Portraits in Context

Posted on May 13, 2014

3


I have once again changed the title for my portraiture work with women landscape photographers. I am keen that the title represents the work as an exploration of how the background setting can inform the reading of a portrait. I will need to submit my latest work on this project to Sharon at the end of June. So as I am going away for a couple of weeks I thought I would document where I have reached. Below is a draft artists statement and the eight portraits I have made so far.

Portraits in Context – Draft Statement 

Portraits In Context is an ongoing series of portraits of women. It is concerned with the dialogue between the subject and the environment in which they are depicted. Each portrait was made within a particular landscape setting chosen by the sitter as a place with which she has a special connection. In this way the landscape not only functions as the stage set for the portrait but also adds special contextual meaning derived from its psychological connection to the subject.  

The women are all friends and fellow photographers, who work in the landscape genre. They have a particular awareness of the physical environment around them. Some are drawn to the natural landscape others to urban spaces. All have special places they return to time and again. By choosing to include only women, I have added another layer of meaning to the work and draw attention to the question of gender in photography. 

The portraits are subdued and quiet with an objective rather than expressive style. Bernhard Fuch’s portraits, set in the countryside of Upper Austria, have been a source of inspiration in this regard. I was also influenced by Metta Tronvoll’s ‘Portraits and Architecture’ series in which explores the relations between subject and the architectural context within which they are pictured.  

The photographs have been made with a large format film camera. This slows down the process and is a significant factor influencing the style and objective appearance of the portraits. 

I envisage that the portraits will be shown together in a gallery. However, I would wish the installation to be such that each portrait can be viewed in isolation of the others. I want the viewer to concentrate on the relationship between each subject and their chosen background.  One way in which this might be done is to intersperse prints of the portraits amongst other photographs – the exact nature of how this might be done is something I have yet to work out. Another possibility is to construct an installation that makes it impossible for the viewer to see more than one portrait at a time. A further option is to consider showing the work as a slideshow in which I control what the viewer sees when.

Rebecca Hughes, Loch Maree February 2013 ©Keith Greenough 2013

Rebecca Hughes, Loch Maree February 2013
©Keith Greenough 2013

Catherine Banks, Horsell Common July 2013 ©Keith Greenough 2013

Catherine Banks, Horsell Common July 2013
©Keith Greenough 2013

Eileen Rafferty, Norbury November 2013 ©Keith Greenough 2013

Eileen Rafferty, Norbury November 2013
©Keith Greenough 2013

Paddy Howe, Clayhidon Turbary November 2013 ©Keith Greenough 2013

Paddy Howe, Clayhidon Turbary November 2013
©Keith Greenough 2013

Gill Golding, Woolwich Arsenal September 2013 ©Keith Greenough 2013

Gill Golding, Woolwich Arsenal September 2013
©Keith Greenough 2013

Yiannitsa Cegarra, Tollohill Wood, Aberdeenshire January 2014 ©Keith Greenough 2014

Yiannitsa Cegarra, Tollohill Wood, Aberdeenshire January 2014
©Keith Greenough 2014

Rachel Wakefield, near Thrumpton Nottinghamshire April 2014 ©Keith Greenough 2014

Rachel Wakefield, near Thrumpton Nottinghamshire April 2014
©Keith Greenough 2014

Judy Sharrock, Wilverley Plain Hampshire May 2014 ©Keith Greenough 2014

Judy Sharrock, Wilverley Plain Hampshire May 2014
©Keith Greenough 2014

Advertisements