It is quite something to have your third professional exhibition before your 19th birthday, but this was what 18-year-old Imogen Davis is celebrating this week, her startling black-and-white photographs having their first north London display thanks to a new art venue: The Haggerston Tearoom.
Posing for publicity shots amid the tables and cakes, Imogen was very excited about this her latest venture. “Just a year ago, I was still at Sydenham School taking my A Levels. I am due to begin a photography degree at the London College of Communication in Elephant and Castle in October. In between times I have managed to complete an art foundation course and also, in January, I staged my first solo-show in a professional gallery. I have learnt that when opportunities arise you should take them and so when I was approached by the Haggerston Tearoom wanting to have my photographs on show, I leapt at the chance.”
Her images range from landscapes inspired in part by the celebrated American photographer Ansel Adams, to those that seek to make the everyday unfamiliar: burnt feathers or jewellery ‘bubbling’ in lemonade. She has also derived inspiration from the Dickens’ character Miss Havisham from Great Expectations; re-creating and photographing objects that might have littered her dressing table and which decayed (or burnt) alongside their owner as she mourned her failed wedding day.
“The space at the tearoom is not vast and so I have had to limit what’s on show to my work in black and white,” says Imogen. “My aim in these images is to highlight the detail in objects and experiment with light in simple but eye-catching ways.”
“I absolutely love Imogen Davis’ work,” said Haggerston Tearoom manager Nuala Coll, who discovered Imogen by chance through personal contacts. “My friend suggested some of Imogen’s work might be perfect for such an intimate environment in which people come to unwind. Her black and white photographs inspire reflection and I find I see something new in them every time I look at them. This is very mature work from such a young person. I hope that other will appreciate her talent. Her show is a great advertisement for the Tearoom as an exhibition space for up-and-coming artists and particularly local artists.”
“I love taking photographs; my images help me to express emotions I might otherwise be unable to show,” says Imogen. “There is a tradition of photography in my family. My grandfather was an in-house photographer for one London’s big stores and then had a long freelance career and I do borrow his kit from time-to-time.”
Imogen Davis photographs will be will be at the Haggerston Tearoom , 224 Haggerston Road, London E8 4HT until Wednesday August 27: Monday- Friday 8am – 2.00pm; Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm; Sunday 11.00am – 2.00pm
Her works range in price from £30-£130.