Richard Billingham – Panoramic
Posted on 10/02/2015
25 April – 28 June 2015
Private View: 24 April, 6.30-8.30pm
Towner is delighted to present a major exhibition by English artist and photographer Richard Billingham, showing together for the first time his panoramic photographs and video work from 2002 to 2014.
Capturing the British countryside, from the South Downs to the Norfolk Fen and Constable Country of East of England, these immersive works explore the rich textures of these landscapes. His panoramic views unearth the particular geology, vegetation, changing weather and light of these places, some of which he visited over a period of years.
The collected works in Panoramic have a visceral aesthetic, revealing Billingham’s emotional and creative relationship to nature and landscape, drawing on his background and sensibilities as a painter. The works reference the pictorial rhetoric of British landscape painters, from the 19th century to the present, John Constable to David Hockney. They explore rhythm, pattern, repetition, dynamic composition as well as the tableaux in nature and often record a transformative moment in the landscape.
Richard Billingham is best known for his 1996 photobook Ray’s A Laugh, which documents the life of his alcoholic father Ray and mother, Liz and brother Jason. In 2001, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for his solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. He holds professorships at the University of Gloucestershire and Middlesex University.
Towner will also be showing Billingham’s 2004 film work Sweep, which portrays trees moving in wind, commissioned by ArtSway. The exhibition has been supported by Middlesex University and University of Gloucestershire.
Richard Billingham’s Panoramic, 25 April – 28 June 2015, Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ, free entry. Open Tuesday – Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 5pm. For more information see townereastbourne.org.uk
For interviews, film and photograph opportunities and any additional information or images, please contact
Amy Zamarripa Solis
Communications and Marketing Manager
NOTES TO EDITOR
Towner (Registered Charity 115676) is an award-winning gallery set in Eastbourne. We present major exhibitions of contemporary and historic visual art and displays from our internationally renowned 4500-strong Towner Collection. The Collection is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art.
Towner delivers a dynamic associated public programme and learning offer. We welcome more than 120,000 visitors each year, with a strong commitment to inclusive practice and accessibility.
On 1 July 2014, Towner became an independent charitable Trust, supported by a Board of Trustees, chaired by David Dimbleby. Towner is supported by Eastbourne Borough Council and Arts Council England through its National Portfolio Programme.
Richard Billingham (born 25 September 1970) is an English photographer and artist who is best known for his photobook Ray’s A Laugh which documents the life of his alcoholic father Ray, and obese, heavily tattooed mother, Liz. Billingham was born in Birmingham and studied as a painter at Bournville College of Art and the University of Sunderland.
He came to prominence through his candid photography of his family in Cradley Heath, a body of work later added to and published in the acclaimed book Ray’s A Laugh(1996). Ray’s a Laugh is a portrayal of the poverty and deprivation in which he grew up. The photographs, which were taken on the cheapest film he could find, provide brash colours and bad focus which adds to the authenticity and frankness of the series.
In 1997, Billingham was included in the exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy of Art which showcased the art collection of Charles Saatchi and included many of the Young British Artists. Also in 1997, Billingham won the Citigroup Photography Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2001 Turner Prize, for his solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.
He has also made landscape photographs at places of personal significance around the Black Country, and more of these were commissioned in 2003 by the arts organisation The Public, resulting in a book. He has also experimented with video films and video projections.
In late 2006, Billingham exhibited a major new series of photographs and videos inspired by his memories of visiting Dudley Zoo as a child. The series, entitled Zoo, was commissioned by Birmingham-based arts organisation, VIVID and was exhibited at Compton Verney Art Gallery in Warwickshire.
In the following year he created a series of photographs of “Constable Country”, the area on the Essex / Suffolk border painted by John Constable. These were exhibited at the Town Hall Galleries, Ipswich.
He now lives near Swansea, and travels widely. He is a lecturer in Fine Art Photography at the University of Gloucestershire and Professor at Middlesex University (2012).