dimbolalodgeDimbola Museum and Galleries in Freshwater is to open two new exhibitions on Friday, to run until mid-July.

The first will display a series of poignant and evocative photographs by contemporary photographer John Brewer, who works in the historic photographic technique of Julia Margaret Cameron.

John’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’ explores the connection between his grandfathers, two men who fought in both world wars. The genesis of the project was Brewer’s desire to know more about these two men, particularly his maternal grandfather who he barely remembers. In order to achieve this, he has drawn inspiration from what remains of them: objects that either belonged to them, such as mementos kept by their descendants, or found objects similar to those they used in their life and work, including watches, wood planes and carpet making tools.

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Each still life photograph in the exhibition has been created with an original glass plate taken using the wetplate process and a camera which would have been in use when Brewer’s grandfathers were boys. The still lifes, evolved from the personal narratives of his forebears, evoking the universality of loss during war conflict, whilst simultaneously presenting the subjects with a sense of his reminiscence of family history.

Meanwhile two great women artists, showcasing their compelling photographic portraits, will also be exhibited. 

In 1864, some 25 years after Henry Fox Talbot had created the very first stable modern photograph at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, Julia Margaret Cameron, aged 48, began to create portraits using a large view camera, wet coated glass plates and chemistry at her home on the Isle of Wight. In the 1920’s a young Lotte Graf started her 50 year career creating portraits using a view camera, readycoated glass plates and chemistry in a studio in Vienna, later moving to 23 Old Bond Street in London.

In spite of their differences, they had much in common. They both photographed sitters who were celebrities of the period, and included distinguished writers, scientists, actors and musicians of the day. Both these great portrait photographers were, all importantly, unconventional and uncompromising. They both left us a legacy of images to celebrate. Over 40 portraits from Lotte’s substantial archive are on display in the exhibition gallery of Dimbola Lodge – which was Julia’s home and workplace.

Both ‘Lotte Meets Julia: Two portrait photographers, a century apart’ and ‘John Brewer: In Search of Lost Time’ open on Friday 15th April and run until 10th July 2016.

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Galleries, Museum and Tearooms Open 7 Days a week from 10:00-17:00, April to September. Adults £5; Concessions (Seniors, Students) £4.50; Families (2 Adults, 2 Children) £12; Under 18s £2; Under 5s Free.

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