This limited edition book is to accompany the exhibition of Unseen Waterloo- The Conflict Revisited at Somerset House, London from 12th June - 30th August 2015.
18th June 2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the epic and decisive defeat of Napoleon.
Since 2009 I have been travelling to the battlefields of Waterloo in Belgium to create a unique set of photographs that commemorate the 70,000 men who fell that day. The exhibition will comprise over 100 life-sized photographs made in the actual fields where the battle was fought. The subjects are the characters created during the annual re-enactment of the battle.
We have decided to publish our own book in order to make sure there is no compromise on the design or print quality. We are not aiming to make a best seller but are focused on creating the most beautiful and stunning book we can. As such we will print a very small number of books. Once they are gone they are gone...
The images are made in a pop-up studio on the fields of Waterloo during the annual reenactment. Since 2009 I have photographed around 300 subjects from both the Allied and French sides
In 2013, I shot cavalry on horse back using the same lighting setup just scaled up. At the exhibition these too will be life-sized around 3 metres wide, completely dominating the room. In the book they make dramatic double page spreads.
The uniforms of the subjects have been meticulously re-created and are near perfect in their attention to detail. The Battle of Waterloo was the high watermark of military fashion. One hundred years later, at Ypres and Verdun, khaki and camouflage were de rigueur.
The Battle of Waterloo was the last major international conflict before the invention of photography. It brought peace to Europe for forty years and by the time the great nations again levelled their guns towards one another at Crimea the war photographer had been born.
All the photographs have been shot on a Hasselblad with a Phase One back which produces an absolutely stunning image with mind blowing detail.
Unseen Waterloo- The Conflict Revisited, the book, will be published to coincide with the exhibition at Somerset House.
The book will have a first print run of 1815 copies plus 200 numbered Artist's editions. It will be officially launched at Somerset House on 18th June 2015, the 200th anniversary of the battle.
It will be a large photo book measuring 370 x 277mm with around 216 pages (tbc). It is being designed by Phil Cleaver (see below) and printed by Connekt Colour (see below) to exacting standards.
The book will include three essays, one from me (Sam Faulkner) about the project, an historical account of the battle and one about Waterloo as the pinnacle of military fashion. We will announce the writers once they are confirmed.
Here is a Longer Version of the Film
Watch this film if you would like to find out a bit more about the project. This was the original film. But I decided that I needed to make a snappier edit.
The Unseen Waterloo Book will be available in 3 exclusive and limited editions.
The 1815 Edition will be limited to a print run of just 1815 copies. It will have a retail price of £75 but is available on Kickstarter for all pledges of at least £50.
The Artist’s Edition is presented in a bespoke slip case and will be individually numbered and signed by the photographer. The Artist's Edition will be limited to 200 copies. The Artist's Edition is available for all pledges of at least £200.
The Thin Red Line Edition is hand bound in the same fabric worn by the British Redcoats at the Battle of Waterloo. Still manufactured by Hainsworth in Yorkshire this fabric is the origin of the phrase the "thin red line" and is part of their Waterloo Collection.
The Thin Red Line Edition will be hand made by Bookworks in Shoreditch and will be limited to just 25 copies. Ten copies have already been allocated so just 15 are available to Kickstarter supporters. The Thin Red Line Edition is available for all pledges of at least £1000 and will include an an invitation to the private view at Somerset House on 11th June 2015.
All supporters of £100 or more will be thanked with their name printed in the book.
Somerset House is a major arts and cultural centre in the heart of London. During summer months 55 fountains dance in the courtyard, and in winter you can skate on London’s favourite ice rink.
Somerset House programmes contemporary art and design exhibitions, free displays, family workshops and guided tours. It is also home to London Fashion Week. As well as playing host to The Courtauld Gallery and its acclaimed collections, Somerset House has its own programme of temporary exhibitions which focus on contemporary fashion, architecture, photography and design.
A series of modern rooms located on the ground floor of this Grade I listed architectural gem, the Terrace Rooms are a fantastic venue for Unseen Waterloo. Recently renovated to highlight the stunning features of the rooms, such as the detailed hardwood floors and the original 18th century windows, the Terrace Rooms are a bright and airy space which will show the exhibition in the very best conditions
Somerset House is open every day to the public and the exhibition will be free of charge. Based on the numerous similar shows Somerset House has hosted it anticipates between 50,000 -100,000 visitors during the period of the exhibition.
