Joe inspired by nature for first solo exhibition

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A SELBORNE resident is holding his first solo exhibition at Gilbert White’s House.

Joe Shaw, who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham in 2018 with a fine art degree, says he has a versatile approach to his art.

Joe’s exhibition, entitled Hyper-Nature, exhibits photographs, digital creations and sculptural artefacts inspired by Gilbert White’s observations of the natural world.

Joe photographed nature around Selborne for more than a year, observing the changes and looking closely at detail. These photographs inspired a series of digital re-workings to transform the originals into something unrecognisable.

Joe has taken impressions of elements within the gardens that are usually undiscovered, bringing them inside and presenting them as artefacts.

He wants the viewer to be intrigued by the unfamiliar, to make them look more closely, and to be curious.

Joe said: "I wanted to get the most out of the space at Gilbert White’s House with this exhibition.

"I want to make people explore the garden a bit more and notice things they wouldn’t normally recognise.

"My work is about making people really look at it.

"I don’t tell people what to see - I let the audience come up with their own interpretation. I love hearing what people say.

"Everything in the exhibition is limited to Selborne, mostly to Gilbert White’s House, which has been the exhibition’s inspiration."

Joe explained how lockdown gave him the time to learn new skills and put the exhibition together.

"I used lockdown as a chance to reinvent myself as an artist and learn new tools," he said.

"I’ve added those skills to what I already had. I really got into photography and was crawling on the ground to get into that other world.

"I altered some of my photos on Affinity and played around with the colours as I wanted to take a natural image and put a different spin on it. I wanted to cause curiosity.

"Lockdown was tough for everyone across the country. It was important for me I had this project to work on.

"This is the first solo exhibition I’ve done by myself. I’ve done nothing like this before.

"I did group exhibitions at the UCA, but I’ve done everything myself here.

"I’ve been learning on the job, but this is what I’ve wanted to do since I’ve been 15. Hopefully this is a launchpad for my career and for other projects."

Joe is an ex-student of Stepping Stones in Hindhead and Treloar’s in Alton, and is currently attending Creative Response in Farnham.

The Hyper-Nature exhibition at Gilbert White’s House is open from 10.30am to 5pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, until Sunday, November 28.

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