The Experience of Youth
Robin Haithcoat, Samuel Barry, Alex F Webb
Co-organised with Oliver Griffin
“Why do I still find photography a young medium? I see the youth of today exploring it without hindrance, with dependence and reliance on it as a part of their world. An instant expression of persona in seconds through the most mundane-wondrous technology of this contemporary world. I cannot believe what I see, as I only see a curated point of your reality, the one that you want me to view of your life.” - Oliver Griffin
This exhibition looks at three young artists using photography to explore and document their personal adventures, their lives with the medium.
Loafer is a set of photographs made by Alex F Webb describing his physical travels through typologies and narrative snapshots in new and unknown territory. Set in Riga, Latvia his work is made up of overlapping mini-series that relate to a collection of overheard words, phrases and conversations from around the city. Surfaces, textures, holes, signs, are the result of days of unguided walks in the city, so illustrating Webb’s reflections on his new environment - spatial, sonic and emotional.
The collective images of Robin Haithcoat are an experiment in using matter and light in the hope to see what we cannot. And so her photos create multiple new questions and relationships to form, and so it seems the harder you look for answers in the images, the more mysterious the world becomes, yielding only further examination and a growing sense of how little we actually know. Contextualising otherwise ordinary or commonplace image in the surrealist imagination in the way Robin Haithcoat’s work does seems to offer a therapeutic learning exercise of opening heart and mind to be touched by the world.
The six images by Samuel Barry in the exhibition are part of a large body of work made between 2006-2018, during a time when he lived on the road in the United Kingdom, staying in communes, churches and campsites. Moving from town to town he would work jobs which allowed an itinerant lifestyle and used photography as method of documentation. These images aim to open a conversation on rootlessness, a deep interest in the cycle of time and a narrative of embodied wandering.
“But I know all photographs fade and jpegs degrade with time. As everything grows old as the fact is nothing lasts forever. Even the digital age of youth soon grows old, if only to learn from its experiences. Or perhaps just the regrets. If memory serves me correctly, let me quote Cat Stevens: “you’re still young, and that’s your fault.” - Oliver Griffin