I hope the photographs capture a taste of what is on offer.
In total there are some 25 or 26 entries on display. Each framed image is numbered, together with a list detailing the entry's title and the artist/photographer. There are also slips of paper and a small ballot box so that you can vote for your favourite image (yes, I know, you cannot escape voting even in the Beeston Library Gallery).
A word of caution though, if voting for entries 6 or 9, make sure you underscore the number, so the Civic Society can correctly allocate your vote. I wonder if I will be only bozo, leaving those counting the votes with a puzzle as to how they should allocate my vote. 6 or 9? Well, that would be telling, but I do offer a clue as to my choice in one of the pictures above.
I think it not unreasonable to say that most of the entries are pedestrian and few of the images jumped out of their frames to grab my attention, but this does not mean that what is on offer does not provide plenty to think about and I applaud every entrant for making the effort.
I understand the Civic Society have organised similar exhibitions in the past, so I hope they do the same again next year and place all this year's entries in a online gallery so that a wider audience can view every entry. It would also act as a marker of sorts for next year's entrants. Experience tells me that by doing something regularly you actually help to improve both the quality of the images on display and the number of visitors.
I am a great fan of the Nottingham Society of Artists on Friar Lane. I am sure the key to their success is a continual programme open to public view.
I really enjoyed the twenty minutes I spent looking at the entries on display and what I didn't see was a great many entries which captured 'the essence' of contemporary Beeston. Perhaps next year's competition, assuming there will be one, should ask entrants to focus of the 'essence' of Beeston in 2016 (this is yet another clue as to how I cast my vote).
I love history, especially local history, which I believe in all its manifestations can inspire and inform, for what most of us do is live in a local world (in our case Beeston and area around). This is what I was hoping to see when I visited 'The Essence of Beeston: Past or Present'.
So please make the time to see this good exhibition for yourself, then perhaps contacting the Civic Society with your own views on what you saw and how next year's exhibition might be made more challenging for both potential entrants and the viewing public.
Beeston Library is on Foster Avenue, 4-5 minutes walk from Beeston Bus Station. Opening hours as follows:
Monday & Wednesday: 9am - 7.30pm.
Tuesday & Friday: 9am - 7pm.
Thursday: 9am - 1pm.
Saturday: 9am - 4pm.