The Observatory Photography Gallery
64 Marchmont St
Barry Cawston: Dreamstates is a photography exhibition located at The Observatory Photography Gallery in Bloomsbury, London. The exhibition runs from July to October 2021 – this is the first chance to see such a unique retrospective of Cawston’s extraordinary photographs.
In his Dreamstates exhibition Cawston leads us on a surreal trip across countries and continents; drawing us in with his mysterious storytelling until it becomes almost impossible to remember that the imagery is found by him and not somehow imagined by us.
Dreamstates brings together a unique selection of Barry Cawston’s extraordinary photographs. We are led, primarily, into this eerie state by Cawston’s deft composition. Whether we find ourselves drifting aimlessly through North American States or looking through the menu of a Russian Diner we do so in the alone of dreams that is never quite fully alone. We are following someone. Or perhaps we are waiting for them. It is difficult to be sure. But their absence is always felt as a heavy presence in Cawston’s uncanny world.
And Cawston’s eye for intense colours and cinematic lighting leads us yet deeper into our dreamsate. He is meticulous with this rich detailing; no chink in the curtains allows reality to creep back in. Though we are hesitant we are compelled to walk down unsettling corridors and climb moonlit stairs – until we reach the Tibetan Cowboy who is no more plausible than the landscape he has grown out of but may at least know what we are to imagine next.