Inside this issue
Abstract Rhythm and Blue Notes
Celebrates The World Of Photo Expressionism
Honey J Walker ARPS, is an impressionistic, abstract photographer based in London. Her original career in the fashion industry developed her love of colour, texture and design.
She works instinctively, responding as much to her surroundings as to her subconscious, emotional world. Honey has been short listed for the Royal Photographic Society, International Photography Exhibition consecutively over the last two years.
Her work is held in private collections and had been published internationally.
The Abstract Rhythm And Blue Notes Exhibition at the Horsebridge Arts Centre is a celebration of photo expressionism taking place in Whitstable, Kent, from 16-28th November 2022. It represents the creative culmination of an intensive year-long exploration of the intersection of photography, art, abstraction and creativity by an eclectic group of 14 photographers under the tutelage of British photographers Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery.
From 16-28th November, this international group of artists will be not only showing their work but hosting a series of exciting and informative, creative workshops. For a timetable of talks and workshops available, please visit www.arbnexhibition.co.uk.
The Abstract Rhythm and Blue Notes course was intended to take a very diverse group of international and British photographers who are already free-thinkers and, in many cases, award winning artists on a deep dive into abstraction, ICM, surrealism, layering, compositing and all manner of other genres. I was lucky enough to be one of the students accepted into this group.
The idea behind the course was to stretch us to let us each play with our cameras and our ideas without fear of failure or ridicule. To look deeper, explore and discover the unknown. Explore and discover ourselves as artists. Break the rules and constraints of traditional photography, tap into our emotions and allow the camera to speak for us.
As Minor White famously said, “One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are”. And so began a journey of discovery.
My first experience of ICM was seeing a photograph taken by Morag Paterson of some tulips. I will never forget that image. I was blown away. I started researching ICM, and that inevitably led me to the work of Doug Chinnery and his brilliant videos explaining the foundations of this dark art.
Doug’s mastery of this genre of photography is legendary. His ability to jiggle and swoop his camera producing an image of arresting beauty and soulfulness, is mind blowing. By the time I had discovered Doug’s work, his name was becoming synonymous with in-camera layering legend Valda Bailey.
I first met Valda at Kew Gardens, where I spent the most glorious afternoon with her learning the art of in-camera layering. I felt like someone had opened Pandora’s Box.
In one afternoon, my art took an enormous leap into the unknown. I finally had found the genre of photography where my subconscious had found oxygen.
I always believe that if you admire someone and want to learn how to do what they do, then seek them out. Learn from the masters of their craft, not to emulate but to add those skills to your toolbox and reimagine them into your own vision, your own voice.
This idea was central to the Blue Notes course to study other artists or genres of art and use those initial ideas or concepts as a springboard to ignite our imaginations.
The opportunity to regularly meet online with a group of diverse and highly talented, like-minded photographers/artists was so rewarding and ultimately became the distraction we all needed from everyday reality and lockdowns.
My fellow scholars became firm friends. The warmth and generosity of spirit I encountered were exceptional. The opportunity to have an assignment set and to see the individual interpretation of that project from each photographer at our show and tell meetings was really fascinating, and I felt honoured and privileged to be part of such a supportive and creative group.
This new found freedom of expression enabled me to switch off the right side of my brain, to be intuitive, to relax and use it as a form of meditation.
The scope of the exhibition is well encapsulated by the title. Like in music where blue notes are used for expressive purposes and are sung or played at a different pitch from the standard, the artists exhibiting here are using the photographic version of blue notes to create their images- techniques, approaches and creative vision that is a different “pitch” from traditional representational photography. The mastery and understanding of the role of techniques such as intentional camera movement, or ICM, and in-camera multiple exposures are a key component of the work exhibited here.
The great outdoors is always a balm to the spirit, but at this particular time, I, like so many others, came to value the landscape and Mother Nature with a new respect. Playing with ICM and layering of images in my Canon 5R feels very representative of nature but not in her literal form; abstracted and layered, multi-faceted, an impression, as if a sweet memory.
