My show Elemental: Earth, Fire, Wind and Water opens in just over a week’s time at St Stephen’s Church, Bristol. From the press release:
Elemental is an exhibition of photography and photo-based installations exploring the imagery of the elements, as seen through Christian spirituality and biblical symbolism. Both cafe walls (Dennis Anthony) and church space (myself) will be transformed to bring contemplative and conceptual encounter to life.
The elements earth, fire, wind and water were once considered the building blocks of all matter by ancient philosophers and scientists. Today, it is their symbolic capacity which captures the imagination, not least through the multiple lenses of faith, which offer a deep and colourful reflection on the human experience. In this exhibition, two photographers draw on their own Christian backgrounds and their love of nature to consider how we might look at the elements in a more mystical way.
Sheona Beaumont’s work includes a film, two lenticular prints, a multiple-photo collage and four large abstract canvasses (seen above). Her photographs are digitally-manipulated to produce a range of stunning effects, from the impression of space in a 3-dimensional print to the illusion of movement in an animated print of the Severn Estuary’s tide. Each piece has a sensory impact, and the accompanying text challenges the viewer to link their experience to specifically biblical concepts.
Dennis Anthony’s photographs are windows on moments of stillness in the busy café. Here you’ll find both large-scale celebrations of the brilliance of the world around us, and closer-to-home views to re-enchant our looking at a basic level. With nature as his inspiration, Dennis draws out the effect of the elements on his own personal journey of faith, and offers the results for contemplation.
This exhibition features as part of the Bristol Festival of Photography: a biennial event in May where a host of art institutions and photographers join in on exhibitions, talks and other events celebrating Bristol’s photography scene. Sheona will also be exhibiting at Colston Hall’s Glass Room and St George’s Crypt Gallery – see the festival website for details, www.bfop.org.
Header image: The Four Elements, 2012 (installation at St Stephen’s Church, Bristol), by Sheona Beaumont.