Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Art for Grabs and cheery things

It's that time again for another round of Art for Grabs at the Annexe Gallery, KL, 12th and 13th of Dec. I will be there with some cute and cheery things for the festive season, also with a small show of prints from the series Kali Yuga which you can view on an older blog post from this year. Also the launch of Kali Yuga the book, a beautiful hand made dedication to the work.
Also up for grabs will be 'Japan' an unfolding book of photographic dreams of Japan, crossing borders box set and many more.
There are many events happening over the weekend including on Sat 12th, 12.30pm Amnesty International's Human Rights Day, with a marathon letter writing session, and Annexe Heroes.
Sun 13th Dec, Three little words @ 12.30pm by fallen leaves community theatre, and Fuzion Yoga for creativity by Feexa, @ 4.30pm bring your own yoga matt.
There are many many more events over both days please check the Annexe Gallery's website for full details;

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Noo Productions

In an ever-changing photographic climate, when times are sometimes uncertain and we are thinking of survival or indeed being able to put the bread on the table, we have to evolve with the world around us and adapt.
Hence the arrival of a new label: ‘Noo Productions;’ all things photographic and arty farty!
Making photographic books has always been a passion of mine since at university, there is still something seductive about holding a hand made high quality book full of those wonderful things we call photographs, little snippets of our world and ourselves, moments frozen forever between pages we can flick through.
At present under the label Noo productions there are several books available, some old favourites and some new titles. Colloquial- a look at the city of Cairo, The Little Red Lantern- a first glimpse of coming home to Asia, Re-Tracing Steps- a return to Hong Kong, Walking in Shadows- the sky that was below me and Going back to the Start- a return to beginnings in Sulawesi. All books vary in price and design.
There will be more titles coming soon.
Also under the label there are a range of greeting cards, a Yogi colouring book with sketches your children can happily colour in, mini prints, gift tags and a ‘Paint your own T-shirt’ set for children, including the t-shirt, fabric paint and stencil.
Not forgetting ‘Crossing Borders’ a box set of 15 prints and map of the journey made, and also a set of 8 prints from the series ‘Souvenirs’ in their own made envelope.
All photographic books and print sets are limited edition and signed.
Details of each individual product will be posted soon.
Noo Productions coming to a place near you very soon, starting at Garden International School Christmas Bizarre on the 4th December 2009, from 9am until 2.30pm, Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


After a trip to my lab on Monday I feel like I have become an endangered species. I went to drop off a roll of film asking for my usual process and contact, however discovered they no longer offer any contacting service only scans, and to add to this they wont be able to get any more film in until January!
My heart sank as I walked back out onto the rainy street, as I walked back through downtown KL, I felt cornered and confused.
I let the rain hit me, my umbrella limp in my hand as I looked up to a black sky.
This is the second lab now where this has happened and the last one has never been able to re-stock its fridges with film.
An ape has to search for its forest, and I am now too searching for survival in the digital world. A little bit lost and vulnerable, are there any rehabilitation centres that cater for photographers using film, that provide us with our beloved rolls of the stuff we put around spools?
Four rolls are sitting pretty in my fridge, should I wrap them in silk, tie ribbons around them and place them behind glass, or go out there and shoot with reckless abandon?

In hope…………………..

Film donations accepted!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Upcoming Events

Two events you should know about:

Firstly Art Expo Malaysia 2009, held at the Menara Matrade Convention Centre.
19th-22nd Nov 10.30-7.30pm and 23rd Nov 10.30-5pm.
Paintings,Photography, Sculptures, Prints, Assemblages, Installations, New Media (Digital Art). Astonishing artworks from all over the world - Asia, Europe - Eastern and Western, the United States, Central America. A true United Nations of the Art People from all over the world, visit their website for more details

Secondly The Singapore International Festival for Photography (SIPF) is now open for submissions for the 2010 show.
SIPF 2010 is the convergence of Photographers on an international platform. The festival commences with an open call for submissions, one category is left open and one themed on Human:Nature. This is an exciting festival held in South East Asia and provides an arena for thought and discussion on everything photographic! The festival also serves as a platform to nuture and propel photographers onto an International stage, for more details please visit

Good Luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sri Gumum

In the evening he came home, he found his wife and daughter had collected many eggs that day. He looked at them with hunger.

Greedily he ate all the eggs, now so thirsty. His wife brought bucket after bucket of water for him to drink, but it simply wasn’t enough…...............

The family moved their house next to Lake Chini so he could quench his thirst, as he sucked up all the water from the lake.

After Sri Gumum had polished off all the water, there was nothing but a muddy puddle left, suddenly he began to change and started to become half man half serpent….

