Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Above: Gazink & Sons by John Shanks (cropped from original)

Portraits, People and Places

Three Way Split is a new annual event sponsored by the Hastings Arts Forum, where a third of all proceeds from the sale of artwork will be given to a nominated charitable organisation within the Hastings/St Leonards community. This year’s donation will go to The Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society (HFPS). Each piece of artwork will be sold for a fixed fee of only £100.

Portraits, People and Places is the title for the Arts Forum’s Three Way Split exhibition this year, and will showcase photography by John Cole, Mike Leale and John Shanks, three contemporary local photographers who bring their unique interpretations to what constitutes a portrait.

This trilogy of work is echoed in the sharing of proceeds, which will go to The Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society (HFPS). HFPS is a Friendly Society, set up in 1830 to support fishermen and the fishing industry before the welfare state was created. The Society supports the industry and protects the medieval rights of the fishermen to work from Hastings stone beaches.

John Cole, Mike Leale and John Shanks all bring a unique perspective to the concept of portrait photography.

Fred White © John Cole

“Although I have been documenting Hastings fishermen and women since 1991, this is still a work in progress,” says John Cole. “Fishing in Hastings has always been a family business, with some of the family names going back over 800 years. But this financially precarious and often dangerous profession is in danger of disappearing altogether because of the restrictive quotas allocated to Hastings fishermen. However, with continued support from the local community and our politicians, the Hastings fishing industry can survive for another 800 years!”

Rio © Mike Leale

“My photos are a selection of portraits of places I have been and people I have seen,” Says Mike Leale.  ‘There is no ‘grand’ project here, simply pictures and people that have appealed to me. In fact, many of these were just happy chance, serendipity. I was on a bus when I saw the Telephone Girl and had a brief moment to capture the image. Likewise for Mirage Dubai. I was travelling in a car bowling down the motorway when this city rising from the desert sands came into view. Happy chance, snapshots, portraits of a time and a place.”

“I feel that part of portraiture is about capturing a likeness, finding the different, possibly unique qualities of the subject and offering them in an appropriate setting for the viewer,” says John Shanks. “My subjects are buildings, exteriors and sometimes interiors, selected not because of Great Architecture, but simply because they impress me.”

All the photographs on display will sell for mere £100. Many of these photos have been exhibited elsewhere, where the sale prices were up to £500! The public is invited to show their support for the Hastings fishing community by purchasing photographs from the exhibition.

The artists will be holding “Walk & Talk” sessions about the show on both Saturday, 28 February and Saturday, 7 March, from 12.30 till 1.30 starting at Reception in Gallery 1. These are relaxed and informal sessions designed to help visitors understand what was behind the exhibits on show, why the artists chose their work and answer any other questions you may have for them. Booking is not always necessary, but an indication of interest can be helpful. Just mention at the desk that you’re interested in attending a particular session.

Portraits, People and Places
From Tuesday, 24 February 2015 until Sunday, 8 March.

Opening Night is Friday evening, 27 February, 6–8:30
This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to support HFPS

‘Walk & Talk” conversation with the artists:
Saturday 28 Feb and Saturday 7 March
12:30 to 1:30
All invited, free admission

Hastings Arts Forum, 36 Marina, St Leonards on Sea  TN38 0BU
Phone: 01424 201636

The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 to 5. Admission is free

Posted 19:37 Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 In: Photography

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