Seaside groynes look like people or intertwine, new with old. The sinuous branches of glenside trees shine and mingle with the many mountainside torrents. A piece of plastic flaps, trapped in barbed wire, echoing the shape of a white horse which gazes out (one imagines forlornly) on a new motorway construction. Misty flowers and leaves make abstract shapes under discarded sheets of glass. Fay Godwin is perhaps most remembered for her monochrome images of the land and her work with many committed writers, poets, conservationists who loved her immersive, telling photographs. She was a soulmate in their campaigns and interpreter/reflector of their words.
All Fay’s books are presently out of print but the man who owns the bookshop in Machynlleth has a few. He curated the exhibition at the MOMA Wales Gallery just up the street where you can have the inestimable pleasure of viewing a few new prints from Fay’s negatives and rather more out of the National Library Archive, though the latter are in a darkened room (for conservation reasons). The bookshop has the best photography section I have ever seen, together (while the show is on) with a few prints by people like Paul Hill and John Blakemore who worked with Fay Godwin from time to time.
Altogether a wonderful experience. You have only until 1 April to enjoy it.
The RPS Members Biennial Exhibition in Stafford is a treat too. Naturally, as a collection of work from many individuals you don’t have the background to the works ,but every one repays some careful attention. These are not “six-second wonders” but thoughtful, well-crafted works which reward that attention.
You have even less time to get over to Shire Hall in Stafford City centre – the exhibition closes on 26 March.