Blood, Sweat and Glory – The Photography of Peter Spurrier
- Opens 18 June, Treasures Gallery at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames -
- Opening the shutter on the glories and defeats of modern competitive rowing -
Peter Spurrier has spent a lifetime photographing the beauty, power and sweat of rowing from sculling along gentle backwaters to the high drama of Olympic regattas. Through a major retrospective spanning his 30 year career, Rowing Through the Lens – the Photography of Peter Spurrier looks at the iconic Rowing photographs of one of the sport’s greatest chroniclers with a personal selection of his favourite shots.
His exceptional images of rowing, which have been published in newspapers and magazines internationally, are best known for the vivid power of the moments they capture, such as the intensity of concentration or nervousness on a rowers face, or candidly revealing the quirky rituals of athletes in the boathouse.
Exhibition highlights include images of:
- Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent shaking hands, shattered after narrowly winning Olympic gold in 1996.
- Iztok Cop surrounded by swimmers and Slovenian flags marking the birth of his nation after winning the single sculls on Lake Tampere, Finland, in 1995.
- Deaglan McEachern fighting to reclaim his oar after catching a crab during Cambridge’s pre Boat Race fixture in 2009.
His affinity for both rowing and photography started as a teenager, taking “snaps” as a hobby and rowing in his school’s rowing programme at the Chiswick Rowing Club and then later at the Quintin Boat Club.
It wasn’t until 1981 however that these two passions were combined during a chance encounter while photographing wildlife at Thorpe Water Park. The National Squad of Great Britain were training on the park’s secluded lake and provided a captivating subject for Spurrier, until he was challenged for spying on the team. However, the encounter led to an invitation aboard coach Mike Spracklen’s coaching launch, beginning his illustrious international career capturing the greats of the sport on film.
Chris Dodd, Exhibition Curator says: “Rowing holds particular challenges for a photographer. Its explosive action takes place over long distances on large pieces of water, often in difficult conditions. Spurrier’s sixth sense is his magic ingredient. He knows picking the correct spot is as crucial as calculating the exposure of or shutter speed. His images are more then just “action shots”. They cut beneath the surface to reveal the nuance and shade of these athletes’ emotions, and it is this empathy and insight that give his photographs such power.”
The exhibition runs until the 2 October in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery.
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Maxim Bendall, Kallaway: 0207 221 7883 email@example.com
Catherine Yoxall, The River & Rowing Museum: 01491 415642 firstname.lastname@example.org
Images: [to follow]
Notes to Editors
The Exhibition opens June 4 2011, in the Schwarzenbach International Rowing Gallery, and runs for one year.
The River & Rowing Museum
The River & Rowing Museum (rrm.co.uk)
, an independent charity, is one of the UK’s leading regional and sporting Museums, attracting over 100,000 visitors a year. The Museum also has a purpose built education centre visited by over 20,000 children and adults a year. The Museum provides superb value for money. Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children and provide free access for one year. The Museum celebrates four themes explored through a wide variety of exhibitions and events across four galleries and special exhibitions:
- The past, present and future of the River Thames
- The historic riverside community of Henley on Thames
- The international sport of rowing
- The Wind in the Willows
Since opening in August 1998 the Museum has received numerous awards including the National Heritage/NPI Museum of the Year award, the Sandford Award For Heritage Education and the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.
Location, opening and ticket information
- The River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1BF. Tel. 01491 415600.
- The Museum, terrace café and shop are open every day from 10am - 5.30pm in summer and 10am - 5pm in the winter
- Tickets give FREE admission for a whole year!
- Admission is just £8 for adults, £6 for children aged four and over, FREE for children aged three and under and £6 for senior citizens and concessions
- Free parking for visitors
The River & Rowing Museum is part of the Thames Valley Museums Group (TVMG) Family Friendly initiative - a scheme that brings together 29 Museums across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to promote their popular appeal to the whole family.
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