LEIGH ON SEA .- Francesca Maffeo Gallery
is ppresenting Somnium by Swiss Photographer Gian Paul Lozza, presenting unseen new imagery, an exciting addition to works previously shown at Bildhalle Gallery, Zurich in 2014.
Lozzas series is an attempt at a typology. So there are no living creatures to be seen in the photographs, nor is there the slightest sign of any active movement. The pictures are mute, silent and frozen in the subdued nocturnal low-light. And yet they reveal some traces of civilisation: a faintly lit window in a backyard (Backyard), two barrels on a platform (Barrels), a visitors ramp on the glacier tongue (Glacier), a stratified pile of dead wood at the edge of a forest (Wood Pile).
Lozza calls his landscape photographs Metascapes, providing a further allusion to a cultural-historical reference system that includes the landscape painting of the 19th century. Lozza photographs exclusively at night in order to focus in on the structural visual objects. The colours therefore generate a pallid impression that leads to a painterly haziness. Associations are generated here to the imposing, almost abstract evening pictures of the Romantic William Turner, whose engagement with landscape has permanently changed how we represent the experience of nature. Gian Paul Lozzas enigmatic visual worlds also involve changes in perception: his unpopulated landscapes certainly flirt with the concept of beauty but they insistently demand an engagement both with immediately existing realities and with photographic and cultural realities.
Somnium is a subject that has resonances of Derays chamber drama at the poolside, this glamorous and yet profound film concentrated into a single moment that has become an enduring image.
Some images are unforgettable. Such as the scene with Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin standing in mourning dress at the edge of a pool, looking down, silently united in the ritual of mourning, but preoccupied with their own harrowing thoughts. This is the closing scene of La Piscine (The Swimming Pool), Jacques Derays filma stylish psychological drama, a Freudian hall of mirrors that is set in high-society circles on the Côte dAzur in the late 1960s. Christopher Doswald
Francesca Maffeo Gallry is also presenting Lucent in their print room gallery, by British Photographer Georgina Martin.
Lucent explores the balance between the expression of female sexuality and female empowerment, through photography of the feminine and a response to the gaze. Using medium format film and only natural light, Martin exploits the use of abstract light forms and the positioning of everyday objects to interrupt the focus on the body. Curated carefully in triptychs, Lucent separates the narrative spaces in which each figure resides, interrupted by time, dancing with light and exploring the simplicity of form.
With references to the late Pre-Raphaelite movement, particularly its simplicity of line and large areas of colour, coupled with allusions to 18th Century Victorian photography, such as that of Julia Margaret Cameron and Lady Clementina Harwarden. Martins work also subtely references the window in photography, a compelling motif and an example of the power of women photographing women.