Affinity and Kindred – Richard Denyer

4 Feb - 11 March 2017

A photographic essay by the acclaimed photographer, Richard Denyer, who died in 2016.  It dwells on the differences and similarities, connections and contrasts in land / water relationships in Norfolk and the Outer Hebrides, specifically sites of vocation and devotion: boatyards and churches, the implements of service and communion, and the tools in workshops.

Regularly commissioned during the 1980s by the Broads Authority to photograph the changing landscape of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, Richard Denyer’s photography has explored the relationship between land, water, and local inhabitants in northern Holland, Scotland and his home county.

A well-known landscape photographer and former lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts, he spent three years travelling between his home and the Outer Hebrides, capturing images which show the common humanity of the different communities.

The photographs, which have been made mainly in boatyards and places of worship in both locations, feature the people, their work, faith and culture, and the landscapes in which they live.  The resulting images suggest surprisingly deep connections between culture, beliefs and native skills.

Since opening in Norwich Cathedral, the exhibition toured to Peterborough in 2016 and will show at An Lanntair before returning to Suffolk later in the year. The tour is supported by the Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council.

The accompanying book, also called ‘Affinity and Kindred’ is an equal outcome of the project. It features over 100 photographs and includes an imaginative essay in response to the images by the novelist Will Self.

The introduction is written by David Matless, Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Nottingham in which he says: ‘An eye for idiosyncrasy, and for objects out of the way, moves these images beyond predictable registers of craft and devotion.’

An Lanntair’s Head of Visual Art Roddy Murray said “This exhibition began as a dialogue between us in early 2014 and that conversation shaped the final concept for this show.  In geographical terms, within the UK,  Norfolk and the Western Isles are poles apart yet what see are parallel lives of common concerns and preoccupation.  It’s an important addition to the canon of photo-essays by visitors to the Hebrides from Gus Wylie to Paul Strand to Robert Adam and back to George Washington Wilson in Victorian times.”