8 Great Photography Exhibitions to See: December/January 2016/2017

When Frost was Spectre-Grey

I leant upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-grey,

And Winter's dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.

Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush, 1899 

When Frost was Spectre-Grey is an exhibition of winter landscapes featuring; Evgenia Arbugaeva, Tamas Dezso, Paul Hart, Nicholas Hughes, Martina Lindqvist, Simon Roberts & Pentti Sammallahti. 

British photographers Paul Hart and Nicholas Hughes dedicate their photographic practice to examining the untouched natural world; the places where man has interfered and those spaces in between. They both approach the landscape with a environmental urgency, but also celebrate the enjoyment and beauty of their surroundings. 

Shutter Hub member, Paul Hart, features in this beautiful exhibition. The following is taken from The Photographers’ Gallery website:

Paul Hart (b.1961) is a British photographer whose work explores our relationship with the landscape, in both a humanistic and socio-historical sense. His series concentrate on a specific region’s monoculture, where Hart photographs intensively over a number of years. 

In the Truncated series, the photographs were taken in the pine forests of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire and Hart examines the relationship between the green and naked land and those places that have marks of man’s intrusion. Hart also gives an anthropomorphic quality to the trees so that is photographs become strangely figurative and psychological portraits. The central part of Hart’s work takes place in his darkroom where through a slow and complex analogue printing process he creates exquisite handcrafted silver gelatin photographs. Paul Hart has received numerous accolades and awards and has been exhibited and collected internationally. 

Image: © Paul Hart, 'Holbeach Bank' from the series FARMED.

The Photographers’ Gallery

16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW

18th November – 21st January 2017

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breath-taking wild landscapes.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years. Launched in 1965 and attracting 361 entries, today the competition receives over 42,000 entries from 96 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal.

This year’s 100 award-winning images will embark on a tour that allows them to be seen by millions of people across six continents.

Image: © Snow Hare by Rosamund MacFarlane, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh, EH1 1JF

16th September – 19th February 2017


Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015

A group exhibition of new photography enabled by the first national Jerwood/Photoworks Awards.Three artists were selected from a call for applications to UK based photography practitioners within ten years of establishing their practice. Each has received an award of £5,000 to support the making of new work for this exhibition, with a significant production fund and advice from a pool of thirteen Mentors including Alec Soth, Gillian Wearing, Broomberg & Chanarin and Michael Mack as well as curatorial advice from both of the award giving organisations.

Matthew Finn has been photographing his mother in a series of collaborative portraits since 1987. Mother draws us into the fascinating dynamic of mother and son offering an intense and honest view of this most natural and universal of bonds. His Jerwood/Photoworks Award has enabled Matthew to revisit this series at an emotional time that has seen his mother, Jean, move from her family home into an assisted living residence. Jean’s mental health has changed her role in the portraits from active participant to one of an observed subject; widening the focus of his images towards objects and metaphor.

Joanna Piotrowska’s work explores anxiety and the effects of global and political events on the individual. Counteracting the passive role encouraged of adolescent girls, Joanna has enlisted young women to recreate poses from self-defence manuals. She offers the viewer a reclamation of the private body from the public sphere, and re-contextualising these poses within a domestic setting, feeds our fascination with the uncanny or the unheimlich.

Tereza Zelenkova has travelled to her native Czech Republic to explore themes of history, local legend and folklore. Tereza’s Jerwood/Photoworks Award enabled her to visit numerous locations, but the resulting images seem themselves out of place and time. Her eerily beautiful, black and white photographs of woodlands, stone structures and relics form their own dream-like, subconscious world, where stories fuel the viewer’s interpretation.

