Hardwick Gallery presents, for the first time in the UK, a selection of Jean Mohr’s iconic photographs for the book A Fortunte Man (1967). The book was a collaboration between Mohr as photographer, and the renowned art critic, author and broadcaster John Berger as writer. The photographs were taken by Mohr when he spent several weeks following St Briavels GP Dr John Eskell as he made his rounds and held surgeries in the Forest of Dean. Twenty of the original black & white prints are on loan from the Mohr archive at the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland to the University of Gloucestershire (UoG).
A Fortunate Man would become one of the definitive studies of what it means to be a GP, the doctor-patient relationship, and the role of the GP in the community, and even today remains recommended reading for trainee general practitioners. Whilst the majority of the photographs on loan appear in the book, also in the exhibition will be images showing Berger and Mohr at work on the book, observing Dr Eskell and making notes. This exhibition follows last summer’s Reading the Forest weekend of exhibition, discussions and film screenings at St Briavels that marked fifty years of A Fortunate Man.
With the focus on Mohr’s contribution to the book, a group of University of Gloucestershire photography students will be following his lead on assignment in the Forest of Dean. The students will spend two days in the Forest, hosted by a number of local organisations, photographing people at work and at leisure to create a portrait of contemporary Forest communities. This new work will be exhibited alongside and in dialogue with Mohr’s photographs.
Join us on Monday 11 March for a panel discussion featuring Dr Julia Peck (UoG), Paul Roberts (UoG) and Dr Chris Nancollas, a retired Forest GP and author, to discuss the work.
Following their exhibition at Hardwick Gallery, Jean Mohr’s photographs move to St Briavels in the Forest of Dean. The work can be viewed on Saturday 30 March (11am-4pm) and Sunday 31 March (10am-4pm) at St Briavels Assembly Rooms. Entry to both venues is free of charge.
The exhibition is a partnership between Reading the Forest and University of Gloucestershire, Musee de l’Elysee, St Briavels Parish Council, and the Janet Trotter Trust.