HURRY, hurry, to the City Screen café bar to see York photographer Matt Bowden’s exhibition The Natural Landscape of Yorkshire.
The Coney Street cinema, in York, will be closed after Thursday’s screenings following Cineworld’s decision to shut all its cinemas temporarily until further notice as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the entertainment world.
This sudden shutdown follows the wounding blow to the cinema industry of the release of the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, being postponed for a second time, put back from November 12 to next April.
City Screen, in Coney Street, is part of the Picturehouse Cinemas Group now owned by Cineworld.
Consequently, Bowden’s debut York show will be curtailed only eight days after opening last Wednesday, although he hopes the exhibition will be given the green light to resume once City Screen reopens.
Such a reopening is not expected until after Christmas at the earliest, according to City Screen general manager Tony Clarke.
Hence the urgency to view the photography of Matt Bowden, 43, a location manager for film and television productions by profession.
“Photography has played a huge part in my 18-year career as a location manager, working on such titles as Phantom Thread, The Secret Garden and The Duke,” he says.
Born and bred in York, Bowden developed his love of nature when bird-watching with his grandfather, Eric Markham, as a child.
“My primary passion has long been the natural world, photographing the wealth of landscapes and wildlife that my home county of Yorkshire has to offer,” says Matt.
“The tranquillity, isolation and mental clarity this provides offers a perfect remedy for the chaotic and often intense lifestyle most of us find ourselves engulfed in.”
Matt’s photographic challenge is a dual one: “Not only does it require all the hours spent hidden in bushes and hides studying a natural subject, but more so you must successfully create an image that proves to be both unique and artistically expressive,” he says.
“I consider the environment in which the subject resides to play as important a role as the subject itself when forming a composition.”
God’s Own Country duly plays a prominent role in Bowden’s photographic work. “Yorkshire has such a diverse and rich tapestry of nature and landscapes that I feel fortunate to be able to call it home,” he says.
Contemplating the stultifying impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, he says: “It’s just such a shame City Screen is closing for the foreseeable future. The film industry is in a bad shape, and the film I was meant to be working on from this autumn has been pushed into Spring/Summer 2021.”