Image: © Tereza Zelenkova, Dog Cemetery, originally commissioned through Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2015

Open Eye Gallery

19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 1BP

28th October – 18th December 2016

The Psychic Lens: Surrealism and the Camera

A new exhibition of nearly 50 works at Atlas Gallery will explore how photographers responded to Surrealism over the course of over 50 years. The Psychic Lens: Surrealism and the camera, will include vintage photographs by well-known figures such as Man Ray, Andre Kertesz, Florence Henri and Bill Brandt alongside rarely seen works by artists such as Vaclav Zykmund, Franz Roh and Raoul Hausmann to tell the story of Surrealism through photography.

Surrealism was an avant-garde movement in art and literature beginning in the 1920s when artists began to experiment with ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination. Poet Andre Breton is credited with launching the movement in Paris in 1924. Over time the influence of the movement spread far and wide, as evidenced in the inclusion of collages by Japanese artist, Toshiko Okanoue from the 1950s, which will be on show in the exhibition. 

There are two broad types of surrealism – the oneiric, dream-like imagery, as shown in the work of Florence Henri. Roger Parry, Cesar Domela and later Bill Brandt and automatism, a process of making which unleashed the unconscious by creating without conscious thought, as shown in some of the works by Man Ray. The tropes and motifs of Surrealism – photomontage, solarisation, still life, nudes and the photograms – infiltrated the language of photography in the proceeding years. This is demonstrated in the fashion photographs of Horst P. Horst in the exhibition, most notably the work Hands, Hands from 1941, which is a study of five disembodied hands. The exhibition also includes photographers who documented surrealism and the figures associated with the medium, including Herbert List’s portrait of Jean Cocteau (1944), Steve Schapiro’s portrait of Rene Margritte taken at MOMA, New York in 1965. 

The main focus of the exhibition is a selection of works by Man Ray (born Philadelphia, 1890), illustrating the diversity of his output relating to surrealism. From well-known portraits of his one time lover and collaborator, Lee Miller, to Rayographs, his well known photograph Woman smoking a cigarette (1921) demonstrating his use of unconventional perspectives, a fashion portrait incorporating his trademark solarisation and a rare print of Untitled (Ostrich egg with stamp and sandpaper) 1941.

The exhibition also includes works by Florence Henri and Franz Roh whose work has rarely been seen in the UK. Florence Henri (born New York, 1893), studied under László Moholy-Nagy before setting up her studio in Berlin and becoming a central figure in the world of avant-garde photography in the 1920s. The exhibition includes two works Composition Ombres, 1936 and Portrait Composition (E), 1937 – both remarkable for their experimental use of natural light and composition. Three works by Franz Roh (born Germany, 1890)  are another highlight of the exhibition. Two original photo collages and a vintage print are examples of ‘magic realism’ – a phrase coined by Roh, a historian, art critic and photographer, in 1925.

Image: © Toshiko Okanoue, Visit in Night, 1951

Atlas Gallery

49 Dorset Street, London, W1U 7NF

24th November – 28th January 2017

Martin Parr – Welcome to Belfast

Belfast Exposed are delighted to present this newly commissioned body of work by world renowned photographer, Martin Parr.

Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland has witnessed a dramatic economic resurgence. The tourism industry has flourished, bringing large-scale investment and unprecedented numbers of overseas visitors to the city. In recent years the tourist industry has been predominantly shaped by two historical narratives; the legacy of the Titanic, the ill fated ship that was built in the Belfast docks and the ‘Troubles’, a 40 year period of violent conflict whose resonances can still be keenly felt throughout Northern Ireland.

In 2012, the new Titanic Belfast Centre opened its doors, attracting 800,000 visitors in its first year. This staggering flow of tourists to the city has been propelled by the recent upsurge in cruise liners now docking into Belfast. Many of these boats let loose over 3000 tourists a day and often there are as many as three boats a week. Elsewhere in the city, more grass roots industries have developed with the rise of ‘Troubles Tours’ taking in some of the key locations and political murals from the bloody days of the conflict. Belfast Exposed have commissioned Martin Parr to document this burgeoning revival of Tourism in Belfast.

