‘Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings’ at the Fitzwilliam is a treat, even if you don’t think much of her literary style or content. Drawing on work by over 80 artists from the mid-19th Century to today, it explores different takes on ‘landscape and public life; domesticity and the home, and the private self and subconscious’. A bonus, and something of a surprise (though why should it be?), is the inclusion of several women photographers (or artists working with photography), from Anna Atkins and Julia Margaret Cameron to Calude Cahun and Gisele Freund to Penny Slinger and Zanele Muholi. Some new to me, revealing significant gaps in my photographic knowledge. Into Heffers to get a copy of Women Photographers – From Julia Margaret Cameron to Cindy Sherman by Boris Friedenwald.
I’ve mentioned before (17 March 2017) the rather surreal results of listing the media used to create art works. This mixed show provides a particularly rich catalogue of materials: acrylic paint, acrylic nails, album, albumen print, aluminium sheet and rod, ash, automotive paint, ballpoint pen, beads, board, body colour, bone, brass, bricks, bronze, cabinet card, canvas, carbon print, ceramic, charcoal, collage, coloured pencil, compressed lint, concrete, cosmetics, cyanotype, diamante, digital print, dress fabric, earthenware plate with tin glaze, earth, ebony, fabric, faux fur, felt, film 16/8mm, found object, frames, gauze, gelatin, silver print, gesso, glass, gorse plant, gouache, granite, graphite, GWR boxes, hardboard, HD video, horn, ink, kneaded eraser, lace, latex, lead, leather, Lycra, marble, MDF, metal, mirrored steel, nail varnish, oil paint, panel, paper, pastel, peacock feather, pencil, Perspex, photograph, photo collage, pigment, pigment print, plaster, plastic, plexi box frame, Polaroids, postcard, print, polyester resin, printed linen, PVC, quilting cotton, rag paper, satin, sea shells, shelf, silicone, silk thread, silver, steel, stones, tea, terracotta, [railway] track, umatic tape, velvet, watercolour, Wedgewood teapot, wood and ‘other materials’. Is listing the media supposed give a work authenticity and gravitas?
Photos: 1. Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait (as weight trainer), c. 1937; 2. Sara Barker, soil knotted like toppled alphabets, 2016