His wife and daughter watched in amazement as..............
He slipped away into the mud and all the water began to flow back into the beautiful lake. It is said that if you are to visit Lake Chini today and you were to see something strange, it is sure to be the spirit of Sri Gumum himself still contained within the lake.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Burma (Myanmar) has been ruled by the Military Junta since 1962.
It is unclear how many people have fled this country in fear of their lives, in Malaysia today, UNHCR claims to have 57000 registered Refugees. For every one registered there are at least two others.
60% of the number of Burmese women who are trafficked into other countries for use in the sex industry are under the age of 18.
Rape is being used as a method of Ethnic cleansing inside Burma.

Being uprooted from everything you know, not knowing where you are or what is going to happen to you, not knowing where your family are or if they are alive. How would it feel?

The world must change and Trafficking must be stopped.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

we share stories

"We Share Stories," is an interactive exhibition participating in the Singapore Design Festival 2009. They are exploring an alternative way of using film photography in the future, namely a way to share stories with each other. What they are asking is for you to shoot a roll of film and send it to the address below undeveloped, with a statement of only 10 words or less describing what you have shot. The undeveloped roll will be exhibited in the show and then for the exciting bit, you will be sent someone else's film once the show is finished, to develop yourself and reveal its contents. All rolls must be received by the 5th of November.
Sounds like fun to me!!

Blk 226 Ang Mo Kio Avenue

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Your Family

Once upon a time...........................................................................................................

The End.

Your Family will be being shown at the Stranraer Museum, Dumfries, Scotland until the 31st of October 2009, in conjunction with 'Place, Identity, Memory and the Artists Book from Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries.
Your Family is a body of work looking at placing old anonymous found images alongside my own contemporary ones in hope of dialogue, that the images themselves hold their own conversations, one elucidating the other. I often wonder what the conversations are when the pages of the book are shut and the images are left in their own company.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Going back to the start

Going back to the start is a hand made book consisting of 51 images of seascapes and dwellings, images made in Sulawesi; Indonesia. It opens in three sections allowing you to move backwards and forwards like a wave or indeed as the breath we breathe.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Art for Grabs

Art for Grabs is back once more, and I am happy that I will be there again, this time to launch my new book 'Going back to the start.' It has been a daunting task with only just over one month to put the book together after the shooting stage, my studio floor is covered in snippets and paper and is looking like it will remain that way right up until the 26th! For this book the images were made over 36 days in Sulawesi, and is a deeper insight into the island, but used metaphorically to question our delicate world, it is an ebb and flow as in a wave but also like the breath we breathe. I'm sure it will be a great weekend and hoping to see lots of old faces and meets lots of new ones.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Artist and the Archive

A true photographer is a humble one. Their ego dissolved into the image. Their life force lives in the photograph so that the photograph can live. Maybe some of our greatest photographers have been anonymous. Is it the case that maybe the less there is of the artist, the greater the art?
Just as we live in photography, it lives in us; maybe it is the case that photography finds us and not the other way around. For those who use it to enhance themselves, for applause and their own fame and glory, could leave it at any time.
For those who photography finds, must give him or herself to it, merge with it, then it is the photograph that becomes truly great. For these people they can never leave photography, they may want to sometimes but it is impossible. It is as much a part of them as the blood flowing in their veins. Something to be shared and something to grow like a beautiful sunflower reaching for the sun.

The two images above are from my collection of found images, the photographers are not known.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ocean of Tears.

In her pain she went from day to day
the blood ink red on paper she penned
As she crossed an ocean of tears
thoughts of what might have been.
Like a distant Diva, on a lotus leaf,
In the blood red dusk the flames sank low
until they finally disappeared.

She shed no breath, no tears, no sigh,
as the crescent moon
rose into the sky.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Like a wave back and forth, returning home, as I laid on my yoga mat for the first time in over 5 weeks, listening to the words magnificent things happen at the Ocean, I reflected back on a wonderful journey. A journey that was indeed surrounded by the Ocean, no matter where one is in Sulawesi the sound of the tide is never too far away, as are the calls of hello Mrs, hello Mr from delightful faces, now I blend in again with the anonymity of a city, and am able to sit and think about what the magnificent Ocean has in store for me now, what will it bring me on the tide and in return what do I give it to take away to another place. Dreams fulfilled of energy and rituals now I have to think carefully of how to whisper the journey to give it justice of all that it was to show it in its glory of an enigmatic and marvellous time and place that it was. Sulawesi, all the way from Manado to Makassar in 36 days-thank you.

