Yesterday, I went into South Downs Garden Centre at Hassocks. Now, beyond a couple of cacti and some stunted chives, I don't do gardening.
But I wasn't there for the garden stuff.
Instead, I headed into the Heritage Centre (where I've previously eaten some tasty cake) and for the first time checked out their Mezzanine Gallery.
The current exhibition is Up the Downs, an exhibition that features images of the South Downs National Park, created by several different photographers.
I found out about this exhibition through instagram, as I follow one of the photographers whose work was included.
I went there with little information about the exhibition, and expecting a random selection of scenic, postcardy shots...boy was I surprised. (Not to mention delighted!)
There is so much variation in this exhibition, not only in terms of subject matter, but in terms of the processes used by each exhibitor to create the images.
Some of the processes seemed extremely experimental, such as Charli Scally's work (above), which is inspired by Folklore, and involves treating negatives in a way influenced by a folk story. For example, one of the shots came from a negative soaked in milk, inspired by a folk tale about being offered milk by the devil!
Other exhibitors include Amy Dury's combination of photography and textiles (above), which had a really striking mixed-media result, Lee Copelston's abstract, digitally-manipulated double exposures, which were colourful and mysterious, pinhole camera photography by David Cundy, and John Williams' cyanotypes printed onto sateen. The latter had a real 3D effect to them, despite being a flat image.
It was Alex Bamford's work (above) that I really wanted to see, because his Sleepwalking series is both entertaining and intriguing. These moonlit photographs use a long exposure to depict a sleepwalker, which ends up in some pretty eerie results!
The exhibition also includes Ann Petrukevich's floral lumen photography, made by laying leaves on photographic paper and exposing it to the sun, Sam Lovett's monochrome photographs of abandoned places, and more.
I really enjoyed looking around this exhibition, and felt inspired by the variation I saw!
The gallery is small, but it's light and airy, and though it's a new building, it has a real combination of traditional and modern, which makes it a great space for visual arts.
In future I'll keep an eye on what's happening here, as it's great to know there's such a nice little gallery tucked away there (and with good cake so close by!)
If you're local to Hassocks (or Brighton, which is only a 10 minute train ride away) I'd totally recommend heading to this exhibition whilst it's on. You have until 14th July, so get your skates on!