Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe
25 February – 7 April 2013
Reviewed by: Peter Berry
Currently showing at the Landmark Theatre is an exhibition by the photographic artist Dave Green who has been exploring, photographing and researching the history of the North Devon Coastal landscape where he has lived and worked for the past seven years.
Both the earlier, smaller and framed pieces (first shown at the North Carolina Aquarium USA last year) and the later, larger and frameless works show a consistent fascination with the subject matter of the rocky shoreline and its caves. The progression and refinement of the ongoing process in the direction of a ‘greater realism’ is impressive.
|Combe Martin Lead Mine|
Green works on location with a camera, often photographing a single place for as long as an hour and making a large number of images of his subject. In the studio the images are meticulously and patiently worked into a completed final image using Photoshop software. As the artist says “I am trying to make a record of a place over a passage of time in a single image”.
In discussing his work Green says that we see details with the eye and brain which the camera can’t see in a single frame or exposure and that means that the single frame cannot contain the richness and complexity of the original experience. This has to be created in the studio. Decisions about composition, colour, scale and the framing edge are continuously examined and adjusted as the image ‘comes into line’ with the artist’s memory of the experience.
The later series of prints are very finely drawn with the quality of etching. The frameless edges of these larger pieces allows the onlooker to experience a more direct involvement with the subject. This experience is both intimate and dramatic. It is as if we are inside, in the place of the artist, looking out towards the light, the sky and shoreline, surrounded by the detailed surface and texture of these mysterious and timeless caves.
In addition to the formal and aesthetic concerns of picture making,the artist aims to arrive at images which are a true record of the objective and subjective nature of our experiences of the coastal landscape and it’s associations. In this regard the artist references other disciplines such as geology, local history and environmental studies and in order to deepen our understanding includes maps and texts relating to the images.
Dave Green also offers group workshops and personal tuition. Further information about the artist and his work can be found at www.davegreenphoto.co.uk
Peter Berry Artist/Writer/Lecturer b. 1936 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Art College: 1957 – 63 Cheltenham and Slade School – Sculpture/Printmaking. Teaching: ILEA, Cheltenham, Birmingham (Senior Lecturer in Foundation Studies). Qualifications: NDD, PGDip Fine Art, MA (Art Ed.), M. Soc. Sci. (Cultural Studies). Exhibitions: includes Solo and Group Shows in London (MBA Gallery), Birmingham (Ikon Gallery), Glasgow (Goethe Institute), Cambridge (Arts Council) and Leicester (LCBD). Lives and practices art in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Website: www.peterberry.org.uk
The Landmark Theatre Ilfracombe North Devon
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.