I also liked how some of the images were composed in a way that suggested photographic history particularly 'Abandoned Mine' (Chris Upton), 'Cliffe Bridge, Lewes' (Bob Harvey) and 'Fairfield Church' (Chris Shore).
'Colossus' (Jeremy O'Keefe) also had that quality about it as well as being a remarkably effective rendition of scale. These images also suggested old postcards as did Lesley Parkinson's remnants of structures on the West Pier, although these are particularly ghostly given the pier's story.
The mix of perspective and subject in this show reminds the viewer of the achievements of photography and its always current possibilities. I really liked 'The Old Pig Sty, Barrington Court' (Ian Weston) and his image of 'Stormy Lyme Bay'. David Hoad's series of images using brushes is quite surreal whereas Andy Thurgood's 'Locomotion' is a detail so beautifully shot that it captivates whether you are interested in trains or not. Michael Attrill's 'Accidental Art' provides gently abstracted and unusual views of nature and Robert Barfield's 'The Kiss' is a lovely observation of nature's resilience. However, if it's sheer exhilaration you want then Helen Taylor's dogs running along the shore is the one for you.
It is of course impossible to photograph photographs behind glass in a very light room so I can't provide any close image details here. I also can't provide a website for the 1066 Mono Photographic Club because they don't seem to have one. This is a shame because it would be good to be able to see some of the works of this group on a permanent basis - both for pleasure and for reference.
Mark Glassman (Gallery 2)
As often with the Forum, entering the other gallery is entering a different world. In this case it's the world of Mark Glassman, a painter who has spent a lot of time on the beach preparing for this show. Themed around shingle and coastal scenery it is clear that he is fascinated and inspired by the colours, shapes and textures that are found in the stones, pebbles and beaches of the Sussex coastline.
His colour palette reflects this with browns, greys and yellows interspersed with the blues of sky and water - whether in the distance or retreating back through the shingle to the sea. In fact the meticulous and multiple tumble of ovals and rounds interspersed with light, makes the distinctive sound of stones pushed back and forth by the sea almost audible.
Abstracted body shapes that seem to have become part of the ground itself, sometimes emerge from the paintings and very effectively transmit the Sussex beach experience in which your body ends up contouring itself to the stones. Sand is for wimps in Sussex.
The shingle paintings give a sense of looking down, while others look out to the only feasible straight line in nature - that between the sea and the sky. There is a mix in this show of those two perspectives and in each case paint is applied and used differently. The horizons are generally smoother while the ground is more textured and occasionally features pieces of driftwood. A few of the pieces, however, are pure colourful abstractions.
Once again the contrast between the shows gets you thinking about what each says about the other. Interestingly Mark Glassman's choice of subject often means that the colours are complementary without any overly saturated contrast. In that respect there is a nice juxtaposition with the monochromatic themes next door. The fixed location of the paintings, however, provides an effective contrast with the breadth of subject and place enabled by 14 different photographers.
The discipline required by photography is certainly not immune to lucky accidents whether analog or digital but unexpected outcomes of a particular moment or mood are a wonderful part of both photography and painting. The frozen expression of a single moment that can be achieved by photography contrasts greatly with the absolute freedom that can be deployed to capture the essence of something in paint. However, both need research and practice while freedom will always benefit from a little discipline.
1066 Mono and Mark Glassman
29 July from 6.30 - 8.30