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.
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.