The Strand Gallery Review of 2012

2012 has been an eventful year all round with the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Strand Gallery has welcomed many exciting collaborations producing a highly varied schedule of shows, so as another successful year draws to a close it only seemed right to review the year with some of our favourite exhibitions.

This year we’ve had some knockout exhibitions. The gallery was flooded in darkness for Peter DiCampo’s conceptual project Life Without Lights, an exhibition in conjunction with the Ashden Awards. Visitors were given solar powered torches to illuminate his photographs in a unique way, whilst raising awarness for renewable energies and the role they play in Northern Ghana.

Two of our favourite collectives London Independent Photography and the Gay Photographers Network returned to Strand for their annual exhibitions and we joined forces with 3is3 Identity Collective for their Strand Gallery debut exhibition Ubiquitous Grounds.

It’s been tough to narrow down our list but without further a do, here are our five of our most memorable exhibitions from the year past…

5.   Wanderlust by Rohit Chawla.
In July, we welcomed the striking shots of high fashion photographer Rohit Chawla in association with NuGa Arthouse. Wanderlust allowed Chawla to take his skills from working at fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in a different direction through capturing the Rabari tribe from Gujarat. These large scale photographs showed the beautiful detail of their dress with an added intensity through the direct stare of his subjects at the camera lens. Read more about the exhibition in the Independent newspaper feature and our exclusive Q&A with Rohit.

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4.  Skills, Smells and Spells by Toby Deveson.
Travel photographer Toby Deveson brought the joys of the humble darkroom to The Strand Gallery in an exhibition of distinctive black and white shots. Deveson’s show chronicled his travels and 22 year career whilst celebrating the power and atmosphere of analogue photography. This beautiful exhibition of hand printed photographs was part was the celebratory outcome to a crowd funding campaign proving that film’s not dead.

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3.  She-Bop-A-Lula curated by Dede Millar
All our stars alligned in this epic exhibition in aid of Breakthrough breast cancer in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Female icons of music world were captured on film by female photographers in this incredible show, uniting iconic figures of the past including Debbie Harry and Ella Fitzgerald as well as contemporary stars like Amy Winehouse and Florence Welch, appealing to the inner feminist in us all! Read more about She Bop in the Guardian.

She-Bop-A-Lula - Women in Pop photo exhibition - Debbie Harry
2.  THIS IS WILLIAM BLANCHARD.
With consumerism and pop art as his inspiration, Blanchard’s show consisted of colourful and lively paintings and collages. This exhibition truly captured Blanchard’s witty personality and with it brought a whole host of celebrity types and press buzz to The Strand Gallery. Read more about the exhibition via It’s Nice That and a Q&A with Dazed Digital.

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1. Creatures in Colour: Sketchbooks from Faris Badwan
Horrors frontman Faris Badwan switched his focus from the stage to the sketchbook with an exhibition of his stunningly individual ink and watercolour pieces. His work took you on a journey through the processes of his unique creative vision and beyond. More about this show in the Independent and a Q&A in Dazed Digital.

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So there we go 2012 done and dusted. We look forward to the coming year and some brand new equally exciting shows. Merry Christmas and see you back at The Strand Gallery in 2013!

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