Thursday, 10 September 2015

Gallery Trip (Photography) 08/09/15

In Photography, we are currently doing research for our topic of Identity. To make us as students think about what we want to photograph, we went on a trip to a range of London galleries on Tuesday, September 8th, to give us creative inspiration and also start off our thought processes.
I found the trip overall very helpful as the exhibitions and artists we visited yesterday were all linked to 'identity' and I got to see how each artist expressed the topic in their work, giving me a lot of insight and a vision into what I want to create in my own work.

First of all, we visited the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington to see the exhibition 'What Is Luxury?'. The small exhibition housed a number of 'luxurious' objects and focused on the production of these objects and questioned the importance of luxury in today's society.

The item on display that caught my eye the most was the three small diamonds. Each diamond was made up from everyday, inexpensive, unusual items.
The first diamond was made from gunpowder, metal and glass, the second diamond was made up from armadillo roadkill ashes, and the third was made from The Superman 3 soundtrack, paper and glass. Although I didn't think that all of the exhibit displays related to identity and memory, the diamond display did make me think about and challenge the value of luxurious items in today's society and how some people use money and possessions as a way of defining them as a person. To me, this diamond display is trying to show that although these items look expensive, they're really made up of worthless materials which tells me that luxury items aren't really what we should be valueing in life.

Next we visited the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. The artist, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye paints pictures of different people and I really enjoyed her artwork as the use of low lighting and low angles created striking focus points and overall made an effective image. The close up shots of the subjects also made the paintings more intimate and surreal and I feel that in terms of identity, these paintings captured the subjects in a compact and close space which to me as a viewer it almost felt like the subject was
standing there in front of me. The paintings were also very detailed in facial features and I also found it interesting reading about the exhibition online is that none of the subjects featured were real people and they were all either made up or taken from different types of media (books, images etc.) 

After, we visited The Photographer's Gallery to see a number of exhibitions including a music photography exhibition named 'We Want More'. As I have done event photography in the past, I was intrigued the most by this gallery as I was familiar with the style of photography and two displays that I was attracted to the most we're 'You And My Friends' (2013) by Ryan Mcginley, 'UKG' (1999-2001) by Ewen Spencer.
These three displays included photography taken at a number of concerts and music venues but all differed and told different stories in their composition, lighting, camera shot and angles.
'You And My Friends' was a series of 9 images all taken at various Morrissey concerts. In terms of identity and memory, these images captured the expressions of numerous unknown and unaware fans as they watched the show. I really liked how the 9 people were identified as different races, ages and genders but they were all identified and unified together as having the same music taste and shared a love in the same artist. I feel that the calm and peaceful atmosphere I got from the display was captured through the soft lighting and pastel-like peachy oranges and reds and the shallow depth of field creates a sense of intimacy as the subjects face stands out and is in clear focus whereas the rest of the crowd are in a blur. In terms of memory, I thought about the subjects and how they cherish the moment and I also thought about it from the photographers point of view as Mcginley is capturing a moment that would be forgotten and left behind.

'UKG' was another photography series that consisted of images taken from 1999-2001 in the UK Garage club scene which was extremely popular at the time. I felt like I related to this series the most as I grew up around family members and family friends who were heavily influenced by this scene and so I had some background in the genre and the culture behind it.Again, I liked the initmate close ups of the different clubbers and how the pictures are taken 'in-the-moment'. You can also clearly tell from their clothing and style what type of people the clubbers are as they're dressed quite smartly.

Lastly, we visited the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square. This was the gallery I least liked but the exhibition we visited related to our topic of Identity the most.
The exhibition included pictures taken and edited by students from a London secondary school. They took pictures of themselves and wrote on them, digitally edited them etc. to reflect their own identity. I liked the concept but overall it wasn't something that I was interested in or wanted to develop a response from.
Overall, I enjoyed the photographers gallery the most as the portrait photos were what interested me and made me want to create my own response from.

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