An exhibition of photographs of Chichester being held in Chartres from November 2019 to February 2020
Last year I was asked by EPA Chartres International to organise a photography exhibition illustrating Chichester to the people of Chartres. EPA Chartres International is the umbrella organisation that looks after all of Chartres’ international friendships and city twinnings. The exhibition would follow on those that have already taken place for Chartres’ other twinned cities – Sakurai (Japan), Speyer and Ravenna.
What was really interesting about this request was that it was not for a typical photo exhibition. Rather it would be a genuinely public exhibition taking place in the open air along one of Chartres’ main avenues – the Boulevard Chasles. This boulevard runs from the Place des Epards to the Place St Michel past the Theatre de Chartres, and at present is showing an exhibition about Chartres and UNESCO. The viewers wouldn’t have to visit any building – they could see the photographs as they went about their normal daily life. Furthermore, the brief was that they would like to avoid the well-known portrayals of Chichester beauty spots.
I decided that it would be a better exhibition if it was not limited to one person’s viewpoint. I concluded that the 20 photographs required would be a far better collection if they reflected different viewpoints and styles. What also couldn’t be ignored was the clear need for a high technical standard. These photographs were going to be blown up to over a meter square! Richard Crossley and Richard Ryder, both Chichester residents, joined me to set about the task.
Over the year, each of us produced 20 or more pictures that we felt had something to say about Chichester, its people and its environment. A number of sessions of positive criticisms of each other’s work resulted in each of us submitting half a dozen photographs to EPA Chartres. These were accepted and the exhibition opened on Saturday 9th November. The exhibition will remain open until February 2020.