A moment-caught, a movement like a breeze as it softly touches you and then is gone. The images we were all creating felt more nuanced, more ethereal, with themes of danger and rebirth, fear and hope intertwined. Our personal challenges, dreams, and interpretation of our internal and external space were all revealed through our unique vision.
Homework projects ranged from “Photograph the essence of your space” to “Interpret the chorus of “Bye Bye Miss American Pie”. We studied the power and symbolism of form and colour, the Japanese art of Wabi Sabi, how surrealism can be expressed in photography and many other equally inspiring and challenging topics. The outline of the course was always to widen our horizons, to encourage playfulness and bravery in our vision and, ultimately in our images.
All this hard work is finally culminating in an exhibition of the 14 individual artists' work at the exciting and eclectic Abstract Rhythm And Blue Notes Exhibition from 16-28 November.
Each artist will bring their own unique vision of their landscape through the diverse and creative genres of photo expressionism, ICM and abstraction.
I am honoured and proud to be among them.
Valda Bailey: Birds Fly South
Valda Bailey is one of the two founders of Bailey Chinnery, which runs extensive workshops and online courses for creative photographers. She is an award wining artist, and her images are prized by both private collections and galleries.
Birds Fly South is from a series of images about the seaside in winter. Such places have an elusive atmosphere, a timeless, exquisite grace. The soothing rhythm of the waves and fading emptiness fills and nourishes the soul.
Jan Beesley ARPS: Sunlit Hills
Jan is based in Sussex. She uses her camera as an artistic tool to express her response to the landscape around her. She aims to capture not just what is in front of her but what she feels and the interplay of colour, form and light. She prints her own work and hand finishes work using creative techniques. Jan is a member of the RPS.
Sunlit Hills was taken locally to Jan and forms part of a series of works capturing the seasonal changes of the surrounding countryside.
Alison Buchanan ARPS: Abandoned
Based in Sussex, Alison finds that she is seeking through her photography to capture more than the physical presence of a place. She concentrates on the feelings and emotions she experiences. This emotional response is evident in her work. Alison is a member of the RPS.
Abandonded is part of a series inspired by the book The Secrets Of The Sea House by Elizabeth Gifford. It was taken on the Island Of Harris, among the sand dunes.
Deborah Bohren: Foggy Morning On The Grand Canal
Deborah is an American based photographer living in Connecticut. She is an award winning photographer and her work has been exhibited in several museums and galleries across America. She uses her camera like a paint brush, to reveal the essence and emotion of a place.
Foggy Morning On The Grand Canal, taken in Venice, was captured using a combination of ICM and multiple exposure, to capture the essence of the scene. The cold, the movement, the dampness of the fog.
Doug Chinnery: Farmhouse In Elmet
Doug Chinnery is the other half of the Bailey Chinnery team. He is renowned for his ICM work and his evocative and thought provoking abstracts. Doug’s work hangs in both private collections and has been represented by numerous galleries. This award winning artist is much sought after for his creative work.
Farmhouse in Elmet is part of a series of images called “After Elmet”, inspired by the poems by Ted Hughs. They resonated with Doug because they speak of the landscape close to where he has lived for the last 37 years.
Malcolm Cross: A Realm Beyond
Malcolm’s work is colourful and abstract, combining conventional and creative photographic techniques. He is inspired by urban and natural environments, authors, poets and creatives.
A Realm Beyond was inspired by his visit to Japan and meditating in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto.
Laura Goin: Ode To Spring
Laura is an American based photographer who specialises in ICM and impressionistic work of the landscape, particularly of rural and country scenes. Her work is enthused with colour, and her ability to capture the atmosphere of a place with her painterly images is highly regarded.
Ode To Spring, is inspired by the wonderful burst of colour and life that follows the dark days of winter. A true explosion of colour and rebirth was taken in the Tuscan hills.
