On a rare visit to Shoreditch, East London, to explore a possible pop-up Bob Carlos Clarke exhibition next year, I took the time to visit the Daniel Blau Gallery  in the ever-so-trendy Hoxton Square to see their new David Bailey ‘For Real’ show . Having just seen Bailey’s mega-show ‘Stardust’ at the National Portrait Gallery I was keen to see this more intimate show. I had never been to the Daniel Blau Gallery before and it is a lovely airy space  and I was immediately made welcome by the staff. The photographs were in complete contrast to ‘Stardust’ – small and beautiful . Each photograph has been printed onto torn paper, many with ragged edges, which I loved, with portraits of iconic figures such as Mick Jagger and Michael Caine, as well as portraits of people in India  and tribesmen in New Guinea, and stark images of London’s East End [6, 7]. My favourite was of my friend the legendary photographer Don McCullin – who has such a photographic face, deep and intense . A real treat of a show and definitely worth a visit (the show is on until 28 June). I was really tempted to buy one, especially as they were all only £1,800 – a real bargain for a unique David Bailey. But sadly I have spent my art budget for this month!
Then the big party of the week was the opening of the new ‘John Jones Art Building’ of super-framers John Jones (www.johnjones.co.uk). Who would have thought that in a recession someone would have been brave and bold enough to expand their empire with an enormous new building dedicated to the craft of framing – six floors and 57,000 feet of building including 1,000 square feet not-for-profit space for new artists?! [9, 11] But John Jones is one extraordinary man who has single handedly turned framing into an art form, and last year was very deservedly rewarded with an MBE from her Majesty the Queen for ‘services to art’. We have always used John Jones for framing and have never been disappointed by their brilliance and eye for detail. We are lucky enough to have the wonderful Tim Blake look after us – who deals with all their photography framing. I always tell our clients that there is no point in buying an expensive photograph and then sticking it in a cheap frame! Luckily 95% of our clients buy our photographs framed – which always reassures me as that way we know that they are protected. The party was great fun with John and his family (Kristian, Kelly and Matt – who now run the day to day business) and a huge turnout of clients and artists spread out across the many floors. 
I am always a sucker for a good photography book and I was immediately struck by Jimmy Nelson’s pictures of tribal peoples in his book ‘Before They Pass Away‘  which I first saw last year at Paris Photo. However, this week he has been caught up in a heated debate with the tribal rights group Survival International over the pictures. This debate would normally pass me by, but my business partner Ghislain Pascal has been involved with Survival International for over 25 years and is very active in their work, having himself visited many different tribal communities. Survival has attacked Jimmy Nelson in an article published on USA news site Truthout, and since picked up by other newspapers and photography press, accusing him of presenting a damaging and false image of tribal peoples, and denouncing the work as a photographer’s fantasy, bearing little relationship either to how the people pictured look now, or to how they’ve ever appeared. For example the photographs of the Waorani girls from Ecuador, show them wearing ‘fig leaves’  to protect their modesty, which they have never done. They also criticise Nelson for presenting a fictionalised portrait of tribal peoples, with the whole premise of his book being the inevitability of these tribes dying out – which is both damaging and untrue. There is a fashion for photographers to visit tribal peoples around the world and I do think it is important that they portray them accurately and highlight the problems they face and not ignore them. Coincidentally we have been asked whether we would consider hosting an exhibiton of Nelson’s pictures – which of course we will not.
Tamara Beckwith is the co-founder of The Little Black Gallery London.