Impressions Gallery opened in 1972 as one of the first specialist contemporary photography galleries in Europe. Since then we have established ourselves as a leading international exhibition space for photography and digital art. We support and promote innovative and creative work that extends the boundaries of current photographic practice. Digital imagery, film and video are essential resources for the contemporary artist, and this is reflected in our programme. We are a small not-for-profit organisation who are dedicated towards providing the local community and our wider international audiences the very best of contemporary photography and digital media.
Tuesday - 10am to 6pm
Wednesday - 10am to 6pm
Thursday - 10am to 6pm
Friday - 10am to 5pm
Saturday - 10pm to 5pm
Sunday - Closed
Mondays - Closed
Booking advised for group visits. Please call 0845 0515 882 or email email@example.com.
Field Work: Ten Years of Photography by Liza Dracup
- 7 July — 23 September 2017 *on now
From nocturnal woods to wildlife specimens, Liza Dracup is inspired by the landscape and natural history of Britain. Field Work presents a decade of her work, exploring photographic representations of our environment and cementing Dracup’s standing as a pioneer of innovative approaches to landscape photography. This is the first major survey of Dracup’s work, premiering at Impressions, to mark the gallery’s ten-year anniversary in Bradford.
Dracup works with museum collections as well as directly with the natural world. She has a passion for selection and observation, and her work is imbued with the Victorian spirit of enquiry. Inspired by historic processes whilst embracing modern digital techniques, she uses photography as an experimental tool to see beyond the human eye. The resulting images range from vibrant ‘hidden’ landscapes to meticulously detailed studies of plants and animals.
Sharpe’s Wood, which was first shown in 2007 as Impressions’ inaugural exhibition in Bradford, presents a series of nocturnal woodland landscapes. Dracup spent the hours between dusk and dawn in almost total darkness, drawing on light from the constant waxing and waning of the moon, fleeting car headlights and the glow of street lamps to create mesmerising, painterly images.
For Chasing the Gloaming (2011), commissioned by the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, Dracup responded to Victorian painter Atkinson Grimshaw’s famous moonlit landscapes, as well as his lesser known still-life paintings. Seeking the unfamiliar within the familiar, her photographic studies illuminate landscapes from inner-city Leeds and rural edges of Bradford, to the coast of Yorkshire.
Lister’s Mill: A Topographical View (2011) was made as part of Dracup’s work with photography collective Bradford Grid, a group of photographers that seek to map and document the city. Her images feature the recurring motif of the iconic, now defunct, chimney of Lister’s Mill – once the world’s largest silk factory – seen from various viewpoints in the post-industrial city landscape.
Re: Collections (2013) takes the Natural Science Collections of Bradford Museums & Galleries as its starting point. The photographs present a series of birds and mammals as still-lives, made timeless by both taxidermist and photographer. Like much of Dracup’s work, the photographs reside in both an artistic and scientific context. These hauntingly beautiful, yet eerie images raise questions about our emotional relationship to British wildlife and its conservation. In her most recent series,
Landmarks (2016), Dracup creates a visual dialogue between past and present, delving into historic landscape photographs in the Harrogate Fine Art Collection. Her images are inspired by botanic specimens, the landscape of northern England, and stereoscopic imagery, a nineteenth century ‘3D’ technique.
Dracup says, “I am delighted to be presenting a decade of my work at Impressions, marking ten years since Sharpe’s Wood was first shown. My photographic journey since then has led me to many places and collections, always seeking the extraordinary properties of the ordinary in the northern landscape and its natural history. I hope that Field Work will reveal hidden aspects to the environment, and the ways in which photography enables us to see the world differently”.
- Family friendly
No Man's Land: Women's Photography and the First World War
- 7 October — 30 December 2017
No Man’s Land offers rarely-seen female perspectives on the First World War, featuring images taken by women who worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, and official photographers, as well as contemporary artists directly inspired by the conflict. Commemorating the First World War Centenary, No Man’s Land features photographs by three women of the epoch, alongside three women making work a century later.
