Malcolm MacGregor

Ethos Exhibition at Little Buckland Gallery

I am delighted to be taking part in the Ethos Exhibition at Little Buckland Gallery, near Broadway, 18 Oct – 3 Nov. I will be at the exhibition on Sunday 20th October. 

The show has been organised by Arabella Kiszely, artist and owner of the Gallery. This lovely gallery borders the Cotswold hills of North Gloucestershire, near Broadway, WR12 7JH. The website is http://littlebucklandgallery.co.uk

In addition to photography, the show will consist of artwork from a number of other disciplines such as paintings, sculptures and ceramics. To see who some of these exciting artists are, and their fields of work tap on the preview image below. 

The Namibian photographs are the result of a two-week journey earlier this year from the South-Namib Desert to Kaokoveld and the North-Namib Desert, via the Skeleton Coast. My experience of Namibia is one of a vast natural landscape, with a variety of desert, mountains and coastline. 

The theme of the exhibition is Ethos, meaning the characteristic spirit of a culture, community, or group of people. People recognise an abstract photograph when they see it, but explaining what it is, is rather more difficult. 

Help is at hand, thanks to David Ward, a UK landscape photographer of considerable repute, whose abstract photographs are well known for their graphic simplicity and technical quality. His book ‘Landscapes Within’ covers the subject in detail, in which he writes: “There is something about abstraction that is alluring. It forces the viewer to look afresh at the textures, colours and patterns of our world’. 

Abstraction has been an important aspect of photography for many years, fuelled by the great American photographers of the last century such as Minor White whom David quotes as follows “…When we cannot identify the subject, we forget that the image before us may be a document of some part of the world that we have never seen. Sometimes art and nature meet in such photographs. We call them “abstractions” frequently because they remind us of similar paintings.”

Namibia is one such place where art and nature meet. Shapes, lines, and form are everywhere in a mix of desert, mountains, dried river-beds, and coastline. The photographer is forced to look into this strange and enthralling landscape rather than at it. Whilst the grand vista can work extremely well, the timelessness of ‘texture, colours, and patterns’ and their conjunction, resonated strongly with me, which I hope is revealed in this exhibition. 

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