As you will all be aware, following the government announcement on Friday 20 March 2020 we have had to temporarily close our venues until further notice. Consequently we are doing everything we can to continue to connect you, our physical and digital audiences, with culture in different formats!
Mandy Williams, A Strange and Familiar Sea is our first digital exhibition! The exhibition would have been on display for you to view in our Studio Gallery, however as the buildings are closed with are offering you the chance to view the amazing photography and videos here.
Mandy Williams is a photographer and artist who works on long-form landscape series concerned with the psychology of place and how the marks of time and human presence affect the environment.
A Strange and Familiar Sea is a photography exhibition by Mandy Williams that brings together work from three photographic series about the sea to the resort town of Worthing.
Filmed on a very stormy day in February here is our interview with Mandy about the exhibition.
In Beyond Land the photographs take place at the street, a causeway that reveals itself at low tide. Started a month after the referendum result with its emphasis on Britain as an island nation, geographically and psychologically separate from Europe, the photographs show a collective march to the water’s edge. The line of people following disappearing paths out to sea not only documents our innate connection to water but can also be seen as a metaphor for the times.
Sea Level and Frame were shot in Worthing where she lived as a teenager and focus on the beach shelters along the promenade. In Sea Level the photographs are taken at high tide, when the shelters are empty. Their windows are weathered and scratched by the wind. The view of the sea through this prism produces images that are quite abstract – the sea and the markings on the glass have equal importance in the finished photograph.
Frame captures people as they walk by the shelters, their bodies barely discernible as they pass the central arms of the cross frame or are swept along by the wind. The textures of the environment at that moment are imprinted on the figure. Frame is exhibited as 12 captures.
Finally, a new work, Trace, (created especially for the exhibition), provides an impression of the sea printed onto three translucent acrylic squares of different sea-coloured hues, allowing the viewer to experience the waves through the windows in a more tactile and sensory way.
A Strange and Familiar Sea is Mandy’s 4th solo exhibition in the UK. Recent group exhibitions include the 209 Women exhibition at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2019), Women Photographers Today, Gallery Valid Foto, Barcelona (2019) and Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2019). She received the Photography prize at the Royal West of England Academy in 2014, 3rd place in the International Photographer of the Year Award 2017 in Landscapes: Seascapes, and work from Sea Level was shortlisted for the 2018 Hariban Award, and an Awardee in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards 2018.