Kev was lacking culture so we decided to broaden his horizons slightly and take a trip to London together…for his the very first time! The weekend before I was on the Kerrang website and saw advertised: Kerrang! Presents: Slipknot – A Photographic Exhibition Photographs by Paul Harries Sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink Tuesday 12 July 2011 – Sunday 24 July 2011 No Entrance Fee The Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6BP. Now two things struck my eye: Slipknot, which by the way are amazing, especially in a visual sense and that the exhibition was FREE, tempted. There go, when we went down to London on 15th July 2011, we had a look around the exhibition of these unseen photographs of world famous band Slipknot.
Upon entering the gallery, first thoughts were, “well this is tiny” but we quickly discovered there were many corridors leading to more eye catching and surreal photographs of the band. Phew. Whilst looking at the photographs I noticed a common trend. Within the photographs, the band members seemed to be less inhibited and more playful as opposed to scary. I think this is under the photographers’, Paul Harries’, influence. Harries is a freelance photographer who has been documenting the band for over a decade, and has had access to all areas, including behind the scenes and their shows. Don’t ask me how because I would love to know. I think the amount of time he has spent with the band and that ambience of relaxation came across in his photographs as percussionist Shawn Crahan, aka Clown reaffirmed “Paul Harries has always been able to capture the band in its true form”. Slipknot is well known for its eye arresting and bizarre look, which is why I always find any photographs of the band never less then intriguing. But the photographs displayed at The Strand Gallery possessed something special, not only because many of them were unseen images but the fact that Slipknot themselves seemed to metaphorically unmask themselves. I love people who are wild and outrageous with their style, which is why this collection of imagery made an instant impression on me.
The exhibition consisted of 60 photographs of the band, each image outlined with a white border and displayed in a thin black frame. All of the exhibition space was white, bar one room. This separate room painted crimson, displayed only black and white photos. Whilst in the white space, colour photographs some often with a running theme of red were displayed. The photograph that stuck out for me the most was the single image of Ben Graves (drummer) playing this immense drums kit. I think it was the vibrant lighting and the fact it was a photograph from a live show, which made it seem more real and about the music as opposed to their strong image. To be honest I appreciated the exhibition as a whole due to the breadth of photographs of the band from artistic shots to live shows to back stage antics. The images were all special in their own individual way.