Under the Skin of a Lemon Sky

Photographs etc. by Laurie Avadis, Henry Lewes & Simone Bloom

4 to 15 September 2019
  • Peggy Jay Gallery

There are secret depths glowing within the hearts of our daily lives. A beachcomber makes his lonely pilgrimage through the fire of the dying day. A woman floats over the lunar surface of a gasholder. Scratched lines suggest electic pylons,  mid-march . We share with you our particular view.

 Main image by Henry Lewes


Laurie Avadis

Laurie is a published novelist, recording artist and performer.  This exhibition represents the first collection of his photography and drawings.

“There are secret depths glowing within the hearts of our daily lives, in the simplest and most mundane situations.  A man sits on an underground train with a bottle of wine with a stare that stretches 1000 miles into the distance. A side street in Paris screams with colour in the early evening dusk. A man picks amongst the detritus of a beach on the West Coast USA under a burnt umber sunset. A woman runs through the wet sand at midnight, every puddle an exploding galaxy.”

 Laurie strives to capture and reveal this unseen universe.


Henry Lewes 1926 - 2012

Henry was a Fellow of the Institute of British Photographers and Associate of the Royal Photographic Society.  After many years directing documentary films in Britain, Canada and Australia, including several episodes of “Omnibus” for the BBC, he founded the Arts and Music Trust with the aim of producing films with long-term cultural and educational value for worldwide distribution.  His later career was as Senior Lecturer of Photography and then joint Principal of Watford College of Art.  He was a member of the BAFTA  selection committee for Short Film awards.

Henry exhibited at the London Salon of Photography and at the Camden Arts Centre Gallery: the latter exhibition entitled Gas in a New Light.

“I have felt the beauty of man-made objects is underestimated, ever since photographing milk bottles in the snow as an art student.   Gas holders are magnificent primeval creatures and I have wanted to share my delight in them from when I was six and had a box Brownie.  I met Simone Bloom at Watford College and discovered she shared this passion.  This was sufficient to turn the fantasy of having this exhibition into the reality of clambering about the oily and frightening monsters.

“Instinct drives me on in the search for images and for ways of sharing with my art students what a camera can do.  I can teach them where the buttons are on a camera in about five days – but how to teach them to ‘see’?  That is magic and all those years have only given me the sketchiest notion of how to ignite young visions.”


Simone Bloom

Simone, 2017 Winner of the Pebeo/Cass Art Prize, studied art at Watford College and Chelsea School of Art and architecture at South Bank University and The Bartlett, UCL.   She is a practicing architect and lecturer on architecture, art and design and has exhibited her paintings and photography at the Strand Gallery, Camden Arts Centre Gallery, Burgh House and other London galleries and architectural drawings and models in London, Lisbon and Los Angeles.                                 

“Featured at this exhibition are photographs of gasholders taken around southern England by my dear friend Henry Lewes and myself.   We were originally sponsored by British Gas and our adventures culminated in an exhibition entitled Gas in a New Light, held at Camden Arts Centre.

So many gasholders have been demolished now that natural gas is stored underground.  I hope these images act as a reminder of these industrial relics and a testament to their architectural grandeur.

Henry and I set out on our mission like true explorers. We often got covered in black grease, climbing to dizzying heights in gale force winds, rain and snow with tripods strapped to our backs after downing pints of local beer in remote pubs.

 To stand on top of one of these bizarre edifices supported by nothing more than a 2 millimetre skin between us and a big bubble of gas, is to walk on the moon while floating above the earth.  To explore their sites is to enter private estates uninhabited by human beings, through jungles of enormous pipes coiled like monstrous intestines.  I imagined them as cathedrals, amphitheatres and circuses.  I explored these ideas through photography and photomontage. Subsequently, as a  graduate student, I used these techniques to develop spatial concepts informed by my love of industrial architecture.”