Broadchurch and its landscape – The Salthouse, West Bay.

We are delighted to confirm exciting details to our ‘Broadchurch and its landscape’ exhibition in West Bay, Dorset over the May Day Bank Holiday.

Golden cliffs by Nathalie Roberts

Golden cliffs by Nathalie Roberts

The photography and artwork will focus on the surrounding area that created the backdrop of the series ‘Broadchurch’ and will be shown in the Salthouse in West Bay from Thursday the 30th of April to Monday the 4th of May.

The Salthouse exhibition is open to everyone with a Shed Gallery profile.

The show will be co-curated by Stephen Banks and Chelsea Davine, our Creative Director.

As always all submissions must be uploaded in the highest resolution possible, tagged BROADCHURCH with full descriptions which will provide the text alongside the image, if chosen, at the show.

The closing date for submissions is Sunday April the 12th. Original artwork and prints must be clearly tagged ‘Original Available’ and the price attached.

As an online gallery we are always looking for ways to promote your work and help you sell and we firmly believe this is a unique opportunity we very much hope you will take advantage of.

Tom Hard, Shed Artist of the Week.

Maybe I should start with a bit about me. I’m an ordinary 28 year old from Sussex, a small town called Horsham which is about half way between London and Brighton. I work as a Police Officer and have been for the last 7 and a half years. I’m by no means a full time photographer but I enjoy taking photos and enjoy the satisfaction of people buying one of my images to display in their own home.
What first drew you to photography? 
When I started photography it was all about 35mm film and waiting to print the photos to see what your results were. At the age of 15 I got a Saturday job in a one hour photo lab, known as Horsham Photo Centre. This was a great job at the age of 15 because I was given so much responsibility, far more than my friends working in other shops. I was trained to change photographic paper in the dark room, which shocked me at first. I always assumed there was a red light….but no….it was pitch black as it had to be because any light whatsoever could harm the photographic paper! I learnt to feel my way in the dark and became quite skilled. I developed film and printed photographs. We were the best lab in town because we did colour and density adjustments to every photo and hand checked them for dust spots and hairs. Anything we weren’t happy with, we printed again! We boasted printing for a Daily Mail photographer, a local paper photographer and many wedding photographers. Having access to so many amazing photos inspired me to go out and take my own. This job got me interested and I took that further by doing an A level in photography. After finishing the A level, there was a bit of a lull in my photography. Maybe I had done it too much but I guess I needed to take a photo to inspire me again…..I ended up on holiday in Rome and there were too many amazing photo opportunities to miss. I took this photo of the spiral staircase at the Vatican Museum.

Spiral Staircase at the Vatican by Tom Hard

Spiral Staircase at the Vatican by Tom Hard

What’s your favourite photographic memory and why? 
So, back from my Rome holiday with many lovely photos I made a discovery, that I could sell my photos online….but of fun really! I only had a bog standard compact digital camera at this stage and asked a friend if he fancied a trip to London for a bit of photography. I’ve always been of the opinion that a great photo doesn’t need an expensive camera. While taking a stroll through Regent’s Park, on a sunny Spring day, I looked up at a willow tree and enjoyed the effect of the blue sky through the droopy branches. I looked up and took the photo. A few months later I entered that photo into the RHS annual photography competition in 2012. I then found I had won the ‘Plant Portrait’ category of the competition and amazingly won £350! This is my favourite photographic memory, not because of the money, it was because I had proved you only need a compact camera to take good photos! Okay….so I used the money to buy a digital SLR camera….but that was because I was ready to try more interesting techniques! Here is the photo that won…

Summer Comes Early by Tom Hard

Summer Comes Early by Tom Hard

Who is your favourite photographer and why?
My favourite photographer would have to be Ansel Adams, famous in America for his photographs of he American West including Yosemite National Park. I was lucky enough to go on a California Road Trip in the last couple of years and also was able to travel the epic journey of Route 66. I wanted to take my own photos for these amazing journeys and I was inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams. In that environment though, the landscape itself is inspiration itself, like this one from Yosemite National Park…
Yosemite Valley by Tom Hard

