Join us for this special weekend Masterclass with renowned narrative landscape photographer, John Davies.
Davies work captures the British landscape in a permanent state of flux, displaying rare moments of calm and quiet amidst the inevitable change of these modern landscapes. Perhaps best-known for his black and white photographs made between 1979 and 2005 and comprising the project The British Landscape, his work shows the vast, complex, and majestic scenery of post-industrial and industrial Britain. Shaped by human endeavour, Davies’ cooly detached viewpoint serves to highlight the seams and layers of information left behind by time.
This practical 2-day workshop* will primarily focus on Davies’ use of black and white, which through his unique vision gives his photographs an almost magical and mystical appeal. Demonstrating methods of how to produce high quality B&W prints and also to engage in discussions about communicating ideas through photography, Davies will talk about his journey in producing many exhibition projects of his landscape work throughout the UK and Europe.
Including a short field-trip nearby the gallery, John will show examples of his exhibition prints and explain his interest and approach in photographing various landscapes. John will also discuss his research practices and how his photographs are derived from his interest in the social and political landscape around him, drawing inspiration from issues relating to his surroundings and conditioning.
*Due to space limitations in the darkrooms, the full course is only open to a maximum of 6 participants. However, there are a number of additional 1-day places (for Saturday 21st only) that can be booked when these physical restrictions are not relevant.
John will start the workshop with a comprehensive overview of his major bodies of work and his journey in producing many exhibition projects of his landscape work – examining the research methodologies and planning decisions that go into each project. He will show examples of exhibition prints and books and explain his interest and approach in photographing various landscapes. He will also show some digital prints including infrared pictures made with a digital camera.
A short field-trip nearby the gallery will give participants the chance to learn about Davies’ choice of equipment and experience first-hand his personal approach to camera exposure techniques and film selection. The group will then return to the gallery to process the exposed film and learn how development of negatives can achieve best results for printing or scanning. Detailed workshop notes on film exposure and film processing can be found at: www.johndavies.uk.com/atec.htm.
Practical demonstration of B&W darkroom printing, providing insight into John’s decision-making processes, paper and chemistry choices and darkroom techniques. John will advise on how to achieve high quality photographic prints to archival standards.
This final session will explore aspects of landscape photography (but not exclusively) and will involve interactive discussions about perceptions of meaning and communicating ideas through images. This session is an oppertunity for participants to bring along a selection of prints to be discussed as a group, and receive constructive feedback from John. There will also be time for additional questions
John Davies Biography
Born in Sedgefield, County Durham, in 1949, John Davies studied photography at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham. In the 1970s his first photographs were landscape studies of rural Britain and in 1981 he began an ongoing documentation of urban Britain, concentrating on the industrial transformation and on post-industrial landscape.
He has published several photobooks, including The British Landscape in 2006. This series was launched at PhotoEspaña in Madrid and other exhibition venues include Gallery Vu, Paris, and The New Art Gallery, Walsall. His photographs have been widely exhibited, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the Royal Academy of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2008, Davies was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for his major retrospective exhibition of photographs taken from The British Landscape.
Davies continues to photograph, publish, and exhibit internationally, most recently publishing Retraced 81/19,featuring before-and-after photographs made at the same locations in England, Wales, France and Germany between 1981 and 2019.
Current exhibitions include Energy: Sparks from the Collection at the V&A, London, and Landscape Trauma at the Centre for British Photography, London, featuring his newest body of work of Contrail Cirrus clouds from jet engines above the north sky.
Images used courtesy of John Davies:
Image 1 : © John Davies – Trotternish, Isle of Skye 1981
Image 2 : © John Davies – Viaduct, Stockport 1986
Image 3: © John Davies – Great Gable, Cumbria 1980
Image 4: © John Davies – Agecroft Power Station, Salford 1983
Image 5: © John Davies – Allotments, Easington Colliery, County Durham 1983
Courses are subject to minimum enrolment. Please register early, within five days of the start date, to reduce the likelihood of course cancellation.
Students, anyone over the age of 65, and those in receipt of any form of benefits can claim the concessionary price, offering a 10% discount on the full course price. Valid proof of eligibility must be produced on the first day of the course. Please use the code CONCESSION when prompted at checkout.