All posts filed under: Exhibition reviews

Exhibitions: The Reportrait exhibition, Nottingham

Today I traveled a few miles to Nottingham to view the ‘Reportrait’ exhibition at Nottingham Castle and Art Gallery. I have an interest in portraiture. I like to see the works however they were created. Whether they have been made by hand or captured through a camera’s lens they fascinate me. The last exhibition of painted portraits I visited was many years ago at the National Portrait Gallery. Things evolve, fashions change, new artists appear, so I was unsure what to expect. Not only were there examples of work made by hand using a range of drawing or painting implements, but there were photographs, 3D plastic busts and…well… just so much to involve the interest and curiosity of the observer. I can’t speak profoundly about the art works. The contextualisation of artwork is beyond my limited grasp of fine art. Mine is a simplistic, visceral reaction to each of the works. I employ little or no intellect in my artistic appreciation I’m afraid. They move me, or they don’t. However, even from that simplistic standpoint …

The Usher Gallery, Part of the Collection.

Exhibition Review: It’s art but is it photography?

New Photographic works. The Usher Gallery, Part of The Collection, Danes Terrace, Lincoln. LN2 1LP. T:01522-550965 W: Opening hours: See website. This exhibition by James E Smith comprises 2 parts. First is Call to Action, a series of black and white photographs from his time in Australia. The images are simply hung. Second is Half the Battle is Knowing What Sells, a small book shown in the middle of the gallery. This second part of the exhibition is not covered in this review; though, in passing, it comprises e-mails received by Smith concerning briefs given for commercial advertising purposes. You can download the book here free under the creative commons license. Judge for yourself. I am from a commercial world and this poses some difficulties in the understanding of “art” per se. In a discussion with a  photographic artist recently (we were talking about an event I had attended the day before which included him and a group of other artists) I wrote:- “The terms of reference used by artists and those in commerce are …

Small Town Inertia. A seminar with Jim Mortram

This event was an intimate seminar with Jim Mortram, famous for his “long-form” photographic essays about people living  in his community in rural Norfolk. Jim Mortram produces strong black and white images, sometimes gritty, challenging, intimate even, but always considerate of the subjects. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Though a respected, working photographer, Jim remains a full-time carer for his disabled mother.  Jim’s background makes him eminently qualified to understand the problems others are having in life. He says about his life and his work… “There is a slow erosion of everything you want to do in life. You become insular, cut off and isolated. I found a reason to stay alive. And I found it in my community. A friend gave me a camera. There was something about having a camera and doing something different that gave me a reason to be out.” The people Jim works with are the people in the community in which he lives.They live within 3 miles of his home. Jim explained to us about his own background …

Masterji of Coventry

Jason Scott Tilley, a photographer from Coventry, first properly heard of Masterji from his daughter Tarla Patel, though he had seen him around previously as they shared the same processing house. Subsequently, working with Masterji and his daughter what Jason discovered was a photographer, previously little known outside of his own community in Coventry, together  with a fascinating collection of pictures providing an insight into the migrant South East Asian community in Coventry reaching back into the 50’s. Maganbhai Patel, better known as Masterji migrated to Coventry from his native Gujarat, Indias most western state,  in the 50’s. Keen to follow his passion for photography he set up a studio in his house and started to produce images of his family and friends within his community. You can read here the full background on Masterji written by the curator and producer of this exhibition, Jason Tilley. It’s a heartening story about one man’s passion for photography. The exhibition I visited -now closed – showed 100 or so prints, some in colour, of people in this …

Exhibition Review: Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970’s

The Photographers Gallery 16-18 Ramillies St London W1F 7LW W: The Photographers Gallery  E: T:   +44 (020) 7087 9300 Opening hours:  Mon – Sat 10.00 – 18.00, Thu 10.00 – 20.00 during exhibitions, Sun 11.00 – 18.00 Admission to Exhibitions: Exhibition Day Pass £4 (£2.50 Concession) Advance Online Booking £2.50 Free admission before 12.00 every day Title of Exhibition: Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970’s Exhibition run:  from October the 7th 2016 until  15th January 2017 Website for the exhibition: Feminist Avant-Garde of the 70’s To get a clear idea of just what this exhibition is about you can watch an interview with Gabriele Schor, Director of the VERBUND Collection and Anna Dannemann, Curator, The Photographer’s Gallery here…  In this interview, Schor talks about her thinking behind the collection. She makes it clear the Verbund chose the budget and she chose the art. And Dannemann talks about how she curated the exhibition and her decision process related to the layout of the art in the galleries. Dannemann says of the exhibition… “Focusing on …

Opening night at the Argentea Gallery, St Pauls Birmingham

New photo gallery opens in Birmingham.

  The Argentea Gallery opened for business in St Pauls Square in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Not, as you might think to sell jewellery but to exhibit contemporary photography. Set at the top of this refurbished 18th and early 19th century square with St Paul’s church at its centre the gallery fits in with re-purposing of the square’s fine buildings. It’s perfectly positioned to bring added culture to this fine square.

image credit; Laura In Black Oil on Linen 508 x 406 20/09/2015 © Joshua LaRock

Exhibition Review: BP Portrait Exhibition

It’s rare we here in Lincoln, in the east of England,  get the chance to see the results of a prestigious, International competition and award. We tend to be a bit of a backwater where the arts are concerned. If you are minded  to view international portraiture at it’s best now’s your chance. And it’s a rare and fleeting chance at that. Running from 12th September to the 13th November 2016 the BP Portrait exhibition is being hosted in the Usher gallery in Lincoln city.