Our Roadtrip To Aberystwyth

Philip Jones Griffiths Exhibition

29th October 2015

Aberystwyth roadtrip

Andy, John Henry, Kamila and myself set off from Glyndwr University on a really grim rainy foggy morning – I felt pretty drowsy after taking a travel sickness tablet but I thought being dopey was better than green and wretchy as far as company goes!

We had a great journey down and even the sun was waiting for us in Aberystwyth, we managed to arrive a fashionable 10 minutes late…..may have been the Subway stop but that was a total necessity!

As we approached the magnificently grand Aberystwyth library I grab my Nikon D750 to take a photo..only to realise I have no SD card in it! Never has this happened to me before, not sure whether to blame my frantic work the day before getting the images for the Simplification & Negative Space assignment and forgetting to put the card back in my camera once transferring over the images or to blame this mornings tablet?? hmmmmm……i’ll go for a combo!

Anyhoo, luckily I had back up! I had my Nikon FG 35mm film camera with me, I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a much needed play with it. Roy, the camera man in every sense, had come to my rescue by bringing along a B&W 400iso film so once he gave me that we all set off inside the Library. I fumble as I walk trying to get the film in the camera which proved more difficult than it looked as I try to avoid walking into display cabinets, in the end Gordon loaded the film for me when we arrived at the Philip Jones Griffiths exhibition.

PJG start

I took some photos with my iphone as it was easy (quality is poor though) as we were quickly moved around the room whilst given a talk about different areas of the exhibition. I also took some with my FG which I am looking forward to getting developed.

I would of liked to of spent longer in the exhibition, we didn’t really get long to absorb ourselves into his work which would have been nice. I did really like his large black & white prints which were at the beginning they were really striking and sharp, these were actual prints from his collection in his basement apartment where the museum curators had collected all his belongings.

PJG wall images

Everything there from his prints – B&W and colour, his huge collection of cameras, receipts & letters to even the shoes he wore were all displayed so well and on loan agreed through Philip’s two daughters. Once the exhibition was up and running the paid a visit to see it all which was very emotional for them both because it really summed him up.

This was my favourite image of his which was on display, i love the way all the hands are pointing out of the frame but the girl in the centre is looking the opposite direction, has more light on her face than everyone else and is smiling draws which draws you back in.

PJG fave image

After the exhibition we were taken down to the cells of The National Screen and Sound Archive Of Wales with Dan Griffiths the assistant curator. This was pretty amazing – everything that has been made in wales or has any connection to wales is down in these cells. The corridor was so long with each blue door locked, he took us inside a couple and they were even bigger inside, all with sliding bookshelves to maximise the space. Even though the size was huge they are nearly full and are having to expand further to gain more storage. The rooms are temperature controlled and lined with copper to safeguard all material from being erased.

After a quick coffee – cake – wee – fag – natter – photos we all went to the Arts Museum to see the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition. The first part was all his self portraits of him dressed as a different character and the rest was portraits he had taken of different celebrities. They were well taken images, a mixture of traditional poses to the weird and wonderful.

We ended our trip with a beer by the seaside and a quick stop off at an old mill on the way home where John Henry mounted the Mill wheel and adopted the superman roll while we all photographed him….well why not! 😀

First trip of many absolutely loved it, we’ve got such a great group and many laughs to be had!

Our Gang

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