The Art of Photography

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Exhibitions - Project based

Two exhibitions I've seen this week that have made a big impact on me in terms of the powerfulness of a good project.
The first is Anders Ryman's work 'Rites of Passage'. A fantastic open air exhibition on near City Hall (Riverside). Seven years he spent on this project, travelling around the world, witnessing and photographing all sorts of rites of passage.  They are incredibly powerful images, but also what a powerful subject.  Something everyone can relate to no matter what culture or country you live in. You can relate to your own, even laugh at some of them.  Others though can make you feel decidedly uncomfortable. To have taken the pictures he has he has to have spent quite a bit of time with people and gained their trust.  In one shot he has to be inside the grave! (It was a reburial).

The other exhibition 'Words of the Century' at the October Gallery by photographer Jimmy Symonds.  has produced has created 10 hand-made artist books for each decade from 1900. He researched new words from each year, reducing the list until he finally produced this exhibition of one new word or phrase from each year illustrating it with a photo. Examples are 'avant-garde' , 'cloning', 'down-turn'. Again several years have gone into this project. It is a really strong body of work.

Seeing these works a few days apart (while I am trying to think of my own project for assignment 5) I am so aware of how a well researched and good subject matter make all the difference to the final work.

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