Visit to the Photographers’ Gallery

When I entered to The Photographers’ Gallery me and the rest of students got brief from tutor what should we do. I took brochure from information and started exploring exhibitions. I decided to go to top floor and when the lift opened the door a bright colours burst to my eyes, which was Lorenzo Vitturi’s “Dalston Anatomy” exhibition. I looked at the pictures around but I didn’t feel I like them. For me they were just sculptures of fruits and I didn’t receive its message. But something catches my eye, a small picture in a corner, which was quite odd from the rest of colourful photographs and intrigues me, that I was thinking about it while I went to see other exhibitions. There were two floors presented photographers from Russia but only photographs by Dimitri Baltermants interested me, presenting colour photography from 1960s, which I liked for composition and might inspiring me .There was also one anonymous image from 1910s presented Tatar women in beautiful red dresses in contrast with ugly gray background, where were their dirty and muddy houses, which gave me more thoughts about those women and their living place. I didn’t like photographs presented portraits of military service appeared as painted unnatural photographs. I don’t understand why there were exhibited. For me it was photographer’s failed experiment. I decided to visit one more exhibition which was in Print Sales Gallery titled “Homegrown” by Julie Blackmon and I was glad to see it because I like it very much and decided to write more about it as my inspiration photographs. The other photograph, I choose to write about, is small picture from Dalston Anatomy exhibition.

From my visit to The Photographers’ Gallery I choose an image from Dalston Anatomy exhibition by Lorenzo Vitturi. When I walked into the room I didn’t see this picture. Just after while, when I was standing in front of a huge picture with rotten bananas I spotted a small picture in a corner standing on pieces of wood and bricks from which houses are built. My first impression was a black shape on a white background without any meaning. But after a while I step forward to see closer what it is, because if it is exhibited it has to have a meaning to the whole exhibition. On a picture I recognized a person wearing a black coat, black cap and black glasses turning back from viewer that you can’t see anything apart of a black shape. The picture has been taken outside in sunny day, which clearly shows the shadow in left bottom corner. This means that photographer placed himself to have sun behind him.  The background might be a white wall, because the green line doesn’t look completely straight, which is painted on it. The person in this portrait might be a woman, because the shape of the head isn’t round, which might be reason of hiding tided hair in a hood.  I think this person didn’t know that was photographed or knew, but wanted stay incognito. The photographers wanted viewer to focus on the person leaving space clear and empty. Vitturi created sculptures from objects he found on Ridley Road Market which arrange in various compositions and photographed them before collapse. In his exhibition he present still life accompanied by street scenes and portraits of people from different cultures. The whole exhibition was in bright, vivid colours apart of rotten bananas and this small black and white portrait photograph placed on yellow part of the wall.  I found it interesting, because it didn’t attract attention. The person from the picture is representing one of the cultures we can meet at the market.  As a small image has got part of the whole project and has its own place in the exhibition as the culture represented in this unique place, which is Ridley Road Market.

The other photographer I choose to write about is Julie Blackmon with Homegrown exhibition in Print Sales Gallery, which was the first solo exhibition in the UK.  The photographs were in large scale presenting her work.  Her photographs present clear graphic formations by using shapes, which are doors, windows, chairs and other furniture in her house as well as buildings. Great example is picture taken from top in the garden, where swimming pool is in square shape and the rest is just grass with round shapes of umbrella and chair. She uses vibrant colours to achieve cinematic depth of field in her domestic environment. She uses studio light in her photographs to create darkness of night in the room. Colours reflecting the mood and create scene by giving different feelings like happiness, peace, relax, dreamy but sometimes dark and dramatic. She use different angle in her photographs. I like the one with girl lying on the floor and she takes picture from above, creating dreamy mood of Alice in Wonderland. The main subjects of images are children captured in everyday life playing by themselves. Children are in the centre of scene, revelling in the mess and disorder in of their own making, with adults marginalised or completely absent. I’m wondering why they don’t interact with each other? They play individual roles in her photographs. I like that she leave space and we can see not only one frame but many of them. It’s like we can see what is happening behind the scene.  She leaves doors open, we can see what is what is behind the window or in another room. Each of the photographs is arranged to perfection in her theatrical stage sets. These photographs are fictional and auto-biographical and reflect her life now and when she was a child. She comes from large family where she was the oldest who was taken picture of her eight younger siblings. And when she had own family she took pictures of her children, cousins neighbours and other children. In her richly layered, finely orchestrated compositions, domestic rituals, family life, community and individual activity are captured with humour, affection and whimsy; within narrative constructs than often hint a darker worlds and tension within.

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This entry was published on December 2, 2014 at 12:32 am. It’s filed under Exhibitions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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