The most recent image reading group was held at Islington Mill on Tuesday 16th September. Three images were presented, by Natalie, Rachel G and myself.
Natalie presented an image from the Times Educational Supplement in 1962. It was a photograph of a photograph, a promotional image used for the Pictures for Schools scheme.
The image showed a group of children looking at a piece of sculptural work from the scheme. There was some discussion about the realness of the situation, and how much art direction had been involved.
Some interpretations of the sculpture itself were offered. How appropriate it might be and whether the artists knew the work would be seen by children. Natalie described how the work needed to be affordable to schools and as a result smaller pieces of sculpture (perhaps originally created as maquettes) were often included.
The image was a reproduction of a larger work made of layers of paint, collage and typewriter drawings. The process of making the image was discussed. Whether (or how) the two artists worked on producing one piece of work.
The response from the group was that the image had a strong emotional impact. It was described as having a sense of desolation, the silencing of the figure being both comical and brutal. We talked about the religiousness of the painting, and it's relationship with folk art and outsider art.
I presented a photograph of a Ukrainian meal. The image was taken from a set of recipe cards published in Ukrainian and English in 1980.
Jan Svankmayer was suggested as a visual reference. Linked to the slightly surreal nature of the image, and ideas about food and the unexpected. Some questions were asked about whether or not it was real.
We talked about taking photos of food, in different contexts. Trends in cooking and food publications, Good Housekeeping and the history of home cooking versus convenience food. Rachel G later recreated the image, as below.
Posted by Sara Nesteruk