Picture preview: Gideon Mendel – Drowning World

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

In an attempt to search for ways to show the world the effects of climate change through a Drowning World, Gideon Mendel's only other camera on his journey was, alongside the lives affected, paralysed by flood waters.

Click here to view a gallery of images from Gideon Mendel's upcoming exhibition

Capturing images from recent floods in the UK, India, Haiti, Pakistan, Australia and Thailand Gideon takes a look at the still format to focus on the long term threatening values. From a halting, non-journalistic, perspective he catches the after-affect shots, as opposed to the frantic journalist, capturing images during a flood.

“The look is more of a question,” says the philanthropic photographer, pondering at the thought, to what extent is what we are doing affecting the world?

The definition of the type of imagery for his exhibition lies in the way he depicts the photographic engagement with people. They appear to give an accusing gaze at the camera and for Mendel this does not necessarily give a clear didactic and obvious explanation for their looks.

“I’m a complete flood vulture and it’s about getting there in time,” said the rolleiflex camera user.

It was while he was in Haiti that one of these “basic-to-use” cameras were dropped into the floods and evidently sucked up water. Bear in mind he usually takes two or three cameras with him and on this occasion, only took two.

The affects, although not deliberate, were that the flood waters not only immersed themselves forcefully into people’s lives but they also found their way to mediating directly onto the film.

Although being left slightly frustrated with a damaged, gradually depleting camera, he did not lose focus of the stagnant look he was trying to gather from the surrounding locals.

Undeniably flooding and climate change is a complex subject. With increasing weather events it would most certainly be ironic if more floods occurred during his exhibition.

“There are lots of flood alerts at the moment and nothing is comparable with floods.

“I am a parent and have young children so I wanted to make a statement. I wanted to show the effects climate change will have on our younger generations. Usually images of climate change are of polar bears. I wanted to show further evidence of issues and flooding is a particularly difficult issue to take on."

In 2007 he photographed the last major floods in the North of England and was then on the path of alternative routes to portray his views on the way the world is changing through its climate.

“When I was in Australia the floods were like toilets; flushing up and down quickly. You had to get there in time.”

For Gideon it is about getting to the floods in time and according to him flooding in places like Thailand is more obtainable.

“The floods in Thailand last for several weeks and it’s easy to get access to people and get pictures.

“It is the physical challenge in poor countries as it is difficult to get to the flooding situations."

Previously having worked on several projects in Africa focusing on HIV/AIDS and during his time in 2008 in Mexico the seemingly humanitarian said: “I pray. But not for myself.” He wanted a metaphorical way of looking at the severity of flooding and the photos at his upcoming Somerset House exhibition, Drowning World, look at the key issues of this.

India

“I was walking through a village, the road was about 200m away and these women were walking to the road through the flood to get cooking oil. They were trying to continue with their necessities of life and I caught them walking neck-deep in water.”

Pakistan

“I took some pictures on high water and some of the locals even took me to their home. I went to different locations and they wanted to show me their homes. They wanted to show an alternative view of what they go through. For me it is not manipulation but collaboration and then I get to show the rest of the world.”

Australia

“Among the residual structure from flood water damage I found some photographs in Australia damaged by flood waters. They were all that was left from the flood so we’re trying to discover how we’re going to exhibit them. It’s definitely going to be interesting…”

Drowning World is at Somerset House, London, from 10 May until 5 June

Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'