Category Research and Context

Project 2.2 – Diane Arbus’ Brooklyn Family

This exercise asks that the student read and reflect upon Liz Jobey’s essay on Diane Arbus in Singular Images: Essays on Remarkable Photographs by Sophie Howarth. “The fictions we make about photographs are as unreliable as they are unavoidable” (Jobey 2005, p.67). This is Liz Jobey’s opening line and the sentiment on which her essay […]

Rhetoric of the Image – Roland Barthes

A challenging and enduring study, this post is both summary of, and my understanding of Roland Barthes’, Rhetoric of the Image. In his essay, Barthes, through deconstruction and analysis, explores the functionality of photographs in the communication of specific messages. Barthes opts for an advertising image for his study because “in advertising the signification of […]

A Non-traditional approach to Family Portraits

Here are a number of photographers who’s work has taken a less traditional view of family portraiture. I originally titled this post ‘Non-traditional Family Portraits’, but following an observation by my tutor I decided to change it to the above title. My initial title would suggest that the families are non-traditional, which isn’t necessarily the […]

Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander’s oeuvre can be characterised by a unique ability to create ordered compositions from otherwise chaotic scenes, often juxtaposing simple elements with playful guile. A highly influential figure in the history of photography, Friedlander has been recording the American social landscape since the late forties. The American social landscape, describes an entire generation of […]

The Death of the Author – Roland Barthes

I finally got around to writing a few words on the 1967 essay, The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes. The essay explores the notion of authorship and argues against traditional literary criticism (structuralism). A text here is any medium, be it literary, photographic, painted or otherwise, that is created by a conscious mind […]

Research Point: Tracey Moffatt

Under the Sign of Scorpio is a series of photographs in which Australian photographer Tracey Moffatt appears as forty women from history and popular culture, who all happen to be born under the astrological sign Scorpio. Being a Scorpio herself, Moffatt has always been intrigued about what makes the Scorpio tick. She says ‘It is […]

Project 2.1: Masquerades

This exercise presents a number of questions which can only be answered by researching Nikki S. Lee and Trish Morrissey. Nikki S. Lee Nikki S. Lee is best known for several series of photographs entitled, Projects (1997–2001), in which she appears as a stereotypical member of various American subcultures. Lee adopts the behaviour, mannerisms and […]

Father Browne’s First World War

I recently visited an exhibition at The Hunt Museum in Limerick entitled, Father Browne’s First World War. The exhibition features selected images depicting army life and the hardship of the trenches during the First World War. Father Browne’s introduction to photography was in 1897, when his uncle Robert, Bishop of Cloyne gave him a camera […]

Research Point: Woodman, Brotherus and Wearing

Francesca Woodman Francesca Woodman was a photographer best known for her work which explores issues of gender representation and the female body, often portraying dark psychological states and disturbing scenes. Many of her photographs are shot in decaying buildings and feature her nude body or those of other models who are often indistinguishable from her […]

William Eggleston

Sean O’Hagan of The Guardian newspaper writes that ‘William Eggleston is perhaps the most innovative American photographer of the past 50 years whose unique style has transformed the way we look at the world.’ Sofia Coppola says that ‘it was the beauty of the banal detail that was inspirational.’ My favourite introduction to William Eggleston […]