All That is Solid Melts Into Air

Following on from seeing a bunch of heavy metal gigs in Toronto, Canada I have some exciting music related news to tell. A few months ago I was asked by the Southbank Centre in London, UK  if I would be willing to include one of the photos I had taken at the 2012 Download Festival in Donnington, UK in their upcoming Jeremy Deller Curates: All That is Solid Melts Into Air a Hayward Touring exhibition in Northern England. The north is the birthplace of heavy metal music (Birmingham specifically) and I was really happy to be asked to be part of it.

Tony Iommi Black Sabbath
The photo that will appear in the exhibition

The photo was a unique one I had taken of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi’s fingers whilst he played guitar. The photo shows the prosthetic metal finger tips he wears to play guitar. He lost his own fingertips in an industrial accident in 1960’s Birmingham, UK before he started playing in Black Sabbath! This accident is what is credited for helping in creating the darker, deeper sound of Black Sabbath as Tony Iommi had to learn how to play the guitar differently from everyone else and modify its strings and tuning to suit.

Black Sabbath 1970s Ozzy Osbourne Tony Iommi Bill Ward Geezer Butler
Black Sabbath in the 1970’s

Black Sabbath are one of my all time favourite bands and I was lucky enough to see them play again this year in Austin, Texas. Tony Iommi is one of my guitar heroes, so I am really pleased that my photo is going to represent a music genre I love so much!

Black Sabbath in Austin, Texas 2013
Black Sabbath in Austin, Texas 2013

Jeremy Deller the award-winning English conceptual, video and installation artist who is putting the exhibition together had seen the photo and wanted to include it in this special exhibition which takes a look at the impact of the Industrial Revolution on popular culture and life in general in the UK. Music is a big part of this culture and forms a major focus of the exhibition which combines contemporary music, film and photography with images and objects from the 19th century to tell a multimedia story of cultural history. I can imagine the noise of industrial machines, heavy metal and glam rock combined to make a stunning soundtrack to the exhibition.

Industrial Revolution UK
Industrial Revolution

So if you are in the UK this Autumn or in 2014 and have an interest in this type of thing please go along and look at the exhibition. It sounds like it will be fantastic and I wish I could see it too! The dates are as follows:

Manchester Art Gallery 12 October 2013 – 19 January 2014

Nottingham Castle, Nottingham 31 January – 21 April 2014

Mead Gallery, University of Warwick 2 May – 21 June 2014

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle 12 July – 26 October 2014

Nottingham Castle Nottingham UK
Nottingham Castle 2012

Ironically while at the Download Festival in 2012 I stayed in Nottingham and visited Nottingham Castle. I would never have thought in my life that someday a photo I took would be on display in that very same place! Life is always full of surprises!

UPDATE 30/12/13

I noticed my photo in the background of these photos of the exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery. Exciting!

Jeremy Deller Curates All That is Solid Melts Into Air Tony Iommi
Manchester Art Gallery October 2013 (photo source: Ben Roberts)
Jeremy Deller Curates All That is Solid Melts Into Air Tony Iommi
Manchester Art Gallery October 2013 (photo source: Ben Roberts)
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