Dogs and photography have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship dating back to early days of the medium. Surveying the world before him, the photographer’s gaze soon fell upon his best friend and being a loyal and willing accomplice, she was only too happy to oblige. The moment was thus captured by the camera’s mechanisms and man’s dewy-eyed companion was etched in silver. So began the symbiotic association of dog and camera that has endured ever since. This work builds on that fine tradition but suggests a more…inclusive role for its subject.

The operation involves taking a mobile photo studio out onto a local dog walking route. A roll of cheap vinyl flooring provides a dog-proof backdrop. Lights and camera are arranged. Passing dogs are invited to participate. Some approach the job in hand with enthusiasm, others are far too excitable. Some just want to chew their stick. A survey of sorts. When the dog’s interest in the project has waned, dog and owner continue on their walk.

The photography here adopts a deadpan approach: Frontal viewpoint. Flat even lighting. Minimum lens distortion and grain. Images are printed to a scale that invites scrutiny. The overall approach is intended to emphasise photography’s analytical capabilities. Objective. Impartial. Deadpan. With clear unhampered access to the subject, the viewer can decide for themselves what exactly it is they are looking at.

Thursday 20 June: join us 6-8pm to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.

PhoDOGraphy Workshop

Saturday 22 June, 11.00, 11.15, 11.30, 11.45, 12.00, 12.15, 12.30, 12.45, 14:00, 14:15, 14:30, 14:45, 15:00, 15:30, 15:45
Dog owner? Book a 15-minute slot for your canine companion to have their portrait taken in our Gallery, using Julian Benjamin’s techniques and expertise.
Julian will set up his dog-proof studio in the Gallery, and your dog will be invited to assist in the photographic process.
One dog only per slot. No size or weight restrictions.
Tickets are £15. Click here to book.

Julian Benjamin is also exhibiting a new photographic installation at The Link Gallery at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Cow Photofinish
1 June to 31 August 2019
A 26 metre long print depicting the race to the milking shed. The unlikely pairing of a dairy herd with photo finish technology is offered as a commentary on human-data relations.