Tuesday, August 23, 2011




Shrewsbury is a town with a large number of old half-timbered houses on the English side (we live in Wales, not England!). Martin made me aware of an exhibition opportunity during a photo month in August, and we chose two of my earlier abstract works. Had I waited a little longer maybe I had chosen some newer work instead, but I was in the midst of editing a new batch of abstract works and we also believed that the simpler and more colorful compositions would do better in a crowded cafe environment.

The cafe is relatively new and strives to support artistic activity. It is decorated in the industrial style that is all the rage right now. Personally, I think it is charming with big worn metal lamps in steampunk style, glasses from an old school and picture hangers that have been a series of hooks in an old school in their former life.

Martin, me and one of our photographer friends Richard Booth went to the private view, but we were unfortunately a bit late because I had trouble getting a simple brochure made on time. It was something I  just began thinking about ... nothing serious yet.

Chaos reigned in the tiny space when we arrived. 50 photographers were represented with 80 images so the jury had a lot of work to do (newspaper article here). There was much to absorb. 

There is perhaps some sort of policy in the cafes in the UK that you can not get anything to eat during the openings. This time all you got was a small glass of wine, but there was not anything other than drinks and bags of potato chips to buy. In the cafe in our town, also meant to serve as an art venue, the organizer stands for food and beverage, which the cafe prepare (it gets expensive!). I guess there was no money for something to eat here in Shrewsbury (it cost only 6 pounds to participate).

I thought maybe the suspension was slightly unprofessional ... Because it is a contest the pictures had no name that could possibly affect the audience, and perhaps this is also why everything was hung pell-mell. Sometimes I perceived a half-hearted idea behind the suspension but as someone who has acted as curator for myself and for group shows, I must say that it could have been better. To think in terms of whole, complementing elements and rhythm is not so easy. The group of photos with orange details behind the orange lights that were a distance away probably worked the best (and was presumably hung first!).

Worst for me was of course that my own pictures, which I chose specifically so that they would stand out in the crowd, were placed in a dark corner on the ground floor. The orange tube under the pictures  is also very distracting. Perhaps the idea was that large color pictures would do better than the small black and white photos? Alas! It must have been at the end where the organizers have already been working for 17 hours, surely they were too tired to think clearly.

This image has no light and reflections from other lights
 means that you can not see what it represents. You have to climb on the
couch to see anything - who would do that!  The orange tube bothers me
tremendously because it interferes with my soft and thoughtful compositions
with its sharp aggressive presence.
The photos were meant to complement each other,
but were hung with someone else's image in between.
What's the idea behind this?
You can after all see that my pieces are made ​​by the same person.
They could at least have been in completely different places. 

Perhaps there was some thought behind the idea of putting  
my pictures in orange above an orange tube ...  
In this case, the tube becomes very domineering.

"The Mystery of Calculation", 2007 - note the diagrams!

"Magic of Curves", 2008
On the whole, we were not quite so impressed by the artistic level of the photographs (the idea was also that aspiring photographers would get a chance to show their works). In retrospect, I could have presented almost anything, and now feel that the quality of the old Digital photos don't quite make it when they are being enlarged. It's inspiring to see what others do. I'm obviously a little disappointed that my pictures did not stand out at all, but that's life!

It was nice that there was a group photo of the photographers! I got this photo from Richard Foot, who organized the exhibition and events during the month photo.

In this photo:  Paul Whittingham ,  Vivi-Mari Carpelan  ( photos  ·  Remove tag ) ,  Sam Pooley ,  Danny Beath ,  James Risdon  (photos ) ,  Christophe Dillinger ,  Richard Hammerton ,  Richard Foot  ( photos ) ,  Helen Foot ,  Daisy Pooley, Tolkien ,  Mike AshtonStephen D Harper ,  Pete White  ( photos ) ,  Nathalie Hildegarde Liege  ( photos ) ,  Ian Sheppard ,  Stephen Greco ,  Freddy Raybould

Shrewsbury Living, August 4, 2011

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