Shot across the bows
Exeter-based photographer Jenny Steer, whose work has been published in The Times, Daily Express and Daily Mirror among others, is holding an exhibition of the section of her work featuring the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis from 25 to 30 May 2013. Jenny started photographing the boats and people of the Academy in 2010 at one of its student boat launches.
Launches are a very important part of the Academy’s calendar, celebrating the end of ‘long’ 38 week courses and the beginning of students’ new careers as boat builders. Students’ families and friends, well wishers and the town come down to the Cobb to cheer as each boat, testament to the students’ new skills, goes into the water for the first time. Launches are happy occasions, but they also signify that people who have worked closely together for nine months will soon go their separate ways. Jenny first came to a launch ‘unofficially’, but her photographs captured the beauty of the boats and the spirit of the occasion so well that the Academy asked her to be the ‘official’ launch photographer”.
Jenny’s photographs have illustrated articles on the launches, now attended by hundreds of people, in Yachting World, Classic Boat and Water Craft in addition to other magazines.
The exhibition features images of the boats and students against the stunning backdrop of Lyme Regis and the sea. “Sailing and boats have been a big part of my own life” says Jenny, “I absolutely love photographing the boat launches at the Boat Building Academy. There are so many interesting and diverse boat designs from quirky to more conventional. The atmosphere is extraordinary and I feel privileged to be involved in such an important and special day.”
To complement the photographs, two of the traditional clinker boats Jenny has photographed will be on loan from their owners for the exhibition. ‘Witch of Weymouth’ is a replica of 1902 Dorset crab and lobster boat ‘Witch of Worbarrow’ and was exhibited at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall after being launched in December 2010. ‘Rubee’, a very pretty little pram dinghy planked in sweet chestnut on oak, was launched in December 2012.
Jenny’s website shows more of her work, some of which is available to buy.