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.
A259 Littlehampton Road
Private View: Fri 28th Oct 6:30 - 8:30pm
Open to the Public:
29th October 2011 to 30th March 2012
Tues - Sat: 10am - 5:30pm Free Entry