Gordon Stokes - Photography
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"Seascapes from Western Coasts and Islands"
Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford
22th September - 3rd November 2018
These photographs show the variety of moods and colours of the sea in the
Western most parts of the British Isles.
Most are of the Isles of Scilly taken in June 2018,
but the Outer Hebrides, the west coast of Scotland, Connemara in Ireland and Cornwall also feature.
They are all places jutting out into the Atlantic on the western most edge of Europe.
All are places where the light brings out the best of colours in the sea,
and the images concentrate on the tranquil, calming and colourful.
They all share a special quality of light, such as that St Ives is known for,
or a 'silvery' Scottish light
The exhibition is in the South Street Gallery in the Churchill Hospital, Oxford.
It runs from Saturday 22nd September to Saturday 3rd November. The hospital is basically open all the time.
The gallery is a corridor to the South of the main route between the old and new entrances.
Reception staff should be able to direct you.
Exhibition catalogue - each photo at a larger scale
#30 White sea, Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly
#6 Gentle ripples, Popplestones, Bryher, Isles of Scilly
I've loved the Isles of Scilly since I first went there in the 1980s, especially the smaller islands.
This exhibition comes soon after spending some time there in June 2018, when I was
able to explore the 'off islands' of
Bryher, Tresco, St Martins and Samson.
In fine weather the islands are incredibly photogenic - as also in other weathers.
But as Richard Pearce, an artist who lives and works on Bryher wrote:
"We are surrounded by vast reaches of
... endless blue.
I do paint the
days. People don't like them so much."
Sunny days do make for better feelings, and I've concentrated on them here
#25 Colours in the sea, effect of sand and seaweed,
Between Tresco and Bryher, Isles of Scilly
#9 From Pentle Bay, Tresco, to the Eastern Isles, Isles of Scilly
We stayed on Bryher in June 2018, largely down to an act of great generosity,
and never really felt the need to travel even to the other nearby islands.
As Gracie Jenkins, the narrator in Michael Morpurgo's "Why the whales came" said of Bryher
"... After all, the island was over a mile long and half a mile across at its widest.
We could roam free over more than half of it and that had always been enough."
That may sound odd (or even wrongly written) to many people. Admittedly Gracie
was ten years old at the time,
but there is a lot packed into a very small area.
We did visit other islands - St Martin's, Tresco, and Samson,
so these photos are of a variety of places.
They concentrate on the water and the sky,
but they wouldn't be the same without the white beaches,
and the soft grassy,
and rugged saw tooth islands and rocks.
#29 Wild seas, Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly
#4 Between Bryher and Tresco, Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly aren't the only areas in the British Isles with a quality of light
that makes them special.
All along the West coast, where the land juts out into the Atlantic, the dampness of the air,
combined with the extra light of the sea, and white shell beaches make for soft diffuse light
that brings tranquility to me, even in rough weather.
The exhibition also has photos from the far west of Cornwall, Connemara in Ireland,
the West coast of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.
#22 Quiet sea, Marazion, Cornwall
#18 Evening light, Godrevy, Cornwall
#23 Rhum from Morar area, Scotland
#27 Green waves breaking Sennen, Cornwall
Isles of Scilly pages