The following essay I completed as part of my MA unit ‘Writing Criticism: Critical and Analytical Frameworks‘. This was a critical writing essay on a topic of our own choice, and our first major essay of the MA. I chose to write about documentary photography and got 83/100 which I was pretty pleased with. Naturally, since this was written I have read and researched a lot more, and have found there are a lot of things that I would do differently, as well as choose different case studies. This is pretty much as it was handed in, except for the formatting.
Jabez Hughes, along with Julia Margaret Cameron, can be considered two of the great Victorian Photographers that lived and worked on the Isle of Wight. This is a look into the life and work of both Cornelius Jabez Hughes and Gustav Mullins, Royal photographers and an important part of both Isle of Wight history and photographic history. It is a more in-depth version of my notes for the talk on Hughes and Mullins that I gave at Carisbrooke Castle Museum on the 4th of February.
My last post was way back in August and while I had a few more ideas for things to write for the Autumn, I made the decision to head back to university in September. Since then things have got rather busy and even more so as I’m giving two talks at Carisbrooke Castle Museum in February and March.
For my final Open University essay at the end of the ‘Renaissance Art Reconsidered’ unit, I chose to write about a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci that he drew in the last year of his life while living in France. This was an enjoyable essay to do, not least because of all the nice books I bought, but being the 500th anniversary of his death there were national exhibitions of his drawings, including one in Southampton, that I visited to see this drawing in the flesh.
Is a photography degree worth doing?
The debate about whether a higher education in photography is relevant or even helps to get a job after graduation is one that has no clear answer. Many people would say it’s worth it and just as many will say it isn’t. Both sides have positive and negative points, but what can an education offer that self-learning cannot? Is a photography degree really worth pursuing?
This essay formed part of my Open University study for the module A344 – Art and its Global Histories and was my final essay at the end of the unit. For this essay, we had to formulate and research a subject based on the shift of art history away from a western viewpoint, and look at the different issues this involves. I chose to study the Durbar Room at Osborne, and compare this with the Viceroys’ house in New Delhi. I scored 80/100 which I was pretty chuffed with.
Being a photographer who is interested in both local history and art history, it seems fitting to look at a few pictures by the one of the most famous British Victorian photographers and sometime Isle of Wight resident, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879).
Much has been written and reviewed about Cameron’s work, not all of it in a favourable light. However, I think there is a lot more to her work than meets the eye (semi-unintentional pun). Cameron took up photography seriously at 48, and rather than amassing a body of work over her lifetime, nearly all her major works were taken during an 11 year period while living in England.
This photograph by Martin Parr was one of the first that made me stop to think and appreciate the picture. I wasn’t even that into photography at the time. I must have been about 16 or 17 when it caught my eye in the newspaper. So much so that I cut it out and placed it on my noticeboard dead centre in between giant posters of mountain bikes. A small three-inch tall black and white photo evoking calm and solitude amongst the garish saturated noise of action sports.