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The Music Makers: an exhibition by Joshua Hayes and Philip Surey

News St Martin – Talking Points

Tuesday 18 March 2014

When Joshua Hayes decided to photograph the makers of musical instruments in Britain, he thought he would be capturing a dying art. Instead he found a thriving industry of harp manufacturers in Godstone, piano makers in Lewisham, luthiers in Stoke Newington, trumpet makers in Elstead…

Image of musical instruments under construction

‘What I photographed was the tip of a very big iceberg’ says Joshua. ‘I had thought that most of this highly skilled British craftsmanship would be lost but I was delighted to find so many fully operational and very successful businesses.’

Josh had previously photographed craftsmen such as Philip Surey, who carves or paints lettering in many of our major cathedrals, memorials and ancient colleges as well as producing his own work for private clients. Philip has exhibited at the Royal Academy as well as many other major art fairs.  

‘I like the idea of responding to Joshua’s work of both abstract and documentary photographs in two contrasting media. I have specially made three large pieces and a series of carved slates, to make an fascinating juxtaposition with Joshua’s work.’

The exhibition The Music Makers is at The Gallery in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields from 18 March to 13 April 2014. Admission free.