8 Great Photography Exhibitions to See July 2017


Karine Laval: Reflections

Karine Laval: Reflections celebrates 15 years of work by the contemporary French photographer, Karine Laval. The exhibition, organised to coincide with the publication of a major new book on her work by Steidl, charts the evolution of Laval’s images from sun-drenched, bleached-out European lidos to darker, more abstracted dystopian landscapes.

The exhibition will bring together two connected bodies of work – ‘The Pool’ (2002 – 2005) and ‘Poolscapes’ (2009 – 2012) – focused on the motif of the swimming pool. Presenting public pools in urban and natural environments throughout Europe and private pools in the US, the work shows an evolution in tone and depth, from the real to the imagined, from the photographic to the painterly.‘The Pool’ series invites the viewer into a sun-bleached public pool, evocative of childhood memories and the universal experience of holidays and water. The geometric lines and familiar architectural structures give way to the abstract, often blurred shapes and colours of the ‘Poolscapes’ pictures that oscillate between representation and abstraction. Here the pool becomes a metaphor, a mirror whose surface reflects the surrounding world but is also a gateway into a submerged realm where bathers are distorted and fragmented, revealing the unconscious and darker connotations of the pool.

Alongside these earlier works, the exhibition will present Laval’s most recent series, ‘Heterotopia’ which continue Laval’s evolving exploration of distorted realities and altered perceptions, using manipulations of light and colour. The images from ‘Heterotopia’ are densely layered photographs of gardens and other manicured “natural” environments, created by combining analogue techniques and digital technologies. Placing sheets of glass and mirrors in the composition, and employing skewed perspectives and extreme crops, the images are suffused with the luminescence of stained-glass windows. Laval’s images often challenge familiar perceptions of environment, a bridge between the world we live in and a more surreal and dreamlike dimension.

Born in Paris, Karine Laval currently lives and works in New York. Educated at the University of La Sorbonne and the University of ASSAS in Paris, she completed her education with photography and design courses at Cooper Union, SVA and the New School of New York.

Image: The Pool #06, cascades, 2002 © Karine Laval

Crane Kalman Gallery, 178 Brompton Road, London SW1 1HQ

20th July 2017 – 19th August 2017


Field Work: Ten Years of Photography by Liza Dracup

From nocturnal woods to wildlife specimens, Liza Dracup is inspired by the landscape and natural history of Britain. Field Work presents a decade of her work, exploring photographic representations of our environment and cementing Dracup’s standing as a pioneer of innovative approaches to landscape photography. This is the first major survey of Dracup’s work, premiering at Impressions, to mark the gallery’s ten-year anniversary in Bradford. Dracup works with museum collections as well as directly with the natural world. She has a passion for selection and observation, and her work is imbued with the Victorian spirit of enquiry. Inspired by historic processes whilst embracing modern digital techniques, she uses photography as an experimental tool to see beyond the human eye. The resulting images range from vibrant ‘hidden’ landscapes to meticulously detailed studies of plants and animals.

Dracup says, “I am delighted to be presenting a decade of my work at Impressions, the nationally renowned gallery, marking ten years since Sharpe’s Wood was first shown. My photographic journey since then has led me to many places and collections, always seeking the extraordinary properties of the ordinary in the northern landscape and its natural history. I hope that Field Work will reveal hidden aspects to the environment, and the ways in which photography enables us to see the world differently”. Angela Sheard, exhibition curator, says, “We’re thrilled to be premiering the first major survey of Liza Dracup’s work. Liza is a nationally important artist, and an innovator in contemporary landscape photography. Impressions opened in Bradford in 2007 with Sharpe’s Wood and we’re delighted to be revisiting Liza’s work and exploring the development of her artistic and technical approaches over the past decade. The exhibition is especially significant in celebrating a double anniversary for Impressions: ten years in Bradford and forty-five years as a nationally important photographic gallery.”

Image: Ilkley Moor (night) from the series Landmarks (2016) © Liza Dracup

Impressions Gallery, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD

7th July 2017– 23rd September 2017


Scotland's Far North

Chick Chalmers; Tom Kidd; Glyn Satterley

These three bodies of work from the late 1970s provide a unique insight into Scotlandʼs remote landscape, islands and people. Glyn Satterleyʼs series presents a document of life in the neglected area of Caithness and Sutherland at a time when the myth was much banded about that the oil industry brought wealth and prosperity to the whole of Scotland. Chick Chalmers ʻOrkneyʼ project and Tom Kiddʼs ʻShetlandʼ both present fascinating photographic insights of these island archipelago's at a time of change with the effects of the oil industry on the traditional life of these cultures. Candid and sympathetic, the images show that Scotlandʼs Far North managed to take its place in the modern world without losing too many of the customs and traditions which give these places their special character and ethos.

