We’re delighted to announce that our new exhibition here in the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery is now open.
Blue, by Canterbury artist Adam De Ville, is a sequence of paintings united by colour, which explores ideas of identity, belonging, loss and technology. The title painting in the series is also linked to a performance of Pergolesi’s magnificent Stabat Mater, which the Chamber Choir performs in the Cathedral Crypt next week, for which Adam’s painting features on the programme cover. A haunting, evocative image of a lone woman, the painting seems to relate to the grief of the Virgin Mary during Christ’s crucifixion, set in dramatic fashion by Pergolesi shortly before his death.
The exhibition is open until Friday 9 March during normal working hours and at weekends; admission is free, and there is disabled access.
Read more about the insipiration behind the exhibition in a previous post here: find out more about Adam De Ville here.
With the start of the summer term, we are delighted to launch our new exhibition here in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery.
A Canterbury Soundscape is the work of photographer and musician, Molly Hollman, and captures the life of the Music department in rehearsal and performance over the past year, combined with stunning images of the local landscape.
The images capture fleeting human moments at the heart of music-making – a shared joke during rehearsals, the opportunity to take a selfie in the Cathedral Crypt, a quick chance to tune an instrument before walking out to perform – as well as magical instances amidst the region’s wildlife and sumptuous scenery.
A Canterbury Soundscape is on display in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery until August, and admission is free; gallery open during normal building hours (including weekends), and there is disabled access. Find out more about Molly’s work on her website here.
Our new exhibition in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery, A Canterbury Soundscape, which opens in ten days’ time, features the work of local prize-winning photographer and musician, Molly Hollman. Combining her passion for landscapes and wildlife with being a professional musician and music teacher, Molly has spent the past year capturing the life of the Music department here at Kent.
With an eye for a dramatic moment and an imaginative sense of space, Molly’s photography breathtakingly captures the spirit of people and of place. Her work turns a fleeting moment into a universal truth, responding to the beauty in landscapes, in venues and the people within them, in the way they interact with each other. Whether in the intimacy of a single flower within a landscape or the intensity of a musician concentrating in rehearsal, her work transcends the temporary moment, turning it into a timeless statement that skilfully captures the dynamic at the heart of what she sees through the lens.
Ahead of her exhibition launch, I caught up with Molly and asked her about her work.
How did you become interested in photography ?
I’ve always been an artist (my parents are both artists and potters) and have enjoyed painting throughout my life, although when my children were born time somehow seemed to disappear…. So I turned to photography, something I’d always enjoyed but never fully immersed myself in until then.
What attracts you most about working with images ?
I love to capture the world around me and have always had a love of nature; with photography I can capture the image as I see it, for posterity. Photographing the candid and everyday is as important to me as the grand and splendid.
What were you looking for in taking the pictures in this exhibition ?
I always try to capture a moment – many of the best photographs have a narrative, making the viewer reflect and be drawn into the scene. Posed photographs are often very staged and reveal no story or emotion.
Are there any photographers you particularly admire, or whose work has influenced you in some way ?
I have many influences, looking at as many photographs as possible is the best way of improving your craft. Aside from the classics, such as Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier Bresson, I like many contemporary photographers, such as Julie Blackmon, Henrik Kerstens and David Chancellor.
What’s been your best/most fortuitous moment taking pictures ?
Any time where the light has been amazing! Be as observant as you can – I won a prize in an international competition with a photograph of birds feeding, they were on a white fence with a white wall behind which then lent a touch of minimalism to the image and made the photograph more powerful.
What’s been your worst ?!
Grey, flat skies (as opposed to stormy skies which I love) are hard to do anything with, as are sobbing toddlers!
People or places ?
I like both, capturing a person’s character in one image is a real challenge that I relish, but my love of nature pulls me outdoors as much as possible. When I do portrait shoots, I try to do them on location if possible, thus combining the two.
A Canterbury Soundscape opens in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery on Monday 8 May, and runs until September; admission is free, the gallery is open during normal working hours, and there is disabled access. Find out more about Molly on her website here.
Today marks the official opening of our new exhibition here in Colyer-Fergusson, an exploration of beauty in the scientific environment from the School of Biosciences.
Curated by Dr Dan Lloyd, the collection of images, each generated through engagement with current research, showcases the beauty in scientific data.
The exhibition aims to shed some light on laboratory life and the process of discovery in the biological sciences.
Every image shown has a story to tell, and explores cutting-edge research in the fields of biomedical science, biochemistry, genetics and biotechnology. In addition to introducing new and interesting concepts at the forefront of scientific research, the exhibition aims to encourage the viewer to explore their own perspectives on art within the context of the biological sciences.
The exhibition forms the backdrop to an exciting lunchtime concert on Weds 1 February in the concert-hall, Cellular Dynamics, which brings together science and music in image-projection and time-lapse photography, accompanied by live music for piano by Philip Glass and Tarik O’Regan, and Gavin Bryars’ My First Homage for two pianos, performed by Dan Harding and Matthew King (details here).
Admission is free, and the exhibition is on display during building opening hours. Find out more about the images drawn from the Stacey Collection here. The exhibition is supported by Creative Campus.
Our new exhibition here in the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery focuses on the different uses of music during World War One.
Curated by Dr Emma Hanna in the School of History, the exhibition examines music away from the solemnity of memorial services, and looks instead at its use as entertainment in an era before the widespread ownership of gramophones, as a means of boosting morale during the conflict, as a recruitment tool, and as a means of keeping the men at the Front in touch with feelings of home.
