Inside this issue
Between Land and Sea
Lin Talks about her exhibtion
Lin Gregory is an East Sussex based landscape photographer who aims to capture the spirit and beauty of a place, evoking both emotion and atmosphere, using light as her tool. Her work is project based utilising different approaches to achieve this, most recently using long exposure photography."
It’s almost a year since I first received an email from Farley Farm House – Home of the Surrealists and the Lee Miller Archives, inviting me to exhibit my latest project “Between Land and Sea”. I felt honoured to have been invited by Antony Penrose, writer, photographer and director of the Archives and the Penrose Collection, and very excited about the prospect of being able to show the work in its entirety. It all felt like a dream come true, yet there’s nothing like planning a solo exhibition to focus your mind on a project and wake you up to the reality of exhibition deadlines, not to mention the nagging self-doubt induced by the thought of having your work under the spotlight. Couple that with the venue being at the former home of photographer Lee Miller, whose work I greatly admire, and the pressure, much of it self-inflicted, was on! Yet, having now gone through the process I have found some unexpected benefits in addition to the wonderful experience of seeing my work on the walls of a highly respected venue.
I have always had an affinity with the land and fell naturally into the grouping of landscape photographer, greatly influenced by JMW Turner’s use of light and inspired in my teens and twenties by Ansel Adams and Sebastian Selgado, as well as loving the black and white documentary work of Cartier-Bresson and Brandt. Seeking female inspiration, in the mid 80’s I visited Fay Godwin’s exhibition entitled “Land” and was blown away by the bleak beauty of her work, in particular, her images of megalithic sites and her use of light.
In the past I had dabbled with long exposure photography using film, however, once I embraced digital in 2006, I started to experiment more, having seen and loved the work of Michael Kenna. I’ve come to understand that the combination of influences from Godwin, Miller and Kenna has helped me form my own style in my recent work, the result of which is “Between Land and Sea.” I term this style as ‘slow photography’ - using long exposures to capture several decisive moments, holding them together in one image.
I love being out in the landscape, watching the waves crashing onto the shore, high winds powering clouds across the sky and the rays of light as they appear between, highlighting the white tips of waves and elements of the land that had previously seemed dull and lifeless. Being able to observe all of this while practising ‘slow photography’ makes the process a mindful meditation for me, mimicking unseen rhythms of life, creating the sense of peace and stillness I desire, in often challenging weather conditions, as I reconnect not only with this beautiful land but also with myself.
The images in “Between Land and Sea” represent a journey along the East Sussex coast, capturing the landmarks that occupy the space where the land meets the sea. The use of ‘slow photography’ has enabled me to record the interaction between the land and the sea to evoke a feeling for the solidity yet impermanence of our coastline, both natural and manmade. The fluidity of the water, its ebb and flow, always moving, changing and uncontrollable merges into one. Whilst the solid structures are in sharp contrast, they too are slowly eroding, existing in a less evident state of flux.
The seed of this project first came to me in 2010 after Hastings Pier was the subject of an arson attack that threatened its existence. As a local photographer, I saw the pier as a focal point when walking along the seafront. Yet, after the fire, the possibility of there being an empty space where the remains stood led me to document the many structures along the ever-changing coastline that I take for granted when out walking before they too are destroyed or reshaped.
“Between Land and Sea” opened at Farley Farm three weeks ago and I have received some wonderful feedback from Antony Penrose and his dedicated, helpful team as well as from visitors, who have been very positive about the work and have voiced their own interpretations and feelings about the images, which have been fascinating to hear. Amongst the positive responses I’ve received that stood out for me was that I had really “stamped my own distinctive style on my imagery,” which I feel is what a photographic journey is all about – documenting our own unique perspective of the world around us.
The pressure of putting this show together has, therefore, proved to be very worthwhile for me as a lover of this beautiful land and a photographer. Working on and exhibiting “Between Land and Sea” has given me an even greater appreciation of the coastal landscape and how fragile it is, as well as the opportunity to visit parts of the East Sussex coast that I had not really had a chance to explore before. Equally important to me, however, is that exhibiting at Farley Farm Gallery has encouraged me to look more deeply at my own process, as well as gain a better understanding of my influences together with the photographic style that I am developing that I feel I can now confidently call my own.
“Between Land and Sea” is on show from 28th August to 30th October 2016 at Farley Farm Gallery, Farley Farm House – Home of the Surrealists, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, East Sussex, BN8 6HW. It is open Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm and admission to the gallery is free.