The first exhibition at The Gallery at Windsor explored the relationship between the beach and society over the years through the eyes of a diverse group of artists. The Beach exhibition was conceived by Alannah Weston and curated by Bettina Von Hase.
The exhibition of photography was inspired by Windsor’s beach and Alannah’s memories of her beach experience at Windsor. Clifford Ross’s crashing waves, Morris Engel’s couple embracing on the sand, and Paul Pfeiffer’s empty stretch of shoreline have powerful resonance. Other pieces in the collection show aspects of beach life that come from outside our immediate frame of reference. Martin Parr’s gritty portrayal of British holiday resorts depict a paradise lost, while Robert Capa’s extraordinary images of the Normandy landings document events which have made an indelible mark on history, but are, especially for the younger generation, about as far from our own associations with the seaside as it is possible to get. By deconstructing the beach as idyll, its universality is revealed.
The show documented the rites of passage through which photography has travelled on its journey to become a serious art form. The Beach exhibition also marked the beginning of Windsor’s ongoing Arts Programme.