Tag Archives: photo exhibition

Photo Show Stroll – Lee Miller: A Woman’s War IWM London

Miller’s most important legacy is without doubt her photography of the Second World War. Hilary Roberts, Research Curator of Photography, IWM.

As promised, here is a Photo Stroll through the exhibition Lee Miller: A Woman’s War at the Imperial War Museum in London. The show runs until 24 April 2016 and is billed as “a new major exhibition of 150 photographs depicting women’s experience of the Second World war by acclaimed photographer Lee Miller.”

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The photos may not be in chronological order, all have been taken with my iPhone and are an attempt to capture the journey and the atmosphere of the show. Walking through the show with my mum, my impression was of a city street taking me on a journey back to past eras—pre-Second World War, Wartime Britain and Europe and Post-Second World War. Set against muted red, grey, blue and green walls the various photos, paintings, objects, audio, film, text panels, pull quotes and glass-fronted vitrines, not dissimilar from shop-front window displays, encourage the viewer to look inside and out, to left and right, above and around corners, and to reflect on the women whose lives were affected.

Observations from my mum: “Incredibly interesting shots and angles; the intimacy of daily life such as a photograph of women’s pants and stockings hanging on a washing line which a male photographer would not have taken; the use of light; the naturalness and the breadth of the work both in image and text”.

The United States War Department accredited 127 woman as official war correspondents during the war, of these only four were photographers: Lee Miller, Margaret Bourke-White, Dickey Chapelle and Toni Frissell. I didn’t know of the last two women so now it’s time to do some more research.
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From the press  release: “2015 marks 70 2015 marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War. When war broke out in 1939, women embarked on a continuous process of change and adaptation. For some, including Miller herself, the war brought a form of emancipation and personal fulfillment, but its many privations caused widespread suffering. Miller’s photography of women in Britain and Europe during this period reflects her unique insight as a woman and as a photographer capable of merging the worlds of art, fashion and photojournalism in a single image.

“Lee Miller: A Woman’s War will trace Miller’s remarkable career as a photographer for Vogue Magazine and for the first time will address her vision of gender. Miller was one of only four female professional photographers to be accredited as US official war correspondents during the Second World War.
Recognised today as one of the most important female war photographers of the twentieth century, through her work Miller offers an intriguing insight into the impact of conflict on women’s lives, detailing their diverse experiences and her own world view.

“Comprising four parts, this exhibition will document Miller’s evolving vision of women and their lives as she travelled between countries before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

Women before the Second World War considers the origins of Miller’s wartime vision of women and her evolution as a photographer in the years preceding the Second World War; drawing on early life experiences, such as childhood trauma, her brief career as a fashion model, her involvement in the Surrealist art movement, the influence of early mentors such as Man Ray, and her two marriages.

Women in Wartime Britain explains how Miller, in her new role as photographer for British Vogue,documented the gradual but inexorable transformation of women’s lives in wartime Britain between 1939 and 1944. Illustrating how wartime privation and suffering was offset, in some cases, by enhanced opportunities outside the home.

Women in Wartime Europe examines Miller’s coverage of the impact of war on women in Europe as a US official war correspondent for Vogue magazine, 1944 – 1945, highlighting the diverse and distinctive nature of women’s experience of liberation, defeat and military occupation. Here the exhibition considers the emotional and physical toll of war on women, including Miller herself, reflecting too on the capacity of war in the front line to temporarily dissolve established divisions between the sexes.

Women after the Second World War focuses on Lee Miller’s coverage of women in Denmark, Austria, Hungary and Romania in the immediate aftermath of war, contemplating the lasting legacy of war, the difficult process of recovery from wartime experiences and the adjustment to post-war changes.

The show is sponsored by Barclays and produced in collaboration with the Lee Miller Archives. See my previous post for photos and the Audio Interview I did with Hilary Roberts, Curator of Photography at IWM, and Lee Miller’s son Antony Penrose at the press preview.

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Photo Show: theprintspace PhotoVoice Awards shortlisted series on show in London

Brother Paul, member of the Archulettaville Commune. Zoe Childerley.

