Guitar legend Andy Summers may not be so well known in Ireland for his photography but that is certainly changing. University College Cork welcome his latest exhibition, True Nature, to UCC Library as part of the Cork Photo Festival 2018.
Andy Summers rose to fame in the early 1980’s as the guitarist with the multi-million record selling rock band The Police. The Police were the number one band of the 1980s and dominated the music scene and the media. The band was the recipient of several Grammys and awards too numerous to mention. Andy Summers’ innovative guitar playing created a new paradigm for guitarists in this period and has been widely imitated ever since.
Post Police Andy has made thirteen solo records, collaborated with many other musicians and toured the world as a solo artist. In addition he has composed film scores, and exhibited and published books of his photography. He is also a Doctor of the Arts and a Chevalier des Artes et Lettres.
The exhibition, True Nature, is a series of black & white abstract plant still lifes which Summers explains thorough his childhood obsession with nature:
“For years I roamed the rivers and woods around my home in rural England making notes, looking at things through binoculars - and making maps. My mental landscape was filled with nature. At that age I thought of myself as a naturalist, a student of the natural world. For most of my hectic life as a musician with its mostly urban scenarios those times remain as a sort of Eden.”
Summers states that his photography may indeed be influenced by his absorption with music and that in a sense the photography he creates is a visual counterpart to the music that never leaves his head. Thus in Summers’ musical predilections – that may be termed as a taste for the melancholic, the convulsive melodic line, the dark chord with a few stray notes added – we find the brooding minor key photography he is attracted to. He adds that music and photography are kindred spirits in that they are nonverbal arts, but handily, may have interchangeable terms.
“Photographing plants is photography about itself. Like plants photographs were first made by natural substances and sunlight - nothing has changed.”
This is the first time that Andy Summers has exhibited in Ireland. He has been active as photographer since 1979 with numerous exhibitions, magazine essays, publications, and recently, keynote presentations of his photography. His most recent exhibitions have been at the Leica gallery in Los Angeles, Paris/LA Independent Photo Show, Kunst.Licht Gallery in Shanghai, CCC Gallery in Beijing and Photokina in Cologne, Germany. Upcoming photography exhibitions are scheduled for August in Sao Paulo Brazil and Rio de Janeiro with Globo newspaper. The exhibition will run in UCC Library until Sunday 17 June.
© 2018 Andy Summers All rights reserved
e. Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Research Collections., UCC Library.
University College Cork
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