Dr. Gregory Hawkins: Comments

Robert Lloyd views the world through a combination of his camera’s viewfinder screen and the wealth of personal experiences that caused him to become the artist that he is. For him the camera is a fundamental extension of his mind and eye – a simple surrogate for the paintbrush, carrying to the viewer of his photographs both the graphic imagery of the photographic media and the complex visual and conceptual content of the actual pictures the viewer sees.  It is immediately clear that Bob’s work transcends the mere technology of photography. He uses the medium as a means to explore the fundamental human condition through light and color. I am always amused by the gallery director who misses the entire point of the art of photography, dismissing photographic image making as mere journalism. In so many of his photographs the light and color immediately transcend the informational content of the image. Journalism it certainly is not. But insightful, carefully chosen compositions and images capturing moments in the life of his subjects it is.

For the many years I have known Robert he has been consistently on the pioneering edge of his medium. From his first Mindset and Amiga computers, years ahead of the Mac and Windows graphic friendly operating systems, to the first digital cameras, with their miniscule memories, Bob was always searching for a more expedient means to capture the world around him. The sense of drama and mystery that he produces with his photographs exposes people to the stories of his subjects in a visual manner that is comparable to any colorist painter. He has avoided the obsession, or perhaps more accurately concentration on light, that has filtered down to us from Ansel Adams and his followers. An obsession which has contributed to making the mechanics of the darkroom and the camera the principle contributors to the image and aesthetic of the photograph. Bob’s images come to us with warmth and humanity. They are wrapped in dramatic color and contrast the move us closer to the art of Roualt and Warhol than the newsroom.

Bob has always had a vision of what the photographer is supposed to accomplish. It has never been mere picture making.  As spontaneous and immediate as his images are they still have a measured visual cadence to them. His photographs have stories to tell as human as Bruegel’s paintings of village celebrations, and Kathe Kollwitz’s etchings and drawings.

This exhibition will bring to us bits and pieces of the soul of both contemporary and historical China. It consists of vignettes that will cheer us and sadden us, of images that will show the commonality of humankind, and the wonderful history of a country that even today is shrouded in mystery and contrast. A perfect subject for this insightful and inspired artist. (Images)

Gregory W. Hawkins, Ph. D.

Professor Emeritus

Eastern Washington University


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