Highlights include photographs never-before-exhibited frontline images by nurses Mairi Chisholm and Florence Farmborough; photographs by Olive Edis, the UK’s first female official war photographer; and new work by contemporary photographer and former soldier Alison Baskerville. This is the premiere of the nationally-touring exhibition before it travels to Bristol Cathedral, The Turnpike in Leigh, and Bishop Auckland Town Hall.
Unconventional motorcyclist-turned-ambulance driver Mairi Chisholm (1886–1981) set up a First Aid post on the Western Front with her friend Elsie Knocker. Using snapshot cameras, they recorded their intense life under fire at Pervyse in Belgium, just yards from the trenches. The images on display in the exhibition, drawn from Chisholm’s personal photo-albums, record her vitality and humour in the midst of great suffering.
Pioneering Olive Edis (1876–1955) is thought to be the UK’s first female official war photographer, and one of the first anywhere in the world. A successful businesswoman, inventor, and high-profile portraitist, Edis photographed erveyone from Prime Ministers to Suffragettes. During the Armistice, she was commissioned by the Women’s Work Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum to photograph the British Army’s auxiliary services in France and Flanders. Edis took her large studio camera on the road, often developing plates in makeshift darkrooms in hospital x-ray units. Her skilfully-composed images show the invaluable contributions of female engineers, telegraphists, commanders and surgeons.
On the Eastern Front, nurse and amateur photographer Florence Farmborough (1887–1978) documented her incredible experiences with the Russian Red Cross on the border of Galicia (present-day Ukraine and Poland). At a time when the British press avoided explicit images, Farmborough depicted the horrific consequences of war, including corpses lying in battlefields. Her images of Cossack soldiers, makeshift field tents, and Christmas in an old dug-out, offer rarely-seen views of the Eastern Front before Farmborough fled the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
Contemporary photographer Alison Baskerville is a former soldier with an insider’s perspective on women’s experiences in the armed forces. In a new commission made specially for No Man’s Land, Baskerville has been directly inspired by Olive Edis to make a series of portraits of present-day women in the British Army. Working in collaboration with Ishan Sadiq, Baskerville has produced a series of digital autochromes — a contemporary version of the early twentieth-century colour technology pioneered by Olive Edis. Presented as lightboxes, the portraits have a distinctive hazy appearance, made up of thousands of tiny coloured dots that glow.
Contemporary artist Dawn Cole was inspired by the chance find of a suitcase in the attic of a family house, discovering the photographs and diary of her great-aunt Clarice Spratling, a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in Northern France. Cole uses a many-layered technique incorporating photo-etching, digital manipulation and lace-making. She ‘weaves’ words from Clarice’s diary entries into images of lace-edged handkerchiefs and collars, creating photographic prints with hidden messages that explore the gulf between public face and private feelings.
Shot at Dawn by contemporary artist Chloe Dewe Mathews focuses on the ‘secret history’ of British, French and Belgian troops who were executed for cowardice and desertion between 1914 and 1918. Her large-scale colour photographs depict the sites at which the soldiers were shot or held in the period leading up to their execution. All are seasonally accurate and were taken as close as possible to the precise time of day at which the executions occurred. Made a hundred years later, her images show places forever altered by traumatic events.
No Man’s Land is a national touring exhibition curated by Dr. Pippa Oldfield and co-produced by Impressions Gallery, Bristol Cathedral, The Turnpike, and Bishop Auckland Town Hall.
The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and Peter Palmquist Memorial Fund.
Shot at Dawn by Chloe Dewe Mathews is commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford as part of 14–18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.
The exhibition is accompanied by the New Focus project and publication No Man's Land: Young People Uncover Women's Viewpoints on the First World War, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund: Young Roots.
- Family friendly
Learning & Audience Development Co-ordinator (Contact for Group Visits)