Yosemite Valley by Tom Hard

What is your favourite camera and where would you take it?
As I have previously stated, I don’t need an amazing camera…it’s all about the photographer! I’m team Canon though! My ambition at some point is to take my camera to New Zealand. It’s Lord of the Rings country and there must be so many amazing photographs to take! Maybe an African Safari would be fun too! Basically there’s so many places I still have to visit! I was lucky enough to visit Venice earlier this year. I decided I was only there once so I got up extremely early to catch the sunrise. I wasn’t disappointed when I took this photo…
Morning in Venice by Tom Hard

Morning in Venice by Tom Hard

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work and what inspired you recently.
Recently I’ve taken a lot of pleasure in taking photos of sunrises and sunsets. I love that every single sunrise or sunset is different and you really never know what you’re going to get! The colours are amazing and a good sunset makes any photo more interesting! I took my camera out in Brighton the other day and took this photo of the West Pier at sunset on a cold but sunny evening.
Brighton Dusk by Tom Hard

Brighton Dusk by Tom Hard

Do you have bursts of creativity?
Yes, most definitely. I’ll go for months without taking a photo, but it only takes a picturesque place to get my creativity going, looking for the amazing photos! I tend to take my camera to most places because you just never know where that great photo might be! Recently my girlfriend wanted to take me on the hilly, tiring journey across the Seven Sisters cliffs, which takes about 2 hours up and down hills! I did the hike with my camera on my back, hoping for a good photo at least. I managed to get this one of a very stormy sunset.
The Seven Sisters by Tom Hard

The Seven Sisters by Tom Hard

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
The most important element is composition. With a digital camera you really can take the time to ensure everything is exactly where you want it in the photo. Have some foreground interest in a landscape to draw a viewers eyes through the photo. You don’t need an amazing camera…just a good eye. I got this eye when I printed everyone else’s photos in the one hour photo lab! I don’t like to edit my photos too much! Just the odd bit of contrast and brightness adjustment. Some photos are happy accidents, like this one I took of the sunset just as two people happened to run past!
Run to the sun by Tom Hard

Run to the sun by Tom Hard

Favourite Photograph
Such a difficult choice to pick my favourite photograph. I do tend to put a lot of my own photographs up at home. All I can say is I have an extremely large canvas of this photo up on my bedroom wall. Slightly different to my usual landscapes but love the quirky urban feel to it, taken in Trafalgar Street in Brighton. I call it ‘Technicolour Dream Road.’
Technicolour Dream Road by Tom Hard

Technicolour Dream Road by Tom Hard

How do you spend a creative day?
I like to travel to new places to take photographs! I first research where there are good photographs on offer, I wait for a nice day and then off I go! It’s worth it even if just one photo is taken that I really like! I always have in my mind that I am often only in a certain place once and would be disappointed if I didn’t make the effort to go to some place to get a good photo! With digital photography, it can very much be trial and error and with basically unlimited photos you can take, there is no harm is clicking and keeping clicking! Sometimes you have to think small though and not necessarily at the wider landscape. I’m very happy with this photo for the composition as well as the detail it shows!
Butterfly by Tom Hard

Butterfly by Tom Hard

Dates for the upcoming Shed exhibitions.

 

Thank you to all of you who chose to take part in the Barcelona exhibition.

Due to a clash with an important holiday in Spain we have decided to move the opening to the start of April.  The opening date will be April the 9th.

The work will be hung beforehand and clients will be invited to view the work at the Private View at 7pm Carrer Jules Verne, Bajos 3.

The exhibition will be co-curated by Odile Moreno and include artists from the successful ‘Young Blood’ exhibition last July. This is an initiative we are proud to support to show recently graduated art students’ work alongside Shed gallery artists.

Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting work in the gallery and reading the thoughts of some of our contributors. Here are a couple of blog posts from Kirsty Fenton and Fiona Roberts on their recent work.

