Photographs for the Soul

This guest blog is written by Dave Skinner. You can see his photographs in our community gallery or on his website

What me? An exhibition? Surely not!

It is one thing for a judge at camera club to give a high score but quite another for people to part with their hard earned cash. Having accepted this idea, the next challenge was how? People need to see the work at close quarters as it is going to look on their wall. This led to the next idea. Why not try an exhibition?

Oldham Gallery was suggested by a prior photographic exhibitor there. Forms were filled out and samples of the photographs submitted. To my great delight a letter was received from Joy Thorpe advising that 8 weeks had been allocated for my exhibition. Woohoo! Helpful instructions and suggestions for publicity and an opening event were given. I even received a visit to my “studio” (aka dining room) by Joy. Again lots of helpful advice and encouragement.

Installation day was a breeze. We simply arranged the photographs in the room and drank tea while the team mounted them on the walls. They made it look so easy!

The opening event was pure joy. Friends from our local church, camera club came. People I’d invited but not seen for years came. Old university friends from Liverpool came. Mutual friends re-engaged with people they’d not seen for years. Precious time was spent with a fellow photographer whose cancer had kept him out of circulation for most of last year. People we’d never met before followed the hubbub of chatter to the Community Gallery and shared a glass of Prosecco with us. Never has 2½ hours gone so quickly. 2 photographs were sold but that was just icing on the cake of a great social event.

To keep interest up, individual pictures at the exhibition are being shown on various social media sites in the same order as the display. The objective is to guide people through a range of emotions or moods from dark or sombre to light and optimistic. Whichever mood you’re in you’ll find something to reflect that feeling.

It is great to have such a space at Gallery Oldham for our community. But the space is nothing without the right people putting in the energy and creating the friendly atmosphere. Anyone can exhibit there. Let the Andy Warhol in you be seen and enjoyed by others. And you don’t just get 15 minutes but a whole 8 weeks!