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16th October 2013, 10:02am
From Woodhall Spa to Milan: Lincolnshire life on show in Italian exhibition
Woodhall Spa exhibtion in Italy We are used to hearing about the latest designer trends to take Milan by storm, but soon the quiet Lincolnshire village of Woodhall Spa will be at the centre of a new exhibition in the fashionable Italian city.

Thanks to a touring showcase of photography from University of Lincoln academic Colin Reiners, life in rural Lincolnshire is being celebrated across Italy.

The exhibition, curiously entitled Gnome Thieves Attack Woodhall Spa, recently opened in Pontremoli, Liguria, and will soon travel to Milan before continuing a tour around Italy’s towns and cities. The exhibition from Colin, Principal Lecturer in Media Production in the Lincoln School of Media, documents the activities of Woodhall Spa’s residents and the village community as a whole.

Colin’s photography reflects the community’s distinctive culture, and provides a snapshot of socio-cultural life in 21st century England. Woodhall Spa has a significant aviation heritage, and the exhibition showcases the village’s links to the famous 617 Squadron of World War II.

Colin said: “The Pontremolesi appreciated the messages in the images, seeing them as distinctively English but offering parallels to issues very current in modern day Italy. The opening attracted people from as far away as Florence, and even a bemused visitor from Boston, Lincolnshire!”

The Woodhall Spa exhibition explores the potential of photography to document social anthropology with a visual irony, and asks art-lovers to understand that objects and realities can appear different when photographed. Colin’s prints are presented in a large format without titles or narrative, to offer an alternative to the usual experience of viewing photographs on a screen, or in much smaller print.

Woodhall Spa is curated by Leo Forte and Giulia Arvonio of the Macelleria Pontremoli Arts Organisation in Italy. Speaking about the exhibition, Giulia said: “Colin's photographs are a very handsome gift to the Pontremolesi, and offer them an exciting peek into the magic and unique world of Woodhall Spa. We have now decided to transfer this unique exhibition to Milan where the exhibition will meet an even larger audience.”

The exhibition sees Colin return to Italy, where he was Professor of Photography at Fleming College in Florence, before studying at the Royal College of Art and later taking up a number of academic posts in the UK. Today, Colin is Principal Lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s School of Media, and lives in Woodhall Spa, among the subjects of his latest exhibition.

The exhibition is supported by a number of sponsors, including Pontremoli Town Council, Massa Trigonal Council, Macelleria Arts Gallery Pontremoli, Omni and Ritterhoff Wines. For more information on this and Colin’s other works, visit

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