Linda Hacker: Yellow Pants
Linda is a New York based visual artist inspired by the built environment. Her abstract and semi abstract images use photography and mixed media to investigate the depth, complexity and intimacy of the living city around her.
Yellow pants is a multiple exposure image taken in deep mid-winter and evokes the biting coldness of a New York winter.
Dan Hartnett: Alone In A Storm
Dan is inspired by his long and close association with the sea. His work ranges from abstract to still life photography. He draws from experiences and memories of his time in the Merchant Navy and growing up on the Kent coast. His work explores our human relationship with the sea, conjuring images, stories and reflections.
Alone In A Storm is part of a series of work exploring a ship's log, the legal document recording the progress of a ships voyage. The Officer of the watch would write up entries into the log, the vessels position, weather and other significant events during their watch.
Freda Hocking: Beautifully Imperfect
Freda is a UK based photographer who is inspired by the imperfection of nature and small things. The details of decay and destruction that hold their own beauty. She is an award-winning photographer who has a natural ability to find balance, harmony and light in all her subjects. Her images have an ethereal, lightness to them.
Beautifully Imperfect is from a collection of work inspired by the Japanese art of Wabi Sabi, the art of impermanence, an intuitive appreciation of ephemeral beauty. The image was taken on a recent visit to Lindisfarne, The Holy Island and is of the upturned boats and sails being weatherproofed.
Joycelyn Horsfall: Secret Garden
Joycelyn is a London based photographer specialising in atmospheric and evocative images inspired by flowers, foliage and the natural world. Her style is painterly and impressionistic, combing a strong sense of colour and form with an interest in texture and abstraction.
Secret Garden is part of a series of images taken using soft focus, ICM and multiple exposure to create a fluid organic feel.
Annemarie Hoogwoud: Inner Necessity
Annemarie is motivated by the landscape, and taking time to immerse herself in the landscape is a common theme in her work. By seeking silence and slowing down, she encapsulates the inner beauty of a place. Through the process of creation, she creates space within herself which enables her to expand her creativity.
Inner Necessity was inspired by the work of Kandinsky, “the necessity that art should always represent the inner soul of things”.
Babara Kreutter: Seabirds
Barbara is a Canadian artist living in Calgary. She began her artistic career as a textile designer, and this understanding of form, texture, and colour is evident in her images. Within her work is an exploration of pattern and texture, harmony of colour and balance of shape. She has exhibited in the UK, USA and Canada.
Seabirds was inspired by the nautical landscape and the balance of cool tones of water and the warm tones of movement.
Iveta Lazdina: Small Pleasures
Iveta is a fine art photographer from Latvia. She is inspired by abstract painters and strives to move beyond the reality of a moment or scene but to recreate her personal response to the moment or scene. She works to find balance and harmony between the inner and outer worlds.
Small Pleasures is an image taken using ICM and multiple exposures, it evokes the movement and wonder of woodland.
Howard Rankin: Autumn Of Memory
Howard is an Essex based photographer whose passions include music, nature and travel. His work has an empathetic quality that explores the emotion of response to the environment, family, ageing and mental fragility. He makes images using both abstract and traditional photographic methods, often combining the two. He is a renowned music events photographer in addition to his abstract work.
Autumn Of Memory is part of a series of work exploring the theme of Dementia. The devastating effect it has on families and those suffering the demise of memory.
Honey J Walker ARPS: Dusk
Honey’s images are always about the inner world. The converging of two scales; the physical world, things in themselves as they are, and the interior world, lying hidden in all things. A synchronism of the eternal and the everyday. She expresses her internal world through the layering of images that reveal themselves to her as she immerses herself in the subject. “My subconscious finding oxygen”.
Dusk is from a series of images taken in Iceland using ICM. It represents the wonder of hope and beauty as one day slips away before the renewal of dawn.