25th April

This evening Hilary Stock gave two presentations, part one entitled "Beyond the Lens - Adventures with my Camera".

When Hilary first approached art galleries to promote her work, she was flatly told "we only take art".  To help persuade photography is art, she developed a technique of printing an image in the middle of an A4 sheet, then carefully folding it into a box, before mounting it in a frame.

Portscatho Boat © Hilary Stock

Although this created a unique 3D look, it was an incredibly time consuming and error prone procedure and the deep handmade frames (with their non reflective glass) were very expensive.

Turning away from art galleries, she sought hotels in the process of being extended, knowing they would be looking for something with which to decorate their new real estate. When a hotel owner offered to showcase her work for sale, she felt "people didn't go on holiday to buy art". It turned out they do, and she was suddenly overwhelmed with orders.

Producing each folded paper image was so labour intensive, she looked for an alternative means to bring her 3D look to her work.  Eventually she chose to move to "floating images", printing onto card, then mounting cards at different depths within the frame:

Into the Woods II © Hilary Stock

She set herself a goal of mastering street photography, first photographing local people, which developed into a project to document life at a local cattle market.  Initially she was met with some apprehension as the farmers suspected she might be an animal rights activist.  Once they realised this wasn't the case, she was able to get images that both she, and they, were pleased with:

Cirencester Cattle Market © Hilary Stock

Cirencester Cattle Market © Hilary Stock

She also photographed families:

Portrait © Hilary Stock

She even turned her photographic eye towards seaweed, which she assured us, can't be transported anywhere and must be photographed (on a lightbox) fairly immediately after collection:

Cornish Seaweed IV © Hilary Stock

Purple Trio © Hilary Stock

Towan Treasure © Hilary Stock  

... as well as seeds...

Seeds © Hilary Stock

Hilary became an official "behind the scenes" photographer at Womad:

Adult Dance Class, Womad © Hilary Stock

Children's Dance Class, Womad © Hilary Stock

Part two of Hilary's talk was entitled "Thriving through Venture".  She became involved with teenagers in danger of being drawn into the NHS Mental Health programme.  Introducing them to photography increased their ability to interact with people and increased their self confidence.

TTV Teaching © Hilary Stock

She was able to organise an exchange programme with her twinned town of Gunjur in Gambia - an environment in which her group was able to thrive.

Thriving Through Venture © Hilary Stock

Tabaski prayers in Gunjur © Hilary Stock

Tin Mal Mosque © Hilary Stock

This was one of the most inspiring presentations we've seen at the club and made us all realise how sharing both photography and photographs with others can benefit both them and us.