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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Jamie Hawkesworth – Landscape with Tree at Huis Marseille

“Photography is a disarmingly subtle act of sensing, then waiting, until a subject reveals itself,” he explains. “It is my chosen medium because of its capacity to intensify what we see, and to capture the unique truths that lie beneath the surface of our encounters. This enduring and patient economy of means channels our shared, multivalent sense of wonder at being present in the world.”

– Hawkesworth (Dazed, 2017)

Taking over 14 rooms at Huis Marseille, Jamie Hawkesworth’s body of work was fully explored and comprehensive.  Hawkesworth came to the world of photography through an unlikely path.  In 2007, Hawkesworth was studying for a degree in Forensics at the University of Central Lancashire.  He was instructed to photograph a reconstruction of a crime scene for an assignment. Hawkesworth has said of the experience “It was like a switch went off, that’s when I realized there was so much potential in photography. I quickly fell in love with taking pictures.” (Woo, 2017)

The exhibition is a journey through his career to date. There are rooms dedicated to his 2013 project ‘Preston Bus Station’, his travel reportages series ‘Congo’ (2016) and ‘Colombia’ (2017). The exhibition has a room dedicated to his girlfriend, Mica.  The end(?) of the exhibition is a room that contains Hawkesworth’s recent series of nude portraits of curvy women made for Print Magazine (2017). Whether this is the end or not depends on the order in which you view the work.

The museum is spectacular.  It is housed in two huge 17th century canal houses. The experience is not that of the normal ‘white cube’ experience of a standard gallery.  The interior spaces are huge, high-ceiling rooms.  The wooden floors and stair cases make you feel as though you have stepped back in time.  The feel is much more organic and the natural light streaming in the windows allows you to view and experience the photographs in an unhindered and serene way.  I found myself completely immersed in the images.  The museum is so huge that for much of the time I was the only person in a room, alone with the work and my thoughts. It was a glorious and fabulous place to be.  I felt so privileged.

I was struck at how seamlessly Hawkesworth has bridged the gap between his personal work and his commercial, fashion shoots.  His work is playful yet empathetic and all in his distinct documentary style.  The whole exhibition feels like a continuous body of work. To me there is no distinction between the way he shoots personal projects or commercial shoots. Yet, each room is different. The feel and the environment of each space complements and adds to the experience of the work.

The works on view are inspiring and enthralling.  Each one is an authentic view into the world of those in the images. I could have spent many more hours in the exhibition.  I find the path that Hawkesworth has taken to be very interesting.  It is a path I would like to travel with my own practice.  I believe my personal work would cross over and translate well into the world of fashion photography.  I am grateful to Hawkesworth for demonstrating to me what is possible and for giving me focus for the future.

Below is my visual record of the exhibition – all photographs taken by me of Hawkesworth’s work.


Dazed. (2017). Jamie Hawkesworth comes full circle with huge new exhibition. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].

The Fall. (2017). Jamie Hawkesworth, Landscape with Tree. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].

Woo, K. (2017). One Photographer’s Personal (and Visual) Journey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].

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