As an outdoor photographer I am used to the idea that a landscape can somehow “speak” to the image maker. Through it’s topography, scale, colour, light, sound and smell it communes with our senses evoking within us a range of emotions and establishing a connection which photographers often feel deeply. I believe it is this connection which helps us produce compelling landscape images. The more we immerse ourselves in a landscape, look and understand it the stronger our connection becomes and as a result the better our images will be.
However, as a photographer who has spent much of her photographic life on the East Coast I am also interested in the reasons why some landscapes appear to “speak” louder than others.
Look through any photography magazine and the pages are filled with hills and mountains, craggy peaks and rocky coastlines. The drama of these regions clearly shouts loudly to many photographers but where are the flat landscapes; the arable fields, the muddy estuaries, the coastal heathlands and the endless marshes and fens that make up a large part of the South East of England? These environments may not have the drama of a highland landscape and as a result may be more subtle in their calling but they are no less significant and in my view can be just as dramatic as any upland scene.
In a little personal bid to redress the balance and shout loudly about the wonderful Suffolk landscape I am holding a solo exhibition of my work taken on or around the Suffolk Coast. Running at the new ARTSPACE Gallery in Woodbridge the exhibition will take place between the Thursday 26th October and Wednesday 1st November and will feature images from a variety of landscapes within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. Each image will be accompanied by a brief description of what it was like to be in that location at the moment the shutter was released and the image was captured.
Waves lap quietly around the base of Southwold pier, gentle rolling surf, pushed on by the faintest of breezes. The air is calm, the ocean’s breath no longer strong enough to wrench the salt from the surf, that familiar taste of the seaside absent this evening. The slowly sinking sun paints the whispy clouds pale pink, and shafts of softly angled light renders the surface of the sea a delicate shade of blue, unusual for this coast where grey is so often the norm.
The River Ore lights up with the reflected colours of sunrise, a glorious pallet of apricot pink and slate greys. To my right Barthorpe’s creek wends its way inland towards Shingle Street. The morning is still and the peace all pervading. This morning I am joined by a curious seal, he slipped into the creek unnoticed and surfaced just a few feet away staring intently his dark eyes mirroring the inky depths below.
If this inspires you to come and visit our lovely county then perhaps a stay in a gorgeous Dutch barge might be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing.
Twee Gebroeders , a beautiful 1914 Skutsje sailing barge was once my other passion, a restoration project and holiday business which is now owned and run by Carl Scott at Woodfarm barges and is one of the best ways to experience the true spirit of the East Coast.
My “Suffolk Seen” exhibition will run for 1 week from midday Thursday 26th October to 4pm Wednesday 1st November and will open from 10am – 5pm every day including Sunday.
More information about the APTSPACE venue can be found at www.artw.co.uk