Aug 262015
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Portrait of David Cameron by Chu - Shangri-La, Glastonbury Festival 2015

One of my initial responses to the brief that I picked up from Kaye Dunning, creative director of the Shangri-La crew – she wished for a photo mosaic similar to my work with Kabul at Work a few years back. The theme for this year’s Shangri-La was to turn the whole venue into a shambolic protest, public opinion, unrest born of politics and giving power back to the people. This happened just after the general election.

Portrait of David Cameron by Chu - Shangri-La, Glastonbury Festival 2015

I became ignited by the images of public protest in stark, clinical contrast to the engineered way in which the election, and its players played out. The picture was definitely to be a portrait of our political leader, but who was it to be. I often enjoy trawling through the masses of footage that has been converted from old magnetic formats (Thames TV are uploading most of their back catalogue). Then I recalled the many protests that I have participated in, or had a vested interest in the participation. The tiled, small mosaic images were to originate from political unrest and public dissent footage. There are plenty of surveillance films masquerading as educational materials that are visible online.

When I began working on this, we were in the throes of the 2015 General election, to determine which majority governs the island. The doubt of who would win meant I had to prepare some alternatives, in case there weren’t any sure-fire post-pippers. This included refining the (deformed) photographic portrait and the anagram of their name, replete with nuance (Losing a recount?)

Final Panorama

You can drag the view around by clicking and dragging the left mouse button, the gyroscope allows you to tilt the view around you on a mobile such as iPhone.

Mobile – Zoom in & out by pinching
PC – Zoom with CTRL/SHIFT or mouse-wheel
MAC – Zoom with Command/SHIFT or mouse-wheel

The smaller, mosaic tiles are individual frames from moving video, so to evade repeating the frames (and hence the tile), I removed most of the title graphic tiles and scanned every half a second of footage. Each and every image is filmed at public protests in this country, during my lifetime. There’s images from Reclaim The Streets, Poll Tax Riots, Anti Austerity.

Portrait of David Cameron (detail) by Chu - Shangri-La, Glastonbury Festival 2015



My work at Glastonbury has previously graced the Unfairground field, and the Greenpeace skate park.