Visited on Monday 6th October 2014
Martin’s photos were arranged up and around the staircase leading to the main gallery upstairs. All of the images were printed to the same size and exhibited in a simple black frame with a white mount . I found it an unpretentious but effective use of the space available for the exhibition of his photographs. The images are all (obviously ) black and white , printed and developed by the photographer himself , who uses film.
He lives in Gweek, Cornwall and began to document local artists in their environment 3 years ago . The portraits include very cluttered backgrounds , he comments “ I do not want the subject against a blank backcloth. My aim is to capture something of the artist through the inclusion of their work and sometimes their working environment” (Martin Howse , Introduction , 2014)
The disorderly backgrounds do not create a distraction from the subjects, each is an artist in their own right , and I think the images enhance their individuality and uniqueness , providing a glimpse into their inner , private world. I think black and white images such as these work really well , a riot of colour could distract , full of detail they are deceptively simple to look at but highly informative.
I bought the accompanying catalogue of Martin’s work which was very reasonably priced. The majority of the artists are given a double spread , on the left a close up portrait accompanied by text , opposite a page filling image. Just two artists are not shown this way , there is simply a plain page with text at the bottom on the left and a full page portrait opposite , I like the design of the book.
Howse Martin , (2014) Black & White , Falmouth Art Gallery , Falmouth UK.
Web links accessed 19/10/2014