 

Set of 3 by Kirsty Fenton

Set of 3 by Kirsty Fenton

Reflection by Fiona G. Roberts

Reflection by Fiona G. Roberts

 

We are also in the middle of finalising plans for our first exhibition in West Bay, Dorset over the May Day Bank Holiday.

This show will focus on the surrounding area that created the backdrop of the series ‘Broadchurch’. The exhibition is open to everyone with a Shed Gallery profile (please follow the link if you wish to create one).

The show will be co-curated by Stephen Banks and Chelsea, our Creative Director.

As always all submissions must be uploaded in the highest resolution possible, tagged BROADCHURCH, with full descriptions which will provide the text alongside the image, if chosen, at the show.

The closing date for submissions is Sunday April the 12th. Original artwork and prints must be clearly tagged ‘Original Available’ and the price attached. Try and find those hidden shots of the surrounding area, think creatively and surprise us! It is hard to think of a more inspiring landscape to photograph.

We look forward to seeing your images!

Thoughts from Fiona Roberts, Shed Artist of the Week.

 

The Shed team have very kindly nominated me as artist of the week and have asked me to share some thoughts with you. It doesn’t seem very long since my previous blog (time flies when you’re enjoying yourself I guess) but here goes.

Since my last post there’s been some good news, some nearly good news and some bad news. The good news is that I had a landscape selected for a lovely exhibition called Richmond Views at Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham. One of the best parts of this was that at the opening party I met a painter whose work I’ve admired for a long time, Ken Howard RA. He was extremely sweet and talking to him really made my day.

Sunlit River 7 by Fiona G. Roberts

Sunlit River 7 by Fiona G. Roberts

I also met a princess, and although I had been advised to address her as Your Highness and to curtsey, when it came to it, I got it all wrong and did neither.  I became so confused by the whole process that I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. I think she said ‘that’s very nice’ but maybe she said ‘that’s not very nice’. I will never know.  Inexplicably I also lied to her. When she asked me how long it had taken to complete my painting I said “a couple of weeks”. It actually took much longer. I have absolutely no idea why I said that, it just came out. The experience did make me wonder if lots of people, on meeting the Royals, get a bit ‘confused’ and tell lies or say weird stuff, and if they do, then the Royal Family are getting a pretty skewed and strange representation of the world around them.

It was actually slightly better than the previous event I attended where a princess was present. Affected by ‘nerves’ I had rather unwisely made an early start on the wine and, whilst looking at my painting, was suddenly struck by the strange idea that I might be an artist. The thought was too much and I sat on a bench in the middle of the room with huge tears rolling down my face. I don’t really cry much, apart from quite a bit in 2003 and a fair amount in 2010, but in that crowded room, once I’d started I couldn’t stop. Luckily, everyone was much more interested in HRH than me, so it didn’t matter really. Of course my face was a hell of a mess because my make-up had run. I didn’t have a hanky, so I had to try and wipe it off with my hands, which just spread it around. In the end, although I had my best dress on, from the neck up, I looked like I’d been rolling around in a dirty puddle. Aside from that it was a lovely day.

Reflection by Fiona G. Roberts

Reflection by Fiona G. Roberts

The nearly good news was that I had a portrait pre-selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, which was really exciting, but the bad news was that it didn’t get into the final hang. That was a bit disappointing to be honest, but I have to say that now I take rejections like this in my stride. I think it’s one of the few advantages of reaching a certain age. It seems to me that when you’ve lived long enough to have been through some tough times, someone not liking your painting is, well, just that and nothing more. Moreover, I console myself with the fact that people who don’t like my paintings are just wrong. So that’s that, really, and the impulse to create is so great anyway that I couldn’t really allow opinions of my work to affect me either way. I will make work regardless of what other people think. That’s just how it is.

