Thursday, 25 June 2009

Time to curate

After shamelessly promoting myself I thought it was time to curate.Whilst at the V&A I did not just take photographs but I also went to see the excellent photography gallery, small but perfectly formed. My absolute favourite was work from Marjolaine Ryley. I liked her work so much I have bought two books that I found on her web site here "My work explores ideas of memory, history, familial relationships and archival narratives. My practice uses photography, super 8, digital video, text, objects and found photographs to explore a range of themes and issues that look at linking my own personal experiences to broader social and political narratives. My work moves between the personal album and the social document.

Throughout my work there is a strong interest in history and memory both of the individual family and its relation to wider culture. Working with multiple images, grid structures and the book format, allows me to explore the temporal and transient, the indexical and the archival nature of photography. The moving image work brings together past narratives with present places, conflating the two as documentary evidence, while the still images cumulatively narrate familial histories, relationships, exiles and returns. The work can be read as sitting between fact and fiction, past and present, the real and the imaginary."

This has become my favourite genre of photography the capturing the essence of what is and what was.

Nicholas Hughes

In Darkness Visible 2005 – 2007
His luminous photographs could well be considered paintings in the sense that they are often multi-layered constructions. Yet they remain pure photography……Hughes is indeed both writing with light as the root of the word photography implies and using the camera as one of photography’s inventors, Henry Fox Talbot described it, “as the pencil of nature.”

Verse I
In reaction to media led sensory anaesthetisation, and wearied by empty political rhetoric, my aim was to construct a forest built from accumulated memory and the ghosts of trees. Spending a period of two winters’ visiting public spaces in central London, this work inverts decorative Arcadian layout in an attempt to restore a sense of the natural in the cultivated, somewhat synthetic city ‘wilderness’ spaces.

What Hughes is doing with both verses of his elegy is asking us –‘ to slow down to find the still small voice of calm that in the darkness may yet be visible.’

These images are huge when you see them very powerful and slightly ethereal.

Veronica Bailey
How romantic are these images of Lee Millers corespondent?
When I first saw one of her photographs I thought it was a flower, there is something almost botanical in the way she frames and composes her images.
I 'print screened' her opening page so you can see the scale of her wok which feels monumental when you see them.

"Bailey’s previous work includes the Jerwood Photographic Prize-winning ‘2 Willow Road’ (2003) on the architect Ernö Goldfinger, and ‘Postscript’ (2005), which was a visual meditation on the passionate yet volatile wartime affair between Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. These series have been exhibited by galleries in the USA, Canada and South Korea, as well as Germany and the UK. Her work is seen in prestigious private collections both in Europe and worldwide; and in such collections as the V&A Museum, Coutts & Co. and Stephenson Harwood.

Visually Bailey seems to pay fealty to both Rothko, and Barnett Newman. These works may be photographs and the subject may be surfaces fashioned by Victorian book-binders, but ‘Shelf Life’s Cantos do reflect 'a form, mood, beat, and scale' not dissimilar to the lithographs that Newman created in his ‘18 Cantos’ of 1963-4."

From here
I am not sure how 2 Willow Road has evaded me for so long, but rest assured it has gone straight in a No 1 in my places to see list. I have emailed them to see if I can take photographs because the house looks amazing. I had until recently a very dog eared pamphlet why I did not make more of an effort to get there I do not know.


miss milki said...

Veronica Bailey's photos are fabulous, while Marjolaine Ryley's photos remind me a little bit of the kind of photos I have been taking recently, and the direction I want to go in. I'm really interested in place and while I usually don't include people in my photos, and while her photos explore family and relationships they also have a strong sense of place. I'm definitely going to look deeper into her work! I'd never hear of either of these photographers before so thanks for writing about them.

I also just added you as a contact on Flickr. Thought I'd done it before but obviously not! :)

indigo16 said...

Cheers, I too have steered clear of people, but the more pictures I take the braver I get. I like fragments of people too, they add without dominating.
See you on Flickr!

La Belette Rouge said...

The Nicholas Hughes photos reminds me of one of yours. Do you know which one I mean?

Ryley's work is fascinating. I am following the link. I love the theme of her work and how personal and archetypal it feels.