Friday, March 09, 2018

The Fascination of 'Victorian Giants' at NPG and a Japanese Giant too

Small but well put together.
An art  Photography lesson

Yesterday after my weekly battle with (the study of) Ethics (more about that later) I took a walk to the National Portrait Gallery to see what the story was around.

Worryingly (in some respects) I'm familiar with Julia Cameron having seen her work in exhibitions separately  at the Science Museum's Mediaspace and also at Tate Britain, and of course the involvement of Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll in photography is well known (as is the idea perhaps unfairly that he behaved inappropriately).

The exhibition  at the NPG is about the border of Photography and Art and what was great for me was to be introduced to and see the work from Clementina Hawarden and Oscar Rejlander.

What was worthy of note was the limited number of photographs these important figures took, even compared with now old analogue film rolls the cameras were  enormous and each picture used a painstakingly prepared glass to capture the image - success then was far from assured.

One Ticket Please

Many of the pictures were to the modern eye pedestrian but where the ambitions were great something amazing can be seen.

What fascinated me most was Rejlander's 'The Two Ways of Life' a vastly complex (for the time) undertaking  - it sought to usurp perhaps what had been done by painters and even included Oscar himself .

I'd love to see a modern colour version of this.

Also on show were examples where the same subject had been taken from different angles - these suggested a feel for how film editing would develop.

I liked seeing connections too - one picture 'Sadness' (1864) of the famous actress  Ellen Terry taken by Julia Cameron  informed (as I didn't know) me that GF Watts (Artist and Sculptor)  had been here husband (only for a year though).

Clementina Hawarden took some great pictures too - a smashing one cleverly uses a mirror to capture two angles of  'Clementina Maude' - technically not easy but a great way to show the subject.

I'll be sitting there on Monday - ahead of session 3 of CityLit NPG course 

And Street Photography from Japan

I saw a very interesting TV programme about three of Japan's cities Kyoto, Edo and Tokyo and was introduced to Daido Moriyama - I think his style of photography is very engaging.

Coffee Cups
Guilty me

- Good to see one of my own my personal irritations in the News - come on let's stop throwing so many cups away

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