As Dr Hanna writes in her introduction accompanying the exhibition, music ‘was unmatched in its power to cajole, console, cheer and inspire during the conflict and its aftermath.’
On display until Friday 25 November during normal opening hours, the exhibition is free to attend, and is part of the Gateways to the First World War project. You can talk a short video walk-through of the exhibition on Periscope here.
Colyer-Fergusson Gallery is delighted to be hosting Preludes (where you go, I go), a new exhibition by Kent-based visual artist, actor and illustrator Adam de Ville next month.
Adam’s new exhibition, created especially for Colyer-Fergusson, takes inspiration from Gavin Bryars’ piece, Sinking of the Titanic, in which the composer imagines what the music the band was playing as the ship sank might have sounded like as the band played during the sinking, and what happened to the music as it continued to reverberate in the water.
“I hope to carry this poetic notion through, imagining how the paint might react under water both physically and poetically,” Adam observes, “with the preludes being eye-witness accounts before, during and after, with the ‘after’ forming a prelude to history, to the passing of living memory and our continuing / changing ‘imagining’ of the event, like the music and paint, transformed by the depths of the ocean, of time.”
From Bach to Debussy, the prelude as a musical form has appealed to composers, both for its concision as well as for its imaginative potential; the iconic collection by Bach exploring equal temperament, or the evocative dreamscapes of Debussy’s two books of piano preludes, the prelude offers both discipline as well as imaginative possibilities; Adam’s exhibition explores both concepts, inspired by Bryars’ music. The hauntingly beautiful strains of Bryars’ moving piece find echo in Adam’s evocative images, which hover on the cusp of dissolving, disappearing.
From May to August this year, Adam was the Armchair Artist-in-Residence at the Beaney Museum in Canterbury, for which he also created Something Between Us, an instillation exploring the life of the physical book, funded by Canterbury Arts Council; he has also had exhibitions at the Stark Gallery and the Beaney Front Room. His illustrations accompanied the book Richmond Bigbottom, a fairy-tale for children published in 2015.
Find out more about Adam here, and about his public theatre / art installation work here. Preludes (where you go, I go) will be on display at Colyer-Fergusson Gallery on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus from 24 September – 4 November; admission is free.
Our season of exhibitions in the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery continues with a series of photographs by Matt Wilson.
Anyone who has seen our publicity and event photos will already be familiar with Matt’s work, and we’re delighted to be able to give Matt the opportunity to exhibit some of his more focused portraiture. The new exhibition, part of the University’s anniversary celebrations over the course of this year, is a selection of portraits of members of its staff. In Matt’s own words:
Since 1965, the University of Kent has employed thousands of people. These are just thirteen.
Admission is free; gallery open during normal opening hours, and the exhibition is on display until the end of October.
As part of the Ringing Changes project commissioned by the Music Department for the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations – the premiere of which takes place on Friday12 June (read more here) – photographs by Phil Ward (Deputy Director of Research Services) are being exhibited in the new Colyer-Fergusson Gallery, to coincide with the performance. Several of Phil’s images will be projected above the stage during the concert, to which the text for the piece (by Patricia Debney from the School of Creative Writing) was written in response. I caught up with Phil, and asked about the inspiration for his photography, and the experience of collaborative working as part of the project.
How did your passion for photographing the landscape come about ?
When I was younger I used to take and develop my own black and white photographs. However, that fell by the wayside somewhat with moving houses, changing jobs, starting a family. Two things got me back in to it. The first was the technology. With modern smart phones the quality is so good that you essentially always have a decent camera with you. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it does mean that you don’t have to take a lot of equipment with you, so you’ll always be ready to capture that fleeting moment, the changing of the light, that sudden stillness. And the second was starting to cycling to work, and passing through such beautiful and ever changing landscapes. It was irresistible!
There must be something about the Kentish landscape in particular that attracts you; is there ? Are you a modern-day digital pilgrim ?!
As I say, it came about when I started cycling between Wye and Canterbury to work. As part of the route follows the pilgrim trail, I guess I am a ‘modern day digital pilgrim’! We are incredibly spoilt in this part of the world, both for the myriad back roads and tracks that make cycling a joy, but also the beauty and variety of the countryside, from the bucolic, quintessentially English charm of the rolling Downs, to the flat wildness of Romney Marsh, the bleakness of Dungeness, or the dozens of varied beaches. But I also like the less picturesque, the things that others might find ugly, from corrugated iron barns, to greasy spoon cafes, to the detritus next to the Stour river.
Your images are used in the choral commission being performed on the 12 June; what’s it been like to collaborate with Matthew and Patricia ?
It’s been an immense honour and privilege, but it does make me feel like a fraud! For me, I had already produced the work; for them, they are having to create new pieces. I imagine being inspired and creative to order is incredibly difficult. I hope the photographs have helped them in this. Both of them have been very open to suggestion, and it has felt like an ongoing conversation as it has developed.
What can visitors to your exhibition expect ?
Given the number of images that I’ve got on my blog, it was challenging to cut them down to the selection I’m going to show. I wanted them to be somehow representative, but ultimately went with the ones that I liked best. There will be everything there, from a broken blackbird’s egg found on the Chartham cycle path, to winter mists and summer haze, from the stark beauty of Dungeness to the lush farmland of the Stour Valley. I hope they reflect my journey, my ‘digital pilgrimage’!
The exhibition of Phil’s photographs is now open at the Colyer-Fergusson Gallery, admission free, gallery open during normal working hours. Ringing Changes will be performed by the University Chamber and Cecilian Choirs on Friday 12 June as part of Summer Music Week: details here.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.