John Everett Millais Ophelia, (Oil on Canvas) Tom Hunter The Way Home (Cibachrome print)
Ophelia 1851-2 Sir John Everett Millais
Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829–1896. Born into a wealthy family in Southampton, he attended Sass’s Art School and was considered a child prodigy and a pioneer of British painting. He began painting Ophelia in 1851. Based on a character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the scene, painted in oils, shows the demise of Ophelia as she succumbs to the calm of the waters, not committing suicide but not wanting to thrive either.
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
He began by painting the background foliage within the image. This took 5 months and this time is evident in that the blooms themselves would not have flowered together as in the painting. The later inclusion of Ophelia – modelled by Elizabeth Siddal – took several months, during which Siddal laid in a bath warmed by nearby lamps.
Tom Hunter. The Way Home.
Tom Hunter, born 1965 in Dorset, began studying photography at college and for his master’s degree at The Royal College of Arts in London.
His book ‘The Way Home’ was published in 2012 and explored the area of Hackney and the people living there. Hunter liked to show the constant battle of nature versus the city development. This image is the story of a young girl heading home after a night dancing and slipping and ‘losing herself to the dark slippery, industrial motorway of a bygone era.’ A Cibachrome print created from a colour transparency is considered a fine art reproduction photograph that would never fade as most prints would.
The similarities between these two images are immediate. The simple form of the girl in the water surrounded by lush greenery is unquestionable, as are the concepts that bring this poor girl to this moment, and both are calm and accepting of their fate. The processes used in the production of both will ensure long lasting and vibrant definition, a representation of the finality of death perhaps, the images as lasting as death itself. Exploring the influence of painting on photography.
Discussing the media used by painter/photographer.
The Pre-Raphaelite signature is what Millais used in his famous painting Ophelia. Millais was an advocate and one of the founding artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement who worked to enliven the art and its spirit before the period of the Italian artist Raphael. Ophelia is a manifestation of how Millais sought refuge in the natural beauty and its sophisticated simplicity. Away from the sweeping materialism and industrial revolution, the artist chose to depict the enchanting charm of the medieval era. The innocence of the painting is glaring and so as the very purpose of the movement which is imitated in Ophelia.
The fundamental characteristics of the Pre-Raphaelite movement are the nostalgic tone and distinctive choice of colours which resembled the inclination of the group. The predilection of the group was associated with being immensely meticulous about minute details and high degree of clarity. This Victorian-era painting was painted on canvas and oil colours which gave Ophelia its distinguished and highly detailed appearance like it is a high-definition photograph.
Millais used two location to paint this masterpiece. He painted and completed the natural landscape in one place and used the studio to paint the lady in the painting. The way that this painting was painted in is relevant to modern landscape photography where photographers capture purely unadulterated natural sites and sometimes landscapes with man-made modifications. The two canvasses were coated with glue substance and a ground composition to cover the surface of the painting. The whiteness of the painting was intensified by Millais using zinc oxide which is chiefly as painting pigment. (The Story of Ophelia, 2019)
Tom Hunter Way to Home techniques.
Photographer Tom Hunter managed to convey his passion for photography by capturing strikingly accurate aspects of the life around the UK in his project The Way Home. Tom’s spectacular representations in his photographs and the use of unique photographic processes like Ilfochrome or Cibachrome gave his photographs chromatic purity, vivid and precise details.
Chris Killip-youth on a wall, yarrow
Born on the isle of man in 1946 Killip left school to pursue career in hotel management but became a full-time beach photographer in 1964. He moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1975 as the northern arts photography fellow.
A young boy sat on a wall wearing working class clothing, hands up to his face with eyes shut tightly.
It can be read in different ways depending on the level of knowledge behind each viewer. It can be viewed as a young boy upset and alone or a skin head demonstrating anger prior to a fight.
This is an iconic image, famous image and for me one of, if the best British portrait ever taken. It’s been read as metaphor for Britain at the end of empire, at the end of its industrial reign. Britain awaiting the huge political and social change that was to arrive with thatcher a couple of years later.
This is black and white images, mostly made on 4 by 5 film, are now recognized as among the most important visual records of living in 1980s Britain. They are dense, vivid, solid, black and white images of working people in the north of England in the seventies and eighties.
This image looks as if the children are either living in the car or working. this show the poverty is England at that time .1984
“Another picture features graffiti on a wall that says, “Bobby Sands, Greedy Irish Pig,” and next to it is a graffiti that says “Smash the IRA” [Housing Estate on May 5th]. I never released this picture while I was living in Newcastle. I felt it was too much about prejudice and intransigence. It’s from May 5, 1981. I can tell you the date, because it’s when Margaret Thatcher announced on the radio program The World at One that the IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands was dead.” – chris Killip
Andreas GURSKY Chicago board of trade ll 1999, C-print mounted to plexiglass in artist’s frame 73 by 95 inches
Chicago Board of Trade, executed in 1997 is packed with kaleidoscopic details that unify into a glorious, transcended whole. It investigates the relationship between the micro and the macro scales, overlooking the scene from an almost scientific perspective. It represents the struggles of an everyman, the battles that take place at his workplace, in the hub of contemporary commerce. The individuals that occupy the photo are fragile and mortal, surrounded by the monumental architectonic space, and represent the natural phenomenon within the cold, calculated realm they’re in. Andreas Gursky photography often symbolizes the man’s frailty in the world of data and facts, and this photo is no different, as it provides the cautionary tale of the wealth, and inspires with its abstract beauty.
He was born in LEIPZIG in 1955, but he grew up in Dusseldorf, the son of commercial photographer. In the early 1980s, at Germany’s state art academy, the kunst Akademie Düsseldorf, GURSKY received strong training and influence from hid teachers hilla and Bernd Becher, a photographic team known for their distinctive, dispassionate method of systematically cataloguing industrial machinery and architecture. a similar approach may be found in gursky’s methodical approach to his own larger-scale photography.
Pyongyang IV is an image that offers the glimpse into the North Korea’s Arirang Festival, and investigates the themes of surface ornament and pattern, recurring in his best works, but in an entirely different part of the world than that we are used to.
Paris, Montparnasse is one of the first examples of digitally manipulated Andreas Gursky photography. Executed in 1993, this image is a symbol of the anonymity in the urban society, high-tech communication, and globalization, as well as the growing alienation of the individuals within one community
This piece is a diptych made in 1999, and it represents the artist’s understanding of the way we see the world It allows the viewers to examine the saturated colours, the arrangement and the hypnotizing effect of the goods made for mass consumption and sold in the market