Photographer’s work with life models is deemed unsuitable for exhibition at Leamington gallery

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Fine art photographer Ray Spence has accused Leamington Art Gallery and Museum of being “short-sighted” after it rejected two works he had submitted for a forthcoming exhibition on grounds they were unacceptable for public viewing.

Mr Spence picked two photographs from his ‘Life At Home’ series which consists of naked life models posing in their homes.

But the gallery told Mr Spence they would not be using the images for the exhibition, which will be based around the theme of the home.

The 64-year-old Leamington artist - who has judged the gallery’s Open Exhibition in the past and is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, having been a photographer for 40 years - said: “I think it is ridiculous and very short sighted of the gallery.

“These works have been exhibited around the UK on several occasions and have featured in the Royal Photographic Society’s journal.

“They were even part of an exhibition at Gallery 150 when that was open in Livery Street.

“There is nothing scurrilous about them, I thought the art world had accepted naked models but obviously not in this case.”

The works had been submitted for a display named Close to Home organised by artist Katherine Barker in the spotlight area of the main gallery, which is close to the entrance of the children’s gallery.

Senior curator Chloe Johnson said that after some discussion it was decided that alternative pieces by Mr Spence might be more suitable within that space.

She added: “Ray was invited to submit some alternative works for the display but he declined.

“We’re sorry that this was the case as we value and respect his work.”

The exhibition opens on October 18 and runs until January 9.

To find out more about Mr Spence’s work visit his www.rayspence.co.uk website.

For more about events at the art gallery and museum click here