Photographic exhibition opens at the Pier Arts Centre

7 Jun 2011 in Orkney, Visual Arts & Crafts

Orkney in Colour – Work by pioneer photojournalist John Bulmer opened at the Pier Arts Centre this week. The exhibition features photographs taken in Orkney by John Bulmer in the 1960s and 1970s and includes images of people, places and buildings throughout the islands.

Brought up in Herefordshire, Bulmer became a passionate photographer while studying engineering in Cambridge. This passion led to a career in photojournalism working for many publications including The Daily Express and The Sunday Times, on which he shared the front cover of their first ever colour supplement with David Bailey.

During his time with The Sunday Times he visited almost 100 countries to carry out assignments on their behalf. While developing his early career, he established a reputation as part of a group of young British photographers who emerged during the 1960s, which included Terence Donovan, David Bailey and Don McCullin. Known as the ‘Young Meteors’, they were pioneers in their field, producing groundbreaking images in fashion and documentary reportage.

He made two visits to Orkney, in 1964 and then in 1976. The photographs he took during his trips to the islands document a particular aspect of Orkney’s rich social history, capturing a way of life on the brink of change, both in the ways of working the land and the relationship between town and rural life.

John Bulmer commented “My first trip to Orkney was in May 1964. It never seemed to get dark. When the beautiful evening light came everyone was already in bed as it was so light, and they were still in bed when the dawn came up. For this reason, and because I wanted to show something of the hard life in Winter, when I had an assignment to do a whole story on Orkney I choose to come up in Oct/Nov when the wind was blowing, and the sun went down slowly”.

The 33 photographs in Orkney in Colour are amongst those taken during this time and include images taken on North Ronaldsay, Fara and Hoy, many of which are previously unseen.

Andrew Parkinson, Pier Arts Centre Curator added “We are delighted to be showing this body of work that we hope will be of interest to both our local and visiting audiences. We are very fortunate that such a fine photographer was able to visit Orkney at the time and the resulting works offer a beautiful and poignant record of fast changing island life.”

Orkney in Colour – Work by pioneer photojournalist John Bulmer is on display at the Pier Arts Centre from Saturday 6 June until Sunday 10 July 2011. The Pier Arts Centre is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am -5.00pm and in July and August on Sundays between 12noon and 4.00pm. Admission is free.

Source: Pier Arts Centre