Chapel Camera Club's Buxton exhibition captures lockdown life through a lens

A new photography exhibition in Buxton showcases some exceptional work by High Peak artists which captures the experience of life in lockdown.

By Ed Dingwall
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 3:49 pm

Chapel Camera Club’s Twenty Twenty… and Beyond opened on Saturday, March 5, at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, on Terrace Road, and will be on view for free until May 2.

Alongside a customary display of excellence from club members across a wide variety of styles and subjects, the exhibition features 30 self-portraits from the special project, ‘Living Through Lockdown – personal perspectives in photographs’ which was funded by the Arts Council.

Starting in spring 2020, Manchester photographer Emma Finch, whose award-winning work has been shown around the world, mentored club members as they created the portraits, which have also been assembled into a coffee table book.

Sarah Lind's shot won the people's summer photo competition.

Officially opening the exhibition, Emma said: “Self portraits usually put the fear of God into any photographer but this fabulous group of photographers did such a superb job and the resulting body of work is truly something to be proud of.

“It’s a real piece of social history which will be just as fascinating, if not more so, for generations to come.”

As well as the self-portraits, the show features a short video exhibit 48 framed images curated from recent work by members of the camera club, including three selected as the winners of the summer photo competition, judged by Justin Garner.

Sarah Lind took the first prize of £100 on her competitive debut with a black and white photograph of her husband and young daughter.

Sarah Lind, right, collects her prize.

Richard Bell took second prize and £50 with his evocative shot of the Art Deco Plaza Theatre on a dark, damp night in Stockport.

Third place went to Garry Platt with his photograph of the Taiwanese B Dance group, taken at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019.

Part of the competition entry fees have been donated to Blythe House Hospicecare in Chapel.

Each Saturday afternoon while during the exhibition, the club is holding ‘meet the photographer’ sessions, where members will be on hand to talk to visitors about their latest projects, offer photography advice, and discuss the club’s weekly events programme and mentoring opportunities.

Richard Bell's photo took the runners-up spot.

On Saturday, March 19, the gallery will become the home base for the annual Buxton photo challenge will be based in the gallery.

Participants will be tasked with taking six photos in six hours, each tying into a theme which will be announced on the day. Registration opens 10-11am, and all people need is their own camera – no phones allowed – and an empty memory card. Entry costs £5 for adults, £3.50 for under-18s.

Chapel Camera Club is open to all and meets at New Mills Golf Club every Wednesday between September to May for talks, competitions and practical sessions, thanks to financial support from the Bingham Trust and High Peak Borough Councillor’s Initiative Fund. For more information, visit chapelcameraclub.org.uk.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more details on visiting, see buxtonmuseumandartgallery.wordpress.com.

Emma Finch officially opened the new Chapel Camera Club exhibition at Buxton Museum and Art Galley on Saturday, March 5.

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Garry Platt's mesmerising third-place effort.
Garry Platt, right.
Richard Bell, second from right.