Archisle Celebrates Five Years with Quintessence

    December 7, 2015  by gareth  |  Blog

    Our new exhibition of Jersey and International Contemporary Photography is open at Jersey Arts Centre.  


    Quintessence is a group exhibition celebrating the first five years of Archisle: The Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme. The Archisle Programme, hosted by the Société Jersiaise Photo Archive promotes contemporary photography through an ongoing programme of exhibitions, education and commissions. Archisle connects photographic archives, contemporary practice and experiences of island cultures and geographies through the development of a forum for creative discourse between Jersey and international artists. Quintessence selects works commissioned for the new Archisle Contemporary Collection at the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive since 2011 to celebrate, critique, contrast and discuss what has been achieved over the first five years of the project. The exhibition features works by:

    Martin Parr / Tony Ray-Jones / Jem Southam / Michelle Sank / David Goldblatt / Yury Toroptsov / Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths / Tom Pope / Peter Finnemore / Mark le Ruez / John Gibbons / Martin Toft / Finn Larsen

    Since its launch in 2011, Archisle has engaged diverse approaches to contemporary lens based media to lead creative research into the condition of islandness, ‘a complex expression of identity that attaches to places smaller than continents and surrounded entirely by water’ (Stratford 2008).  Quintessence contrasts works in the Archisle collection in a group exhibition for the first time to analyse the ways in which the Island’s culture and landscape has been interpreted by Jersey and international photographers. The Archisle project recognises that Jersey as a small island community needs to go out and discover the world because the world will not come looking for us! Through internationalism we have developed a growing network of colleagues, friends, influences and inspirations. To reflect these connections, for Quintessence, artists represented in the Archisle collection were invited to nominate colleagues who have influenced or inspired their own visual language. Quintessence Curator Gareth Syvret remarked, ‘We do not travel alone; we take with us the histories, knowledge, influences and ideas of others; others we have met and other places we have known.’

    Alongside photographs produced in Jersey during the last five years, the exhibition includes Jem Southam one of Britain’s leading landscape photographers and David Goldblatt, the seminal documentarist of apartheid era South Africa. Photographs by the brilliant observer of the British at work and leisure, Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972) and the famous ‘Cottingley Fairies’ photographs by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths are presented in collaboration with the National Media Museum, Bradford, UK. Curator Gareth Syvret continued: ‘The Archisle project is about educating, creating, exhibiting and collecting original contemporary photographic art and plugging the Jersey community into the international scene. This exhibition reflects our journey over the first five years of the project and points to an exciting future.’