EDGEspace, Slater Street
20th January - 16th February 2011
Under a sky lit by the green light of a laser, and opposite a mist-bathed,
semi-legal graffiti-clad car park, EDGEspace opened its not inconsiderable
doors for a private view of John Davies' excellent exhibition of his environmental
photography, Two Rivers.
Themed around an ecological message, Davies' monochrome photography is
a journey into the past, present and potential future of the space around
all of us. Each and every shot is a fascinating vista of nature and urbanity
that looks equally as good from afar as close up scrutinizing the fascinating
details. These little details reveal themselves in people about their
daily business,cycling, running, resting in a field or just walking to
work on a normal day (whatever that is these days!). In conversation with
John, he explained that "the pictures tell a story in their openness.
It's left to the person looking to decide what that story is." Indeed,
as I looked at the various images, many of skylines and vistas from 1986
onwards, I saw how as times have changed, and governments have come and
gone, the landscape has somehow reacted to that.
Some of the subjects have been demolished in the many years since being
captured on film, and others have changed beyond recognition. But as the
course of the titular two rivers flow, much has changed and this will
no doubt continue. This is the feeling one has in looking at the pieces
one by one, the monochrome of every piece making almost a window into
an uncertain time period. In fact, on first visit to this wonderful exhibition
I subconsciously took on a lot of ideas about the pieces, but to make
them work in my mind's eye I needed another visit to confirm that there
are many pieces of work here justifying the suggestion that all the pieces
are 'a highlight'.
The skyline of Liverpool in 1986 was almost bare in comparison with 2011's
proliferation of high end living skyscrapers and commercial districts.
Just as the shots of locations in Wales are evocative of time that is
not quite gone yet but could be affected in any way in the light of recent
government policy. In short the eco theme is very important at a time
when even our trees are under threat from the proverbial 'man'. Highlights
are really quite hard to pick out as stated before but if forced at gunpoint,
two of them would be Inner Harbour Towards
Penarth, Cardiff Bay 1996 (pictured) and the fascinating Liverpool,
Queens Graving Dock 1986 which really showed how much Liverpool
has changed in the years between.
The truth is that I could look at most of these images for hours and
still find a new story or aspect to make me smile or think of the events
of my own life. Suffice to say if you appreciate the fine art of photography,
this exhibition will be special in many ways.
Visit John Davies' website to see more of his work: