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The Rockitmen performing at a beach concert in 2015.

The Rockitmen performing at a beach concert in 2015.

Founder member kicks off Zoom’s 2017 season

Zoom Arts kicks off its 2017 season at the St Leonards Warrior Square station gallery with a photographic show by founder member, Robert Maxted. Nick Terdre reports. Photos by Robert Maxted.

Rock music is the theme of Robert Maxted’s exhibition, with a focus on local group, The Rockitmen. He admits a special interest – his son plays bass guitar.

On display will be photos of The Rockitmen at the beach concert by the RNLI station in summer 2015, at a promotional for a beer festival on the pier last summer, and during the turn-on of the Christmas lights in Priory Meadow in November.

The photos are up for sale – all takings will go to the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sidley. Donations are also welcome. Many animals, like many humans, are having a hard time in this age of austerity, Rob says: when he was last in touch with the sanctuary, it was full up with strays and unable to take any newcomers.

On the pier, promoting Hastings Beer & Music Festival.

The Rockitmen on the pier, promoting Hastings Beer & Music Festival.

Founder member

Rob was one of seven photographers who set up Zoom Arts in 2006. Most have departed and there are only two left now, he says. Along the way, Zoom has widened its focus and now caters for other types of visual artists, as well as photographers.

It’s a self-help group aiming to provide opportunities to put its members’ – and even non members’ – work before the public, opportunities which as lone agents they might struggle to get. A minority of members are looking to make a living from their art, but most, like Rob, have – or in his case, had – day jobs.

The group is going through a good phase. With some 25-30 members, it can cover its costs and run a varied programme of exhibitions. As well as the season at the Warrior Square Station Gallery, it will also have its usual two exhibitions at Stade Hall in April and September.

Bar None and Hastings station

Members’ work is also on permanent display in Bar None, opposite Morrison’s in Queen’s Road, and at Hastings Railway Station (on the wall of the booking office just inside the barriers). Currently showing are photos of the Red Ladies who hit the town last year, but discussions are under way with the station authorities on new works to go up by early summer.

maxted show 250Rob steps out every week with his camera slung round his neck and a friend or two by his side, looking for interesting things to photograph around town. Some weeks he might take 50 or 60 shots. Out of that a theme might suggest itself. He has an inkling then what the next might be.

In the meantime Zoom is planning an exhibition of photos of bands and concerts taken by members of the public – more information will be available soon. In a music city like Hastings, there shouldn’t be any lack of willing contributors.

Robert Maxted’s 1066 Rockitmen Exhibition
Zoom Arts Gallery, St Leonards Warrior Square Station, Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6BS. Monday 20-Saturday 25 March, 11am-4pm.

Posted 09:12 Monday, Mar 13, 2017 In: Photography

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