The Spirit of the Downs is an exhibition by Sussex photographer Oliver Perrott.
The exhibition, which was showing at the Court Gardens Vineyard, Ditchling until October 16th, will be relocating to Highdown Vineyard, Ferring, West Sussex, from October 29th - with a Private View between 6:30 and 8:30pm on the 28th.
The 'Spirit of the Downs' is inspired by the South Downs way and the environment within the South Downs National Park. The images are captured on traditional film and explore the natural landscape and how it has been moulded and influenced by man's activities.
I visted the exhibition on its final weeked at Ditchling. The full series of 30+ photographs, which can be viewed on Oliver's website, features a range of traditional and contemporary vistas, intimate landscapes and portraits of people using and enjoying the landscape. Not surprisingly, the exhibition mainly features the more 'crowd pleasing' traditional and contemporary vistas.
Perrott's images - which are somewhat reminiscent of the work of Jem Southam in style - eschew picturesque landscape clichés and instead feature vistas which highlight the forms, patterns and textures of the South Downs landscape. I was particularly struck by two images. The first, a beautifully illuminated and simple intimate landscape of grass and water; the second, (shown below) a grander vista of the Downs meeting the sea, with a costal path picked out by a splash of light.
There's also a book on display where you can browse those photos from the project that are not part of the exhibition.
All the photos displayed in the exhibition are available as Limited Edition prints.
The exhibition is well worth a visit. It's great to see a local photographer producing such a varied project on the Downland landscape - a landscape that, with the possible exception of certain spots such as Beachy Head, doesn't garner the level of photographic attention it deserves.
The exhibition showcases the work of three Photo Club in the Pub students, Pippa Nevard, Sue Turner and Peter Turner. The exhibition also includes photographs from a number of other students that have participated in the innovative Photo Club in Pub course, a six month group photography course for beginners and intermediate level photographers. The course encourages students to look at the world in a different, more creative way, learning photography and meeting creative, like-minded people. Club members meet once a month in a local pub, each month reviewing images from a previous assignment and discussing a new assignment.
Opening tomorrow as part of the De La Warr Pavilion's 'A Nod to Cage' season, Lucy Phillips is showing work from her ongoing project 'What Cannot be Seen'.
Lucy says: "what cannot be seen is an attempt to create a visual and textual archive of the unseen by returning to the fundamentals of photographic image making. Inspired by my own experiments with pinhole photography and French artist Sophie Calle’s use of the camera as a covert device, I constructed 20 pinhole cameras from matchboxes and invited people to take part in a postal photography project via a Facebook status update. Participants were sent a camera loaded with photographic paper, instructions, and an invitation to photograph ‘what cannot be seen’. The cameras were returned to me to be developed, together with an explanation of what the participant had photographed and why.
"Almost immediately the project developed its own momentum, with results being far more intriguing than I had anticipated. I was unprepared for the way that many people appeared to use the camera as a form of confessional and I was also gratified to find people becoming excited by the process of creating an image using such a basic piece of technology.
"Since these initial cameras were sent out, over a year ago, more than 100 people internationally have participated in the project. Some are friends and family; others are unknown to me. What started as an experiment has become an obsession and an exploration of the power of simple imagery and words to transcend individual experience.
"An ongoing project, and one which may never end, what cannot be seen is an invitation to reveal, to create and to play."
The exhibition runs 19 May - 5 June. There will also be a special event for participants and the public on Friday 27 May at 7pm, part of a Random Fridays event of performances and installations throughout the building.
The East Sussex Open exhibition previews tomorrow at the Towner in Eastbourne.
The exhibition brings you the best of East Sussex’s artists and makers, chosen via an open selection process. The exhibition includes work from a range of disciplines (including photography) and features work from, amongst others, St Leonards-based Lucy Phillips who we've featured previously on SPP and who exhibited at our My Sussex Exhibition.
The exhibition continues from 2 April - 2 May, and includes curator and selection panellist Sanna Moore's free talk and walk through the exhibition, with exhibiting artist Colin Booth, on Tuesday 19 April at 12.30pm.
Exhibition Details Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ T: 01323 434670