Martin Parr is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. With over 90 books of his own published, and another 30 edited by Parr, his photographic legacy is already established.

Parr also acts as a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, Arles in 2004 and Brighton Biennial in 2010. More recently Parr curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar. Parr has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1994 and is currently its’ president. In 2013 Parr was appointed the visiting Professor of photography at the University of Ulster. Parr’s work has been collected by major museums, from the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Image: © Martin Parr

Belfast Exposed Photography

23 Donegall Street, Belfast,
 BT1 2FF

14th October – 23rd December 2016


Lala Meredith-Vula – Flowers of Earth and Blood

Lala Meredith-Vula is showing a series of photographs that mark her personal journey of rediscovering her roots and her own identity during the past 25years, including the aftermath of war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Lala will also feature works from the blood feud reconciliation movement in Kosova from 1990 – 1991 and the incredible time in the Kosovar history when people decided to bring an end to blood feuds and to stop the killing which lasted for over a hundred years and sometimes until all men of the two involved families were killed. The blood feuds were often influenced by the fifteenth-century canon of Lek Dukagjini, a set of traditional Albanian laws.

Lala Meredith-Vula was born in Sarajevo in 1966, to an Albanian father and English mother, and came to Britain in the 1970s. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London University (1985/88) and was awarded a Yugoslav scholarship at Pristina University, Kosova (1988/90). Her first show was in Damien Hirst’s landmark exhibition “Freeze”, London (1988) that is famous for launching the YBA Young British Artists. She has exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1999 and 2007) representing Albania, as well as nationally and internationally with many solo shows including at the Photographers’ Gallery London, in Germany, Italy, Albania, and in numerous group shows in the UK, USA, and China.

This exhibition is organised in collaboration with ARTUM, a project on art and cultural heritage, associated with Cambridge Academy of Global Affairs in Cambridge, UK and NW Gallery. It focuses on art history, film-making, music, and photography.

ARTUM supports artists from conflict-affected parts of the world by exposing the works of art and offering a space where artists can communicate the circumstances that influence and motivate their work.

Image: © Lala Meredith-Vula

Art at The ARB

Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

3rd October – 20th December 2016


Children’s World

Vintage photographs from David ‘Chim’ Seymour’s ‘Children of Europe’ series will go on display for the first time in the UK. Chim was commissioned by UNICEF following World War II to document the conflict’s impact on children and the resulting photographs drew attention to war’s most vulnerable victims. Also on show will be rare vintage prints by Inge Morath, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David ‘Chim’ Seymour and Elliott Erwitt from the 1954 project ‘Children’s World’, displayed alongside caption sheets and magazine spreads from the project.

In 1947-8 David ‘Chim’ Seymour, one of Magnum’s co-founders, travelled across Europe’s most devastated countries to capture the lives of children who has survived WWII. The project was commissioned by the newly-formed UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), and Chim documented their efforts to provide basic needs – food, shoes and vaccinations – to the children of Europe. His journey took him to refugee camps, schools, hospitals, residential homes, remote villages and cities of rubble destroyed by bombing to record the impact of war, and its aftermath, on children. Chim’s sympathetic and compassionate portraits led a friend to note that wars were an enormous crime against children. These images were published by LIFE magazine (1948) and in a book ‘Children of Europe’ (1949), published by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

As a counterpoint to Chim’s work for UNICEF, a selection of vintage prints by Inge Morath, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Semour and Elliott Erwitt from the 1954 project ‘Children’s World’ will also be on display. Magnum Photos was founded to allow photographers the freedom to pursue their own interests and causes, but alongside this the agency has consistently explored innovative collaborative projects with a global reach. One such project was ‘Children’s world’ published in Holiday magazine in three parts in 1955 and 1956 examined the lives of children in Uganda, Lapland, France, Cuba, Italy, England, Holland and the USA amongst others. The playfulness of this series, including Henri Cartier-Bresson’s portraits of children at the Paris Opera School, Inge Morath’s documentation of a six-year old English school boy attending and prestigious prep school and Elliott Erwitt’s photographs of the children of Wyoming, stands in sharp contrast with Chim’s ‘Children of Europe’ project – carried out only a few years previously.

