Calm Before the Storm: The Art of Photographing Lifeboats
26 January – 22 April 2019
This exhibition presents a remarkable collection of images from the archive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). For generations, the Beken family in Cowes has photographed maritime activity in the area, creating a significant visual record of Isle of Wight industry and RNLI lifeboats.
‘Calm before the Storm: The Art of Photographing Lifeboats’ celebrates the digitisation of over eight hundred Beken glass plate negatives. It explores the stories of individual lifeboats and their volunteer crews, from starting service to saving lives at sea.
The exhibition also features photographs made by Jack Lowe as part of The Lifeboat Station Project, an ambitious journey to all 238 RNLI stations in the UK and Ireland photographing the lifeboat crews of today. Jack’s use of a Victorian process to produce images on glass complements the historical photographs of the Beken collection, prompting reflection on generations of lifesaving.
Generously supported by:
Heritage Lottery Fund
Christopher Andreae and The Scorpion Trust