My latest exhibition, ‘Art Trek’, at St Annes Chapel in Barnstaple (with Monika Grand) is made up of two brand new pictures from this year (2016), three pictures from a few years ago which have not made it to the printing stage before, one image re-made from the original frames, another three made for the Sock Gallery in Loughborough last October and not shown before in Devon; plus some additional oldies and goldies.
The brand new 2016 images are from Bossiney, or Benoath Cove, in North Cornwall. It’s a place I’ve known for a few years but have really grown to love this year. The beach there is only accessible on a really low tide and even a spring low tide only gave me a couple of hours to explore the amazing caves.
The two caves at high tide are from Combe Martin, accessed via my kayak just as the tide had turned to go back out. The original photographs were shot in 2014 but my computer memory wasn’t large enough at the time to enable the full realisation of the works. This year I upgraded to 64Gb of RAM and so I have at last been able to blend the crashing waves successfully.
Another picture which proved impossible at the time of taking was the Cave at Menachurch Point, which was made up from such a huge number of images that I again had to abandon it until this year. This picture has been described as ‘tomb-like’ by one of the exhibition visitors. It’s right-hand cave wall, vertical, flat and ridged, is a great example of the original sea-bed of this contorted sandstone strata.
The Mouse Hole, has been totally re-made for this exhibition. Although it is an extreemly popular image I have often been troubled by the saturation and unworldliness of my original finished piece shown small here. This remake, literally taking the original RAW files and re-processing them in Photoshop and Lightroom, them re-stitching has given me something far closer to the original memory of the cave at Mousehole.
I have been making documentary photographs since my time at College where this was my strongest work. I?m still very attracted to the tradition in it?s pure sense: shooting only under available light, being a witness to what actually happens rather than setting it up or manipulating events, being as ?invisible? as I could be so that my presence didn?t affect what happened, being objective, looking for ?decisive? moments, being open to the unexpected, anticipating what might make the picture and being amazed at what does make it.
It didn?t help that I had picked up teaching work in Tiverton which took me out of the Thursday and Friday daytime slots, and the weekend was spent at Broomhill doing my Art Trek residency.
There were 3 venues, the Baptist Church Hall and the
This kind of work though is very rewarding. I remember a restrictive graphics brief on a National Diploma course used to bring out better ideas than an open brief. Restriction brings us freedom, and there where lots of restrictions here both enforced and self imposed: imagine how dark a theatre is, then imagine there are no stage lights set up, then remember these are spaces that have been made into venues within a couple of days and you can start to appreciate how dark it was ? the cameras rarely had an iso slower than 1600, shutter speeds 20th of a second or slower, aperture wide open ? there was also the hike from one venue to the next hoping not to miss anything.
Sadie did a great job on her own when I was unable to be there getting this wonderfull ?Winograndesc? picture of Janice Connolly as Barbara Nice from ?Hiya and Higher?.
All of the photos can be seen on the Fringe TheatreFest Website: http://theatrefest.co.uk/pics.htm
The last two weekends has seen me demonstrating my process for making camera-less images, sun prints, chemical prints, daylight print, leaf works or whatever you?d like to think of them as. I did this for Art Trek, at Broomhill Sculpture Park near Barnstaple, North Devon?s open studios event at the end of June.
There was a lot of interest with over 60 people visiting on the last Sunday alone. I was making work throughout Art Trek, the image above being the best constructed image made over the first weekend. I used leaves and more from ?throw-a-way? plants and trees rather than some of the more cultivated ones planted specially in the gardens. This particular image was made using stinging nettles and dock leaves, traditionally used as an anaesthetic for the sting; these plants can always be found together and are like yin and yang, sting and anaesthetic, positive and negative complementing the traditional photographic process I was using.
Over the last weekend I made a few single 5×7 inch unique prints from columbine, elder, ash and foxglove (there may have been other leaves etc and included 2x slugs that got in on the act by accident). These I sold at ?10 each once they were archivally fixed, washed and dried then mounted on foam board. I still have some of these left for sale for ?10 with free p&p through Europe, it?ll cost a fraction more for the States. If you?d like one please visit my main website: http://www.davegreenphoto.co.uk/pages/forest.htm
Suddenly I?m a lot busier than I was, fitting in 2? days teaching at East Devon College in Tiverton, I?ve lapsed in my blog writing. Neither have I made many new images recently, of the large ?art? variety, as my best camera lens is being repaired. But I see this summer as a very creative time.
On Thursday 28th May I?ll be promoting Art Trek on the quay, under canvas, at the Appledore Visual Arts Festival. Art Trek for real starts three weeks later and I?ll be based at Broomhill Sculpture Park between Barnstaple and Muddiford making camera-less images. This will be the first time that I have used traditional photographic chemicals and paper for eight years and it will be fascinating to see what I can make from the leaves I find in Broomhill’s wonderful gardens. This will be a taste of the Year of the Artist residency I did with an Arts Council grant in 2001. I?ll be next to the Broomhill Stables (which will house North Devon Art?s Square Picture Show) on the 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th June 2009.
Whilst preparing for this residency I came across a whole load of unfinished work that I made in 2001 at the National Forest in Leicestershire. I had been making so many new pieces during the Year of the Artist residency that most of them had never been constructed together and mounted; I had quickly moved onto other things in 2001. these ?old? new pieces will be shown whilst I?m at Broomhill, one of them will also be show in the Queens theatre Caf? Gallery, Barnstaple, during June.
I had hoped to do some workshops during the Tuesdays of Art Trek, but I?m now committed to teaching in Tiverton. However if the interest is there, I?ll be happy to do something like this later in the summer.