Jacob O'Connell

Wire Service

Hello,

Since my last post I have been busy working on a number of projects, some have been published and some are still works in progress. I have been returning to Rambert for a number of shoots, working with the different departments within the building. I have also started working with the wire service photography agency REX Features as a means of distributing my images, and to shoot more elite sporting events. Additionally, for the Easter break Vanessa and I spent the weekend in the Lake District walking and taking in the scenic beauty.

It has become somewhat of a tradition for Vanessa and I to spend our Easter break in the Lake District. This is a time for us to recharge our batteries and spend some time in the great outdoors. Shooting nature, animals and landscapes was how I first started enjoying photography as a hobbyist, and still is a passion today. Luckily the Lake District had plenty of scenic beauty to offer, and is a treasure trove of images ripe for the picking.

Vanessa walking in the Lake District.

Friendly cows in the Lake District.

 

Abstract beauty in the Lake District.

 

As of last month, I signed to start shooting with Rex Features as a contributing photographer. REX Features is a Shutterstock company, and is one of the world's leading photographic press agencies and picture libraries. My first assignment with the agency was photographing at the BBL & WBBL British Play-off Finals at the O2, London. The first game of the afternoon was the Women's play-off finals between the Sevenoaks Suns and the Nottingham Wildcats, with the Suns coming out on top 70-61. The second game was the men's play-off final featuring the Leicester Riders and the Newcastle Eagles with the Riders dominating 84-63. I had a fantastic day and was really happy with the images I came away with.

 

The BBL & WBBL British Play-off Basketball Finals at the O2London. Featuring the Leicester Riders vs Newcastle Eagles and the Sevenoaks Suns vs Nottingham Wildcats.

 

At Rambert I have assumed the position of House Photographer, taking on many of the photographic responsibilities for the company. I have been working with the Learning & Participation department, capturing images from evening classes and outreach programmes and the Marketing department photographing the company in rehearsals, performances and additional projects. Many of the images can be found on the Rambert website, but I will share some of my recent images below.

The Rambert company dancers performing in Christopher Bruce's iconic work, Ghost Dances. Performed at Sadler's Wells TheatreLondon.

 

Rambert dancers Jacob O'ConnellCarolyn Bolton and Vanessa Kang in rehearsals for The days run away like wild horses choreographed by Aletta Collins.

 
 

The Rambert company dancers performing in Christopher Bruce's iconic work, Ghost Dances. Performed at Sadler's Wells TheatreLondon.

 

Lastly, a few months ago I had the great pleasure to work with the British Gymnastics Foundation, which is the charitable wing of the British Gymnastics Association. This was for the wonderful cause of capturing images for their Love to Move campaign. The Love to Move programme is an age and dementia friendly seated gymnastics programme which is transforming the lives of people living with dementia. I was thrilled to be a part of this project and as of last week they launched a crowdfunding campaign to help expand the programme into more care homes throughout the UK. Click HERE for more information.

 

The British Gymnastics Foundation launch their new dementia friendly seated gymnastics programe, Love to Move.

 

Till next time,

Stephen

First Exhibition

Hello all,

I have been very busy since my last blog post, so this will be a pretty packed entry. Over the past month I have photographed 4 production galleries, photographed at a national gymnastics competition, shot on location and presented my first solo exhibition!

 

Vanessa Kang on location in Plymouth, UK.

 

Rambert had a very busy month performing in a number of premieres in various locations. First off after Sadler’s Wells was the Rambert Event staged by Jeannie Steele at Phillips’ Gallery in Berkeley Square, London. This was a beautiful location for the performances to take place in, and hugely popular with all the performances selling out. That being said, with the huge windows surrounding the enclosed space, audiences could watch the performances from the streets. I created galleries of these performances from both these perspectives (internal/external). 

 

Vanessa Kang, Simone Damberg Würtz, Hannah Rudd and Luke Ahmet performing the Rambert Event at Phillips' gallery London. 

 
 

Daniel Davidson, Lucy Balfour and Miguel Altunaga performing in the Rambert Event at Phillips' gallery London. 

 

In addition to these incredible performances, Rambert headed up north to Edinburgh to revive an old Rambert favourite, Ghost Dances. The work was premiered in 1981, brought back in 1999, and now again in 2016. Ghost Dances, choreographed by Christopher Bruce is an iconic work and instantly recognisable, with the 3 ‘ghosts’ taking to the stage in full body paint and wearing haunting masks. This work will be performed extensively in the new year, and will be at Sadler’s Wells in May.

 

Daniel Davidson, Juan Gil and Liam Francis in Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances, performed by Rambert.

 
 

Simone Damberg Würtz and Adam Park in Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances, performed by Rambert.

 

After Rambert’s Autumn tour had come to a close, the dancers rushed back into the studio to start work on In the Making. In the Making is a new platform for presenting dance works created by Rambert dancers and other artists at the Rambert HQ on the Southbank. These performances didn’t take on the generic; audience sit, dancers perform, audience leaves format. It was presented as more of a festival, with audiences moving through the building to encounter performances in various spaces and settings. 

Kym Sojourna, Lucy Balfour and Vanessa Kang in Stephen Quildan's work, Allow. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

Adam Park and Daniel Davidson in Simone Damberg Würtz's work, Tempus. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

Liam Francis and Jacob O'Connell in Carolyn Bolton's, Carbon Copy: Drawing the Circle. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

Julie Cunningham performing in her own work, Returning. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

Quinta in Miguel Altunaga's work Light Dial. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

Juan Gil and Antonia Hewitt in Daniel Davidson's, Doublespeak. Performed as part of In the Making presented by Rambert.

I am very proud to announce that as part of In the Making, I presented my first solo photographic exhibition, Connect. Connect unpacks the creative process of choreographing contemporary dance works, providing an insight into the intimacy of creation. This body of work was generated whilst observing the works being made for In the Making, but the relationship and the unwavering commitment to the creative task is universal, and not specific to these processes. I had a lot of fun curating and presenting Connect, but I have to say a huge thank you to Vanessa Kang, Stefano Rosato, Joce Giles, Amy Bell, and of course Rambert. I couldn’t have done it without you!

A behind the scenes look at Stephen Wright Photography's first solo photographic exhibition, Connect as part of In the Making hosted by Rambert.

The past month has been hugely busy, but immensely rewarding. Now to enjoy the season’s festivities and a short break, because it won’t be long till January..!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Stephen