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"Go outside and look beyond colour. It's fading fast as winter sets in, but there is beautiful shape, texture and form all around us: in the buildings, in nature, and in people and how they express themselves."

Cliff Docherty

flyer advertising beyond colour exhibition of monochrome photography by cliff dochertyAs autumn’s last flourish of colour is replaced and the world around us desaturates, Palmers Green photographer Cliff Docherty is inviting us to celebrate this new monochrome environment, and at the same time help boost our physical and mental wellbeing, by contributing black and white photographs to his new exhibition at the Dugdale Arts Centre.

Cliff's exhibition, Beyond Colour, runs from 14th to 26th November and brings together his lifelong love of photography and his day job managing a team of social prescribers in east London.

Cliff explains the connection:

"One of the key things that social prescribers do is work with people to improve their general health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. This might mean tackling niggling practical issues, but another important aspect is getting involved and doing things - in this case getting outside for a walk and finding out what inspires their creativity as seen through the lens on their phones or cameras."

Cliff’s relationship with photography goes back to childhood and long walks with his dad, who taught him to look at things with a hand-me-down box camera, and try to see them in a different way. Later at college and working as a premises and fine art photographer, Cliff has refined his art over the years.

"I'm inviting people to go outside (yes, we know it's November and grey) and look beyond colour. It's fading fast as winter sets in, but there is beautiful shape, texture and form all around us, in the buildings, in nature, and in people and how they express themselves.

"Changing your angle of view, looking at the same thing from different viewpoints, kneeling or crouching, climbing (but be careful), things change and can be quite intriguing and dramatic seen in shades of grey."

advert for beyond colour visitors showcaseCliff is inviting people to go outside, look beyond colour and send him their black-and-white photos to include in the exhibition

The exhibition comprises work shot on mobile phones, high-end digital cameras and old folding cameras from the lean war years that many of us have at the back of a cupboard somewhere. The idea is that anyone can shoot with any equipment and still produce something interesting.

"In our area we have some interesting spots where we can let rip our creativity while getting a little fitter at the same time as we walk, bend, crouch and lean into the pictures.

"Grovelands Park with the dead tree in the middle, the conservatory in Broomfield Park, the various installations along the New River, Enfield’s town centre, Forty Hall, and some of the architectural gems in Palmers Green.

"...a new world reveals itself as distracting colour falls away to reveal shapes and textures removed from the distraction of the spectrum, instead showing us a new spectrum, that of form and feel. It’s almost a form of mindfulness to stand behind a camera and look at your world purely in abstract monochrome and consider why is something a particular shape. Is it graceful, or brutal? Is it rough or steel spun like silk fibres? Why does one tree have smooth bark, and another shed it in flakes? And how do these things change in the light and time of day. A camera can capture it all."

Extract from the information about the Beyond Colour exhibition

"Maybe, if you can't travel far, you have a view in your back garden or balcony. Some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen were captured by a patient from her bed at home of the flowers in the vase in her bedroom."

Cliff points out that most phones allow you to shoot in black and white, meaning that you can create monochrome work. All pictures will be credited to the contributors and will be on a looping slideshow at the Dugdale for the duration of the exhibition, and also available on YouTube.

Send your pictures along with your name and the name of the work to .

Cliff Docherty

phil docherty outside dugdale arts centre next to poster advertising the beyond colour exhibitionCliff's father Colin Docherty was a keen photographer all his life and infected his young son with the same passion from a very early age, passing down his 1957 Kodak box brownie when Cliff was 8. He still has it. Working in both analogue and digital mediums these days, he has been exhibited in numerous shows in London, but this is his first solo outing.

Working in a range of genres, you can’t really pigeonhole this deaf artist. He has a wandering interest, wanting to try new things all the time, especially if it involves playing with old equipment and bringing it to life to do something contemporary with it. He enjoys abstract work and carries a fondness for the film noir style, as can be seen in a lot of the work on show at the Dugdale. You can see more of his work on his website and his blog.

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