All three bodies of work appeared in a series by Paul Harris Publishing, an enterprising photography publisher based in Edinburgh at the time. These were Chick Chalmers 'Life in the Orkney Islands' (1979), Tom Kidd 'Life in Shetland' (1980), and Glyn Satterley 'Life in Caithness and Sutherland' (1983). It is from that basis that Street Level has revisited these projects to re-evaluate those times and places from the vantage point of the present. For the project, they have worked with Tom and Glyn in scanning and editing the original negs, and producing the prints in the exhibition. The works of Chick Chalmers in the exhibition are the original vintage prints made by the photographer and applying his distinct and detailed approach to the printing process.

The Shetland photographs were resurrected in the late 90s by Bonhoga Gallery in the Shetlands and in the co-authored book with Tom Morton ‘Black Gold Tide – 25 Years of Oil in Shetland’ in 2004. This work was more recently featured on Document Scotland’s website and presented in one of their Salon events in 2013. Previous exhibitions at Stills have included a joint show with Karl Blossfeldt and his photographs from Aberlour House School, both in the 80s. His work was acquired for the collections of the Scottish Arts Council and the V&A.

Image: © Tom Kidd

Street Level Photoworks, Trongate 103, Glasgow G1 5HD

24th June 2017 – 27th August 2017


Ed Gold: Other Worlds

Entitled Ed Gold: Other Worlds, the presentation is made up of 100 photographs taken over a period spanning almost thirty years. These have been selected from Gold’s personal archive, and the various bodies of work chosen represent his ongoing interest in isolated communities (both geographic and social): Patagonia, Country Folk (Essex, Wales & Scotland), Afghanistan Bed Spaces, Positive Futures, and Nowitna.

In the spirit of Walker Evans and James Agee’s ground-breaking text and photo work, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 1941, Gold embeds himself in the communities he records, living with them for up to three years, sharing their experiences and forming close relationships with those he portrays.

For example, between 2010 and 2011 Gold lived amongst the soldiers of the Second Battalion Parachute Regiment (2 Para), both at their base in Colchester and on operational duty in Afghanistan. During this time, Gold wore a uniform and integrated fully with the troops, carrying his camera instead of a weapon while accompanying the soldiers on daily patrols, and capturing images that would later form the series Afghanistan Bed Spaces (2011).

The Nowitna series records Gold’s ongoing experiences living in Alaska’s Arctic region, where he has resided intermittently for more than eight years from 2009. Earlier this year he spent three weeks living with the Atchley family, who live in one of the remotest parts of the state. Gold has since described the difficulties he experienced, and to help him cope with those he wrote 90,000 words documenting his daily life. A selection of these photographs and accompanying diary entries will be displayed at Firstsite.

The written word is an integral component of Gold’s photographic practice. He writes down conversations he has in the community, occasionally using a recording device to capture the words more fully. He also keeps a diary of his own daily reflections. At the end of a project, this writing is condensed and appears alongside each of the photographs, offering a further narrative and a deeper, more intimate engagement with the subjects than the images alone can provide.

The exhibition’s first work, a single photograph from the Patagonia series taken in 2008, is illustrative. A vast print stretching the height of the gallery’s six-metre wall, it depicts a man standing in a derelict but lived-in dwelling, in front of an open fireplace. In the mid-1800s, Welsh nationalists began to migrate to the province of Chubut, in Patagonia, Argentina, in order to protect their native Welsh culture and language. The man depicted is a current resident of this Welsh enclave in South America, with the portrait which rests upon the mantelpiece providing a link to this settlement’s committed ancestors. Exhibited beside this work will be an audio soundtrack of the interviews Gold conducted with members of the Welsh Patagonian community, in both Welsh and Castellano; similarly there will be a soundtrack for the Atchley family. A copy of the book on the Patagonia series published by the internationally-renowned book designer and typographer, David Jury, will also be on display.

Image: © Ed Gold

Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH

24th June 2017 – 27th August 2017


Visualising the Home Exhibition

What does home mean to us today?

How can we depict the intimacy of homes as personal and private spaces as well as expressing the public and political dimensions of home? How does photography shape our visual understanding of our home?

We invite you to join us to see the resulting exhibition from our recent open call. 29 selected International Photographers share their thoughts, feelings and views about this evocative topic.

The private viewing night will be Thursday 13th July and open to all.

Image: © 2017 Carlisle Photo Festival

Carlisle Photo Festival, The Vallum Gallery, Brampton Road, University of Cumbria, Carlisle, CA3.

26th June 2017 – 21st July 2017


Michael Kenna: Confessionals / Abruzzo

In June this year, Beetles + Huxley Gallery will present two new series of works, 'Confessionals' and 'Abruzzo' by internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Kenna. 'Confessionals' is a departure from the landscape work for which Kenna has become known and is the culmination of over 10-years work, travelling through Reggio Emilia, a city in northern Italy, to document hundreds of Catholic confessional booths. These will be shown alongside new photographs of the Abruzzo landscape from his new book, published by Nazraeli Press.