Who is Sam Faulkner?
I am a London based photographer.
A few days after my last exam and weeks before the results were due I threw a battered old Canon and a few rolls of Tri-X into a backpack and took a long route to Afghanistan.
It was 1994 and the feuding mujahideen were slaughtering each other while the world ignored. I didn't really know what I was doing or where I was going. I hadn't worked out how I was going to get into the country, let alone how I was going to get out. I wanted an adventure and to have a go at being a photographer.
I slept under the stars, next to teenage killers who'd never met a foreigner before. At night we shared greasy mutton soup as we watched tracer rounds and rockets silently rain on distant Kabul. By day we toured the front lines south of the capital, dashing crouched behind low mud walls as bullets whistled over head.
At times I wondered whether my hosts, a band of mujihadeen, loyal to the murderous warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, would let me go. I was utterly dependent upon them in a hostile, alien country. After about 2 weeks they drove me back to the Pakistan border. I had shot 4 rolls of film. But it was the start. The images won the Sunday Times Ian Parry Scholarship and the real adventure had began.
Today, I still get the same buzz arriving on assignment in a new country. My kit maybe a bit fancier, the brief a bit tighter, the accommodation bit less sparse and the budget (hopefully) a bit more generous, but it is always a thrill and a privilege to do this job.
I began shooting my long term project Cocaine Wars in 2001 and the first few stories from the project won the Observer Hodge Award and got me on the Joop Swart World Press Photo Masterclass.
Other prizes and grants include The Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship, The British Journal of Photography Project Assistance Grant, The Getty Grant for Good for work on female genital mutilation Mali and selection for the Taylor Wessing exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
I live in London with my wife and our two young children.
My work has published around the world including The Sunday Times Magazine, Vogue, GQ, The Telegraph Magazine, Geo, Stern, Vanity Fair, Esquire.
Commercial clients include The Body Shop, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Nestle and Estée Lauder.
To find out more about Sam's work visit www.samfaulkner.co.uk
Who else is involved?
The exhibition is curated by Patrick Kinmonth. Patrick is an renowned opera director and designer, filmmaker, writer, painter, interior designer, art editor, creative director and curator. He is widely known for his many stage, costume, interior and architectural designs and has been recognised internationally for the breadth and depth of his creative interests. His many collaborations have yielded landmark opera, ballet and dance productions, books and exhibitions. Kinmonth is working principally as an opera director and has been awarded and acknowledged for the quality of his work as exhibition curator, designer in many fields and general creative force. In 2013 Patrick specially designed Valentino: Master of Couture for Somerset House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the couture label. In 2012 Patrick received the Wall Street Journal Magazine- Innovator of the Year Award: Design. Previous exhibitions Patrick has curated include Dangerous Liaisons: French Fashion in the 18th Century, and Anglomania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, both at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Patrick also curated Mario Testino’s Portraits exhibition at the NPG and Diana: Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace.
Phil Cleaver is designing the the Unseen Waterloo book. Professor Phil Cleaver is an established and multi award-winning heavyweight in the graphic design world. Phil is a fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, a founding trustee of The Monotype Museum, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Professor in the Creative Industries in the School of Art and Design at Middlesex University. He lectures worldwide on design, and his early typographical work is archived in St Bride’s Printing Library. His book design is in the permanent collection of the V&A Museum’s National Art Library. In 2012, Phil was invited by renowned creative director David Holmes to collaborate as typographer and book designer alongside Sir Peter Blake, godfather of British Pop Art, and four other master artists, to create a box of treasures celebrating eight decades in the life of Sir Peter Blake and The Macallan. Phil also wrote and designed, What They Didn’t Teach You In Design School this year, published by Ilex Press, distributed by Thames & Hudson.
The book will be published in the UK by Connekt Colour, one of the country’s leading fine art printers. We could have saved money by having the book printed overseas, but we would never have been able to guarantee the quality Connekt Colour offer.
The Hainsworth and the Ultimate Editions will be hand bound by Book Works. Established in 1984, Book Works is an art commissioning organisation specialising in artists’ books, spoken word and printed matter. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples.
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Risks and challenges
All the photographs have been made. The book design is in progress. The print press is warming up and the exhibition is scheduled.... What could possibly go wrong?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)