Having an exhibition of responses to the theme of ‘A Sense of Place’ sited in a location that no longer has a purpose is an act of genius. That the images on display are a diverse and smart collection on that theme makes this a show worth wandering up the meandering, graffiti’d staircase of the formerly abandoned former Hastings & St Leonards Observer building.
There are about a dozen photographers exhibited with a quite broad range of styles shown. All address the theme in subtly different ways. The standard is high and it’s worth taking time to read the A4 folder of explanation you’re given as you walk in as well. The images are strong enough that you don’t need them to understand what you’re looking at but it’s a good touchstone to see if your thoughts and those of the artist gel.
With so much variety it will be a matter of personal preference which you pick out as your favourites but I especially liked: Brian Rybolt’s images of abandoned and decaying Antarctic stations, all washed out red rust against the unromantic landscape; Sin Bozkurt’s black and white ‘in the dressing room’ imagery; Nigel Green’s large format and dispassionate approach to the changing urban landscape of Katowice; Chris Mammone’s Tom Wood-esque shot of a woman smoking whilst leaning against a kids car ride outside a Hastings amusement centre. There are others but those are the ones I wrote down.
Group shows often struggle to feel unified. This one does it with ease and it’s a good one to take in and ponder. It’s on until November 14th so come along and enjoy.