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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Deanland: Ex-WWII Airfield Inspires A Series Of Emotive Paintings & Photographs From Sussex Based Artists

Brighton based gallery 35 North Contemporary Fine Art is set to host Deanland, a new exhibition of original work by painter Alexander Johnson and photographer John Brockliss. 

The Deanland project was inspired by an ex-WWII airfield, located in the depths of the Sussex countryside. 

Alexander Johnson, whose father Don was a spitfire pilot during the war, has created a series of emotive abstract paintings exploring the many facets of this slightly haunting yet strangely beautiful location. 

John Brockliss' deeply personal photographs document the project from inception to completion, offering an intimate portrait of Alexander"s artistic process. 

The paintings and photographs will be exhibited side-by-side, juxtaposing Alexander's interpretations of this forgotten piece of our history with John's reportage-style photographic imagery. 

John said: "Few photographers are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to develop a single assignment over many months. 

"Time restrictions and pressures of commercial deadlines frequently limit the chance to really get to the heart of a story.

"Collaborating with Alex over eighteen months has allowed a deep working relationship to develop, making it possible for me to take candid photographs whilst gaining a deep insight into the working life and dedication of a professional artist."

In a further development Antony Penrose, son of WWII photographer Lee Miller and Director of the Lee Miller Archive, has written the foreword for the book, which accompanies the exhibition. 

Antony is an ideal partner for this project as his reputation spans the worlds of fine art and reportage photography. 

He is also a close neighbour of Alexander with strong personal connections to East Sussex where all three live.

The exhibition, at 35 North Contemporary Fine Art, Brighton, and accompanying book, will launch on Friday 8th June and run until Saturday 21st July 2018.

by: Mike Cobley


Photo credit: Sante D'Orazio

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