Tessa Traeger Exhibition @ Purdy Hicks, London

While wandering around London’s South Bank yesterday playing with cameras waiting for my other half to finish a course I stumbled across the Purdey Hicks photography gallery just round the corner from Tate Modern who were staging an exhibition by Tessa Traeger

I just spotted the photos through the window of the gallery and wandered in with no idea of what was going on, or even who was showing.  So naturally I ended up viewing it backwards (and awkwardly as I was lugging a camera bag and tripod).

The exhibition is titled “Voices of the Vivarais” and focuses on the Vivarais mountain people of France who I’d never heard of. The photos certainly show a people who live hard on the land, tending vegetables and animals with care and pride. You can really feel the pride of the people showing their best produce, or the care that’s been taken of the animals. You got a feeling of a people happy with their lot, despite not being a lot by other standards.

There were a lot of pictures of people holding things. I’ve always liked photos of hands holding something, with all the lines and wrinkles they look wonderful in high quality black  and white. And looking at these large prints I also realised that it means the photograph always has a full back ground with the subjects chest/stomach.

As always the quality of images shot on large format was stunning. I really hope I can eventually get something even approaching this sort of quality. Though there’s a long way to go as I’ve barely got the basics of 35mm into my head yet.

Very glad I came across this. Hopefully signing up to the mailing list will mean I’ll find out about other exhibits in plenty of time.

Shame I didn’t make it to the Tate’s Exposed exhibition as well, but a combination of misreading opening times and an overrunning conference meant we missed last admissions. Think we’ll try and make it in when we’re down next month for Specimen and Skinny Puppy.

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