Monday, 13 October 2008

Something of the Night About Me

I've been giving thought to the first essay we have been set.  It's to ease us in - reasonably gently - to the world of research and get us thinking about photographs, then putting those thoughts into words.  I think I've chosen a topic... it sits quite close to my personal passions in photography (something we were advised to think carefully about) but slightly to one side.

My pleasure in looking at the medium is primarily in the landscape image - the more expansive and glorious the better.  I love the work of the early americans, the work of those 70's UK based artists, Paul Hill (one half of the programme team here at DMU) amongst others like Blakemore/Cooper/Davies et al, and other more recent practitioners, Richard Misrach, Edward Burtynsky and others.  Night landscapes have  a fascination and that's what I'm looking at...or at least that's my plan as it is today...  

Interestingly just as I was formulating this idea I found myself visiting the annual Nottingham Open at the Castle Museum.  Last year's winner was the photographer Rosalie Wiesner and she was back with two whole bodies of work - 'Tales Of Other Spaces' and 'It's Almost Always Fiction In The End'.  Her use of light to punctuate the garden spaces she favours is curious, sometimes accentuating the natural sources, at others seeming to deny them.  I didn't overly enjoy the rather arch use of props, balloons and the like but the strength of the intimacy in the spaces she pictures is compelling.

The pictures I am thinking of writing about are pretty far removed, conceptually and corporeally from Wiesner's but it did seem, serendipitously, to be a validation of the idea...we'll see.

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