Gabriel Kenny-Ryder is the co-founder and resident photographer behind the Weekend Journals, a series of design-focused travel guides that highlight beautiful destinations and the fascinating stories behind them. To date, the Weekend Journals team has featured its home city, London, as well as Cornwall and Provence, with a new book set to come out later this year.
The Weekend Journals are stunning, minimalist works of art, with Kenny-Ryder’s photography at the forefront. The books are packed with precisely curated recommendations for stylish hotels, shops and eateries, along with interviews profiling creatives from each featured region. These are functional guides to travel centred around art and design — simply perusing their pages is an experience in itself.
Kenny-Ryder holds a Masters in Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, and his practice explores a number of topics, including photography-as-performance, the material image, and cultural photographic history.
“Creating these books has widened my gaze when it comes to my fine art practice,” he says. “Talking to so many other creative people about their visions is very inspiring.”
Kenny-Ryder credits the success of the Weekend Journals to the clarity of the WJ team’s vision. It’s a family operation: Gabriel takes the pictures; his sister, Milly, writes the text, and her husband, Simon, is the designer. They produce every aspect of the publication to achieve a shared mission: highlight the places they love while creating a body of work that will stand the test of time.
“We aim to make a guide that lasts, not simply a list of trendy spots that becomes obsolete after a year,” Kenny-Ryder says.“This means our previously featured locations can receive renewed interest with each added guide.”
2019 will be another busy year for Kenny-Ryder. He’s assembling a joint show with his partner, painter, El Johnson, and another Weekend Journal is on the horizon — subject still to be released.
In his personal artistic practice, Kenny-Ryder seeks to create an expansive experience for his viewers this year. The curving landscape panoramas that make up his 2019 exhibition attempt to bring some grandeur back to photography.
“In contrast to the repetitive consumption of tiny digital photos on a screen in your hand,” he says, “these installations will envelop the whole body — photographs that hold you —not the other way around.”
It is this commitment to a tangible, impactful experience that permeates the Weekend Journals’ aesthetic, and assures you that following the advice of Kenny-Ryder and his partners will lead you on an adventure as meaningful as it is beautiful.