James Ravilious: Reflecting the Rural
Eileen Squire setting up stooks, Chapple Farm, Dolton, August 1982. Photograph by James Ravilious Â© Beaford Arts
Seeing James Ravilious s captivating photographs of North Devon is an unmissable experience. The Beaford Archive originally commissioned them as a photographic record of life in a largely unspoilt, but vulnerable, country area. The result is the most intensive record of any rural area in England. But it is more than that. James pictures are composed with the eye of an artist. Above all, they are warmed by his affection and admiration for the people whose lives he recorded. His pictures reveal real life as it was being lived in late 20th century rural England when the country traditions that have been handed down for hundreds, if not thousands, of years were still part of everyday existence.
This exhibition features a new selection of photographs from the Devon photographer James Ravilious (1939 – 1999): photographs taken by Ravilious during the 1970s and 1980s. Selected from the 70,000 Ravilious images in the Beaford Archive, familiar photographs will share space with others rarely seen before. Present day responses to Ravilious’ images are put in new social and cultural context by photographer Liz Nicol and agriculturalist Martyn Warren (University of Plymouth).
They explore contemporary issues around the aesthetic and documentary nature of Ravilious’s work in a new fast moving digital age, and reflect back 21st-century responses to the images to today’s more environmentally aware visitors.
Beaford’s online archive makes a wonderful complement to the exhibition, visit www.beafordarchive.org.uk. Supported by Focal Point Imaging and Plymouth University, Peninsula Arts, and the Seale-Hayne Educational Trust.
RAMM 2012: A year of photography
Wednesday 30 May, 1 to 2pm, ticketed but free - Free talk: Reflecting the Rural: Looking at North Devon through the Beaford Archive
Tuesday 12 June, 7pm, £4.50 (£3) - Gallery debate: Perceptions of the Rural in the Photographs of James Ravilious
Saturday 14 July, morning and afternoon - Free guided walks: Dolton as seen by James Ravilious
19 May to 29 July 2012
- View venue website