Devotion by Christopher Roche comes to London in 2019.
“Few exhibitions canvas humanity with the scale and ambition inherent in Roche’s work. The expansive vision of the work is both evident in each image’s composition and the effort involved in accessing these diverse locations and cultures. In mounting this exhibition, the club recognises the effort and talent of an artist who has turned his lens to a breadth of sights and circumstances most people would otherwise never encounter. We are so proud to give this body of work a platform at our gallery.” – Ali Hillman, Curator, h Club adds
Next May h Club London is proud to present DEVOTION, an exhibition of award-winning photographer Christopher Roche’s five-year-long project which saw him travel the globe exploring different, and often disappearing, faith traditions. Interested in the common humanity rather than the dogma behind such traditions, he has photographed a fundamental aspect of the human condition.
From the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet to the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia; from the dervishes of Iranian Kurdistan and the Sufi Zikrs of Chechnya to the burning Ghats of India and the animists in the Peruvian Andes, the project captures both the intimate and epic nature of ancient traditions that are now being lost to the forces of globalisation, mass tourism, political oppression and even global warming.
“Over the years I photographed both the intimate and epic nature of several faith traditions: private moments of prayer and meditation alongside monumental scenes with thousands of pilgrims in dramatic landscapes. I saw commonalities that transcend faith and frontiers – the use of prayer beads, the practice of pilgrimage and the devotion to shrines to name a few, and of course just as many differences, but all these outward observations appeared to me to conceal a deeper truth. Across borders and amidst scenes of deep devotion I encountered poverty, superstition and repression. I saw, as is the case in most religions, women excluded from the privileged domains of men. However, I also experienced the beauty of the human spirit and a shared desire to connect to something greater than our self.” – Christopher Roche
Roche’s work follows in the tradition of social documentary photography epitomised by the likes of Salgado and Capa. However, he brings his own unique sensibility to his craft. His photographs, often described as painterly or cinematic, reveal his love for the mastery of light and composition exemplified by the great artists Rembrandt and Caravaggio.
Devotion by Christopher Roche launches on May 14th 2019 at The hClub Gallery. Roche has published two photographic books on this theme, The Priests and Pilgrims of Ethiopia and Banaras, Holy City.
“Perhaps this has been my journey too. I feel lucky to have witnessed many ancient traditions that are now being lost to the forces of globalisation, mass tourism, political oppression, religious extremism and even global warming. I hope that this book is in some small way a testament to the importance of these traditions – traditions that reflect a shared and fundamental aspect of the human condition that dates back to the dawn of time” – Christopher Roche