Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
By Lauris-Morgan-Griffiths

By Lauris-Morgan-Griffiths

An intimate view

Trinity Gallery in Hastings town centre hosts yet another excellent photographic exhibition, running until Friday 16 November. The two-person show called ‘Other Lives’ promises a glimpse into two very different worlds. Erica Smith pulled back the curtains and took a sneaky peak into two very different worlds…

If you have been keeping up to date with recent HOT reviews, you will know that Hastings’ Photo Hub Group has undertaken an ambitious programme of exhibitions as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial. Other Lives is a photographic exhibition by two experienced journalists. They have both embraced photography as an escape from their lives as broadcasters and authors, but their choices of subject matter and photographic treatment reveals their background in documentary journalism.

© Gary ImlachGary Imlach‘s ‘First Floor Models’ is a series of photographs of empty doorways and stairs – an observational study of the entrances to the remaining Soho brothels. Imlach, a resident of Soho for five years, was aware of  how gentrification is changing the area and decided to document these public thresholds to very private worlds.

There are no working girls or punters in his images, just the doorways, corridors and stairs. Some of these look as innocent as a school corridor or a stairway in a convent, whilst others are painted in saturated pinks and reds, with felt-penned day-glo signs promoting what is on offer on that particular day: ‘sexy oriental’ or ‘petite lithuanian girl’.

© Gary Imlach


A small series of close-ups of two door bells shows the constant circulation of girls’ names – Cindy, Cherry, Lily, Sabrina.

One of the most disturbing images has two dresses hanging next to the doorway, like limbless bodies waiting to be used. It was a relief to discover these belonged to the vintage clothes shop next door!

Imlach’s photographs don’t preach to the viewer, neither to they condone the sex industry. They are a sensitive record of the intensely unglamorous world of the first floor ‘model’.


Lauris Morgan-Griffiths moved to Hastings relatively recently, and like many newcomers to the town, she became fascinated with the way of life on the Stade. Her series of Fishermen’s Spaces are portraits of some of the fisherman and boys ashore in their sheds, which she describes as “half workshop, half hideaway”. Alongside the portraits of the men, Lauris has also taken still-life shots of the objects that surround them – their tools, hobbies and ornaments – some of them surprisingly sentimental – defying our preconceptions of these gnarly fisherfolk.

Other photographers have undertaken similar studies (Amanda Jobson’s Winch Huts come to mind), Morgan-Griffiths’ photographs achieve a very intimate engagement with the sitters and their spaces. The dusty, historical atmosphere of the worksheds is captured in a painterly way. The interiors feel more domestic and less chaotic than just a workman’s toolshed. The interior details alone are very moving, and the portraits are so much more revealing.

Both photographers should be commended for portraying these very ‘other’ lives, but Morgan-Griffiths has to be congratulated for being invited over the threshold into the very private worlds of the fishermen’s huts.

You can see more of Gary Imlach’s work on his website.
You can find out more about Lauris Morgan-Griffiths here.
Photo Hub Group

Brighton Photo Fringe

Other Lives is on show until Friday 16 November 2012 at
Trinity Gallery, 8 Trinity Street, Hastings, TN34 1HG
Trinity Gallery website

All enquiries should be directed to: Rachel Walker
Tel: 01424 719923

Posted 11:17 Monday, Nov 5, 2012 In: Photography

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