only one of us at a time you know!) that we are not related to. We've been in touch on and off since last year but last week, to our delight, we finally met up! And phew, we got on like a house on fire! And we both have stamp collections (check out my Etsy shop and  you'll see why this made me smile). 

Jon had 2 exhibitions on the go when we met. The first was called Iconographic at the Clapham Picture House where I met him for a coffee. It was a celebration of Afro Pop Culture from the African Diaspora. And the collection was stunning. I love his graphic style. 
They are so fun, simple, colourful and you immediately know who they represent
Annoyingly the light wasn't great so apologies they're not amazing shots. 
But they looked impressive throughout the cafe area 
It was so hard to choose a favourite but I do love the image of Usain Bolt, Man of the Olympics last year. And I was also drawn to the image of Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately this exhibition is now over but prints are available from his website
His other exhibition is 'Afro Supa Hero' over at the V&A Museum of Childhood is of his collection of action figures, comics and games collected from when he was a child through to the present. The collection offers an insight into the experience of a boy of African Caribbean heritage growing up in the 60s and 70s. And I found it absolutely fascinating. 
I'm a couple of years younger than Jon (only a few mind!) and although we have completely different backgrounds there were some markers from my youth too. One of my earliest memories is watching the Jackson 5 on the TV whilst waiting for my dad to finish work. 
And I LOVED Mr T when I was growing up. As a teenager I even had a collection of faux bling which I would where every Friday night (when I went to Youth Orchestra - yep living the high life in Cumbria!) 
My friend Ben got me in to Lee Scratch Perry in the 90s, and OH is also a fan
And OH has recently got me into funk - here is George Clinton from Parliament. 
And I hope to see more of the Afro Supa Hero trade mark. 

It was such a great collection - this is just a small selection. I can highly recommend it regardless of your background. It will make you smile, but I also found it thought provoking. And if I hadn't volunteered to take photos for Brixton Splash last year I would never had  met Jon, nor seen more of his work, or these exhibitions. So my advise is take a risk, put yourself out there, do something for others and you never know where it will lead. It's certainly making my life more interesting, though I must admit it's also busy, busy, busy (though that is in now way a bad thing!).... And hopefully I'll be seeing more of my name sake in the future! 

1 comment :

  1. Thanks Lisa for the lovely write up! Look forward to catching up again soon. All the best Johnny x