Nut city zine
A beautifully produced zine straight from the depths of Sheffield, Nut City is the first published collaboration between Elliot Holbrow, Joel Barton and Nazusk. Elliot Holbrow is a name that may be familiar to some already. His photographs of club life in Sheffield and portraits of DJs including Ben UFO have already caught the attention of the Guardian and Shaun Bloodworth amongst others. Joel Barton is an artist, photographer and fellow Sheffield resident. 'We're all big on the physical side of things,' he says via email, 'as opposed to viewing everything via megapixels and we just buzz off creating, I guess.' The new work in Nut City is by far their most refined and unapologetic to date. What was once a viewpoint from the casual observer is now absent from Holbrow's photographs, the images here force you right into the room. High in grain and contrast, rich in subtle signifiers, each image is an inside view into the seedy after-hours world of Nut City. There are no image credits inside the zine itself – it is split into three sections, separated by illustrations from Nazusk. Holbrow's work is strictly black and white, while Barton has a selection of colour images in there as well. Holbrow has refined his previous 'snapshot' aesthetic into an effortless blend of documentary detachment and film noir cool. The inherent beauty of his work is the ability for him to blend seamlessly into his environment and capture it in a narrative way. Holbrow's body of work may best be put into context alongside that of the legendary Nan Goldin. Although geographically miles apart, the ease with which they both infiltrate and observe the dimly lit, after hours underground is both captivating and essential. And in case you thought Nazusk was left out of this entirely, I tried to get a few words from the man himself and was offered this - 'Nazusk is one for the night after a few bitters in Weatherspoons and never the day unless you've robbed him pens to draw out 245 zines, he's keeping his head down and he'll re-emerge for the next printed thing we do.' Highly recommended. Alex Digard.