20 October 2020

Russell Layton returns to Jersey Arts Centre with new exhibition

Russell Layton is to return to the Jersey Arts Centre next month with his fourth solo exhibition at the venue – his first for five years.

The exhibition, sponsored by Carey Olsen, is titled 'How we live now/Comme jé vivons achteu' and takes place from Tuesday 10 November to Saturday 21 November.

In this new series of limited edition prints, Russell places our modern selves within scenes captured by historic Jersey photographs sourced from the archives of Jersey Heritage and the Société Jersiaise.

"Our Victorian ancestors, once the anonymous subjects of these photographs, now become the observers of our modern world and encourage us to see ourselves – as if through a looking glass – from a new perspective," said Russell.

"When I placed the first vintage photograph with my drawing of the interior of a sports car, its effect was immediate. The Victorian women, promenading at Havre des Pas, suddenly became modern pedestrians. When previously I might have skimmed over the faces of these anonymous individuals, I now found myself reading their expressions and reactions to the new scene they were in. They had somehow come back to life.

"My pictures explore various aspects of contemporary Jersey life – from swimming pools to surfer vans. I'm very grateful to Jersey Heritage and the Société Jersiaise for allowing me to use their photographs.

"While I have been working on these new pictures for a number of years, I feel that the pandemic – which has forced us all to reflect on the way we live our lives – has added new resonance to the work."

Russell was introduced to art by his father, the late Peter Layton, who was an established artist and retired teacher. Russell's work is held in private collections in London, New York, Sydney and Grouville.

Russell, who is a corporate professional support lawyer, has been with Carey Olsen since 1999.