The work of eminent local photographer Dennis Coutts will be showcased at the Bonhoga Gallery for the first exhibition of 2012, starting next Friday.
Dennis has been photographing Shetland’s society for over 60 years and his work is a fascinating catalogue of life throughout the islands. Work has been selected from the 1960s and represents Shetland in the pre-oil era.
Shetland Arts assistant development officer Jane Matthews said the exhibition would appeal to anyone with an interest in the stories and characters from this period in Shetland’s history. While life was very different then, the stunning black and white photographs reflected a character of life in Shetland which was timeless and remained in many ways unchanged today.
Ms Matthews said: “Dennis worked as a commercial photographer from his studio on Commercial Street, combining press photography with family portraiture, social reportage and his own interests in natural history and the landscape.
“Dennis’ talent for photography – particularly portraiture – is highlighted by the quality of composition, at a time when the art of photography was quite different to that of the digital age today.
“All the photographs in the exhibition have been hand-printed by Dennis’ son John, using traditional darkroom processes and are for sale, mounted and signed by Dennis. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a traditional print from this unique archive.”
Everyone is welcome to the opening of the exhibition on 20th January from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Dennis will be giving a short talk about his work in the gallery on Saturday 21st January at 2.30pm, which will provide an opportunity to hear some of the fascinating tales of his life, career and the subjects of his work. The talk is free with no booking required.
Some of Dennis’s photographs from 1962 can be seen each week in the Times Past feature in the print edition of The Shetland Times.