Featuring works by Brittain Bright, Lottie Davies and Johanna Ward,Capturing the Narrative delves deep into the collective unconscious to tell fables and truths from multiple vantage points including personal histories, folklore, myth and literature.
Each artist’s depictions connect philosophically through the spoken and written word. In her Opening Lines series Brittain Bright re-invents the origins of classic literature depicting scenes and contemporising the text for a modern audience. Lottie Davie’s collected Love Stories project is an ongoing work whereby collected accounts of the circumstances in which couples met are interpreted and embellished with theatrical staging – encompassing the atmosphere and ambience of the original often different accounts of the same encounter. Johanna Ward’s semi-biographical series I shall say goodbye with my strengthening love for you, forever and ever takes its title from a love letter written to her mother by her now divorced father.
To coincide with the exhibition L A Noble Gallery will be running a programme of events each Wednesday evening during the show harnessing photographic narrative and literary themes. There will be spoken word performances inspired by the artist’s works by the authorsCorrine Barber, Charlotte Heather, Elly Parsons, Charlotte Barrow, Nick Burbidge and Winnie M Li. After Lottie Davies’ talk she will direct a performance by Samuel J Weir.
Love Stories (2012-2014)
Each of us is the result of our parents’ meeting, at some point in the past. Lottie asks questions like, ‘How did your parents meet?’
‘How do you remember meeting your partner? And how does your partner remember meeting you?’
Love Stories is an ongoing photographic and narrative arts project, which will result in an exhibition of large-format photographs, the publication of a small book of collected stories and a permanent online archive.
Chance, determinism, arranged marriages, bumping into someone at a bus stop – in hindsight all of these meeting moments are pivotal in our personal histories. It is these beginnings, and the memories of these meetings, which Love Stories explores and celebrates.
Photographed in Scotland and southern England, across all seasons, I shall say goodbye with my strengthening love for you, forever and everdraws on myth, fairy tales, private emotions and environmental destruction. Johanna Ward depicts a story, which unfolds to reflect on love, land, morality and control. Her images reside in a place where time is not linear and the past, present and future find themselves sharing uncommon ground; the beginning is not the beginning and the end is not the end, and like the filing away of our memories, order is in disarray. This exploration generates an allegorical narrative that is both enchanting and haunting, from the snow covered hills seemingly frozen in time to a forest fire raging sending black plumes of smoke into the veiled sky above the treetops.
Woven within the series Ward reflects upon her own childhood experiences of family through vernacular photographs revealing intimate moments of domestic life coupled with objects such as a flower card full of promises and love letters sent in the late seventies.
Also housed within a handmade artists photobook, I shall say goodbye with my strengthening love for you takes two intertwined but unraveling strands to explore the possibilities of narrative using a combination of landscape, still life and vernacular photography to tell a cautionary tale about certain symptoms that ail our time.
The book comprises of 5 individual volumes inside a hand-bound box. Each book unfolds as a concertina with Hahnemuhle photo rag archival paper in a limited edition of 7.
Brittain Bright’s photographs are deeply rooted in the act of reading and the memory of literature. She sees the photograph as a way to enter, and participate in, a work of fiction.
By transforming the viewer into a reader, they can enter the narrative space of the image. Mystery novels and notions of suspense play a crucial role presenting a range of possibilities before its solution. Her photographs are a moment from which stories can diverge, allowing many possible interpretations.
Because a photograph is, by its static nature, a fragment of a story, she shows the element of mystery inherent in the medium. The moment captured by a camera is literally suspended. Bright’s photographs are like the break at the end of a chapter, which forces a reader to pause at the moment of greatest suspense. She frequently uses long exposures, which require a literal pause — this stillness echoes the narrative structure as well as the physical action of the character who is waiting, experiencing suspense.
By making the sensation of suspense a tangible moment, each photograph is an invitation, created to evoke the possibilities and mystery inherent in the incomplete story.