Pete Davis has given talks, lectures, conference papers, workshops and masterclasses worldwide. He is in demand to speak to numerous educational institutions, arts organisations, historic and civic societies but will consider every request. He has lectured at many institutions worldwide which include:
Aberystwyth University; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Blackburn University Centre; Cardiff University; Carmarthen Museum; Contemporary Art Society for Wales; Fotomuseum, Antwerp, Belgium; Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Green Mountain College, Vermont, USA; Karel De Grote Hogeschool, Antwerp, Belgium; National Library of Wales; Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands; Syracuse University, New York, USA; Toronto University, Canada; University of Ulster, Belfast.
(Please note that Pete does not give talks to camera clubs).
Pete's talks and lectures are based on his own practice as an internationally published and exhibited photographer and his extensive academic research. Topics have included:
'The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of the Platinum Print'
This talk charts the history, development and practice of the platinum printing process and traces its influence on a number of prominent 19th. century and contemporary photographer's work. It also discusses how the process played a part in the transition from the late 19th. century pictorial photography tradition to the new modernism of the 1920's and '30's. It traces how the process fell out of favour due to the high cost of the materials and how it has been kept alive to the present day by a tiny number of practitioners. The illustrated talk will show examples of both 19th. century work, contemporary images and a number of Pete's own platinum prints. The talk will also explain the process of hand-coating paper and show illustrated examples of prints being produced. Pete is one of only a handful of photographers who continues to use the process regularly for certain aspects of his work.
'Observations - Collections - Recollections' - A Lifetime in Photography
This lecture was put together for the major retrospective exhibition at the National Library of Wales and first given in March 2017. It surveys and discusses many aspects of Pete's work spanning six decades, with illustrated examples of most of his major bodies of work and publications during his long career. It discusses how he began photographing at eleven years of age and outlines the many influences that have shaped his life and work. He discusses how the various projects over the years have been organised, researched and published and how he selects a particular photographic strategy for these projects.
'The Enigma of Cader Idris'.
Traces the history of the artistic representation of this mountain in Snowdonia and the influence of Richard Wilson's seminal painting on successive generations of artists. The lecture features and discusses images from many of the 18th. and 19th. century artists that have been moved to draw and paint it, together with how the mountain influenced his own work. This culminated in a major touring exhibition and publishing a limited edition portfolio of platinum prints. An essay on Richard Wilson and his painting of Cader Idris, written by Pete is featured in the catalogue published to accompany Pete's exhibition.
'19th. Century Photography in North Wales'.
Discusses how remote landscape locations such as North Wales underwent a transformation from being largely disregarded in terms of visual imagery to becoming a popular subject for early Victorian photographers. The talk traces the visual history of landscape representation in relation to North Wales, from the early part of the 18th. century through to the introduction of photography in the 19th. century. A number of the early photographic processes are explained, together with examples of the work of several of the greatest practitioners of the time including Roger Fenton, Francis Bedford and Francis Frith.
'Into the Wildwood'.
Drawn from the extensive research undertaken from his Ph.D. thesis, this lecture traces and discusses the historical visual representation of trees and forests. It deals with many of the myths and legends that surround these particular features of the landscape and uses many visual representations to illustrate these ideas. From early religious iconography and architecture, through the romantic painting tradition to contemporary photography, forests have been a profound influence on all of these aspects of the visual world. The lecture also reveals how many of these ideas filtered into Pete's own photography and culminated in his major international exhibition, 'Wildwood'. A 48 page hardback book was published to accompany the series by Lars Muller publishers, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3-03778-142-5
Many of Pete's lectures focus on his personal photography projects, exhibitions and publications. Drawing on well over fifty years of phototography in differing styles and genres, these illustrated talks can, with prior discussion, be tailored to suit a particular audience. They will concentrate on his influences, research and how Pete selects a particular strategy and methodology to undertake the various projects and how he deals with galleries and publishers to produce his exhibitions and books.
Workshops and masterclasses
In addition to giving lectures and talks, Pete is also in demand to lead workshops and masterclasses. These are practical sessions that allow the participants to gain 'hands on' skills and confidence in the field. The exact content and scope of any particular masterclass can be negotiated with Pete.
Images related to the lectures
Globe Artichoke No.2, 2017, Platinum Print
Richard Wilson, 'Cader Idris' 1765
Pete Davis, 'Cader Idris' exhibition catalogue
Francis Bedford, 'Pont y Pair, Betws y coed
'In Wildwood', by Pete Davis