On Thursday I wrote about the artistic revelations that we found on our cultural day out in Manchester. After visiting the HOME complex and the Ford Maddox Brown famous painting called ‘Work’ displayed in the city art gallery, my lovely husband and I ventured forth into three galleries holding exhibitions of photographs, which were taken by a variety of photographers from all over the world.
My first thoughts were; what makes a set of photographs art? What lifts them from the ordinary? You know what I mean, the photos that we all have in our photo albums at home; of family and friends and places that we have visited.
Looking round the many rooms which housed these pieces of work, I couldn’t really see much difference from the photos on display to be honest but then I wandered into one room and saw four portraits by Bruce Gilden, which transcended all the mundane and ordinary to the height of fine art. These four photographs were stunning not only in his subject matter but in the clarity of the detail his camera lens exposed.
The eyes...! The skin, blemishes and all...! The tiny facial hairs and the sticky mascara on the woman’s eye lashes...! WOW! Absolutely fabulous; I really enjoyed looking at them.
One of the main reasons that we decided to visit the gallery today was a new exhibition by Manchester’s Monet; Wynford Dewhurst!
He was a contemporary of some famous impressionist painters such as Monet and Pissarro. Dewhurst followed in their famous footsteps creating typical impressionistic versions of French landscapes of woods and pretty field scenes as well as views of Leighton Buzzard in England.
When looking at them all I could think of was that his work was just too similar. They seemed to me to be just copies of the same scenes that Monet and Pissarro had already done. He had used the same views, same colour palette and painted them in exactly the same style. He didn’t seem to create his own impressionistic style, which was a shame as some of his work was really pretty to look at.
However he did write a book which led people to understand that Impressionist painters had their roots in famous English artists of the same era such as Constable and that this helped people in this time period to accept the new impressionists more readily.
I took a photograph of one of his paintings and I know that you may think that I am biased but I am sure that if you look at this painting and one of my lovely husband’s you would agree that there isn’t much difference in the ability of talent, and quality of work between the two of them. And my husband doesn’t imitate!
I think that it is a shame that local artists don’t get the chance to display their work in city centre galleries. Maybe these galleries should donate a wall for such talented local artists so that they can show case their work to the public. Galleries could have a rolling two week programme whereby they hang their work alongside their more prestigious counterparts. It would open up the galleries to new and exciting work rarely seen and encourage newcomers to visit the gallery.
Oops! I’ve gone off on a tangent- sorry my about my soap box moment. So let’s get back to our day out. My lovely husband and I finished our day with a trip round the shops and then home for tea!
Thought for the day: “Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson