Gray’s Anatomy – ‘I heard it through the (social media) grapevine’

Don’t miss this Friday’s edition of Richard Gray’s, Gray’s Anatomy Column. This week Richard discusses Marvin Gaye, coke-sniffing, Belgium and Instagram. Where else can you read content like this? (Please don’t send in suggestions, I can imagine!) Over to you Richard…(foreword by Joanne Carter).



“I recently had the pleasure of being invited to visit Ostende by that city’s tourist board. I know all the jokes about Belgium, but I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a fan of Belgium. If I ever find myself in a Karaoke bar that does Jacques Brel’s Plat Pays, I’m on stage in a shot. Not very likely, I know. Though perhaps more likely in Ostend. I will ask the tourist board if they know of any.

The visit is specifically to promote a new tour commemorating the fact that Marvin Gaye once lived there for a while (nearly a year so far as I can work out). There I’ve said it. This is a sponsored post. I have disclosed a material connection in accordance with US government guidelines on endorsements and Womma best practice recommendations on word of mouth marketing. Basically if someone is induced to tweet, blog or post photos (in exchange for money or trips to Ostend) they should tell their followers. And by writing this piece, I discharge one of the conditions of the trip. And they’ll actually probably get another one out of me after the trip as it sounds like a fascinating story and a lovely place for taking photos.

The typical narrative of the Marvin Gaye sejour in Ostende is one of contrasting a fast-living coke-sniffing superstar with a seemingly sleepy seaside town in one of the world’s most unexotic countries. So although I’m absolutely delighted to be invited, it feels like I’m on the bottom rung of a very tall social media ladder in terms of freebies. My influencer statistics bear this out. I was asked to fill out a form, listing my various social media following numbers and the page views of my website, My follower numbers just about get into four digits thanks to Instagram, but I couldn’t quite scrape together five figures of visits to my website. I heard of someone the other day who had 1.5 million followers on Google+. I didn’t even know Google+ was still going. And I have many good friends who were blessed with a place on Instagram’s suggested user list and so have hundreds of thousands of followers. But, as I’m sure my dear readers and Instagram followers are saying at this very moment: never mind the quantity feel the quality. Be reassured Ostend Tourist Board”.



Going to the seaside’ – ©Richard Gray

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]