...black and white photography in the 21st century

I went to this cool little exhibition at Laycock Abbey and Fox-Talbot Museum the other day (22 May 2013). In the museum's upper gallery there was a collection of beautiful monochrome images from six British artists, Anthony Jones, Deborah Parkin, Trevor Ashby, Nettie Edwards, Mark Voce and Katie Cooke.

The exhibition looks at the relevance of black and white images in the modern era and explores why many artists still continue to work in the medium of black and white. In the 21st century we are surrounded by images everyday, most of them colour: by stripping away colour and focusing on texture, form and shape, black and white photography achieves a timeless and captivating quality.


Each of the six artists use monochrome differently in their work, for example, from the pinhole camera and 4x5 Polaroid to Hasselblad 500 c/m and the iPhone. Surprisingly, for me at least, was that four out of the six artists used traditional (chemical) processes - rather fitting considering we were in the home of William Henry Fox-Talbot; one of the founding fathers of photography. The two digital shooters used very different tools e.g. Canon 5d MII (predictable) and the iPhone 4s (cool!)

The images produced were very different too with dreamy portraits made on 4x5 Polaroid to classy looking travel details and stunning minimalist landscapes similar to Michael Kenna.

In summary, a small but worthy selection of monochrome images from a selection of British artists working in the medium of black and white. Well worth a visit if you are in the area

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock/things-to-see-and-do/fox-talbot-museum/