Inside this issue
A Sense of Place
A group exhibition at Joe Cornish Gallery
Many of his images are created using long exposure techniques to reflect the sense of calm he feels when watching the clouds blow in over the coast or waves moving against the shoreline.
Landscape photography started as a form of therapy for Paul, as he struggled to cope with the pressure and stress of his previous role as Picture Editor of The Times. Looking at near-ly 20,000 images every day and the associated responsibilities left him suffering with stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. Through his photography, he was able to express himself where words failed him.
Black and white photographer Kate explores the landscape with an eye for detail. Producing highly creative images using a range of techniques from high key to double exposure, and from camera to print. Her connection with the landscape is evident in her work. She is inspired by locations from the coast to deep woodland, and her images depict her love of water and trees. Some of her images are very abstracted and require some deciphering. Kate particularly enjoys the challenge of producing images that promote contemplation beyond the first glance. Her favourite locations include Scotland and the North of England, especially North Yorkshire where she lives.
This highly-anticipated group exhibition of black & white photography is on at the Joe Cornish Gallery. This is the culmination of a one year of mentoring programme by photographer Paul Sanders.
Photography is a very personal journey, a combination of technical skill and unique expression of a moment experienced. This took us a long time to understand, which is why Paul started to support other photographers through a mentoring process over the course of a year.
By asking pertinent questions about why people photograph and encouraging personal exploration of their influences gradually, our confidence and awareness of the individual expression in experience of a subject grows.
There is no one size fits all approach, each individual needs supporting and directing in a myriad of ways so as to draw the best out of them while using constructive feedback to build on their unique perspective.
For Paul, it is important not to try to turn out clones but to allow each photographer to openly express visually their individual awareness of beauty. Beauty is everything from the mundane to the most exquisite landscape, learning that beauty has no rules, boundaries, or formula is one of the most important lessons a photographer can learn.
The process of working so closely with a handful of photographers has been inspiring. Drawing on Paul's depth of knowledge and experiences has enabled us to look harder at the way we work, our own awareness and the barriers we put in our own way too.
There are photographic formulas that help one learn the process or overcome the technical hurdles, however, there comes a time when you have to cross those boundaries and work with your soul, allowing the spiritual and emotional connection with your world and your story to come through. We, as photographers, are telling our story and our connection with the world we inhabit today.
Our photographs are the legacy we leave for future generations, so they can see and feel our way of life, our social and economic fabric and the deep connection we as individuals experience.
What draws us to specific genres, locations or subject matter as we explore the relationship between people and spatial settings, and does our affinity to a particular environment begin with nature or nurture? Perhaps these attachments we develop come from culture or identity, or maybe they are rooted in feelings or perceptions. Do the images we connect with invite curiosity or trigger a memory, an emotional response or a sense of belonging?
Whether you are brought up in a natural or built environment, this will have a profound influence on how you photograph, and through photography, a sense of wonder will enhance that connection. Working with light, pattern, details, and textures gives us the opportunity to make images that appear either simply beautiful, while others arouse a deep curiosity within and give us the opportunity to express a depth of mood, emotion and a true connection with the subject.
‘As part of my mentorship with Paul Sanders, I wanted to create a body of work to act as a love letter to my friends of some forty five years, celebrating my affection for them and their Croft in northwest Scotland. All of the small elements of their life, captured in black and white, express my feelings about our long, rich friendship and this place I call my second home.’
‘I have been photographing for over six decades, but the pandemic caused me to spend time on local subjects. My project of photographing allotments was inspired by the rich material I encountered on my daily walks. Each patch invited speculation about the owners and what the land meant to them. In one small area of suburbia, a relationship of chaos and order existed between Man and Nature. With Paul’s great support and valuable encouragement, I have come to acknowledge the richness of “the ordinary” and to appreciate how rewarding that can be.’
As a Gallery Photographer, I was discussing my plans for the year with Curator Jo Rose, who offered a group exhibition to those involved in Paul’s mentoring course.
‘This has been a truly inspirational year. Paul has encouraged me to slow down, be present and more deeply connected to the landscape, as well as to experiment with different genres and techniques. Far from seeking images, an open mind, increased awareness and slower approach has allowed me to discover images. This new, more mindful approach has resulted in greater depth and a stronger emotional connection to my work in respect of my chosen landscape’
‘The images I am exhibiting are a personal narrative, each one represents an awareness of my place in the world, seeing the equivalence in flowers. My images are miles away from the photographer I thought I ’should be’ and come from a much deeper place than anything I have made before.’
A preview of the exhibition
The exhibition runs from 3 September - 26 November
Joe Cornish Gallery