Paul Joyce Homecoming

We are pleased to announce that Paul Joyce’s photographic retrospective exhibition A Life Behind the Lens opens today at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre. This specially curated exhibition celebrates Joyce’s illustrious career, having built a global reputation as a photographer, documentary filmmaker and writer. The exhibition, curated by Colin Ford CBE, brings together a selection of exceptional portraits and landscape photography, first shown over 40 years ago.

Paul Joyce photographing AW Wainwright with a 5 x 4 Gandolfi camera

Originally conceived to mark his 80th birthday in 2020 (but delayed due to the pandemic), the exhibition marks a homecoming for the artist, presenting a lifetime behind the lens as one of the finest British photographers of his generation. Growing up in Whitchurch, he fell in love with the natural surroundings of Hampshire and felt compelled to return here for his retrospective.

“During the Second World War, my father was an executive in the Bank of England and they were relocated to Whitchurch. Their work was very important for the government, which meant that he was not able to fight in the war. I was born whilst they were there, in 1940. We stayed with the local vicar in the vicarage, which I remember very well - and is still there; a beautiful house with a river to the rear. I remember the beauty of the location very well.

The place where the bank had relocated to in temporary accommodation was in the woods nearby and I remember, even at the age of three or four, being overwhelmed by the beauty and size of the trees. Trees and their changing aspects throughout the seasons have remained really important in my artistic development. I feel that I am a child of the countryside and of the Hampshire countryside and that is why I want to go back there.”

The 1950s was a highly fertile time for the film industry and a young and curious Joyce was fascinated with the avant-garde film criticism pioneered by Cahiers du Cinéma magazine in France and its UK counterpart, Movie, created by Paul Mayersberg. His fascination with photography, filmmaking and landscape would all find a place in his series of photographs of the Welsh landscape, made between 1976 and 1979. These culminated in the exhibition, Edge to Edge - Photographs of the Welsh Landscape, which was toured by the then Arts Council Wales and accompanied by a catalogue of the same name. A selection of these photographs feature in A Life Behind the Lens.

Elements of the Foothills, Snowdon, 1976

With his highly celebrated portraits, including Sophia Loren, Dennis Hopper and Quentin Tarantino, the accompanying commentary gives an insight into the talent (and persuasiveness!) that made his portraits of ‘the good, the bad and the beautiful’ possible. He has also enjoyed a long friendship with artist David Hockney, collaborating with him on two books; Hockney on Photography (1988) and Hockney on Art (2000).

Visit A Life Behind the Lens, at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre until 10 November 2021. Many of the framed photographs on display are for sale and available to collect at the end of the exhibition. We are also offering a 'Prints on Demand service' - coming soon. Entrance is free but ticketed, so we encourage you to pre-book your visit.

Paul Joyce has forged an international reputation in the fields of film-making and photography. As a photographer he has shown widely in Europe and America, with work in many of the major institutions, collections and museums in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and the US. Paul’s photographic work is held by different public collections, including The National Portrait Gallery London, The Tate Gallery and The National Museum Wales.

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