Paul Johnston is a Medway based photographer who has received huge acclaim for his contributions to Medway Eyes group exhibitions Look At Medway, Tidal Flow, Sight Unseen and Unframed in the past three years or so. This month, he steps forward to present his first ever solo exhibition at Riverside Country Park. Expect the River Medway to be a feature, but also look out for early mornings, singular takes on familiar subjects and a wry underlying humour in Paul’s work.
The exhibition is free and runs from Sunday 28th August to Saturday 10th September. You can preview the exhibition on the afternoon of Saturday 27th August from 1pm, when Paul and the team will be having lunch in the picnic/playground area.
Paul Johnston on Flickr
Riverside Country Park
We enjoyed last year’s Unframed exhibition at the Barge so much that we thought we’d do it again. Click on the poster to download it, spread the word and join us for a portable, accessible exhibition by local photographers wrapped up in a family friendly afternoon of live acoustic music from Didi Bergman and Survivors of Suki. Check out the Facebook event here.
And there it is. Everything you need to know about the next Medway Eyes exhibition. We’re going for a less formal approach this time, with contributions from fifteen local photographers and artists. As the press release says, there’s a lot going on in the towns that needs pointing up. That’s what Medway Eyes is about, and what this exhibition aims to achieve.
There will, of course be an opening between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Friday 6th May, so you can come and meet some of the contributors and find out more about them and Medway Eyes. In the grand tradition, there will be a gig afterwards to celebrate the opening. More details on this blog very soon.
We’ve had a few questions about this coming Friday, so it seems like a good idea to post a potted itinerary. Plus, we’ve got some news. Our regular readers will all by now be aware of the exhibition Two Sides of the Same Coin (see Eyes passim) that opens between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Friday 4th February at the Brook Theatre in Chatham. This preview, to which you are all invited, is just the first half of what promises to be a belter of an evening. From 8:30 pm we have a stunning line up of live music at the Nag’s Head in Rochester. Wheels and Lupen Crook will be sharing the bill, and we’re delighted to announce that they are being joined by very special guest Dave Read, formerly the front man with local legends The Claim, and one of the finest songwriters we can think of. So there.
The exhibition itself showcases the stunning work of artist Daisy Parris, supported by photographer Phil Dillon. It’s about local influences and talent and is as much about the fellow creatives the work points up as it is the artists themselves. Ultimately though, it’s about Medway, its culture and its catalysts.
Daisy and Phil will be on Fizzer’s radio show on Radio Sunlight tomorrow night from 8pm, as indeed will Wheels. There’s also an exclusive and refreshing interview with Daisy at the Medway Broadside.
Possibly its most important event this year, the Medway Eyes Photo Walk drew attention from far and wide. Due to coverage on the BBC, in The Independent, Amateur Photographer, the British Jounal of Photography, as well as local papers, Monaxle and Medway Eyes became momentarily famous for all the wrong reasons. Medway Eyes didn’t set itself up as a civil rights group, but found itself at the heart of a debate which has been snowballing since legislation was introduced allowing police officers to arrest anyone, for
any reason, under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Section 44 is one of the more controversial laws introduced during New Labour’s tenure; part of an avalanche of more than 3600 new criminal offences set to bury us all in bureaucracy and undermine our rights. Under Section 44, the police need not have any grounds for arrest at all. So, if you carry a camera, or a mobile phone, or a rucksack, or if you drive a van, or wear a beard, then watch your back, because that’s all it takes. Abandoning all common sense, it seems, the government has exercised extreme stupidity
in order to legislate against extreme stupidity. What’s it going to do next? Arrest itself?
Despite the events which inspired the photo walk, the day itself saw a hefty contingent of happy photographers descend on Medway from all over the place. A slideshow of what they saw can be seen on the Rights and Wrongs page on the Medway Eyes website.
You can follow the details of Monaxle’s case on his blog.
And here’s some video. The first is from The Independent. The second is from Babycravat.
Tidal Flow was the second collaborative exhibition from Medway Eyes. Initially invited to the Riverside Country Park for two weeks, the Tidal Flow exhibition proved so popular that it was extended. Twice. The opening was more family orientated than is usual for a photography exhibition, and we swapped our berets and cigarette holders for a picnic and some champagne in a plastic pint pot (courtesy of Mukkjoy).
The exhibition itself was inspired by the river. All photographs were taken along the Medway from Allington Lock, downstream as far as the mouth of the Medway at Garrison point, and east along the Swale, past Faversham Creek and as far as Seasalter.
You can see slideshows of the whole exhibition and the accompanying gig at the Barge on our website.
April 2009 saw Phil Dillon’s second solo exhibition, Exposure, at the Brook Theatre Gallery in Chatham.
Dillon, who has been described as “a cult”, exhibited a variety of works showcasing Medway and its musicians alongside some of his well-known London photographs and some of his more impressionistic work.
You can still view the exhibition on Flickr, and also the slideshow from the opening night gig which featured local bands The Lovedays, The Ambience and The Shagmonroes.
Friday 3rd October 2008 saw the opening of the first Medway Eyes collaborative exhibition at the Brook Theatre Gallery in Chatham. The work involved in organising an exhibition is immense. When so many people are involved, the shortlisting alone can take forever. Before anything even makes it onto the walls there’s decision-making, printing, measuring, glass-cutting, framing, promotion, more measuring, headaches and, in the case of this exhibition, carpentry. Luckily, Jack Picknell had that covered.
Look At Medway featured the work of 19 local photographers. We were overwhelmed by the volume of traffic through the door on the opening night, and it and remains the most visited exhibition ever hosted at the Brook Theatre.
Special thanks to Ben Jones, Burn Paper Tigers and Groovy Uncle for playing cracking sets on the opening night too.
You can see the exhibition HERE.