A Week On Monday: Nick Ballon

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A Week On Monday: Photographer Nick Ballon on tennis and Glen Branca

Monday morning can be a tricky little blighter. Are you one of those people who springs out of bed ready to seize the week ahead and all it has to offer? Or do you stare disbelievingly at your treacherous alarm clock and wonder where the heck the weekend went? Either way, we’ve got your back by way of our brand new weekly feature A Week On Monday. We’re going to kick off each week by talking to a creative we admire about what their next seven days has in store, and we’re kicking off AWOM (as all the cool kids will soon be calling it) with photographer Nick Ballon.

We’ve long loved Nick’s work and featured him both online and in print over recent years, but his newest project Ezekiel 36:36 is his most exciting yet. Documenting Bolivia’s Lloyd Aereo Boliviano the extraordinary book (and accompanying show opening at London’s KK Outlet later this week) tells the intriguing story of a an airline with a glorious past, a difficult present and a very uncertain future. We’ll look at the project in more detail later this week, but for now, take it away Nick…

What’s the best way of getting over Monday morning blues?

It’s obvious but there is no better start to the week than from some early morning exercise to clear out the cobwebs. I especially like waking up before the rest of London gets going and breaking into my local park before it opens to play a game of tennis. 

What song will you be listening to most this week?

Having annoyingly just been told I missed out on a Glen Branca gig this weekend I will probably spend a large part of Monday playing Lesson No.1 for Electric Guitar. Its a powerful song that  has a repetitiveness that I like.

What was the best thing you read this morning?

Just before heading to the studio this morning I read  about a fascinating photography project that David Campany (writer, curator, and artist) taught on his first day as a tutor many years ago. My first day at Croydon college in 1996 was spent in a far less exciting but similar way, attempting to teach us to look at the world differently. 

This is David’s project. Each student thought of an object, place or scenario to be photographed. The 36 instructions were compiled and given to all thirty-six students. Each was given a roll of colour film (36 exposures) with which to make one attempt at each instruction.

The films were then processed at a local lab and the students brought in the six-by-four inch prints to the studio. The prints were then laid out in a large grid, so that vertically you could see 36 different responses to the same instruction, while horizontally you might be able to discern each student’s approach or beginnings of a style. 

It’s not just a interesting project that helps you think about the way you see things but it also made me think how invaluable teaching staff of this calibre are especially in the formative years of young photographers. 

Send us a picture of something you’ll use a lot this week


If you could have a midweek night out with anyone, doing anything what would it be?

A night class in painting in Trinidad from Peter Doig.

What do you hope to have achieved come Friday?

By Friday if all goes to plan I will have self published my first photo book called Ezekiel 36:36, a accompanying booklet, exhibition and a successful book launch at KKOutlet.