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Fay Godwin – Capturing British Landscapes: Photo Exhibition Sept – October 2023

Simon Skinner - 2 months ago

Experience the upcoming exhibition ‘Fay Godwin: Under a Turbulent Sky,’ which is set to take place at Kestle Barton in Cornwall from September 9th to October 28th, 2023. Read on for details.

This unique showcase offers a photographic journey through Fay Godwin’s distinctive British landscapes, meticulously captured between 1972 and 1994 for various books and exhibitions. This exhibition stands as a testament to Godwin’s trailblazing focus on environmental concerns, highlighting her visionary perspective.

Fay Godwin, Above Lumbutts, Lancashire.
Fay Godwin, Above Lumbutts, Lancashire, 1978 chosen by Zelda Cheatle. Copyright: The Fay Godwin Archive – The British Library.

Under a Turbulent Sky unveils a collection of prints by Fay Godwin, a revered and influential figure among 20th-century British photographers. Known for her independence, intellect, and courage in her craft, she earned admiration from fellow photographers like Zelda Cheatle, who described her as such. Roger Taylor, in his essay for the retrospective publication ‘Landmarks,’ praised her mastery of grayscale nuances.

Presented here is a curated selection from what photography historian Ian Jeffrey aptly termed a distinctive photographic survey of Britain’s landscape. Spanning the years 1972 to 1994, this exhibition particularly pays homage to Godwin’s groundbreaking emphasis on environmental awareness.

Fay Godwin, Meall Mor, Glencoe, Grampian Mountains
Fay Godwin, Meall Mor, Glencoe, Grampian Mountains, 1988 chosen by Mike Parker. Copyright: The Fay Godwin Archive – The British Library.

In a world where photographers continue to turn to landscapes to explore human-nature connections and their impact on the environment, Fay Godwin’s work remains an enduring influence.

In 2016, landscape photographer, educator, and fine printer Peter Cattrell breathed new life into Fay Godwin’s legacy. He crafted eighteen fresh prints from her original negatives archived at The British Library, a project showcased at MoMA Machynlleth in 2017. These prints, meticulously chosen by those touched by Godwin’s legacy, including curators, collectors, historians of photography, close friends, and family, continue to echo her profound impact.

Fay Godwin, Sleeping Fisherman
Fay Godwin, Sleeping Fisherman, Dungeness, Kent, 1974 chosen by Marian Delyth. Copyright: The Fay Godwin Archive – The British Library.

The Kestle Barton exhibition of Fay Godwin’s photography, Under a Turbulent Sky, offers a captivating experience. Alongside the eighteen analogue prints from the initial showcase, nine new digital prints also make their debut. These new prints, sourced from The British Library’s archive of original negatives, are accompanied by contributors’ captions, enhancing the viewer’s understanding.

About Fay Godwin

Fay Godwin [1931-2005], a globally acclaimed photographer, commenced her illustrious career as a portrait photographer in the 1970s. Collaborating with renowned writers, her most notable collaboration being “Remain’s of Elmer’ with Ted Hughes, solidified her reputation for infusing poetic interpretations into the British landscape. Set apart from her contemporaries, Godwin’s approach was objective and descriptive, capturing both natural landmarks and the human touch on the land.

Godwin’s explorations were not limited to the physical landscape; her engagement with those connected to the land, both its stewards and exploiters, shaped her photographic journey. Her dedication to environmental advocacy through her photography and writing adds depth and relevance to the showcased works, resonating even today.

Fay Godwin – Capturing British Landscapes Open 25 March – 28 October 2023: Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10:30am – 5pm. Tap HERE for more.

About the author

Read Fay Godwin – Capturing British Landscapes: Photo Exhibition Sept – October 2023

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.