Monday, 30 August 2010

Familiar Visions

I went to see an incredible exhibition at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne the other day. I had never been there or bothered to stop in Eastbourne before so it was an adventure on both counts. The exhibition called Familiar Visions is a combination of Eric Ravilious' watercolour images of the Sussex countryside in juxtopisition with his son James Ravilious' photographs of Rural Devon from the early 70s. Erics' obsession with the constant analasyis of human integration in the landscape is exemplified most within his watercolours in the exhibition. In contrast to this James' photography offers an intimate exploration of farmers' lives in rural Devon. Whilst Erics' watercolours are devoid of any humans their impact on the environment within the image is certainly apparent. James' photographs were mostly portraits of working farmers and whilst not of particular interest to me the comparisons between the two were obvious. It was incredible also to see the development of Eric's signature watercolour technique and to see how much he achieved in such a short time, dieing at only 39 whilst his son died at only 66. They both achieved such a lot in such a short amount of time and we should remember how much can be achieved, if the heart desires it enough.

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