The Minories Galleries have been chosen this year to show the annual exhibition from Colchester Photographic Society, a local group of photographers ranging from amateurs to professionals.
Colchester Photographic Society’s annual exhibition is featured on the upstairs floor of The Minories, spread over several different rooms. Being a photographic society exhibition there was no real theme to the collection, instead showcasing a whole variety of different pieces chosen by individual members. Among the prints you’ll find portraits, candid shots, landscape, still life, architectural shots and more, each eclectically placed rather than separated into categories.
I was immediately impressed by the quality of the pieces… Although a few pieces weren’t massively to my liking I generally enjoyed seeing most examples. It was easy to see that Colchester Photographic Society have real talent within their members, with stunning macro shots of invertebrates to broad, powerful landscape images full of character and mood. Some shots were local and others were from much further afield, such as more than one instance of African-based photography which definitely piqued my interest. There was also a lot of range to the styles in which the photography was presented – triptychs, series, and more edited shots were present within the collection. Some pieces were stunningly realistic, and others looked like oil paintings. It made for a refreshing exploration of art, and it would have been easier to spend quite some time taking each picture in. Most images are also for sale within the gallery, usually for the price of £40.
my favourite pieces
It’s so hard to choose between such a myriad of different images, but some images really drew me in. 21st Century Assassin by Peter Jones struck me first – a haunting image of a hooded man standing in a darkly-lit tunnel. Incredibly detailed nature photography was present in every room, and one in particular that really stood out for me was a series of images featuring kingfishers hunting for food, taken by Robert Bannister.
As mentioned previously I was also blown away by the photography taken in Africa (which I will always appreciate from my experiences in Kenya). Two that really shone for me were Dead Trees And Drinking Wildebeest by Martin Heathcote and Maasai Mara, six black and white animal images from the savannah, by Christine Hart.
For Remembrance there were also two photos I loved that included the much-appreciated Silent Soldiers – The Men Who March Away by Peter Pangbourne and Remembrance by Colin Westgate. Both of these were poignant and spoke powerful words behind the images.
And finally, two local pieces that liked – Mersea Pontoon Before Dawn (featured in title image) again by Peter Pangbourne, a hazy purple scene from Mersea that shows a different perspective of the boating island, and Sunrise On The Stour by Colin Brett, a crisp winter riverscape that makes you feel chilly just looking at it.
This sort of exhibition is one I would gladly visit several times as there’s just so much to see, and I imagine each visit would bring fresh imagery and meaning. There was so much to take in, and I felt like I was in an artistic retreat as a good exhibition should feel like. I felt that the layout and location of the exhibition worked really well – the first floor of The Minories is really quiet, with windows overlooking their garden space, and the walls are lined with old uncovered beams, making for a lovely ambience. I really felt like there was something for everyone in the room, and I felt proud being able to see just how much photographic talent we have in Colchester. I’d recommend the exhibition for anyone, whether they have a particular interest in photography or just enjoy a bit of art once in a while.
Colchester Photographic Society was formed prior to the Second World War to promote and encourage interest in the study and application of photography.
This is achieved by a varied programme of weekly meetings during the club’s season, which is September through to May. It includes visits from a variety of skilled and interesting speakers, practical evenings, competitions, plus discussions and encouragement between members. In addition we usually have some planned outings, especially during the summer, which help to provide continuity and additional opportunities for our members.
From time to time workshops are also provided to help members, particularly those who are new to photography or those wishing to learn a particular skill.
The club takes part in several local and regional competitions with other clubs, with great success over the last few years.
(Taken from Colchester Photographic Society’s website)
The Minories Galleries is a public contemporary art gallery run by Colchester School of Art at Colchester Institute.
A listed Georgian building, The Minories is of local importance within the historic town of Colchester. The Friends of the Minories and Victor Batte-Lay Trust have ensured the building be used to the benefit of the local arts community. This has continued and now ensures the Colchester School of Art provides contemporary art and design in one Colchester’s most distinctive buildings.
The Minories Galleries also include the Shop and a Tiptree Tea Room.
(Taken from The Minories Galleries Facebook page)
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