Herbert Art Gallery & Museum presents Lottie Davies' large scale multi-media project, Quinn

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Herbert Art Gallery & Museum presents Lottie Davies' large scale multi-media project, Quinn
From the series 'Quinn' 2020 © Lottie Davies.

COVENTRY.- British photographer, artist, and writer, Lottie Davies has created a large-scale multimedia project, Quinn - a meditation on grief, loss, loneliness, the human search for meaning, and the possibility of redemption through time and landscape. Using a variety of media and installations, it recounts the eponymous fictional story of a young man, William Henry Quinn, who is walking from the south-west of England to the far north of Scotland in post-Second World War Britain. This new, major iteration of Quinn premiered at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum as an exhibition running from 14 February - 31 May 2020.

The exhibition presents a multi-dimensional view of the titular figure and his story by using nine moving image works and eighteen large format photographs, ‘personal’ ephemera, text, and installations created to be viewed and read side-by-side, much like simultaneously reading a novel, visiting the theatre, and going to the cinema. The viewer can use these visual clues as a way of untangling as much or as little of the narrative as they desire.

As Quinn travels on his odyssey it is revealed to be both a physical and metaphorical journey mediated by the British landscape, a geography that is both changed and unchanged since the 1940s. The ancient byways along which he has travelled remain as they were then, and yet with the immutability of change and the unremitting nature of time passing, and lives and memories changing and fading. At the exhibition the viewer almost physically walks alongside Quinn and, in learning his story, may come to understand more about their own search for existential meaning and purpose in life.

While fictional, Davies has created Quinn in response to the real experiences of young men and women post-trauma, both in the early twentieth century and now. The life changes imposed on each generation by conflict and global socio-economic collapse, as well as personal tragedy, produces a constant stream of people left untethered in the world, often literally travelling in any way they can, to find a new home, a new purpose and to rebuild their place in the world.

Davies’ work is concerned with stories and personal histories, employing a deliberate reworking of visual vocabularies with the intention of evoking a sense of recognition and narrative.

Quinn acts as a natural and significant continuation of Davies’ work. Quinn: A Journey is curated by Dr Rachel Marsden, and produced by Wewiora & Booth.

Photographer, artist and writer, Lottie Davies was born in Guildford, UK, in 1971. After a degree in philosophy at St Andrews University, Scotland, she moved back to England to pursue a career in photography.

Davies’ photography has been published in numerous newspapers, glossy magazines, books as well as advertising. She has won recognition in numerous awards, including the Association of Photographers’ Awards, the International Color Awards, and the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Awards. Her work has garnered international acclaim with the image Quints, which won First Prize at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Awards 2008 at the National Portrait Gallery in London, with Viola As Twins, which won the Photographic Art Award, Arte Laguna Prize in Venice in 2011, with her series Memories and Nightmares which won the Young Masters Art Prize in 2012, and her collaboration on Dreams of Your Life with Hide & Seek/Film 4.0 which was BAFTA-nominated in 2012. Sandy Nairne, former director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, described Davies’ work as “brilliantly imaginative”.

She is currently based in London and Cornwall.

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