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Photographic exhibition by CLIVE COWAN at Utopia Coffee Lounge

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Until mid-January, you can see a selection of Southend photographs by Clive Cowan at Utopia Coffee Lounge. He reckons they give the town a Mediterranean feel.

Clive Cowan is a musician and photographer based in Southend. His images show familiar local scenes in bold colours, achieved by combining analogue, in-camera and digital post processing techniques. They are produced chemically on high gloss Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper.

How do you choose what to photograph?
‘I will photograph anything that catches my eye. Unless commissioned, I photograph for fine art – for the image itself. One doesn’t have to travel a long way to find beautiful subjects, there is always something to be seen if one has an eye to look! My camera has always enabled me to see ‘better’. Being on the end of the Pier is a delight in itself, tranquil, relaxing and away from the crowds. Where the sky meets the sea as the sun falls reveals the beauty of nature, which I can capture and emphasise using my photographic techniques.’

What attracts you about photographing Southend?
‘Southend is much maligned and stereotyped; ‘kiss me quick hats’, popcorn and rock, ‘go-faster Fords’ and Essex Man and Woman! I wanted to dispel the image and show Southend in an alternative light, indeed, I would propose my pair of photographs of the Palace Hotel and the Observation Tower make the seafront look positively Mediterranean.’

What is in your exhibition?
‘The theme for this exhibition is of the diversification offered by Southend-on-Sea and its locale.There are seventeen photographs in the show and they include ‘archetypal tourist shots of famous landmarks, although taken from less usual vantage points. Works from his other series are also added – such as of Hawker Hurricane with R.A.F. Ground Crew and the Breitling Wing Walker Team from the Air Show; a Thames Barge, Tall Ship and Paddle Streamer from the Pier; an unusual depiction of colourful Beach Huts; the Rage Roller Coaster from Adventure Island; and classic ‘Post Card’ shots of ancient Leigh-on-Sea and its Yachts. All of the works are for sale, framed and signed.’

A special private view events is planned with the Press and Tourist Board representatives. Numbers are limited so please contact Clive by email for an invitation:  clive.cowan AT photographer.org.uk

For more information about the artist, visit his website.

Utopia Coffee Lounge, Unit 2, The Royals Shopping Centre, High Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 1DQ
T: +44 (0)1702-463355).