Nigel Shafran – Workbooks

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Nigel Shafran – Workbooks

Shafran's endlessly creative hand scribbles a life of photographic notes and observations, with his signature blend of simplicity, profundity, and wit.

Loose Joints is proud to present Workbooks: an extensive book that gathers together a creative lifetime of collecting, imagining, sketching and recording by British artist Nigel Shafran from 1984-2024. Below, writer David Chandler reflects on Shafran's Workbooks:

Books have been the principal means through which Nigel Shafran’s photographic work has become known. He understands the gift of their materiality and he has invested heavily in how his books look and in how they are made. But Shafran’s investment in book making is also integral to the way he builds his ideas and projects. It is ingrained in a process that sees his photographs, soon after they are made, printed, edited and stuck into the pages of bound volumes that are part workbook, part diary, part aide-memoire.

These working documents are informal books, but, partly in preparation for decisions that will later define the actual publications, they are carefully assembled and richly embellished. Each is filled with drawings, notes and bits of everyday ephemera as well as photographs, and each has a particular aesthetic, with an easy feeling for material craft as well as visual simplicity and clarity that is characteristic of Shafran’s intuitive organising principles and his entire working process.
– David Chandler

    • 512 pages, 170 × 230 mm, 260 colour plates 
    • Section-sewn softcover
    • Designed by Linda van Deursen
    • Published by Loose Joints

    Nigel Shafran (b. 1964) is a British photographer known for his contemplative, domestic and humanistic approach to photography, notably in book form.  His previous book with Loose Joints, The Well, was published in 2022. Previous publications include Ruthbook (1995), Dad's Office (1999), Edited Photographs 1992-2004 (Steidl/Photoworks, 2004), Flowers for ___ (Koenig, 2008), Ruth on the Phone (Roma, 2012) Teenage Precinct Shoppers (Dashwood, 2013) Visitor Figures (2015) Dark Rooms (MACK, 2016), The People On The Street (self, 2018) and The Well (Loose Joints, 2022).

    His work has been included in exhibitions such as How we are; Photographing Britain, Tate Britain; Observers: Photographers of the British Scene from the 1930’s to Now, Galeria de Arte SESI Sao Paulo, Brazil; Island stories: Fifty Years of Photography in Britain, Victoria & Albert Museum; Reality Check, Photographer’s Gallery / British Council; Theatres of the Real, FotoMuseum, Antwerp. His work is held in several public collections, including Museum for Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Arts Council, the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

    About the publisher:

    Loose Joints is a multi-award-winning independent publishing house based between Marseille and London, founded by Sarah Chaplin Espenon and Lewis Chaplin in 2014.

    Loose Joints collaborates with leading and emerging artists on contemporary approaches to photography in book form. We circulate new visual perspectives through a dedicated list seeking to elevate underrepresented voices in photographic discourse.

    Our holistic approach to publishing allows us to work in close collaboration with artists from start to finish, with all design, editing and production done in-house. Loose Joints also operates independently as a design studio, working across publishing and the arts.

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