David ‘Chim’ Seymour was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1911 and moved with his family to Russia at the outbreak for World War I, returning to Warsaw in 1919. He studied printing in Leipzig and chemistry and physics at the Sorbonne, Paris in the 1930s. After being lent a camera by a friend who owned the pioneering picture agency Rap, he began to work as a freelance photographer and was introduced to Henri Carter-Bresson and Robert Capa. From1936 -1938 Chim photographed the Spanish Civil War and then to Mexico on assignment with Spanish Republican émigrés. At the outbreak of World War II, in which both his parents were killed by the Nazis, he moved to New York and adopted the name David Seymour, and served in the US Army from1942-45. In 1947, along with Cartier-Bresson, Capa, George Rodger and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum photos. He went on to photograph major stories across Europe, including Hollywood stars and the emergence of the State of Israel. After Robert Capa’s death he became the new president of Magnum. He held this post until 10 November 1956, when, traveling near the Suez Canal to cover a prisoner exchange, he was killed by Egyptian machine-gun fire.

Image: © Naples, 1948 by David 'Chim' Seymour

Magnum Print Room

63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS

16th November 2016 – 27th January 2017

Obsolete and Discontinued 

Obsolete and Discontinued explores the diversity of analogue photography through a collection of discarded photographic material. In March 2015, London based photographer and photographic printer, Mike Crawford, received a quantity of outdated photographic paper from a client. It had come from his late uncle’s darkroom, consisting of numerous boxes and packets, the majority of which had ceased production many years previously. Most were 20 to 30 years old, some far older. Brands included Agfa Brovira and Kodak Bromesko; names once familiar to generations of photographers.

The material was distributed to over 50 participants, purposely with an open brief to allow individuality to flourish without the confines of a dictated subject matter. It was up to each photographer to consider how they could best use their selected material. Over a period of months, prints were returned using a wide variety of techniques and processes: Silver gelatin, lith, pinhole, wet collodion, collage, paper negative, chemical toning, direct positive process, mordançage, lumen, photogram and several hybrid analogue / digital techniques.

The project celebrates the unique qualities and potential of analogue photography, albeit by using discarded materials.

Participants: Joakim Ahnfelt, Andrew Atkinson, Laurie Baggett, Myka Baum, Molly Behagg, Daniel Berrange, Andy Billington, David  Bruce, Jacquelene Butler, Andrew Chisholm, Mike Crawford, Beth Dow, Angela Easterling, Laura Ellenberger, Andrew Firth, Brittonie Fletcher, Hannah Fletcher, Asya Gefter, Claus Dieter Geissler, Robin Gillanders, Brian Griffin, JJ Hastings, Rosie Holtom, Melanie King, Morten Kolve, Ky Lewis, Jim Lister, Constanza Isaza Martinez, Nicola Jayne Maskrey, Hiro Matsuoka, Gabriela Mazowiecka, Sheila McKinney, Wolfgang Moersch, Helen Nias, Douglas Nicholson, Yaz Norris, Andres Pantoja, Guy Patterson, Borut Peterlin, Almundena Romero, Brett Sampson, Debbie Sears, Holly Shackleton, Keith Taylor, Joan Teixidor, Evan Thomas, Madaleine Trigg, Sebnem Ugural, Tanja Verlak, Andrew Whittle, Guillame Zuili.

(Shutter Hub photographer's exhibiting in Obsolete and Discontiued: Myka Baum, Daniel BerrangeKy LewisNicola Jayne MaskreySheila McKinney

Image: © Ky Lewis

Atelier für Mediengestaltung

Schanzenstraße 27, 51063 Cologne, Germany

7th November – 3rd February 2017

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