Artistic departure at new exhibition
DISAPPEARING cowboys, Texan teenagers and burlesque performers all feature in a new art exhibition opening on Saturday in Luton.
The Departure Lounge in George Street is a new arts initiative aiming to bring new art to new contexts in temporary exhibitions.
The new show All That I Am features portrait photography from Julie Cook, Jane Hilton and Nancy Newberry – three of the most innovative emerging artists in photographic portraiture.
St Albans-born Julie Cook is now based in Hackney and photographed London burlesque performers in the environments in which they work, contrasting the sometimes shabby surroundings with the glamour of their costumes and appearances.
Her collection Beauties Of Today is described as “strikingly warm and engaged”.
Nancy Newberry, based in the US, presents staged portraits of Texan teenagers marking rites of passage with ‘MUMS’ (short for Chyrsanthemums), intricate sculptural rosettes worn for college graduations or the homecoming parade.
The MUMS are all chosen personally by each individual and can weigh as much as five kilos. Newberry associates the MUM phenomenon with optimism, energy, personal mythology and a sense of community.
Finally, London-based photographer Jane Hilton’s series Dead Eagle Trial documents the fast-disappearing cowboy culture of the American West. Jane was inspired by a commission in 2006 to photograph a 17-year-old cowboy and decided to go on her own four-year pilgirimage across the cowboy states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming to capture America’s 21st century cowboys. Hilton became fascinated by her subjects’ tendency to collect memorabilia from a lifestyle which is struggling to survive the advance of new technology and a global recession. The cowboys were photographed in their bedrooms or other domestic environments, making them both intimate and uncomfortable.
All the collections aim to redefine the relationship between art and photography.
The artists pose searching questions about how we understand and digest our own likeness.
The exhibition is the first in a series of projects bringing the best in international contemporary art to Luton and the wider region.
All That I Am opens to the public on Saturday and will run until September 15. Open from 2-6pm Thursdays and Fridays, 1-6pm Saturdays and by appointment. Admission is free.
The exhibition is curated and organised for Departure Lounge by Matthew Shaul and Trevor Horsewood.
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Weather for Luton
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 29 mph
Wind direction: North