New Haslemere Museum exhibition supports Lynchmere Society

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MORE than 80 people turned out on a cold and busy pre-Christmas evening to enjoy the preview of a new exhibition put on by award winning photographer Peter Searight and his wife Louise.

The couple work from their rural ‘Remarkable Studio’ just outside Haslemere and the exhibition has been sponsored to support the work of the Haslemere Museum and the Lynchmere Society. There are two parts to the exhibition with one wall showing a display of 12 local, independent businesses, who sponsored the exhibition.

They agreed to be taken out of their usual environment and photographed on the Lynchmere Commons with their products, so as to present them in an unusual way.

The other half is focused on Peter Searight’s landscape photography of Lynchmere Commons, but also further afield in the UK and Australia.

Many of the sponsors are active members of The Haslemere Chamber of Commerce, and so its chairman, Craig McGown, gave an introduction highlighting the importance and diversity of independent businesses in Haslemere.

The Mayor, Penny Bradley, then mentioned her own experience of being photographed by Peter and Louise, before opening the show.

Peter said: “At a time when local high streets are threatened by both the internet and international giants, I wanted to undertake a personal project to highlight the quality and diversity of local businesses.

“We specialise in location and environmental portraiture, and so we decided to do this by taking them out of their normal environment – and to make it as much fun as possible.

“When I visited the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition this year, I noticed two types of art were in demand - the quirky and the calming. Whilst the sponsors’ pictures are clearly in the former category, my landscapes are very much in the latter. They are photographs designed to offer a lasting moment of calm in an increasingly hectic and, in many ways, superficial society, driven by the immediacy of technology and social media.”

The exhibition runs until 3rd January 2015.