Brother Paul, member of the Archulettaville Commune. Zoe Childerley.

It’s been a long time since I posted here. There are many reasons for this, both personal and professional, but I am still here and have some exciting news re: work coming up that I will share in the next couple of weeks. For now, I want to share some good news regarding a photographer who I have worked with through Tri-Pod, Zoe Chiderley. Also, good luck to Jonathan Goldberg, who also attended a Tri-Pod workshop, and has a series currently showing at Brighton station commissioned for the One Planet City organised in partnership with Fotodocument and the Brighton Photo Biennial 2014.

Hippy Days Festival. © Zoe Childerley

Hippy Days Festival. © Zoe Childerley

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Leon in his greenhouse, Libre Commune. © Zoe Childerley.

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Zoe will be showing work at theprintspace Photovoice Awards exhibition of shortlisted photographers running from 21 August until 1 September at theprintspace gallery in London. The overall winner will be announced next week on Thursday 20 August. The Commune series was produced during an artist residency in America. All print sales will raise funds for Photovoice.

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Betsy at home, Libre Commune. © Photo Zoe Childerley.

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Goats at the Shii Koeii Community. © Zoe Childerley.

The shortlist for theprintspace PhotoVoice Awards... |.pdf

Photo Show: Drawn by Light from The Royal Photographic Society Collection to open at the National Media Museum Bradford

Fading Away, Henry Peach Robinson, 1858
Fading Away, 1858, Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901)
© The Royal Photographic Society Collection at National Media Museum/SSPL

 
Photographic archives and collections are priceless treasures capturing moments in time as well as providing a chronicle of the history and development of the medium. The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) Collection is one such example and is part of The National Photography Collection at the National Media Museum in Bradford which is widely regarded as a collection of collections. As with The National Photography Collection, the RPS incorporates both aesthetic and technical developments as well as key images by some of the most influential photographers of our time.

The National Media Museum, which cares for the Royal Photographic Society Collection on behalf of the nation, is exhibiting more than 250 highlights and treasures ranging from the birth of photography to the present day in the exhibition, Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection. The show will run from 20 March until 21 June 2015, so there is plenty of time to see it.

For this post, I spoke to Associate Curator Brian Liddy (BL) at the National Media Museum where the RPS Collection is housed to find out why such photography collections are important and to share some of the hidden photographic gems in the Collection.

MG: You acquired the collection, which consists of over 250,000 images and artefacts from the last 150 years of photography, in 2003. Is this figure still accurate? Have there been any recent additions to the RPS collection?
Brian Liddy (BL): Unlike most of the collections that make up the National Collection, the RPS collection is not ‘closed’ and we work in partnership with the RPS to add to it. An obvious example is that anything we acquire from RPS members and former RPS members or presidents goes into the collection. In the past we have also added Madame Yevonde photographs to complement the set that were already part of the RPS collection. One of the most recent acquisitons is Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl, which was added to the collection in November 2014.

MG: When you say that you acquired the collection, does that mean that it was given as a donation, or was some payment made for it?
BL: In June 2002 a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £3.75 million was announced (at the time the largest ever HLF grant), together with a grant of £342,000 from the National Art Collections Fund (Art Fund) and funding from Yorkshire Forward for the transfer of The Society’s collection to the National Media Museum.

MG: When did the first digitised photos from the RPS Collection go online?
BL: The digitisation of images in the RPS Collection started as soon as we received it and many can be seen online on our own website or the Science and Society Picture Library website. It is an ongoing task we’re constantly adding more.

MG: Who pays for the Collection to be looked after and put online?
BL: Funding for the care of the collection is predominantly from the grant-in-aid we receive from DCMS – it is the National Collection and as such belongs to the Nation. It is Museum staff who look after it.

The Onion Field', George Davison, 1890
The Onion Field, 1890, Photograph taken using a pinhole camera, George Davison (1854-1930)
© The Royal Photographic Society Collection at National Media Museum/SSPL

 
MG: Which three key images in the RPS Collection do you think are particularly important and why?
BL: Three key images are Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage (1907), which is considered, and debated, to be the first ‘modern’ photograph. George Davidson’s The Onion Field (1890). This image started the fight that led to the Photo-secession movement and William Henry Fox Talbot’s Portrait of Talbot’s Wife, Constance (1840) which is the first true photographic portrait. My personal favourite is Roger Fenton’s Aira Force, Ullswater (1860) because it’s just a beautiful photograph.

