Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


© Clare Hocter Connections – Dungeness

© Clare Hocter Connections – Dungeness

Photography at Stade Hall

PhotoHastings has really established a creative hub for photographers in Hastings. By founding the organisation it has shown there are talented professional and amateur photographers in the town and its support and encouragement have given many photographers the confidence to produce innovative work and to stage exhibitions. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths went along to see the summer exhibition at Stade Hall.

© Louise Whitham Exquisite Photosynthesis – Dusting Bluebelles

It is encouraging to see new photography members taking part in the show, All together, we are different at Stade Hall. The Hall is a large empty space and can sometimes feel a little bleak but somehow this collection makes it quite welcoming. There are black and white images, colour as well as an installation in the middle.

There is something for everyone and according to the invigilators on Sunday visitors chose different images as their favourite. So everyone had their proponent.

Organised by fellow photographer Chris Coombes there are fourteen contributing photographers. There are too many to mention individually, however, with no particular preference, I have selected a few.

The title, All together, we are different, is intentionally nebulous to invite eclectic interpretation. And it certainly achieves that – different genres, techniques, subjects and concerns.

© Imogen Bloor From the river to the sea

© Imogen Bloor From the river to the sea

After the restrictions of Lockdown, Imogen Bloor explores a linear, boundaried diptych of river and sea. Walking along the Thames during Lockdown her thoughts and sights were eager to broaden out to the wider perspective of the sea’s horizon. It is a quiet, reflective piece, geometric and abstract. In this it seems to reflect the title well – coping with the pandemic and hope – looking towards the future.

Another contemplative, but somewhat brooding,  image is Clare Hocter’s Connections – Dungeness, (above) ;  light emanates from a house like a power station, dark trees nearby keeping a watchful eye and a power line looping towards the house.  A seagull flying high above the house gives a sense of optimism.

© Jude Montague cyanotype Jude

I was intrigued by Jude Montague’s collaborative cyanotype diptych Montague Armstrong of interesting portraits of her and  Matt Armstrong, he gurning, her looking furtive, secretive. I don’t know how she created the picture, not knowing them it looks as if they could have been an amalgam of their two faces.  Sometimes it is good to have some mystery.  There is also something of smoke and mirrors with a dusting of magic in Louise Whitham’s images; a happy accident mixed with experience and knowledge that produced her alluring images Exquisite photosynthesis – Dusting bluebells. The three images take you into a multi-layered scene of reflections and wildlife distorted by a smattering of dust – mirroring the layers of denial about global warming.

Rod Morris is a champion of black and white film and prints his own photographs. Photography is all about light. After the Storm is a master class in light, tones and texture which invites careful study. Morris is a born story teller. He explains. “There is often a sense of the protagonist, sometimes directly by their presence in a suggested drama, but in others, they are represented by the light itself, at times in the form of a shadow, at other times by the direction or quality of the light.”

© Derek Cottrell Repeated pattern, repeated prayer

Derek Cotterell’s Repeated pattern, repeated prayer is another meditative study of light. The image draws you in, along a church aisle, past the pews towards a window – a quiet image with food for thought.

There is much more to see, take in and think about. Other images include photographs of Iceland, Hastings itself in Green Man characters, beach scenes and Hastings pier, not to omit the natural world, into nature, among the trees.

Contributors: Chris Coombes | Clare Hocter | Derek Cottrell | Frank Francis | Gary Willis | Ian O’Leary | Imogen Bloor | John Hayward | Jude Cowan Montague | Karin Wach | Katie Redfern | Louise Whitham | Patti Webb | Rod Morris

If you’d like to know more about PhotoHastings go to the website or Contact Read more about individual photographers here.

All together, we are different is at the Stade Hall, 20 Rock-a-Nore, TN34 3DW until 29 July 2022 Open daily from 10am until 5pm


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Posted 09:47 Wednesday, Jul 27, 2022 In: Photography

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