The Spitz Gallery, London, To Host Photographic Exhibition and Launch of New Book by Acclaimed Colombian Photographer, Julio Osorio
London – 21 February 2007 – The Spitz Gallery, London E1, is hosting the photographic exhibition and the launch of ‘Work, Play and No Rest’, a limited edition photographic book by acclaimed Colombian photographer, Julio Osorio, from 26th February to 4th March 2007. Julio Osorio will be attending the private viewing of the exhibition, which takes place on 1st March at the gallery, from 6.30pm onwards.
Taken on the hoof, following a five-year backpack pilgrimage around South Africa and Latin America, the book, edited by Osorio, is a series of black and white images of the children who live largely beneath the poverty line within those communities. Osorio passionately wanted it to reflect the memories of his own childhood through the lens of a camera; concentrating on the poorest areas of the countries visited, to show how children live only with the basics, yet have found happiness in daily chores.
The photos in ‘Work Play and No Rest’ sit somewhere between the school of documentary, mass observation, photography and the archetypical holiday snap. The photographs have the charm of a tourist, combined with a realism, and gritty curiosity, in the school of Dorothea Lange.
If only temporarily we are reminded of the faces and voices of children who are neither seen nor heard. All of which sounds pretty depressing, but if you are a subscriber to the idea of compassionate apathy, then this book displays an optimism that is rare in representations of the Third World and prefers to focus in and around moments of sanctuary; a cheerful Colombian girl playing in a river, three pre-adolescent Venezuelan windscreen cleaners, showing the vitality of their age, and the day-to-day mischievousness of childhood, rather than images of abject realities that shock and are then forgotten.
The book is on sale at the Tate Modern bookstore, ICA, Photographers gallery, Borders, Books etc, Ottaker’s, Foyles and Waterstones. A website has been set-up at www.workplayandnorest.com where details of Osorio’s work, and the work of the two supported charities can be found. A donation of £5 from each copy of the book sold will be given to two charitable organisations looking after deprived children in Abancay in Peru and Cape Town in South Africa.
About Julio Osorio
Osorio was born in Colombia and immigrated to London at the age of 13. He came to live and study in the East End of London. He went on to study a photography O’ level, which the whole group failed due to the loss of their module work by the teacher.
He worked in the catering trade for several years and set up his first business venture at the age of 21, La Fogata, a Colombian restaurant in Elephant and Castle. At the age of 25 he started an introductory night class in photography at North London College, followed by an access course to photography and finally a BA (Hons.) degree at Croydon College.
He has worked as a freelance photographer with several agencies, working in fashion to advertising, but his real passion is the social documentary style of photography, as his first book “Work Play and No Rest” is testament to.
For further information of the Work, Play and No Rest project or if you would like to attend the launch on 1st March 2007, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 207 688 1785
Mobile: +44 7957 995 578
Notes to Editors
The Aldea Orphanage Fund – Abancay, Peru This was setup by Charlotte Coates. The orphanage is part of a Peruvian government-run organisation, which was set-up in the late 1990s. At the age of 16 the children have to leave the orphanage with no financial or emotional support. With a rudimentary education and no trade to their name these children face a very uncertain future. While teaching at the Aldea por el Infantil orphanage Charlotte and the other volunteers on the programme discussed the possibility of setting up a Trade School in the orphanage grounds where local members of the community could train the children in various trades. This would then equip the children with skills that would enable them to have a more stable future. Charlotte is now in the process of registering the Fund as a UK charity and construction of the new Trade School is scheduled to start in the summer of 2005. Beautiful Gate Beautiful Gate Ministries is an international Christian non-profit organisation (charity number 005-086). Their vision and mission is to establish multifunctional care centres for children in need throughout Africa. They focus on creating a more positive environment by giving personal support to street children, orphaned children, children and babies affected with HIV/Aids and babies abandoned by their poverty-stricken families. Currently there are five centres in Crossroads and Muizenberg in Cape Town, South Africa, Maseru in Lesotho, Katutura in Namibia and Kitwe in Zambia. They are currently on the verge of building a new Care Centre in Cape Town and therefore an increase in their support base is of vital importance to make their current project a success.
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