Thursday, 7 August 2014

Current Conflicts Exhibition

The CurrentConflicts exhibition focuses on the work of six artists and their response to modern warfare through the medium of photography.

Richard Monje
First to arrive was Jamie Simonds, who drove up from London the day before and spent the night in a tent camping near Clitheroe. Jamie was very happy to be greeted by a cup of Lancashire tea after a questionable night’s sleep and then got straight to work. He began by showing me his portrait photographs of the U.S military he came across in Atlanta airport whilst departing for their tour of Afghanistan. He then pulled out Richard Monje’s striking photographs of authentic war bullets that he was hanging on Richards’s behalf.

Next to arrive was Matthew Andrew with his 2 large scale black & white photographs and lastly Olivia Robinson from Nottingham with her beautifully printed photo book. We weren’t able to meet all the artists; however you can still view their work in the gallery or visit their websites to learn more about them.
Jamie and Matthew explained that Les Monaghan started the project and pulled everyone together. The theme came about through the groups’ interest in creating something around current conflicts. Early discussions uncovered that a lot of them had either some family background or encounter with the military and reality of it. The whole point was not to photograph conflict in the standard way as other documentary war photographers had done in the past, but to portray a different viewpoint of conflict.
Christoper Down
Christopher Down

Christopher Down
When asked what they wanted the viewer to gain from the exhibition, Jamie & Matthew spoke about the groups’ interest from one of their first exhibitions in Ipswich. They wanted to see how people felt about contemporary conflict photography, especially as so much of what we see is now mediated and restricted.
‘We are not in the era of Vietnam where photographers would be in the war zone. Our view is much more controlled these days to the point where most of us get our exposure through the news’. Matthew

It was really important to gage what peoples’ general reaction towards the exhibition was and what they thought was going on. One of the group’s main aims was to show the hidden side of conflict.
Jamie’s photos were taken whilst US soldiers were in transit going through the airport. Les’ images focus on military training and survival.

Les Monaghan

Les Monaghan
Olivia’s book portrays a different side to soldiers and how they are seen, she worked on making images from photographs that her husband had taken who is a soldier and currently serving in Afghanistan. Although the exhibition is disparate the conflict angle brings all six artists together to document the home-front and the battleground.
Olivia Hollamby

Olivia Hollamby

Jamie explained that seeing the military wandering around Atlanta airport whilst being grounded due to a storm on his honeymoon was a surreal sight.

Jamie simonds

‘Professionally as a commercial photographer moments like this rarely present themselves. This was too good an opportunity to miss, I’m interested in portraiture, so of course I was going to try and photograph them. I asked them all individually - they were lovely and accommodating and I shot them with my point and shoot camera I was taking on my honeymoon until I had to board my flight. 
Here I was going on my honeymoon which is the best kind of holiday somebody can go on and these soldiers were going on tour with only a fortnight break in 9 months to spend with their loved ones. I hope that resonates with the viewer, imagining going to war and leaving loved ones behind and how that might feel.’
Jamie Simonds

Matthew’s photography is influenced by very early war photography; he references the work of Roger Fenton who documented the Crimean War. Matthew gave us an insight into his creative process; he chooses to shoot on a large 8x10 camera to ensure he captures every detail. He begins by researching interesting locations, places that are built for war game scenes but are constructed around traditional notions of war painting and photography.
Matthew Andrew
What’s interesting is that the people that build these war game sites probably don’t know that they are referencing Roger Fenton photographs of historical battle scenes. These kinds of things are in our cultural memory without us even knowing they're there'                                                                        
Once Matthew has chosen his location he gains access through negotiations and explaining what he intends to do, he then sets up his camera to shoot the images. Using a large camera prevents the image to appear pixelated, he wants the viewer to notice more and more detail the closer they get to the image.
Matthew Andrew

The exhibition hopes to widen or change people’s perception of what they think conflict might be in terms of war and current military activity and how soldiers are represented.
Les Monaghan will be doing an artist’s talk and tour of the exhibition with a question and answer session on Saturday 23rd August 1pm in The ACE Centre Bistro, anyone is welcome to come along.

