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Conversations

A selection of the images from the four photographers: a conversation without words

Conversations without words

This Saturday sees the opening of a one-month long visual conversation between four artists. Erica Smith visited Solaris gallery in Norman Road, St Leonards to listen to the pictures talk.

Grace Lau, Roz Cran, Lucinda Wells and Lauris Morgan-Griffiths came together in 2014 to form the Edge group: four artists working separately in response to agreed themes and exhibiting as a group. Edge have had three exhibitions at Hastings Station. Since 2017 the artists have been continuing their practice as a conversation: one person sending an image to another, the next person’s reaction ‘speaks’ to the next one in the group photographically then on to the next until the circle begins again. No-one could envisage what the result would be, each artist would have a different approach and sensibility. However, after a year the project has produced an interesting and surprising dialogue.

I visited the exhibition whilst hanging was in progress and spoke to owner and curator Alex Drawbridge. She was pleased that I instantly realised where the exhibition started. The conversation begins to the right of the door and, like the written word, runs around the gallery clockwise from left to right.

The images are grouped chronologically, reflecting the order of response from each photographer to the image that they have just been sent. It’s intriguing to work out who has taken which photograph and fascinating to watch the themes develop – sometimes thoughtful and sometimes playful. I loved the macro image of two mushrooms squashed together like a pair of breasts (Grace Lau) followed by a photograph of two cherry tarts on a shelf (Roz Cran).

The ‘conversation’ game is a wonderful way to spar and push creativity. This exhibition is delightful to explore. The photographers have their own styles and interests – Wells documents marine landscapes and light and dark, Morgan Griffiths explores patterns and texture – I particlarly love her inverted photograph of a swimming pool full of sky – Cran creates surreal digital collages. It is Lau’s works that surprised me the most – I would never have guessed that her images were taken by the same person who produced the formal portraits in the Chinese Photographic Studio series or her photographs of people in coffins.

This 48-print exhibition opened my eyes to how photographers engage with each other and the world around them. A short visit – or a longer one – is highly recommended.

© Roz Cran

© Roz Cran

Roz Cran uses performance, print, photography, video and book works to explore questions like: How do we relate to the natural world? To a tree? To a bird? To a stone? To ourselves? How to make time to stop and consider? The otherness of things, magic and mystery, issues of identity and sanity fascinate her. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in such touring shows as Figuring Landscapes and Animal Gaze.

Grace-Lau-150x150Grace Lau is a practicing photographer, artist, writer and lecturer. She was born in London of Chinese parentage. She has an MA in Photography & Culture from UAL and has exhibited widely, including at the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Photofusion London and Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Turner Contemporary Margate will include selections of her Chinese Studio portraits in their 2019 exhibition “Resort”.

© Lauris Morgan Griffiths

© Lauris Morgan Griffiths

Lauris Morgan-Griffiths studied photography at the London College of Printing. In 2012 she had an exhibition about the Hastings fishermen and their sheds – Other Lives and has contributed to several group exhibitions in Hastings and St Leonards.
She likes the patina, the wear and tear of life on faces, buildings as well as the oddities of life, its shadows, reflections, idiosyncrasies and abstracts.

Lucinda-Wells-150x150Lucinda Wells works with still and moving images to explore the most fundamental of intervals – the ‘gap’ that we perceive between us, between time and distance, beginnings and endings, waking and sleeping, birth and death. She has been awarded the Oxford Brookes Memorial Prize and shortlisted for the Jerwood Photography Awards. She was a senior lecturer at DeMontfort University and is currently course leader on the BA(Hons) Visual Communication – Photography at University Centre Hastings.

Conversations runs from Saturday 12 October to Saturday 9 November 2019 at Solaris Gallery, Norman Road, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex
The opening event is on Saturday 12 October 6–8pm.

This exhibition is one of 11 events running as part of the excellent PhotoHastings autumn festival which is now in its seventh year. Visit the PhotoHastings website for more information.

Posted 21:56 Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019 In: Photography

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