'Confessionals' is a typology of confessional booths from a distinct geographical region, documenting booths from the 13th century to the present. Shot in black and white, each booth is uniformly the focal point of each image, framed by the details of the church interior which happen to be in shot albeit a crucifix, pillar or ladder offering small clues as to the church's architecture and context in which the booth is placed.

Kenna's careful composition of the booths symbolises what he continues to search for in his photography, 'the invisible with the visible, the intangible contained with the tangible, the illusion of reality'. Kenna is not interested in documenting man's physical presence, but rather the traces that he has left behind and he believes Confessionals to be containers of memories and hidden secrets . Each photograph displays immaculate detail and continues ongoing fascination with capturing memories and stories, viewing the booths as containers of memory and hidden secrets.

This series is greatly influenced by Kenna's religious upbringing. As a child, each week he would visit the dark confessional box in his local church of St Bede's, Widnes and confess his sins to the local priest. Kenna recalls, 'I would feel greatly relieved leaving the church – I was never sure if it was because I was forgiven, or because I didn't have to go through the ritual again for at least another week.'

Alongside the 'Confessionals' works, Beetles + Huxley will also exhibit a series of landscapes from the Italian region of Abruzzo. In some places, the land is exceedingly wild and mountainous, whereas in others, it is quite domestic and pastoral. Hilltowns, castles and churches proliferate the landscape. The works come from Kenna's new publication, published by Nazraeli Press 2017.

Image: Confessional, Study 70, Chiesa Di San Rocco, Villarotta, Reggio Emilia, Italy 2016  © Michael Kenna

Beetles+Huxley, 3-5 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DE

27th June 2017 – 15th July 2017


Cathedral of the Pines by Gregory Crewdson

'Master of atmosphere' – The Guardian

This highly anticipated exhibition, shown across all of our main gallery spaces, marks the first UK presentation of Gregory Crewdson’s (b.1962, USA) latest body of work, Cathedral of the Pines. Crewdson's careful crafting of visual suspense conjures the work of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, and probes tensions between human connection and separation, intimacy and loss.

Image: The Shed, 2013. © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian

The Photographer’s Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW

23rd June 2017 – 8th October 2017


Rineke Dijstra: An Ode

The exhibition both includes iconic photographic works and highlights her early video work and her return to the medium in recent years. The exhibition also premieres three works that have never been displayed in the Netherlands.

This year, the celebrated Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra (Sittard, 1959) is the recipient of the 2017 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, the medium’s most prestigious award. In honour of Dijkstra, the Stedelijk Museum, who has followed her work since the 1990s and in 2005 mounted an international traveling survey, presents Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode, a snapshot of the artist’s photographic and video work ranging from 1994 to the present.

Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode totals 21 photographs and four videos. The exhibition is primarily comprised of the Stedelijk Museum’s extensive holdings of Dijkstra’s work, supplemented with loans from the artist. Shown for the first time in the Netherlands are Marianna [The Fairy Doll], 2014; Marianna and Sasha, Kingisepp, Russia, November 2 2014, 2014; and Odessa, Ukraine, August 6 1993, 1993.

Rineke Dijkstra's striking photographs, often frontal portraits that capture youth and young adults in periods of transition and fragility, lay bare the tenderness of identity construction in the making. The marks of social rearing come through in her subject’s self-representation, whether it be through a young man’s induction to the military, or through a carefully-rehearsed ballet dance, the insecurities and swagger of adolescents on a club night, or the simultaneous trauma and joy of giving birth. Dijkstra’s masterfully composed portraits encapsulate universally relatable truths about our lived experience as social beings, our bittersweet and carefully rehearsed induction into the world of humanity. Dijkstra’s photography is known for the beauty and virtuosity of her work, and the way she balances pose, detail and chance to create her stunning compositions. Her photographs, marked by their technical mastery, combine the objective gaze of social portrait photography, such as that of August Sander, with an arresting emotional dimension.

Image: Amy, The Krazy House, Liverpool, December 23, 2008 © Rineke Dijkstra

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ,  Amsterdam, Netherlands

20th May 2017 – 6th August 2017


PLUS an extra bonus 9th exhibition…

The Shutter Hub OPEN 2017

Our list for July wouldn't be complete without our very own OPEN exhibition! The Shutter Hub OPEN 2017 launched on Saturday 1st July, bringing together international photographers in a selected exhibition, promoting the future of photography through diverse and creative imagery. 

We'll be showcasing a wonderful selection of work in the Shutter Hub OPEN at Retina Scottish International Photography Festival in Edinburgh. The exhibition runs from 2nd – 30th July, and visitors are invited to vote for their ‘Best in Show’ throughout the exhibition. 

Image: © Elaine Duigenan, from the series Blossfeldt's Apprentice 

The Dark Room, Ocean Terminal, Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ

2nd – 30th July 2017

Open: Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm / Sat – Sun 11am – 4pm


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