Vitality: the body
showcases the 'Olympic Instrument' – the human form. United by the body as a common theme, prize-winning photojournalist Paul Read and fine artist Benedict P. Johnson create contrasting prints from two very different artistic perspectives, utilising the interest of distinct processes: documentary black and white, and staged colour photography. To coincide with the opening of London's 2012 Olympics, both Read and Johnson's work probe the human figure, together reflecting how the body creates dual notions of fragility and strength.
Paul Read's 'Under the Thar Desert' series documents an education rehabilitation program for physically impaired street children in Rajasthan, India. Shot on 35 mm in b/w, the stark images capture the exuberance of the children's bodies, reflecting the children's strength of will to survive, live and grow. Read's photographs showindividuals transforming their disability into an expression of vitality through the therapuetic benefits of exercise.
Contrastingly, Benedict P. Johnson's 'R.E.S.T.' is a studio-based triptych of stills depicting the artist and his female companion removed from all responsibility of activity,bound and suspended by their ankles. The photographs are the result of a controlled performance, representing bodies that have been challenged and minds that have been tested beyond comfortable limits through a live practice acted out towards subjects' achievement of a wholly restful, transcendent experience.
In anticipation of the Olympics 2012, this exciting new exhibition invites you to engage with the body from two distinct artistic view points, shown together here to powerfully underline the body's vibrance, creative power and dynamism.
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