A year ago, almost to the day I opened my "Impact & Harmony" exhibition at RHS Wisely in the Glasshouse Gallery, as part of their incredibly popular flower show. Sadly the Coronavirus Pandemic has prevented all RHS events and all my planned exhibitions from taking place this year. Restrictions are slowly being lifted, but many events are now being rescheduled to 2021
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to look back at last years hugely successful event, perfect venue, gorgeous weather and a fantastic team behind the scenes!
I think it is every photographer's dream to have their photographs displayed in a public exhibition, and doing one had been at the back of my mind for a while.
I know that my blog here and my website alongside my social media channels are an actual public space where anyone from anywhere in the world can come freely and view my photography work, but an actual photography exhibition in print is an entirely different thing altogether.
I finally had a chance to hold my flower photography exhibition in the glorious Glasshouse Gallery at RHS Wisley in Surrey, UK. I was proud to have been able to exhibit my work and without the support and help of RHS staff, I could not have done this.
My exhibition was held during the immensely popular RHS Summer Flower show, which has specialist plant growers from across the country showcasing their new flower and plant varieties and the popular and spectacular display by the National Dahlia Society.
The show was opened by BBC’s @racheldethame drawing the crowds and press.
The feeling I got when I put my work on display for the public to see for the first time was an exhilarating mixture of fear, excitement and nerves.
I decided to choose a theme which helped focus my work and tie the exhibition together with the flower show. Titled "Impact & Harmony" the exhibition concentrated on the intricacies and detail that can be found in nature and amongst a mostly flower and plant theme I also included two of my most popular images; a glassing butterfly and a Blue Tit caught in a snowstorm.
My exhibition was not of just one subject or even style as I believe every photo is unique and not every style works for each subject and each piece could stand on it’s own.
During the exhibition in Wisley I was overwhelmed by the support I got not just from family and friends but from people I had never met before. Many people of all ages came to see my work and there was so much positive energy in the gallery space. I was delighted by the amount of visitors that came to see the exhibition and the passion they had for photography and their love of flowers and plants. I still feel extremely humbled by the experience and want to try and keep the energy alive (although Covid19 has put a dramatic halt to subsequent exhibitions this year!)
One charming young Japanese visitor wrote a beautifully decorative entry into my visitors book, which I recently had translated by a member of staff at Japan House in London:
The literal translation: "The photo of the flowers and birds are so beautiful. I feel so happy when I just see them"
Going forward the experience I have gained from this exhibition has given me more belief in myself and to show my photography on a more regular basis.
What I hadn’t realised was what the exhibition would do to others. It brought people together in a way I did not anticipate. Family and friends came together to see my work initially but then they became united. That was the most incredible part I think for me how people came together. Strangers would talk to each other about the photos, friends would see each other. I loved it and that was not something I thought would happen.
When it was all done I felt incredibly sad. It was a long journey to go one but one that was so incredibly rewarding and it was such a privilege to be able to share it with others. From the beginning I was so happy to be able to hang my work in a gallery. Not one photo amongst others but an entire space, it made me feel incredibly small and very lucky to be able to accomplish one of my dreams.
What is next? I want to be able to exhibit my work again, and am patiently waiting for the pandemic that has enveloped the entire world to allow exhibitions, conferences and the arts world to breathe once more.