Michael Kenna: Confessionals/Abruzzo

26th Jun 2017 - 14th Jul 2017

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27th June – 15th July

In June this year, Beetles + Huxley Gallery will present two new series of works, ‘Confessionals’ and ‘Abruzzo’ by internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Kenna. ‘Confessionals’ is a departure from the landscape work for which Kenna has become known and is the culmination of over 10-years work, travelling through Reggio Emilia, a city in northern Italy, to document hundreds of Catholic confessional booths. These will be shown alongside new photographs of the Abruzzo landscape from his new book, published by Nazraeli Press.

‘Confessionals’ is a typology of confessional booths from a distinct geographical region, documenting booths from the 13th century to the present. Shot in black and white, each booth is uniformly the focal point of each image, framed by the details of the church interior which happen to be in shot albeit a crucifix, pillar or ladder offering small clues as to the church’s architecture and context in which the booth is placed.

Kenna’s careful composition of the booths symbolises what he continues to search for in his photography, ‘the invisible with the visible, the intangible contained with the tangible, the illusion of reality’. Kenna is not interested in documenting man’s physical presence, but rather the traces that he has left behind and he believes Confessionals to be containers of memories and hidden secrets . Each photograph displays immaculate detail and continues ongoing fascination with capturing memories and stories, viewing the booths as containers of memory and hidden secrets.

This series is greatly influenced by Kenna’s religious upbringing. As a child, each week he would visit the dark confessional box in his local church of St Bede’s, Widnes and confess his sins to the local priest. Kenna recalls, ‘I would feel greatly relieved leaving the church – I was never sure if it was because I was forgiven, or because I didn’t have to go through the ritual again for at least another week.’

Alongside the ‘Confessionals’ works, Beetles + Huxley will also exhibit a series of landscapes from the Italian region of Abruzzo. In some places, the land is exceedingly wild and mountainous, whereas in others, it is quite domestic and pastoral. Hilltowns, castles and churches proliferate the landscape. The works come from Kenna’s new publication, published by Nazraeli Press 2017.

Works

Confessional, Study 4, Chiesa Di Santo Stefano (Detta Collegiata), Novellara, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2007

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 68, Chiesa Di San Filippo Neri, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 40, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta Nella Cattedrale, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 9, Chiesa Di San Matteo Apostolo, Rossena, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2008

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 13, Chiesa Dei Santi Giacomo E Filippo Apostoli, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2007

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 18, Chiesa Di Santi Pietro Apostolo E Prospero Vescovo, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2007

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 45, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta, Gombio, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 22, Chiesa Di San Giovanni Evangelista In Santo Stefano Protomartire, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2007

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 1, Chiesa Dei San Pietro Apostolo E Prospero Vescovo, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2007

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 52, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta, Minozzo, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 25, Chiesa Dell’immacolata, Concezione, Pieve Rossa, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2008

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 74, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Nascente, Brescello, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 49, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta, Minozzo, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 53, Chiesa Di San Michele Arcangelo, Roncaglio Di Canossa, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 55, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta, Felina, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 70, Chiesa Di San Rocco, Villarotta, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 56, Chiesa Di San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Casina, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 35, Basilica Della Beata Vergine Della Ghiara, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 30, Chiesa Di San Giorgio, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 36, Basilica Della Beata Vergine Della Ghiara, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 3, Chiesa Di Sant’andrea, Gualtieri, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2008

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 26, Chiesa Di Santa Maria Assunta, Toano, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2008

Michael Kenna

Confessional, Study 6, Chiesa Di Sant’andrea, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2008

Michael Kenna

Illuminated Statue Of Mary, Gesu E Maria, Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Cemetery Statue, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Corno Grande Reflection, Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Gibbous Moon, Lake Campotosto, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Persimmon Tree, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Capodacqua Lake, Capestrano, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Moon Set, Lake Campotosto, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Above The Clouds, Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Thin Cloud, Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Castle And Sky, Calascio, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Morning Clouds, Pacentro, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Distant Mountains, Passo Delle Cappanelle, Pizzoli, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Tree And Gran Sasso, Castilenti, Abruzzo, Italy, 2015

Michael Kenna

Gathering Clouds, Casoli, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Poplar Trees, Fucino, Abruzzo, Italy, 2016

Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna: Confessionals/Abruzzo