Rona Campbell photographed in the Oriel Wrecsam at her photography exhibition Ice Dance. Twenty five photographs are exhibited of ice, in Welsh rivers and waterfalls, on windows, and in blocks of ice. They show the extrodinary shapes, textures, and colour variety found in ice; for example, the ice on Llyn Bran, being driven by the wind looks like a stingray, and another blue ice formation, is likened to a Monet painting, and is titled Monet on Ice. The dendrite ice formations photographed one morning on Rona’s kitchen windows are quite beautiful. As the sun broke through and melted the ice, vivid colours from the garden appeared, looking as if paint had been daubed in reds and greens in the backround. Many of these photographs look like paintings.
At times it is hard to believe they are ice, but very little has been digitally altered. They are not abstract, and are still recognisable as ice, but not as ice is normal seen. This style of photography is called Concrete Photography, first coined by German photographers, circa 1930’s. This is also an exhibition of Rona’s poems, written about her adventures photographing ice, always in freezing conditions, and at the end of the day always wet from crawling under overhanging river banks, or sitting in the snow taking close up shots.
“I love the beauty and silence, and the solitude winter imposes in these isolated areas.”
‘Silent Night,’ is a poem written at the end of such a photo shoot, the Black Ice House, as it is first named, is an abandoned farmhouse, crouching in the frozen rushes; bleak, and haunted by silence, as the silent night itself approaches, and knocks on its door. The road home is filling up with snow; “one last shot,” she thinks. Is this the photographer’s obsession? Then she hears a phantom voice warning her that she is at risk, and must leave, or?
There will be a performance of Rona reading the Ice Dance poems in October at Oriel Wrecsam. Everybody is welcome to share with her the memories of this project. The exhibition closes on October 27th 2012, and then goes to Letchworth Arts Center, in Hertfordshire, opening 7th January, private view 11th January until 1st February 2013.