Beauty amongst the Abandoned and Forgotten


Perian Moore and Andrew Walworth

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Beaumont Gallery in Mere welcomes American photographer Perian Moore with her beautiful collection of photographs of the island of Cuba.  Beauty amongst the abandoned and forgotten, which also features oil paintings of Cuba by the gallery’s resident artist Andrew Walworth, runs from Friday 28 June to Sunday 14 July with the gallery open 10.00am – 4.00pm at weekends or by appointment at any other time.  Admission is free and refreshments are available.

Perian Moore

“I was in my teens when I got my first click and shoot but it was in the last decade that I became more interested in expressing my artistic self through the lens. Largely self-taught, I’ve been further inspired by mentors and by the work of photographers such as Ethan Beckler and Akexey Kljatov. I visited Cuba and saw that this abandoned forgotten country has beauty in the cracks and crevices of its deterioration and it was my goal to show it off.  I hope that people who visit the exhibition will pause for thought about Cuba, its history, its present and hopes for the future.”

In conversation with American photographer Perian Moore
Perian, welcome to Beaumont Gallery – where do you live in the US?
Bath, in the beautiful state of Maine, high up on East coast America.
What are you exhibiting in the show ‘Beauty amongst the abandoned and forgotten?’
I’m exhibiting photographs taken in Havana and Vinales on the island of Cuba during my visit there in March 2019.  It was my first trip to the island, and I found such beauty amongst the abandoned and forgotten, in the cracks and crevices of the deterioration – the immense beauty of Cuba through the eyes of an American photographer. It was my goal to show it off.
My photos at this show comprise a mix of B&W and colour images, shot using a variety of techniques and lenses.  They are all unframed and printed with a matt finish.  I’m also showing a few pieces printed on glass which I think is a cool printing style. I used three lenses throughout the trip: macro, 18-55mm and a wide angle. 
Tell us a little about your photographic background
I was in my teens when I got my first click and shoot. My Grandfather, Aunt and Uncle had 35mm cameras, two of which I still have. It was shortly after my father died in 2009 my dear lovely husband bought me my first DSLR, a Nikon 3600. It sat in the box for several years and on occasion I would bring it out of the closet to play with. He even paid for a class for me to take. It wasn’t until he introduced me to one of his co-workers, Kathleen, that I took the camera out of the box permanently.
Kathleen became a mentor for me about two years ago. She would drag me out into the brutally cold winter nights to take pictures of moon, then it was sunsets and then the Milky Way.
Are you self-taught/professional training/ member of any photographic clubs?
I am self-taught with the help of mentors and just recently joined a photography club.  I have also taken workshops on Macro photography.
Who or what inspired you to express your artistic self through the lens?
My Grandfather and Uncle.
Are there any photographers whose work and style you’re particularly inspired by?
Currently I’m really into macro photography and there are two.  Ethan Beckler, who lives in the US - his macro work with grains of sand are just spectacular and inspired me to take some of my own. And there’s Alexey Kljatov who lives in Moscow. His work macro with snowflakes is perfection. I spent this last winter chasing the flake.
What camera(s)/lenses do you use?
A Nikon D5600. My favourite lens is my 40mm macro. I also enjoy shooting through a lens ball. I play with a wide angle and zoom every now and again - but my preference is my 40mm macro.
What are you trying to achieve through your photography?
Macro work is the building blocks to the larger picture. These small beauties get passed by every day without notice.  For me these small images contain so much and I want to capture the eye of an individual to inspire them to slow down and really look at the world.  From the ground up.
Is your passion for photography a form of relaxation for you?
Yes, in my paid job I live by the clock in increments of 15-sec to 30 minutes for 8 hours straight. When I’m out with my camera I get completely lost in the moment, I have no concept of time or responsibility, just pure joy and inspiration. I love letting the image call me to it.  I find I’m always experimenting and playing with ideas and concepts. I don’t want to miss anything.
What are you photographing month by month – is there always a project in hand?
Currently I’ve been patiently waiting for Maine to warm-up and the bulbs to pop out. On American Mother’s Day I visited Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to capture the millions of bulbs they planted.
Why do you love photography?
It’s the place to escape and leave all the daily worries behind. I like my process of letting the muse call my name and to capture it from my eye.
I’m not a photographer who feels the need to carry my camera everywhere I go. There have been times I’ve wished I had my camera but, for me, that’s just taking a photo for taking a photo. I love spending time and talking to my muse. I usually plan a day with no commitments, where time is elusive to me, and just go shoot somewhere or something.
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Andrew Walworth, artist and exhibition curator, will also exhibit a few oil paintings of his take on iconic scenes of life in Cuba. “Having spent time living and studying in Mexico and Brazil, and travelling around central America, I’ve always had an interest in their politics and culture. An opportunity to show life as it is in Cuba nowadays was too good an opportunity to miss.  Perian’s photographs do as she wanted – showing us her personalised take on the country as she reacts to its beauty and part desolation. My paintings will, I hope, complement Perian’s images and reflect what I feel about the country.”

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