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Michael Hart Fine Art

Amberley Gate

Amberley Gate

Regular price $750.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $750.00 USD
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 I was in Sussex, part of a holiday in London and the surrounding area. I had learned about a unique hotel, situated in the historic Amberley Castle. Now a luxury hotel, the castle was erected as a 12th-century manor house and fortified in 1377, giving it a rhomboid shaped stonework enclosure with high curtain walls, internal towers in each corner, a hall and a gateway. It was used as a fortress by the bishops of Chichester. Our room was in the castle wall, and included a hidden staircase that could take us up to the top of the battlements!

As we walked around the enclosed courtyard before dinner in the incredible restaurant, I had a plastic Holga camera in my hands, loaded with B&W film.

It’s a very basic piece of equipment, with manual “guesstimate” focusing and a plastic window rangefinder for sighting your subject. Oh, and just two exposure settings. The imperfections of the camera have endeared it to many for “artistic expression.”

As we walked towards the gatehouse, complete with a portcullis gate, I raised it to my eye, as I saw doves sitting on a ledge. Just as I hit the shutter button, one of them took flight vertically, and the white of its body stood out against the dark stone of the castle.

Upon developing the film, I scanned it, and did so in the RGB color space, even though it was B&W film. This caused some spurious color crossovers, which I exploited for the warmth in the building, and the yellow in the sky.

The resulting image seemed mysterious, and just perfect for a 900-year old castle.

This image was included in the “Portals” Exhibition at The A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, Texas in 2019

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