“But what is there, west of the sun?” I asked.
She shook her head again. “I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Or maybe something”.
Hi I'm Toby Deveson. Welcome to my crowdfunding campaign, created to take my principal photographic project - West of the Sun - towards the final goal of a book and international touring exhibition.
This campaign will raise money for a major London exhibition, and the design and layout of the book - as well as laying the foundations for the future completion of the project.
My early work - using all manner of cameras from my father’s Nikon F3 to old Victorian box cameras - reflected my passion for the documentary and reportage images by photographers like Cartier Bresson, Koudelka and Salgado. By 1994 I had started noticing more and more landscapes creeping into my work. By 1997 I had held my first landscape exhibition.
The concept "West of the Sun" came to me about ten years ago whilst reading South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami. It seemed to fit what I strived for in my work perfectly, bringing hints of another world - just out of reach - beyond the horizon and to the west of the sun.
By never cropping my images and by always using the same camera, lens and film, I find I am removing decisions and distractions from around me, allowing me to concentrate on what matters - my surroundings and my attempts to create that perfect image. Because to me that moment that you release the shutter is what photography is all about - that is the moment in which you must get it right. Everything that comes afterwards, the developing, printing and exhibiting is, of course crucial, but unless you get that first bit right, everything that follows becomes nothing more than papering over the cracks.
So what exactly is this crowdfunding for and where will it take West of the Sun?
This campaign will culminate in an exhbition that will take place at the wonderful Signet Contemporary Art gallery on the vibrant Kings Road in Chelsea, London. Part of the funds raised will pay for this wonderful space, a three floor gallery that will display around 40 framed images.
In addition, I will also start work on the layout and design of the book that will become West of the Sun.
Rather than produce a standard mock up, the designer and I will turn it into a stunning and unique limited edition sample for supporters…a first edition work in progress, if you like, that will eventually be transformed into the final book. This will be a hybrid of a classic coffee table photography book and a scrapbook of moments from my journeys in pursuit of that world to the west of the sun. The photographs will feature alongside my thoughts, musings and blogs about my various trips, alongside quotes that have fuelled the ideas. The crowdfunding will also help pay for the designer's time.
Key to all this is my collaboration with Predella House. They are a fantastic group of dynamic, motivated and highly experience people, led by Katrina Aleksa, who have taken the project under their wings. Together we are making plans to take West of the Sun to completion - an international touring exhibition and the printing and publication of the final book. So finally, the funds from this campaign will help pay to take this collaboration into the future, and allow the dream to become a reality.