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Framework at Orleans House

Carol Hudson, Terry King and others

Off the photographic beaten track at Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, I saw the latest exhibition by Framework, an affiliation of people dedicated to learning, practising and exhibiting photography to the public at large. Something over 150 prints on show allowed participants to provide a taster of around 15 prints each.

Back to City News... Urban Blues...


phot by Derek Ridgers
Shot under the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1987. © Derek Ridgers, 1987

A memory of peppermint ice cream was evoked in me by Peter Marshall's colour photographs of London street scenes with their colour similar to Monet's Impressionism. This work has a surreal quality provoked by the surfaces snared in the camera frame. This camera world seems superficial in the sense of being transient: the surfaces reveal information but seem as ephemeral as the skin of a rubber balloon liable to be blown up, burst, and flung aside. Such an environment well reflects the existential reality of Urban Man, transient Man, who makes marks, but on a moving canvas.

Visually different but conceptually connected, Derek Ridgers portrayed the inhabitants of 'cardboard city'. This illustrative work employed the people as their own illustrations and drew attention to this 'hidden' phenomenon of city life with its living blues, and appropriately all proceeds from print sales go to Shelter.

Carol Hudson's stilled life has potential to stop the viewer in their tracks just as the sight of the real thing (a dead bird). This graphic reproduction reminds of the toll that city life takes on organic life, but there's more to her work than that. The application of the Pictorialist processes in which Terry King is engaged also showed themselves to effect here with Twickenham building facades as subject matter. His prints are a question of taste buds. They are made to delight and some do fascinate. To some extent they seem hit and miss but when they hit you know it.

Generally the contributions by the other participants would have been stronger through omission of weaker images. In this sense the quality was patchy though like tile curate's egg, good in parts. The funereal environments of Anton Williams still retained vestiges of the camera club competition, a thing that Framework attempts to avoid but they also had some serious validity. The appearance of work by John R. J. Taylor contributed well to the theme and confirmed my prediction of hearing more of hint in future (BJP Review, 4 Feb).

Overall this exhibition of alternative city news is a substantial visual meal of varied courses for which a good digestion is required!