Beyond the Obvious

In September 2015 I had my first duo photographic show, after dipping my toe in the water with 2 or 3 group shows with several other artists.

“Beyond the Obvious” – an exhibition of photographs by East Devon photographers Tricia Scott and Lois Wakeman

Tricia and I first met a few years ago, and soon discovered an eerily similar interest in subjects and techniques. Born several years and an eastern county apart, we have both washed up in Devon, and found our photographic twin!

The title of the exhibition comes from a fascination in seeing not just a pretty scene, but finding inspiration in intricacy, pattern, texture, shadow, reflection, symmetry, geometry, ripples, spots and dapples. Maths (chaos theory, turbulent flow, fractals and the Fibonacci sequence) can explain a lot of it for us, but dedication is necessary to find beauty in places that others might just pass by unseeing, eyes fixed firmly on the grand view.

We both live near the sea, so the coast – whether natural rocks, sand, seaweed, shells and waves or man-made rusty iron, hulls, sheds, ropes, and fishing paraphernalia – is a major source of material. Tricia is both a sailor and an avid traveller so finds more far-flung locations to inspire her, but I spend nearly all my time near home (Uplyme in East Devon) and am constantly looking for new angles on familiar subjects, whether by the sea or in the beautiful hinterland of the Jurassic Coast.

The exhibition was hung in sets of related images by both photographers, together with a small selection of my earthenware pottery. It was interesting that people found it hard to tell who took what! Most of the images were more or less abstract (hence the title), but we did put up a few more figurative works to please the general public.

The gallery below includes my framed images:

(Looking back on them a couple of years later, I tried a bit too hard to include my favourites without thinking how they’d work on the wall, but since doing my LRPS panel, I’ve had more practice at putting things together, and my second exhibition (Driven to Abstraction) was, I think, more cohesive. Nevertheless, I was pleased with the reaction of visitors with one notable exception!)

What they said:

  • Man on phone: “Look – I reckon I could clone that out in Photoshop and then use it”
  • It’s a lovely exhibition – makes me want to get my camera out again
  • It’s a lovely exhibition, I wish my sisters were here to see it – but I enjoyed it very much
  • Fabulous work
  • Dull, boring and uninteresting.  Don’t know why anyone would want it on their walls
  • Brilliant photos
  • Inspirational
  • Lovely to be able to see beauty in the everyday
  • Most inspiring – to be able to see things
  • I was so impressed I brought my partner back to look
  • Quite nice pictures (through a mouth full of ice cream)
  • I hope you don’t mind criticism (no, we don’t). This is the worst exhibition there’s been here. My neighbour paints lovely flower pictures that would be so much nicer on the wall … Oh, are you the painters?
  • The best exhibition I have seen here (in the Malthouse)
  • Beautiful photography, very nice
  • Really inspirational
  • Some of the loveliest I have seen (Tricia’s boats)
  • Are these one-off prints? (No!)
  • You can take a photo of nothing very much and make it into a nice picture