image from here
I have very slowly begun to catch up with some exhibitions currently on my must see list, it is not easy, an hour here an hour there. I have so far seen The Family and The Land by Sally Mann, currently on at the Photographers Gallery. Her early images are beautifully printed, worth the journey alone, her most recent images did not work, the images are beautiful but the printing was clumsy and did not work for me.
Next up was the Voyeurism show on at the Tate Modern, my initial thoughts were too much porn and not enough street, but hey the clue was in the title, no? I remembered they had done a 'street & studio' show a couple of years back and obviously tried to avoid repetition, but this inevitably creates a lack of cohesion which for £10 is irritating. (I have just bought a ticket for the National Theatre's production of Hamlet and I know what I feel is better value for money. )
One photographer went up hugely in my estimation and that was Harry Callahan whose series Women Lost In Thought is just brilliant, especially when you understand how hard it was to take these photographs in the pre digital age. To catch people off guard like that is genius and you can see them here
Although the visit was a bit whistle stop it was also very cathartic to have a whole gallery to myself, the rest of the world was visiting the free sections downstairs.
I also had an epiphany, I have for a long time struggled to 'place' my work. I try this, I try that, without much cohesion. What this exhibition made me realise is that I am happiest when I am watching unseen, it is not voyeurism, I get no sexual satisfaction from it but I do love watching people and I love photographing people unseen. It is this that I will take with me back to Cyprus this year, although I'm glad I took the photographs of the villagers, I realise they are a bit gauche and lack my particular eye, whereas when I was poking my camera into peoples homes unseen, those images were more true to myself and my viewpoint.
So finally I have my agenda, not sure if it will work in Scotland, we will have to see. I am probably going to try and draw as much landscape as I can.