I confess here and now to being a friend of Lloyd’s for about 25 years, but I’ll try and keep my review as objective as I can. Lloyd is a lovely, self-effacing man; a former journalist who, by his own admission, has been through a major transformation in his life after struggling with alcoholism. Thankfully, he walked away from his addiction, literally, having completed an epic walk around the perimeter of Wales, a journey which he has subsequently documented in his books, and via the visual medium of photography.
With typical modesty, Lloyd describes himself thus: “I am a quirky but otherwise unexceptional man with a Nikon which is usually on the idiot setting. I don’t wish to pose as a serious photographer and I make no attempt to be arty, but I am interested in the human aesthetic as I perceive it. For me, the camera is a personal interrogation: what am I looking at, and why? I hope you enjoy sharing my window on the world.”
The exhibition itself reflects Lloyd’s gentle personality very well. It would be wrong to try and pigeon-hole the images, which are a mixture of black & white and colour, into a particular category. They aren’t simply “street”, or “portrait”, “abstract” or “documentary”, although they all have elements of one or more of these characteristics. The exhibition’s title “Sober Light Of Day” itself suggests that it’s the kind of personal interrogation that Lloyd is attempting. His approach will be familiar to anyone who sees his work on social media.
Many of the exhibition’s images are of local people that are known to Lloyd, or of people or situations that he’s encountered elsewhere. The common thread through the images is the connection that he makes with his subjects. The warmth and affection, and even intimacy, that shine out of the pictures is quite exceptional. Some of the images are more detached and even abstract, but they are all approached in a gentle, non-judgemental way, which is very refreshing. He couldn’t achieve this without the trust and respect of his subjects.
It’s hard to look at the images without smiling. That, in itself, is a rare response to an exhibition, and is testament to Lloyd’s ability to present his view of the world to us, the viewers, in an honest and affectionate way.
Sober Light Of Day runs until 31 December 2021. A visit is highly recommended.
Full details of the exhibition are on the Storiel web-site.
Exhibition images reproduced with Lloyd’s permission.