Richard Billingham 'Panoramic' at Towner

© Andrew Newson

© Andrew Newson

I was lucky enough to get along to the Towner to see the exhibition by photographer, Richard Billingham.

Today was a 'walk and talk' lead by Fegus Heron who is a senior lecturer at University of Brighton. Fergus was excellent at talking about Billingham's work and communicating that to a mixed group of people.

I was aware of Billingham's 'Ray's A Laugh' project, photographs mainly of his parents at home with all of the daily trials and tribulations of his alcoholic father. That series is touching, sad and sometimes funny. This series of landscape photographs however was quite different, in subject matter at least. I wasn't familar with his landscape work and I have to say I really enjoyed seeing the images and hearing Fergus talk about them.

9 piece installation by Richard Billingham

9 piece installation by Richard Billingham

There were lots of things that I really enjoyed about the photos, I suppose there was an element of seeing some of what I try to do with my images in them so I guess it formed a personal connection for me. I loved the presentation and switching of formats from very small panromic images to large scale images. The change of pace was a nice contrast when viewing his images.

Some text about the exhibition from the Towner website:

Capturing the British countryside, from the South Downs to the Norfolk Fen and Constable’s Country in the East of England, Richard Bilingham’s photographs expose the rich textures in these landscapes. His panoramic views unearth the particular geology, vegetation, changing weather and light conditions of these places, some of which he revisited over a period of years.

The works in Panoramic have a visceral aesthetic, revealing Billingham’s emotional and creative relationship to nature and landscape and drawing on his background and sensibilities as a painter. They explore rhythm, pattern, repetition and dynamic composition as well as the tableaux in nature and often record a transformative moment in the landscape. References to the pictorial rhetoric of British landscape painting from the 19th century to the present are reflected and further reinforced by showing these works alongside a selection from Towner’s Collection chosen by Billingham and his panoramic film Sweep, 2004.

Richard Billingham is best known for his 1996 photobook Ray’s A Laugh, which documents the life of his father, mother and brother. In 2001, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for his solo show at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. He holds professorships at the University of Gloucestershire and Middlesex University.

The exhibition has been open since 25th April and will run until 28th June 2015 and is free to visit.

Visit the Towner website for more information.

© Andrew Newson

© Andrew Newson