Since it's inception in 2015 gravy magazine has strived to catalyse the photographic community in the north of England. The issue in my hands today is the third instalment of gravy magazine, bringing together a collection of undergraduates and graduates from the north. The issue is introduced by David Brittain, past editor of ‘Creative Camera’. Brittain eloquently outlines the current dynamics of magazine publication. He also gives a perspective on the direction he would like to see gravy take to find a voice as a magazine within a ‘cacophony of message and image senders’.
As touched on by David Brittain in the introduction of the magazine, there is a synergy between digital and print output in today's media. This is something that I would like to touch on in my short review of the magazine. The importance of the physical objects in today's digital climate. I hope in this way I can ‘add to the conversation’ in some way, thus, leaving the pictures and writings to be discovered within the magazine.
On first handling the modest yet appropriate scale of the magazine allows the magazine to be handled simply. This pairs well with the tactility of the cover which can be felt when picking up the magazine. The cover is still and uncrowded, the space occupied by a portrait made by featured artist Harriet Broom. The magazine features work from six photographers Jack Springthorpe, Sam Jackson, Stan Platford, Hannah Platt, James Marvin and Harriet Broom.
Moving through the magazine page, the publication is divided into sections by striking colour plan inserts. The sections allow structure that leads the reader successfully through the varying subjects and aesthetics of the photographers. From Hannah Platts colourful ‘You’re in America Now, Honey’ which takes us through a land of contradictions and wonder. Then, following into the black and white photographs by James Marvin that offers insight into bodybuilding gym with the overarching theme of masculinity.
The well-printed photographs lie on phoenixmotion stock, preserving the haptic qualities of uncoated paper but retaining the fine details that coated paper benefits from. This soft and tactile feel to the paper, alongside its generous weight, offers a quality to the magazine. This quality contrasts the glossy, lightweight paper adopted by many magazines today.
The magazines refined quality and successfully simple design seeks not to embellish the photographers featured in a sensational way, but to represent the work with integrity and authenticity. The physical object of the magazine forms an antidote to the fast-paced and digestible flow of screen-based imagery and offers a reward of sensory experience to those who seek to find it.