Ice Dance Exhibition Oriel Wrecsam 13/9/12

Section of black & white and colour photographs
Ice Dance Photography Exhibition, Rona Campbell, Oriel Wrecsam 13/9/12

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.

Rona Campbell’s place in Concrete Photography

“the quality of their beauty, goodness and truth lie proven in the photographs themselves and should be directly recognizable in their works, their ontology, appearance and history,” says Gottfried Jager: Concrete Photography (Version 01.08.2004)

“In the early 1970’s Germany began to foster a true appreciation of the pictorial achievements and variety of (concrete) photography by turning it into an academic discipline….when photographs were still regarded as intruders…illegitimate, (Bourdieu 1981), in particular their abstract and concrete tendencies.”

In establishing Ice Dance Photographs as concrete photography I am interested in (Gottfried Jager’s) comments found on concrete-photography.org generated: 18May, 2012. At first I called Ice Dance photographs abstract but since talking with John McClenaghen, at Glydwr University at our meeting on 18 May, 2012  Wrexham, and with Stuart Cunning, head of Creative Industries, I am now of the opinion that they are concrete photographs.

I would be most interested in reading other views on Concrete Photography and in particular Ice Dance’s  place in Concrete Photography today.

Australian Welsh Male Voice Choir in Llangollen.

March 23 2012

I sang and read my poems from The Hedge and acted excerpts from Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, with Peter Read, and Keith Pemberton in Llangollen for The Welsh Australian Male Voice Choir from Melbourne.  We had a great time, wonderful audience then joined them in the Manchester Arena where they performed in A Thousand Male Voices. What a night! I don’t know how the roof is still on the MCR Arena. I bet the old Albert Hall himself was sad not to have had his belly full of that wonderful sound this year!