I hope you get the chance to view this exhibition, it is not to be missed and runs until 29Th August  at Pendle Gallery, The ACE Centre, open Monday – Saturday 10am - 3pm
Thanks for reading,

Friday, 9 May 2014

Lindsay Sharp

This is Lindsay's first ever solo exhibition and she said she was full of butterflies this morning.
We can understand this, it can be scary to put your work out there for people to see and think Lindsay is being very brave doing so!

Lindsay works in different types of mediums; some mixed, some not. In the work shown here she has used pencils, pastels, acrylics and some water soluble oils. She has been experimenting with these as they are slower drying.
Lindsay did do art at college but had a break and only really started to get back into it over the last few years. Having a family and job means finding time to paint and draw is hard. Attending an art group every Thursday evening helps and Lindsay would love to have more time to create work. Space is an issue too although Lindsay would like to move onto some larger works.
Lindsay tends to create portraits and they tend to be family and friends. She mostly works from photographs rather than people sitting for her, she does spend time composing the photographs to capture a look or a mood.
I wondered what inspired her to create the portraits, Lindsay does try to get a likeness and they are often quite close up portraits, so I thought it might be an expression or a feeling. Actually it tends to be inspired by a colour. Particularly when it comes to experiementing with backgrounds and ways of applying the paint.
I thought I'd try something similar, so here is a photograph of Lindsay composed next to her own self portrait!

Here are some pictures of the exhibition as a whole...


As you can see Lindsay has also been experimenting with landscapes and has found she has been enjoying this more and more.  
Lindsay finds creating artwork very relaxing, "time just flies" and yet admits it can be hard too. Looking at a white page or canvas is the hardest for Lindsay. Once she gets started though she is just fine.
This exhibition is on in reception at The ACE Centre until Friday 30th May.
Bye for now,

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Graham Dean

Graham is a third time exhibitor here. Welcome back!

So I didn't just want to talk about things we may have covered in the past and how Graham works, I thought we would try on focus on new and new-to-us aspects of Graham's artwork.

Graham is a photographer who nearly always edits and manipulates his images.

Here is a selection of his images, they are available framed and unframed.

But Graham doesn't just create images he tells a story, with the work and often the title. He has been selling his work at exhibitions and craft fairs for a while.

Over the last couple of years he has started selling kindle books too: Graham likes to walk and about ten years ago his wife suggested he should keep a diary of the walks they did. Graham thought why not combine his love of walking and photography and started producing photo-illustrated walking guides.

He tends to choose walks where there may be something to photograph - an unusual building or a sculpture or a wonderful landscape for example. He does his best not to be thwarted by the Northern English weather! He likes exploring new places and will often walk the route a few times before he writes it up.

"I do like taking photographs of other peoples art"

Look at the texture on the sculpture here...

This is 'Venus and Child' by Shane Johnstone and can be seen in Morecambe.

You can buy these kindle guides here or have a look at some that are free on his website here.

Grahams work is quite eclectic and some of the images here are of a concept, for example, two works were inspired by Ribble Valley's Open exhibition which asked for submissions around water, some works are of Edinburgh where his youngest daughter lives, although the majority of the landscapes are from Lancashire.

The two images above are the Ribble Valley Water images.
So now, I'd like to show you the exhibition coming together...

Start with unpacking

Select hanging rods
Place in first layout, see if it looks ok?

Create an exhibition...


And there we have it.
I will be back shortly with our reception exhibition.
Ta Ra

Thursday, 27 March 2014

More Pendle Artists

We focussed on just a couple of artworks last post and talked about them in detail. However the rest of the exhibition is just wonderful and features many other artists I didn't have chance to speak to on Friday.

Here are some more images from the whole exhibition...

As ever, we hope you get chance to see the exhibition in person.