Southport, United Kingdom: Cafe Royal Books, 2020.
Black & White.
At Oxford an annual rowing competition between the colleges takes place over a week every summer known as Eights week. Traditionally the winning team ( who would have spent months training for these races ) would have a celebratory dinner.Ater the dinner a boat would be set alight and the rowers would jump over the flames. I photographed the event several times in the eighties. The first time at Oriel college Oxford in 1981. I heard the same thing happened in Cambridge after the May Bumps rowing competition.. - So I photographed there too. . The Cambridge Burning boat was just as reckless and dangerous as in Oxford with the difference that some women were taking part. In 2019 I looked at the films again and printed these pictures for a box of prints. Apart from the tribal drama of the scene I like the pictures for their abstract qualities.- With the embers blowing around with smoke and fire and parts of the picture disappearing. I'm told that nowadays for Health and Safety reasons the event the burning boat is roped off and no jumping takes place.
Café Royal Books (founded 2005) is an independent
publisher based in Southport, England. Originally set up as a way to disseminate art,
in multiple, affordably, quickly, and internationally
while not relying on 'the gallery'.
Café Royal Books publishes artist's books and zines
as well as a weekly series of photobook/zines.
The photographic publications are part of a long
ongoing series, generally working with photographers
and their archives, to publish work, which usually falls