Review: Canbury Camera Club’s exhibition at Rose Theatre Kingston

Canbury Camera Club’s free photography exhibition at Kingston’s Rose Theatre is evocative, and gives viewers an eclectic look at the everyday world. 

The club was unable to hold its annual exhibition last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So it is befitting that this collection, including both amateur and professional photography, is themed around openness. 

Many of the photos are centred around connection and a snap presenting two young friends embraced in a hug is a refreshing reminder of the contact we have missed in the last 18 months.

The same can be said of Andy Sillett’s shot of two people soaking up the sunshine on a doorstep – the restrictions at the time preventing them from meeting indoors.

As with any exhibition of its kind, it also features photos highlighting the natural world. 

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Some of these, like Dave Hawkins’ spectacular images of songbirds, are of animals native to local habitats, while others present more exotic creatures.

However, every photograph feels deserving of its place on the theatre’s walls, with the shots of landscapes being just as eye-catching. 

These range from shots of Richmond Park’s verdure to a picture of a mesmerising Icelandic iceberg. 

The theme of loneliness is present in many of the images, including those of a solitary tree on a gloomy day and a forlorn bar of soap.

They are a poignant reflection of how we have all felt in recent times and their thematic relevance is clear. 

Yet the exhibition is let down by lacking a defined structure.

The photos, although powerful, are incoherently scattered around the first and second floors of the theatre and aren’t grouped by category or photographer. 

This is epitomised by George Hill’s untitled shots not being displayed on a single row. 

These would have had a greater impact if they were presented better.

Even though the unordered structure can be difficult to comprehend, free entry means the exhibition is well worth a visit. 

It is certain to give you food for thought and the quality of the photos does enough to counterbalance this irksome issue. 

Canbury Camera Club’s 2021 exhibition is open until 30 November.

Image credit: Brentford_FC by Paul Ratigan

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andy sillett
andy sillett
21 November 2021 7:04 pm

Thanks for the review. There is normally a cohesive theme to the exhibition, but this year we went for ‘open’

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