First image made from Pulau Bunaken, second image Manado, first few days of the journey.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gone Fishing

It's that time of year again when film in bag off I go in search of adventure and  something new to learn.  This time off to the depths of Sulawesi, Indonesia, its shape is what first attracted me to it, the thought of all that tectonic energy in that region building up to create such a bizarre shaped island was not to be resisted.  I don't know what awaits me, I had a dream of rituals, effigies of the dead, houses shaped like boats surrounded by volcanoes, with small creatures; their eyes bigger than their brains eating grasshoppers and crickets in a frenzy of bliss until the sun rises and the rotation of a new day begins.   A new day, a new beginning, and time for reflection on what was what might have been and what might be, goodbye to Kuala Lumpur for just a while, I will whisper it all to you on my return.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Facing the Future

Facing the Future an open photographic show at the Elysium Artspace, Swansea, opening on the11th July 2009.  I am happy that my work Kali Yuga will be showing within the exhibition, you can view some of this work at a previous entry on this blog back on May 13th 09.  What interested me about this exhibition was the thought of change but from so many different angles, not just from social and climatic prospects but also that of the future of photography itself.  What is photography going to do next or indeed what is it turning into?  Is photography under threat like an animal fighting against extinction, what does this say about our world now?  It will be interesting to see what comes out of the debate taking place at Rhubarb on the 30th of July: “Photography is Dead.”  Maybe as I seem to be repeating this issue many times of late, but maybe photography will return to its origins, or at least this is what I myself am in hope of, the world is round and continues to turn again and again.  To quote Black Elk; a holy Oglala Sioux; “You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, because the Power of the World always works in circles……. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.  The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything.”    Maybe for photography it is the same, a rotation and we are starting our return to beginnings.        Facing the Future continues until the 8th of August 2009.      permission has been granted to post their flyer on this blog.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Re-Tracing Steps

I first arrived in Hong Kong on the 16th of May 1994.  I was tired and penniless after traveling across Russia, Siberia and Mongolia on the Trans Siberian Express, and then through China on public transport.

I stayed in Hong Kong for a year and a half; it was here I met my Husband a fellow traveler, and many dear friends.  Re-tracing Steps looks at my return to Hong Kong in 2007, after thirteen and half years, and now made into a hand-stitched book depicting 18 black and white images.  Going back to a place after a long time is a strange kind of experience, memories re-traced maybe one circle completed and a new one begins.  I think sometimes we have to move backwards to again move forward.    

Re-Tracing Steps first edition of 100, and was completed on the 01.07.09, 12 years on from hand over and is available for orders.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding Balance

View over Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, the first image made roughly 14 months before the second image.

When did you last

            Raise your head and look

            Look look look up


                        To the sky.


She saws above me

            High so high

Show me what you know

With your wings


As I look to full spaces

I see emptiness


Man gets tired

                        But spirit is free


Maybe what the spirit is, the man can be.

Nicola Zammit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Question

Recently I was asked a question by a Malaysian who had visited the Editorial Photography degree show at Brighton University UK: “What do landscapes and pictures of urban decay have to do with editorial?”

To try and answer, when we look at the very nature of photography, it is a mirror and at the same time, a window; a look within and an external glance.  The word editorial can be explained as ‘expressing the opinions of its owner or maker.’  So putting the two together; Editorial and Photography, can mean we can conceptualise about anything in a photographic form, as long as we are expressing our opinions, it can still be ‘editorial,’ a look, a story, a mood of ourselves and of our world.

Urban decay is a reflection of our societies, of how we are living indeed a metaphor into our lives or how we are treating the world.  We could look at it with an even deeper meaning of a look to inside our bodies with meanings of what modern society brings to that.

Landscapes remain encoded with the language of painting, however more often than not the land today is manufactured by human activity and thus again is telling a story of our societies.  For a prime example of this we only need to look at Martin Parr’s ‘New Brighton,’ made in 1984.  Landscapes today are more often than not made in reference to what the land signifies in a cultural context and not necessarily a natural context such as in the work of Ansel Adams.

Today I don’t think we need to pigeon hole our genres of photography so much, as they seem to criss-cross over like colourful threads, and why not?

Maybe in the West photographers have found more confidence in their practise to experiment with ideas and push boundaries, to have faith in their voice and take joy in taking a leap forward sometimes into the unknown of how their work will be received.

We have to read the symbolic aspects of the image not just the literal; Diane Arbus called it “The endlessly seductive puzzle of sight.”

If we look at the work of Lee Friedlander, it goes so much further than the image itself, posing larger statements about contemporary America.  Irvin Penn’s images transformed the most banal of objects into something different even something extraordinary.

So as far as ‘editorial’ and what it might mean, maybe we have to open our hearts and minds to different ways of seeing, and how we voice our opinions through a photographic image.


