Unclosed Eyes Exhibition: The Music Photography of David Redfern & Edu Hawkins

Sage Gateshead Concourse

Unclosed Eyes is a collection of photographs that forms part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014, and represents a collaborative exhibition between David Redfern and Edu Hawkins, a photographer 50 years Redfern’s junior.

“You know Redfern, he’s the Cartier-Bresson of Jazz” Dexter Gordon

David Redfern is one of the world’s most celebrated music photographers. Buddy Rich called him ‘the greatest jazz photographer in the world’. In 2007, Redfern became only the second non American ever to be presented with the Milt Hinton Lifetime Achievement Award for ‘Excellence in Jazz Photography’. In a career spanning more than five decades, he has captured some of the defining images of jazz.

‘Hawkins is one of the great photographers’ Trevor Dann, Former Head of BBC Music Entertainment

Having been mentored by Redfern in recent years, Hawkins is regarded as one of today’s emerging photographic talents. His work is greatly influenced by Redfern’s, and seeks to capture the character and expression of the music and the musicians. Hawkins strives for a visual sense of the sound and the atmosphere of live performance, or portraits that capture their subject’s character.

Redfern has said of Hawkins: “I’ve seen him successfully nurture his talent… To succeed today you need three attributes: personality, tenacity, and, above all, the feel and the eye for the music. [Hawkins] has all three.”

Speaking about their exhibition David Redfern and Edu Hawkins say: “Jazz and photography share a rich history. In many ways they speak the same language of spontaneity, colour, contrast, composition, integrity and expression. Photography can capture the ephemeral. The photographic history of jazz serves as a lasting visual record of moments that say something about performances that have been and gone, giving an insight into the character of the people and the scenes that produce the music.

We both wanted to collaborate for this exhibition to celebrate the history of the jazz image, to give an insight into the values that we share as photographers, and to express our vision of the music we love.”

Photos: Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra © David Redfern
Photos: Gil Scott-Heron, Henry Butler and Soweto Kinch © Edu Hawkins

Part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

This year we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the UK’s biggest jazz festival under one roof outside London. Known as the Spring Quartet, this powerful ensemble on its first visit to the UK, brings together Jack DeJohnette, the peerless drummer at the heart of many of the...

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