Friday, 13 July 2012

Dukes goes 'Through the Pinhole' for witch-inspired exhibition

Pendle Hill 'Through the Pinhole' by Darren Andrews.
Pendle Hill 'Through the Pinhole' by Darren Andrews

A Lancaster photographer has retraced the steps taken by the Pendle Witches 400 years ago and captured the journey on pinhole cameras.

Darren Andrews has travelled from Pendle to Lancaster with his homemade cameras to take some unique images for his exhibition - Dark Corners of the Land - at The Dukes gallery from 15th July to 12th August.

“In this digital age I have gone back to basics," says Darren, "using cameras which are literally wooden boxes with a tiny hole in them instead of a lens.

"I still love film," he adds. "For me it beats digital every time, although obviously I use digital cameras for my commercial work.

The results of his work are intriguing: just looking at his picture of Pendle Hill in the exhibition, he's created an eerie vision of the land where events led to the infamous Witch Trials.

“It is a strange process using pinhole cameras as you don't really know what you have got until you are back in the darkroom," he reveals. "They have no viewfinders so you have to be pretty good at taking educated guesses and sometimes the ones which go wrong turn out to be the best photographs.

“The camera can be made out of almost any object as long as it has been made light tight. I have seen cameras made out of Pringle boxes, tins of Spam and shoeboxes.”

Darren has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years. He has worked for national and local newspapers and magazines. He now specialises in freelance assignments, and has also exhibited his work in galleries nationwide including in London, with pictures in the Royal Photographic Society Archive.

Dark Corners of the Land also features a sound installation by arts collective Victor Noir and it coincides with the final performances of Sabbat, the theatre’s latest homegrown production about the Lancashire Witches.

Sabbat, which attempts to unravel the mysteries still surrounding the Lancashire witch trials and imagines the events leading up to the trial and execution of the witches in Lancaster, returns to The Dukes from 17th - 21st July. It opened at the Lancaster theatre in early June and has been on a national tour since then.

• The Dukes gallery is open from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday. Please call the box office on 01524 598500 to check opening times if you’re making a special journey as occasionally the space is closed to the public.

For more information about Dark Corners of the Land and the people behind it, visit www.darrenandrewsphotos.co.uk or www.victornoir.co.uk

To book tickets for Sabbat, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org. For more information and regular updates on the production, visit www.sabbattheplay.org

• 'Pendle Hill Through the Pinhole' image copyright Darren Andrews.

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