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22 / 02 / 23

South Liverpool Photographic Society’s Exhibition, 13th – 20th January 2023

South Liverpool Photographic Society (SLPS) is one of the oldest camera clubs in the country, having been founded in 1952, and meets weekly for presentations, as well as for tutorials, workshops and competitions. One of the highlights of our year is our Annual Exhibition of Photography. In the summer of 2022 our members were asked to send in images that the Palm House might be able to use in their Lottery Funded signage project. In the event, a good number of images of Sefton Park were sent in and it was decided that SLPS should put on an exhibition of mounted prints in the Palm House on the theme of Sefton Park and the Palm House, and that it would take place over a week at the beginning of January 2023.

Christine Lowe – Courstesy of SLPS

Members were asked to send in images for the Exhibition and a small group met to decide which of these would be accepted. A decision was made to be as inclusive as possible, to encourage as many members as possible to submit images and to accept a minimum of 2 images from every member who had submitted, whether they were experienced or new to photography. About 75 images were selected from over 20 different authors. This exercise proved to be an excellent learning opportunity for newer members, many of whom worked with more experienced members to print and mount images for their first time.

SLPS Exhibition

The week before the Exhibition opened, a small group met in the Palm House to decide how the prints would be arranged on the boards which were supplied by the Palm House. All the prints were the same size, which gave some consistency, but some were landscape, others portrait, most were in colour with various palettes, but some were mono. Most of the mount boards were white, but a few were cream. Each board took 4 images and the aim of the group was to make each board look as coherent as possible. Once this was done, the boards were stacked away until the opening day.

SLPS visit the Palm House

The Exhibition had been given a fair amount of publicity, through both SLPS and the Palm House’s social media networks, the Palm House programme and an interview in Radio Merseyside, but the response from the public was far greater than had been expected. On the first day there were 120 visitors, on day two 305 and on day three an amazing 369. Over the 8 days more than 1500 people visited the Exhibition. Entries in the visitors’ book showed that the vast majority were local, and this was reflected in the way that visitors could relate to the images. Throughout the week, members of SLPS were present at the Exhibition to talk to visitors, many of whom not only enjoyed the pictures but also expressed an interest in the club. A few have already converted that interest into membership.
The week saw some very wintery weather- from heavy rain to fierce hail storms, snow and ice, but the inclement weather made the Palm House even more appealing as a welcoming warm and dry refuge, where visitors could enjoy the building and its plants, as well as the Exhibition and the cafe.

Marie McGonigal – Courtesy od SLPS

From SLPS’s perspective this proved to be a wonderful collaborative experience. The Palm House staff were always incredibly welcoming to members and visitors, the lighting was excellent, as was the space that was available, and the surroundings could not be better. We certainly hope that this will prove to be the first of many more Exhibitions to come.

Simon Rahilly, February 2023