V&A NEW MEDIEVAL GALLERIES & THE DEUSTCHE BORSE PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2010
VICTORIA AND ALBERT KNEW WHERE IT WAS AT
Went on a little trip to London the other day to check out a bit of art and a bit of culture in our fair capital.
First up was the V&A to look at the recently updated
Jewellery gallery it was quite inspiring – the ability of the human hand to create insanely fine and detailed objects never fails to amaze. The collection is quite fine, featuring amazing items from all over the world and from all parts of history. I cannot fathom how some of the pieces could be made by a pair of hands.
The gallery itself is not so great though, very dark and rather pokey, with a surprisingly small amount of information presented about the collection.
What I love about the V&A is that you can stroll through its vast and sprawling rooms, with no real plan and find an array of extraordinary works. You can also not even bother to look at anything and be inspired simply by the building itself.
Had a quick look into the new Medieval and Renaissance galleries – which are amazing. The space itself is great, really open and light – and the collection is superb. Looking at things from the distance past always puts butterflies in my stomach.
MY PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE DAY REVEAL NOTHING
Predictably, I did not take any photographs of the works the V&A boasts – but just of irrelevant bits of the building that caught my eye.
THE PHOTOGRAPHERS PRIZE 2010
Well, it would have been rude not to have checked it out whilst I was up there and see which of the four photographers nominated would get my vote. My thoughts were mixed, I liked 2 and the other 2 did nothing for me.
Can’t say I was that moved by Anna Fox’s work. Some interesting ideas on exploring her life through photography – but ultimately the images left me a bit dry. Reminded me of Sophie Calle, but without the passion or such good execution. I’m afraid I could not see why she had been nominated.
I absolutely loved Leonard’s images. A retrospective of various images from the past 30 years of her urban photography. Her work is presented full frame always including the frame of the negative. Her images are quite lovely and whilst many appear to be of a dry subject matter, they really reflect an image of beauty visible all around us. I bought her book in fact, its lovely. I think Leonard is the winner for me.
I have seen some of Sophie Ristelhueber’s images before and been quite struck with them, but in the context of this exhibition – they did not really do it for me. Perrhaps more images from each series were needed in order to labour her point and no doubt some of her images are very striking – but like Fox, I was not really getting much from it. Her work reminded me of Simon Norfolk in a way, but did not seem to present the same authority that he creates. Not a winner in my book.
This is an extraordinary powerful piece of work by Donovan Wylie. About the Maze prison, the sheer stark repetativeness of this series of photographs really enforces the horrors that the Maze represents. I had seen Wylie’s original series from the prison some years back and heard him speak about the work. However, I had not re-visited it and especially since seeing Hunger, the images portrayed a new sense of disgust and interest in the issues surrounding Northern Ireland. His latest images show the destruction of the complex as it is demolished. Perhaps Wylie’s work has a more important message to get across than Leonard’s street images and he would be a more than worthy winner. However, for pure aesthetic joy – Leonard still gets my vote…just.
So there you have it! Obviously my opinion is worth toffee…except to me – but it’s there for your consideration anyway! Go check out the exhibition if you get a chance as its well worth it. However, whilst on topic – I must admit to not being completely won over by The Photographers Gallery new building. Seems to lack a bit of soul to me and scream of White Cube, was hoping for something more original.