Eric’s smashing photographs

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On Friday, November 6, Rye Art Gallery opens a unique exhibition of photographic works by Eric Watson (1955-2012). Eric lived in Rye for the last years of his life, working as Head of Photography at Rye College.

He began his professional life at Hornsey College of Art and went on to work for “Smash Hits” magazine, leading to an association with Neil Tennant and the Pet Shop Boys. His work is held at the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Eric turned his back on the pop music industry when he moved to Rye in 1996. He developed his own personal outlook in the photographic field, often influenced by the locality. Landscapes, medieval portraiture and individual portraits make up much of his body of work.

At the Gallery exhibition photographs such as “Cliff End: Fairlight” and “Big Top on the Beach” represent the power of black and white on the viewer. The photographs of Roy Critchley’s slip glazed pots make a fascinating play on light and shade. This exhibition does include some individual portraiture such as Shane McGowan of The Pogues, looking very young.

Also at the Rye Art Gallery the Christmas Exhibition opens on Saturday, November 7, 10:30 am. This includes Richard Adams, Louis Turpin, Amanda Avarillo, Clare Mitchell, Ed Boxall, Polly Horner, Claire Fletcher, Whelk Boy and many more. The high standard of art – including ceramics, textiles and jewellery – provides a wealth of suggestions for gifts at this time of the year. A prime opportunity to browse and buy.

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