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Aira Force, Ullswater, 1860, Albumen print, Roger Fenton (1819-1869)
© The Royal Photographic Society Collection at National Media Museum/SSPL

 
MG: Which is the earliest photo in the collection?
BL: The earliest is Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s Un Clair de Lune – a pewter plate from c. 1827 showing the first and only known example of a photographic process invented by Niépce. The discovery was announced at the Museum in 2010.

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Un Clair de Lune, c 1827, Photograph on pewter, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, (1765-1833)
© The Royal Photographic Society Collection at National Media Museum/SSPL

 
MG: Which better-known photographers’ work is in the collection, for example, for example, Julia Margaret Cameron?
BL: Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Roger Fenton, Frederick H Evans, Peter Henry Emerson to name just a few.

MG: Why is it important to have a National Photo Collection, in particular what does the RPS Collection add to the overall collection?
BL: Photography affects every part of people’s lives on a fundamental basis. Without photography we wouldn’t have television, cinema, the masses of images we have online today. The National Collection cares for the objects and images that have created this history so it can be shared with everyone and preserved for future generations.

Separately, both the National Media Museum and the RPS had very significant collections in their own right, but when the two came together it was ‘hand in glove’. Where we were under-represented, or there were gaps in the National Collection, they were strong; and vice versa. It could not have been a better match.

MG: How important, in your view, is it that people know about such collections and how important is it that people look at such collections physically as opposed to online?
BL: Digitisation and viewing images online obviously makes the Collection more accessible to more people, and is therefore very important. However I would always recommend seeing the objects in person whenever possible, particularly items like daguerreotypes and autochromes as I’ve never yet seen a photographic reproduction that comes close to the real thing. The exhibition, Drawn by Light gives a perfect opportunity to do that, although the collection can also be visited by prior appointment.

Constance Talbot, WHF Talbot, 1840

Constance Talbot, c 1840, Salt paper print from a calotype negative, William Henry Fox Talbot
© The Royal Photographic Society Collection at National Media Museum/SSPL

 
MG: Do many people visit the RPS Collection?
BL: I’d say almost every single visitor to the Insight research centre at the Museum will be shown an item from the RPS  Collection. They’ll either request to see something, we’ll suggest it, or it will make up part of their general visit. The Collection also features in many of our photography exhibitions which are seen by thousands of people each year.

Drawn by Light is co-curated by Colin Harding Curator of Photography and Photographic Technology at the National Media Museum; Claude W. Sui, Curator; and Stephanie Herrmann, Associate Curator, of the Forum of International Photography of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany. Drawn by Light first appeared at Media Space in the Science Museum and is presented in collaboration with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, where it will go on display in 2017.

Visit the Collection
Appointments are available during the third week of the month from Monday – Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. To book, contact the Collections Access Assistant by emailing: research@nationalmediamuseum.org.uk.
Or write to Collections Access Assistant, National Media Museum, Bradford, BD1 1NQ. Places are limited, so please give us as much notice as possible to avoid disappointment.

Free Guided Tours
These take place from Tuesday-Thursday at 1pm. Places are limited, so please book in advance by contacting the box office on 0844 856 3797.
Visiting The RPS Collection.

Photo Show: Christina Noble exhibits black and white photographs from her archive in recent show Kullu Perceived

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Photo © Christina Noble. Outside the Hadimba temple in the Dunghri forest above Manali. A sheep has been sacrificed to propitiate the Devi for the potential manifestation of her gaur oracle. The Brahmin cooks attend the fire while villagers come and go. 1976

“Kullu is a very special place. Once you arrive, you are captivated. It’s fascinating to see how three very different artists have responded to one region – be it the monumental oils of Catherine Goodman, the intricate pencil drawings of temples by John Nankivell or the clarity of the light captured by Christina Noble’s photographs”
Shehani Fernando, curator of the exhibition

The show Kullu Perceived: Images of a Himalayan Valley explored the region through the eyes of three artists who have kept returning there to make work. The exhibition at The Prince’s Drawing School space in east London brought together rarely seen images from over 40 years of her archive, a selection of which I have posted here for those who were unable to see the exhibition but who may still be interested in Christina’s work.

