Every now and then I like to check out what’s happening up on the North Coast so last week I called in at the Flowerfield Arts Centre, Coleraine Road, Portstewart, and was delighted to find a great exhibition of photographs by Ken Haddock.
Although probably best known as a singer-songwriter, the other love in his life is photography and this exhibition, which was first shown in the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, manages to successfully combine the two.
All the photographs were taken by Ken on a recent trip to Nashville where he and four other artists performed to a sell-out audience as part of the annual Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival. The festival is all part of Belfast’s Sister City agreement with Nashville which is now celebrating its 25th year. This trip offered the wonderful opportunity, of, as Ken says, “putting my camera to work on the streets of Nashville during the day, my guitar to work on the stages of Nashville in the evenings and my camera back to work again in the early bar hours of the Nashville morning”.
For Ken the shots, mostly in black and white, are about ‘simply enjoying photography and the people I met in Nashville’ and he certainly met some marvellous characters, from the singers themselves to the country and western fans and the worshippers in a local Baptist church. The images are full of life and energy and clearly capture the excitement which permeates Nashville during the festival.
Obviously determined to capture the moment rather than plan particular shots, Ken has produced some great, candid images of singers and fans alike. Selecting part of a scene or cropping shots to focus on one particular image is a talent in itself, one which Ken has a very good eye for.
I like the things he has chosen and I love the spontaneity of his camerawork.
As well as black and whites there are a few colour images which I think work wonderfully well making use of the colour to the max — not something that happens all that often.
It’s a really nice show worth seeing, but if you can’t catch it in Flowerfield before it finishes this weekend, look out for it at the Black Box in Belfast from February 8.