Open Studio event

It’s been a while since my last blog post, but I haven’t been idle. Among the many projects on the go, this coming week sees me participating in Surrey Artists’ Open Studios for the first time. Together with my friend, Jenifer Bunnett, I am opening my studio to the public. The Open Studios project offers the public access to artists and makers by visiting studios, meeting artists and makers, browsing completed works and learning about their method and work in progress.  Our first open day is tomorrow, Sunday 5th June, and our studio is ready and waiting.  In addition to sharing our printed work, there’s a slideshow of other photographs, a demonstration of the on-camera filter system we both use, and drinks and homemade cake served in my courtyard garden (weather permitting!).  If you are able to make it, you will be very welcome. Dates and opening times in the flyer below.

SAOS flyer

Focused Moments, the exhibition

A5 flyer side 1

It is a year and 5 exhibitions since I decided to shift the focus of my photography towards the fine art side of things.  This time last year I was exhibiting a series of Surrey landscapes in a joint exhibition with my shooting buddy, Jenifer Bunnett, at The Lightbox in Woking. Then, in March, we showed some of the images from that exhibition alongside new local landscapes in ‘A Certain Slant of Light’ at the Guildford Institute. In August, I hung a panel in ‘Light on the Land’ at the Mall Galleries, and in September, five black and white pictures in ‘Mistresses of Light’ at the Oxo Tower.  It was a lot of work, and the learning curve was steep, but it was also great fun.  However, the climax of all this has to be my first solo exhibition, ‘Focused Moments’, currently showing at Arté Gallery in Weybridge.

exhibition bio

I needed a lot of images for this exhibition and I wanted to make sure I could offer something for all budgets and also remain true to my own style.  I must have spent a small fortune (I daren’t add it up!) trying different papers and framing options.  In the end, I went with three fine art papers in simple black frames and a few prints on aluminium.  I also decided to have two special books made for visitors to browse.  On the advice of the gallery owners, I have made these available as limited editions, and they seem to be going down well.

arte exhibition space

There is something really rewarding about filling a gallery. I have hung 60 images of which most are new pictures, taken in the last year, but there are some going back as far as 2009.  When planning the hanging in this intriguing space with several different surfaces, it helped to create groups of images that worked together and then it was relatively easy to decide the order of the groups so that the exhibition flowed.  I say easy – it still took us two full days to finish hanging the show!

arte exhibition pv

Of course, there had to be a party.  Many thanks to local lettings agents, Martin & Wheatley for sponsoring the opening.  In a bout of last-minute nerves, I worried that no-one would come, but I needn’t have fretted. In the end, the event was buzzing, and we sold seven prints and two of my limited edition books during the course of the evening. Phew!

PV

I think it’s important to be present at an exhibition as much as possible; people like to be able to talk to the exhibitor.  I have had many interesting conversations at the gallery this week, some with old friends and some with new. And today I got to show my Dad around, which was really special.

arte 1

If you have ever thought of trying something like this, I heartily recommend it.  The experience has been amazing – exhausting, but amazing.  It’s nice to sell, but even if I had sold nothing, it would still have been worth it.  Many thanks to Mike and Sally at Arté Gallery for allowing me to bring my work into their lovely space, to my friend, Sam, for all the fetching, carrying and coffee and to my daughter, Maggie, for her excellent work as server and photographer at the private view.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

Just horsing about

grey seals

I have just returned from a few days of photography in Norfolk. I spent dawn this morning on the beach at Horsey Gap, watching grey seals. I particularly liked this mother and pup playing together in the surf.

My 365/50 is from this day in 2012: rowers on the Thames, seen from the bridge to Desborough Island.

surrey landscape

365/50

 

Snow day

Snow landscape

365/33

My 365/33 images are from this day in 2009. Overnight, we had experienced an unusually heavy snowfall.  The children were delighted to have their first ever snow day.  I must confess, I was quite excited too.  We enjoyed a long walk, between snowball fights, and I snapped these on the River Thames towpath between Weybridge and Shepperton.  in editing, I have deliberately over-exposed the images, trading texture in the snow for a light, airy look.

365/33

365/33

Echoes of times past

reflections

365/8

Today’s 365 is from 2009.  It’s quite handy that I did a project 365 in 2009, as there are images from every day; helpful when I find that I didn’t shoot on that particular date in any other year I have on file.  But still, I have to come up with a new image, or a re-edit at least.  Some days when I did my first 365, I struggled to find one image worth downloading.  Luckily, on 8th January I went for a stroll along my local waterway, the Wey Navigation, and took several pictures. Here’s one I hadn’t processed until now.  It is a fitting image to choose in the context of a project that involves revisiting the past; the building reflected in this picture is a modern apartment block built as a pastiche to echo the Victorian mill that used to stand here.   The original building could not be renovated as it burned down in 1963, in the last of many fires on this site (the perils of milling seed oil).

Waterworld

Desborough Island flooded 2
As some of you may have read on the news, here in Surrey we are experiencing some seriously epic flooding as the Thames bursts its banks.

floods in Surrey

This is usually a meadow.


We are safe and dry at home here, safely removed by a small hill from the danger, but I have friends who are anxiously watching as the water level rises ever higher.
Surrey floods

Desborough Island is now Desborough Lake


I could hardly resist popping out today and yesterday to capture the changed landscape, or should I say waterscape, of my local area.
Surrey floods

A swan claims new territory


Surrey floods

We’re going to need a bigger bridge!

Messing about in boats

Weybridge
Still on an Autumn tack, I thought I’d share some seasonal shots of the different craft that can be found along the Wey Navigation in Weybridge.
Wey Navigation
Situated on the confluence of the Thames and the Wey, and with the Wey Navigation running through it as well, Weybridge has a lot of watercraft, of all shapes and sizes.
Wey Navigation
I am mostly content to admire them from the towpath, however.
WeybridgeOf course, there could only ever be one quotation for this post:

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908)