October 22nd, 2016

Photographer’s work banned from Leamington Art Gallery

Updated: 11:21 am, Oct 12, 2016

A PHOTOGRAPHER has been left ‘gobsmacked’ after his work was banned from Leamington Art Gallery.

Roy Spence was asked to provide pieces for the gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Close to Home.

But the 64-year-old from Warwick was stunned after curators barred two of his pieces from being shown because they contained naked women posing in their homes.

The dad-of-three said: “I think it is ridiculous and very short-sighted of the gallery. There is nothing scurrilous about them.

“I thought the art world had accepted naked models but obviously not in this case.

“They show nude figures in the gallery all the time so I don’t understand why they have rejected these photos.”

One image shows a nude mother in a living room while a fully-clothed youngster and her father can be seen reading a book in the foreground.

The other photo banned features another nude model in her kitchen sitting on a worktop with a dog on the floor.

Artist Katherine Barker is organising the exhibition in the main gallery.

Mr Spence, who is also a part-time lecturer in photography, added: “Katherine has had meetings with the gallery and has tried to argue my case but they are sticking to their decision.

“They suggested I provide a photograph of flowers instead but I declined.”

Senior curator Chloe Johnson told the Observer it was decided different pieces by the photographer would be more suitable.

She said: “Given the location of the space next to the children’s gallery, we did not think the pictures were suitable.

“We don’t consider ourselves to be prudish, we believe art should be challenging but we had to manage the space available to us.

“Ray was invited to submit some alternative works for the display but he declined.

“We’re sorry that this was the case as we value and respect his work.”

The exhibition is set to run from Wednesday (October 19) until January 9.