‘Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.’ Ansel Adams
Colin Maxwell Bryce is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers and a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society. Since stepping down as Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Science, Napier University, he has pursued his own interests in art and design, with time to travel around the world, camera in hand. This exhibition, Lockdown Remix, showcases both recent photographs as well as digitally-interpreted archival images to create new, re-imagined prints. The lockdown connection is that he has spent the last few months remixing and deconstructing original archive prints to create new, reimagined photographs. With a fascination for the natural world, here are iconic places from North Berwick to the Chilean fjords.
Observing geology through the camera lens is the subject of several photographs such as Red Rocks, Arizona. The craggy, rugged layers of terracotta and sandstone of this sculpted mountain looms majestically above a forest under a clear blue sky with just one hovering cloud. Such peaceful, isolated wilderness. This is reminiscent of the work of Ansel Adams, the landscape photographer and environmentalist, also captivated by America’s wild West and National Parks.
‘Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space’. Ansel Adams
From the bone-dry desert, travel south to the glacier valleys of South Patagonia. Lago Grey is a stunning composition – the glistening, cracking blue ice and bare grey rock emerging like a giant whale, reflected by sunlight on the calm water of the fjord.
Bass Rock III captures a microscopic view of the bird sanctuary island, painterly enhanced as a triptych in blue, mauve and lime green, evoking the translucent structure of an iceberg.
Along the coast from here is flat, fertile farmland, such as the vibrantly colourful view of a Rape field, in East Lothian Gold, where the trees are framed by the pale indigo sky.
Around the Gallery, the viewer is taken from the natural outdoor environment to urban architecture, London skyscrapers and Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Here is a slice of the redbrick facade of the Chelsea Hotel, New York, famous for the creativity of its residents from beat poets to rock stars. The great late Leonard Cohen wrote two songs about his affair here with Janis Joplin: look carefully at the window beside the Chelsea sign.
Colin Maxwell Bryce also skilfully alters the original tone and texture of photographs, giving the impression of a different genre. Fisherow illustrates the bare outline of buildings, sky, water and tall masts as if it were a lino cut or etching. Likewise, a deconstructed photo of East Lothian Harbour could be mistaken for a charcoal sketch.
Most impressive is the series of prints depicting the scraped, scratched layers of paint on the hulls of boats, transformed into vivid abstract seascapes at sunset as shown in Scarista – photography transformed with technical wizardry and creative vision to invent distinctive new artforms.
‘This selection of prints represents my continuing exploration of a range of subjects, as a way of emphasising the potential of each individual image to intrigue, delight or inform.’ – Colin Maxwell Bryce
An intriguing, delightful and inspirational exhibition, a close up view of land, sea and cityscapes with the perception of a master photographer.
All images are high-quality giclee prints, produced in editions of ten, unless otherwise stated. Framed and unframed prints are available.
With grateful thanks to Vivien Devlin for this review.