Caught by the River

Summer Days in the Stour Valley

20th March 2014

01.Suffolk, 2011

An Exhibition of New Photographs by Justin Partyka
Saturday 3 May – Sunday 29 June, 2014, Boat House Gallery, Flatford, Suffolk, CO7 6UL

Justin Partyka has been photographing throughout rural East Anglia for over a decade. His first series of photographs Field Work has been exhibited widely including an acclaimed solo show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (2009). These photographs were also recently featured in the Guardian magazine and on Anglia Television to promote inclusion in the exhibition With a Conscious Eye at Osborne Samuel in December 2013. For this new series of photographs Partyka spent two summers working on commissions exploring the landscape of the Stour river valley along the Suffolk, Essex border. Commenting on these photographs Partyka says:

“Wander the path of a winding river and it will take you deeply into the experience of landscape. Through the summer months I walked the footpaths, fields, meadows and farm tracks of this bucolic river valley. The Stour Valley remains a timeless landscape that continues to be deeply rooted to its past. In places it has remained unchanged for centuries by escaping the impact of industrial agriculture. I was often astonished by the quality of the great light I discovered there and this came to intimately shape the photographs I made. From my experience of making these photographs I came to see why this area is the heart of English landscape art, inspiring so many artists including Gainsborough, Constable, and Munnings. People come to this part of East Anglia to literally step into the paintings of these Masters of British Art. But I set out to find my own vision of the Stour Valley.”

02.Norfolk, 2012

Brian David Stevens says: Justin Partyka is one of my favourite living photographers. He documents the East Anglian flatlands and the fast disappearing rural culture within. His pictures are of the soil and those that make a living upon it, using the old ways of family farming, never presenting a rural idyll but showing the toil of living off the land. This is not the picturesque, ordered countryside, these are working pictures. Recently his work has focused on the land itself, captured in the dying light of the day as this way of life passes away, leaving behind these photographs. They are the landscapes of my childhood, out of time, they feel safe and warm like a threadbare chair in a farmhouse kitchen.

03.Norfolk, 2012

04.Norfolk, 2012

Justin will also be teaching a photography weekend workshop during the exhibition:
Exploring Constable Country with a Camera (Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June), Flatford, Suffolk.

This two day workshop will focus on creatively exploring the landscape of Constable country with a camera. The aim will be to make poetic photographs that express a personal way of seeing by responding intuitively and spontaneously to the discoveries that are encountered along the way. The workshop will also include group discussions and review sessions. Cost £120 for the weekend (lunch and refreshments included). Only 10 places are available. The workshop is for all levels of photographer age 18 onwards. Further details on Justin’s website. Bookings are now being taken at Flatford, National Trust, contact Sarah Milne on 01206 298260 /

05.Norfolk, 2012

06.Suffolk, 2013