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Photo © Christina Noble. This photograph of temple and terraces was taken with a telephoto from the opposite side of the valley. It depicts exactly the same view featured in Lights and Shades of Indian Hill life 1895 by Frederick St. John Gore, which lead Christina Noble to Kullu in the first place. 1971

 

Christina Noble first went to Kullu in 1969 to trek from Shimla to Kashmir and ended up founding a Himalayan walking holiday business. Having lived in Kullu for the majority of the 70’s and 80’s and armed with her Nikon, her photographs reveal the relationship between the Pahari people and their dramatic surroundings.

Christina set up an artist residency programme and creative retreat, Prini Ropa in Kullu. Visiting artists, including painter Catherine Goodman, have been drawn to the Kullu Valley for over a century – attracted to the grandeur of the landscape and the culture of the Pahari people.

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Photo © Christina Noble. On a bank just below the Jalori Pass 10,000 ft (3,120 metres), the girls are resting while gathering fodder for cattle to be carried home in their large baskets. Resting and chatting, they are making shoes out of hemp (charas) straw, the leaves and seeds having been saved to smoke during the long boring winter. 1971

Photo Show – The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home and Chris Dorley-Brown at The Function Room London

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Becoming (M)other, Photo Chris Dorley-Brown

In a culture obsessed with the aesthetic rather than the fitness results of exercise, Anti-Ageing is more effectively achieved via digital manipulation than beauty products! From the press release

Stewart Home and Chris Dorley-Brown bring the past and the present together in The Age of Anti-Ageing which opens tonight and runs until 6 November in The Function Room. The Function Room hosts exhibitions and events in an upstairs room as the guests of the landlady of The Cock Tavern, and is run by Anthony Auerbach and Marlene Haring, with Dunya Kalantery. The latest exhibition comprises of two sets of digitally-manipulated composite family portraits merging mother and son, then and now, fiction and fact.

Becoming (M)other (set of 8 photographs, pigment giclée prints, each 584 × 690 mm)
“In 1966 Carla Hopkins took a series of fashion photographs of Julia Callan-Thompson, a club hostess who was hoping to become a model and movie actress. Julia landed a bit of film extra work and did press ads for products such as Max Factor lipstick but was soon devoting herself to a full time exploration of alternative realities in the company of such luminaries as Alex Trocchi, William Burroughs and Marianne Faithfull. In 2004, Julia’s son Stewart Home was photographed by Chris Dorley Brown imitating the poses from his mother’s 1966 modelling portfolio. A selection of the two sets of photographs were then morphed together to create a composite image of Julia at the age of twenty-two and her son Stewart aged 42.

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The Age of Anti-Ageing. Photo Chris Dorley-Brown

“The Age of Anti-Ageing, 2014 (set of 8 photographs, pigment giclée prints, each 584 × 690 mm)
In 2004 Stewart Home was photographed by Chris Dorley Brown imitating poses from photographs in his mother’s 1966 modelling portfolio. More recently, after noticing books with titles such as The Green Pharmacy: Anti-Ageing Prescriptions and The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible lying around in the flats of friends, Stewart Home and Chris Dorley Brown decided to repose their 2004 restaged photographs a decade on. The photographs from 2004 and 2014 were then morphed together.

“Rationally the result should have been Stewart Home as he would have looked in 2005, but instead of this the morphs conjure up a timeless Stewart Home. Anti-Ageing books and products have become big business among the baby-boomer generation, but photographic manipulation makes them superfluous. In a culture obsessed with the aesthetic rather than the fitness results of exercise, Anti-Ageing is more effectively achieved via digital manipulation than beauty products!” From the press release

The show is curated by Clare Carolin

Upstairs at The Cock Tavern,
23 Phoenix Road,
London NW1 1HB
open: when the pub is open
admission: free