There’s a crush of people crowding around the complimentary wine and cheese while next to me a flash gun fires. Its early but already the small gallery space at the Front is crowded to get a glimpse of Beth Jenning’s first solo exhibition.
My attention is drawn to a stop sign that imposes itself on a brilliant blue sky. It’s a little crazy and very impulsive. Why take that picture? Next to it is a forlorn collection of wicker chairs on a Baltic beach bereft of their human cargo but still showing the unmistakeable signs of summers past. On another wall, isolated from the rest are a pair of well worn blue armchairs that haunt an empty room.
The work is deliberately ambiguous and although the brief explanations offer some relief they do little to inform the viewer. There are glimpses of other places yet they resonate easily in the Lyneham gallery, images that transcend the barriers of place and culture.
And it almost didn’t happen. Beth relates a story of how her plans to shoot stock photographs unravelled while travelling in Italy. Amid the visual splendor Beth stopped taking photos and took some time to ask herself what would she really like to capture. The journey that traces the impressions places and people make on each other began.
Beth’s technical proficiency is grounded in old school film techniques nurtured in the Lake Ginninderra College program and given room to grow during a crazy world tour across four continents to shoot twenty different families. Her images aren’t just a snapshot of some time and some place, they are moments in the eye of the artist.
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leaving traces – A photography exhibition by Beth Jennings
14 to 27 April 2010 @ the Front Gallery