The image above was taken whilst studying at Brighton University and is titled ‘Erode.’

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Dreamt of Sugimoto

He came to me from across the sea’s, speaking of origins.  “Is it possible to visualise the sea as primitive man once saw it, in its original pristine state?” he asked.

As I searched the shore that I stood upon with a camera as old as myself, film delicately loaded around a spool within, I looked               I watched            I waited.    

I saw much; I saw a rhythm, an ebb and flow, forwards and backwards.  I imagined what the first man might have thought with his first sight of what was before me, and I felt that presence, I felt a time of return, a time to start to move backwards.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Against Forgetting

This work was made in the year 2000, after a visit to Auschwitz and Dachau around that time. 

I am not Jewish, was not born until 1972 and I have no experience of the horrors of Nazi persecution.  In trying to explain as to why I made this work for most of it I cannot. 

I can only say that I know that it is vitally important that we know our pasts, that we not forget, in order to create a healthy future.

This work is made as a reaction to that visit, by myself a young photographer wishing to use her medium to make statements in hope of a better world. 

At that time; the new millennium, there were and still are many atrocities happening in our world, is not time we put these wrongs right?   Since making this work I have also addressed other issues such as the Tibet situation and the Palestinian situation, using photography as a tool for opening up dialogue and as a Voice in hope of Peace.

This series consists of 15 images 8cm x 8cm printed onto 29.7cm x 42 cm archival matt paper, and will be submitted for consideration towards an exhibition titled 'Shoah' to be shown in 2010. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Is it you or I who says
Out of my love for you
I will give you back to yourself"   Minor White

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Place, Identity, Memory and the Artists Book.

Place, Identity and Memory is an International exhibition of books made by artists.  It opens on the 22nd of May at the Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, Scotland, until the 27th of June when it will go on tour until October.

This exhibition runs in collaboration with the Dumfries Art Festival.

I am honoured that my book ‘Your Family’ will be on show throughout the exhibition and festival.

Your Family places found photographs alongside my contemporary images so that they can hold conversations.  They become an invitation into the narrative and into ones own memories, identity and thus give us a sense of place.

It shows how we have grown, how different we are, how our lives have changed and poses questions about how the people within the pages have contributed to that change.

The photograph is an integral part of our society and ourselves, giving us a complex and moving substance to our existence.  It offers many philosophical ideas that underline aspects of our society and our personal lives that no other medium has been able to undertake.  Your Family looks at the essential bearing we all play on each other’s lives and my fascination with humanity and the photograph.

Picking up a book, and then opening its pages is like in turn opening a door, a portal into a world.  It gives the viewer everything like a blooming flower, and it gives time to turn the pages at ones own pace and in which sequence one desires.  It often is a chance to be more personal than rooms and walls allow, for the rooms become contained within the fingers and palms of your hands.

For me it’s a privilege and exciting prospect to be shown alongside such Artists as Erica Van Horn and David Rhys Jones, among others and wishing everyone a fruitful and successful show.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kali Yuga - The age of Destruction

Kali Yuga


When I look to the sky I see boundlessness, a place with such energy, so much beauty, vast endless shapes and tones.  I see so much change; have we ever seen the same sky twice?

I find it incredible, powerful and with it, it brings destruction and it brings peace.

In our time we have experienced so much creation of technology, obsessions with progressions, upgrades, whatever we have never seems to be enough, there is the desire for more, more, more, faster, faster, faster.

I so often wish for it all to stop, to get off, and to wander out of the concrete and back to the forest.

To go backwards from unnecessary complexities to nurturing simplicities.

We have destroyed so much, created so much anger and hate.  We have created so much destruction; Kali Yuga is the age of destruction.

These images are shot with that in mind, they are shot using a mobile phone; taking out all the depth in the beauty of traditional photographic techniques, reducing the image to a snap.  They show pixels giving an almost satellite quality about them.  Apart from composition they are without much thought.

However with destruction comes creation, as we are now coming out of Kali Yuga, we are now in a time of transition, moving into Dwapara Yuga; a much calmer period, one of opening our minds, a time to move backwards.

And as much as these images are shot using a mobile phone, they are printed on beautiful fine art paper, care and thought taken over them.  They are smudged at the edges, the sky is calling not to be contained in this frame, as it wants to spread its endlessness.

The juxtaposition of destruction and creation are shown in the shades between light and dark.  As I look to the sky I am never entirely sure which way it is going to change, how it will effect my day, but I always look to it and learn to trust in it.

Kali Yuga and Dwapara Yuga, we are beginning the transition between the two, a time for reflection on all we have created and in turn destroyed and of hope for a more peaceful future.


Nicola Zammit.