18 August - 29 September 2018

"Out of the Blue"

Photographs by KATE MAXWELL


In February 2017 we opened an exhibition of photography by the seven winners of the first of our annual competitions, “Ludlow Seven”. Local photographers were invited to enter and a selection panel chose seven winners - Anne Giddings, Darren Leeson, Emily Baker, Geoff Hodgson, Kate Maxwell, Richard Shipp and Sam Walmsley.

We asked visitors to vote for their favourite photographer. The people’s choice winner - Kate Maxwell.

Kate’s prize - a solo exhibition here at the Photo Space.  

Kate has titled her exhibition “Out of the Blue” and her work takes us on her personal photography journey.

Kate says, “Why ‘Out of the Blue’? The sea, or perhaps more precisely the coast, where land and water are in constant argument, has always had a strong pull on me. At the time of winning the popular vote for Ludlow Seven I was working on a set of images of the coast, focusing on the various structures left on the margins which mark our attempts, as a species, to harness, exploit and control the earth’s resources.

I have continued with this theme in the intervening months, only now I have also attempted to capture the movement of time by experimenting with long exposures, smoothing the waves, softening the flow of water, recording the passing of time, imposing stillness and order on the chaos of the moment.

Water in all forms is photogenic – reflective, light capturing – so one of my favourite places is the Elan Valley in Powys, just across the border in Wales, the nearest location where open stretches of water reflect the weather and light. This series of dams, where water is trapped and saved to supply the needs of Birmingham, often overflows after heavy rain and in winter. The location, and the engineering that created them, is endlessly fascinating; the harnessing and exploitation of nature has created a beautiful area enjoyed by many for recreation.

So most of this exhibition is of recent photographs taken on my photographic expedition towards an unknown destination.

Then, perhaps incongruously, there are some portraits of horses. Horses are, however, part of my internal landscape, as I have been surrounded by them for most of my life; they were far more important than children in my family, and we learnt early on that our place was to serve them. Now that I no longer own a horse, I have plenty of time to take photographs of them, and admire them from afar, while having none of the expense and anguish of keeping them myself.


Thus I can feed my passion for both this noblest of creatures, and for drawing with light.”

Kate Maxwell
August 2018