Inspiration / photography

Francesca Woodman photography

I’m so glad I took photography as one of my GCSE’s, I’ve learnt how to use photoshop properly and i’ve explored a few more works by other artists. We got to choose between two photographers at school, Woodman (who I chose) and another.

For some reason, artists who die at such a young age give us a morbid thrill to how unnatural it seems. We admire their artwork and the rest of the life that they lived, as the dead cannot produce more beauty and fantasy, although these artists do carry on as their works still live on. Anyhow, these artists seem more interesting as their short lives feature more chapters than those of ‘normal’ people.

Francesca woodman was an American photographer, who was best known for her black and white photographs full of expression and understanding. each photograph describes feelings, emotions and sentiments, which clearly state her own. Woodman used a lot of shutterspeed with long exposure times to give a blurry effect of vicious, intrigued or surprised movements which shows her sense of attitude and the world from her own point of view. Compared to other photographers Woodman had a more interesting background surrounding her, which in those days people didn’t take much notice of. It looks like she interpreted her own emotions into artwork by controlling her models and her own gestures into clear acts of despair. By posing nude, she and her models show a lack of narcissistic behaviour, where they feel hopeless thanks to not feeling e.g. beautiful or liked. Most of her photographs seem a bit strange and ‘wrong’ but from her perspective, you can tell they symbolise something. Many of her photographs feature empty rooms, which may symbolise the dread in her heart, being empty, thinking that nobody loves her. Woodman encloses her models in these empty rooms or corners of dark spaces to display a place of grief for mad people, like some sort of asylum (she may have thought she belonged there). By concealing parts of her images, for example, faces and body parts using a cloak or curtain, she may be giving a personality to her models and new characteristics to herself, as if she is hiding.

She committed suicide at the age of 22 after a big breakup with her boyfriend and this was also related to an unsuccessful application for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her artistic life obviously meant a lot to her, and luckily she had this passion to try and deal with her problems, and to me it looks as though her photographs were almost like the pages of her own personal diary, to whom she could talk to when she needed somebody, other than friends and family, by her side. Taking photographs artistically is what I can see, she enjoyed doing, to make her mind feel free.

I find her work inspirational, due to her creative techniques of using nude models or herself, obscuring their faces and blurring parts of her photographs which show movement.

P.S. I think I chose the right artist, I can understand how she feels, I can sort of relate to her. She had also attended school in Italy and could speak fluent Italian, like me.



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