Ordinary Fragments’ unique way of looking at the world stems from long-distance collaboration
A constant dialogue between Tyrone Williams and Jean-Christophe Recchia forms the basis of this new publication.
- Charlie Filmer-Court
- 6 February 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Ordinary Fragments is a new photographic publication that hopes to reassemble a broken world, promoting undiscovered beauty in unexpected places.
Created by Tyrone Williams and Jean-Christophe Recchia, the publication recently released its second issue on Manchester’s Desire Press. “Ordinary Fragments is a way of understanding the world, our environment, to observe it, assimilate it and restore it with our own language,” says Tyrone. “It is also a broken mirror where each piece takes on a new meaning, a new identity, as soon as it is separated and redirected from its unique original reflection. With this idea, there are infinite possibilities for how we can piece the world together.”
The project was inspired by the similarities in style and ideas between the two, as well as the distance and differences they have – not least the fact that they are based in different countries, with Tyrone in the UK and Jean-Christophe in France.
“At the beginning, the main drive was experimentation, trying things out and having fun, creating a link and dialogue between our respective universes and the distance separating us,” says Jean-Christophe. “We also realised that we were going in the same direction, both aesthetically and emotionally. A common language then imposed itself on us in the form of interaction connections between our images.”
The publication of their first issue did not happen overnight, with years of work going into the project before the release – which eventually sold out. “It was a long time between the start of our collaboration in 2014 and the first release,” explains Tyrone. “When we started sharing our work on social media it was without pretension, but we had good feedback on our first achievements. This encouraged us to continue and enrich this work.”
One strength of the publication is the pairing of images. Each page reflects and complements its opposite number, whether in colour, composition or subject matter. This came naturally to the pair, and was a result of the distance between them and the conversations that arose because of that. “Since we started this project back in 2014 we’ve been exchanging images back and forth, trying to make connections and pairings,” says Jean-Christophe. “We haven’t imposed any obligations or constraints on ourselves and give free rein to our emotions and instincts. We do not have too much trouble finding correlations between our images.”
Tyrone echoes this, explaining that this was something that happened organically rather than consciously: “It is a real dialogue that we have set up and that we are refining as we progress in the project. Evidence is essential to us in the work of assembling our images, as much by the sense as by the aesthetics. It is easy for us to find pleasure in working together while learning from each other, also a complementarity of what we can each bring to this project.”
Desire Press’ involvement in progressing the project into a publication has been key, with both citing its importance in turning it into the publication we see now. “I was aware of Desire Press for sometime before we reached out, its vision was strong and had a different edge to it that I admired. I thought the project would possibly suit its aesthetic,” explains Tyrone. “I took a chance and eventually reached out to it, and we almost immediately started working on the first publication of Ordinary Fragments! It was a beautiful process seeing how Desire Press incorporated its designs with the project, as it also felt strongly about the work. Desire has really helped refine the look of Ordinary Fragments.”
As Tyrone and Jean-Christophe continue to work together, they are managing to bridge the geographical divide between them. Fortunately, it’s not something they even have to think about, though, and their similarities in ideas and outlooks bode well for a long and successful collaboration. “We will often find images that are too alike in relation that we can’t even put together!” says Jean-Christophe. “It’s as if we see the same thing but in a different form.”
About the Author
Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.