Portraits are an important part of my work and I try to say rather darker and more complex things with them than with my landscapes. I try to capture at least a little of the complexity and difficulties of the human condition in them. The landscapes generally are a balance and counterpoint to the darkness and they often portray idealised or magical scenes. Again, because life can be so tough sometimes, I think there is an absolute need to comfort and to provide an alternative to life’s horrors and sometimes this can be done through art. It’s not so much that I want to create beautiful things in spite of how difficult life can be, but rather I want to create magical and beautiful things because it can be so difficult. Sometimes it seems the only way to cope with the troubles we have to face is to try to focus on, and take notice of the beautiful stuff.

Autumn Sun by Fiona G. Roberts

Autumn Sun by Fiona G. Roberts

Beauty of course, in art especially, has in recent years had a very bad press. Like humour, it is easy to see beauty as superficial.  The older I get however, the less snobbish I am about beauty and the more humbled I am by it. I now see that beauty is not necessarily superficial at all. It is actually incredibly serious and vital, not least as a consolation and a balance to whatever horrors humanity is dealing with. The representation of darkness is serious and vital too of course.  Picasso’s Guernica for example, brilliantly reminds us of the tragedies of war. As does the work of Nash and many others.

Artists and art can, and should, do many things: to evoke feelings good and bad, to ask and answer questions, to make us remember the past and give us hope for the future. It seems important that sometimes art should address the light side of humanity as well as the shocking, the strange and the dark. I think Tess Jaray RA summed up the work of artists so well in her introduction to the Royal Academy Summer Show that she co-ordinated. Of artists, she said:

“They remind us that the world is not merely full of problems and difficulties: that there is beauty and nature and fun and humour as well. That painting and music come from the same place, that love is a near relation, that in spite of much evidence to the contrary there is no law forbidding us to believe in the world, and to enjoy and celebrate it”.

With that in mind I’m looking forward to continuing my work on both portraits and landscapes. If you want to see some of my paintings in person, my landscape ‘Reflection’ remains on show at Orleans House Gallery until the 31st of May. I am  very excited to have three new seascapes in the Shed Gallery in Barcelona. I am also currently working on some new paintings that I hope will be in Art5 Gallery in Brighton. I’d like to end by wishing everyone lots of luck in whatever work, creative or otherwise, you are involved in at the moment, and I really hope that this year is good for you all.

Artist of the Week, Kirsty Fenton.

What first drew you to photography?
I was in fact more drawn to painting and fine art at first but during my time at Art School I began to see photography in a different light. It’s not my main discipline but it’s definitely a big part of my work now. For the first time I have made photography pieces to sell as part of The Flower Factory collection alongside paintings. It’s a discipline that I will definitely continue to experiment with.
Set of 3 by Kirsty Fenton

Set of 3 by Kirsty Fenton

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
That’s a really difficult question, but if I have to choose it would be with my first polaroid camera back in the 90’s. I remember bringing it everywhere, taking photos of everyone in every moment. I had no fear whatsoever so I got some really memorable shots.
Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
Without a doubt it would be Lina Scheynius. I have been following this Swedish Photographer for ages. She has the most beautiful yet simple photographs which have a real personal narrative to them. She captures moments in a truly interesting way.
No. 1 by Kirsty Fenton

No. 1 by Kirsty Fenton

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?
I would like something simple, definitely analogue for the exciting wait of the developed photos and also to just enjoy the moment itself. I would love to go somewhere with a lot of people, possibly parts of old Mexican villages and take photos of the food, life and people.
Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.
I like the openness of my work, as with each collection it’s something different. It’s a constant experiment of trial and error and this keeps me fixed and interested as the maker. There are so many more methods I intend to use so it certainly creates an endless want to make art.
Process by Kirsty Fenton

Process by Kirsty Fenton

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?
Definitely, it can come from many different things. I find certain people/artists very influential, even after small conversations I can go back to the studio and work for hours. Working in Barcelona has its benefits with the strong natural sunlight, gothic buildings, mountains etc.
How do you spend a creative day? 
I still keep all my sketchbooks, these for me are the most interesting parts of an artists work. I’ll fill them with words, colours whatever I think they need. Painting and making work during the best sunlight in the studio is important. Although each creative day is completely different, it could be spent outdoors, out of the city, or in the studio.