John Stewart Farrier: Voices from Westminster at the Strand Gallery
On 3rd July, in the Strand Gallery, a man spoke with great respect and enthusiasm about his exhibited photographs. No question was shunned, and everyone was drawn in and fascinated by his stories. The work is of politicians since the 1980s and the photographer is John Stewart Farrier.
Farrier has been involved in photography since the tender age of seven, and has photographed people from the entertainment world to the political. His main focus is on photographing politicians, as he loves “capturing the moment”. The photos are always without extra lighting or props so as to observe the person in their element, and the 35 exhibited photographs were handpicked by the photographer from the 198 in his collection.
Understandably, it can be hard for a person to feel comfortable and act naturally during a photo shoot, but the powerful charm of Farrier brings out the best in all of his subjects. The relationship of photographer and sitter reflects highly in the quality of the photograph.
Voices from Westminster emerged due to the photographer’s involvement in the Channel 4 show Four Rooms – Farrier was on the show with the CEO of Proud Galleries, Alex Proud. Proud was naturally impressed by Farrier’s work and promptly offered him an exhibition.
The feeling induced by looking into the eyes of a politician in a black and white photograph is hard to articulate. While aesthetically pleasing, the photographic portraits acquire a powerful human connection when you hear the history behind each work. This is what is truly great about the exhibition as it can be seen as both art and documentary photography, true beauty within history. Further explanations and photography can be found in Farrier’s new book which is on its way. But until then, the exhibition remains open for a further fortnight.
Voices from Westminster: Photographs by John Stewart Farrier is at the Strand Gallery until 13th July 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.