My visual poem to a hidden coast
DAVE Green has been exploring, studying, and immersing himself in the North Devon coast and its history for the past seven years. For this photographer our coast isn't a stroll along a sandy beach on a summer's day, it is rather a hidden coast, found only through a vertiginous climb down a steep cliff path or by leaving the beach and trekking over seaweed-strewn boulders at low tide.
This is a wild coast, unpopulated by holidaymakers; the domain of seagulls that can make you feel quite unwelcome. It is also an historic coast when millions of years can be seen in the layers of strata of an eroded cliff face and the more recent past can be found in smooth rusting ship parts, in memorial of hundreds of wrecks, littering the rocky shore.
His latest exhibition, Sea Caves, Shipwrecks And The Rocky Shore, is, for him, a visual love poem written to the sublimely beautiful, hidden parts of the coast.
The "graveyard of the Atlantic", "sailors' grave", "cruel coast" or "iron coast", was so named for the tragic loss of life and ships, from the medieval times to the present, due to its massive tide, dangerous currents, changeable winds, sandbars, high vertical cliffs and rocky reefs.
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Some of the images in this exhibition were first shown at the North Carolina Aquarium in the USA a year ago, under the title, Great Britain's Graveyard Of the Atlantic. Since then many more have been added as Dave works towards another American show in September, where his work will tour the three maritime museums in North Carolina for a year.
Dave's images can be made up of more than 100 separate photographs, of different exposure, angle of view and framing, to give the detail from the deepest blacks to the brightest highlights in this extremely high contrast scene.
It is Dave's intention that you leave this exhibition wanting to experience more of our North Devon coast for yourself. For those who wish to improve their photographic skills and fancy seeing the coast through Dave's eyes he has set up a programme of workshops to accompany the exhibition:
Sea Caves, Shipwrecks And The Rocky Shore is on show at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe until Saturday, April 6, 10am to 3pm.
Workshops include introduction to digital photography on Saturday, March 23; a half day introduction to digital photography on Wednesday, March 13; an introduction to Dave's own photography style on Saturday, March 30. Details: e-mail email@example.com, phone 01237 477789 or visit the website www.greengallery .co.uk