‘Prepare a Short illustrated, 10 minute talk that ivestigates the working practices of your given practitioners and your given theme. This project enables you to to see, research and explore the work of a wide range of photographers/ artists and to consider links between their numerous bodies of work.’
My given practitoners were Larry Burrows, Roger Fenton, Don Mccullin and Paul Seawright and my given theme was motivation!
I started off my research all artists through computer work and library work. I found a couple of books in the university library and also some vhs and dvd resources, also i found that some of the artists and their own websites s this helped out alot with my research
.At first i found it hard to relate my artists and my theme but after a while the more i read into the artists the more i found out and found a way to link them.
The one difficulty i did have was with Paul Seawright, i found out a little about him but i could’nt find out anything about his history and his background, the things that made him choose photography, why he like studying photography, etc. In the end i found one way to link him and that was through what he was photography. like the others he was focusing on war, conflict and the atfermath. Paul had worked in places such as Belfast, Afgan, Africa and the 9/11 attacks. He did a serious of work about the war in Afghanistan which was called ‘Hidden’ and was commisioned by the Imperial War Museum London. Also he did a series of work called ‘Invisible Cities’ which focused on his four year work in Africa, this was published by the National Agency for Photography in Wales.
Don Mccullin was one of my favourite artists that i researched about and i found him quite interesting, i found his auto biography in the library and have recently started reading it. Don’s motivation came from when he went into the RAF and was put in the photography department, he was never any good at school becuase he had dyslexia, this also becmae a problem for him when he failed a test which meant he came out the RAF without an official photography degree. Like Paul he worked on ecological and man-made catastrophes such as war zones, aids epidemic, vietnam war, and northern ireland conflict. He was passionate about these subjects because he grew up in ireland so he was around to see the conflicts and violence, this fuiled his motivation and inspiration. He was a self taught photographer and studied by reading books and looking into artists that he like and inspired him. Don Mccullins moment came when one of the gang members he was friends with was invloved in a murder and because of the many photos he had shot previously of the gangs, The Observer published one of his images. He became very in demand and became very popular and famous. He was later refused access to shoot the Falklands war which lead to depression and him drinking. He later got fired from his job at The Sunday Times because a new publisher was in charge and took a dis-liking to him. After this he got into other jobs so he could continue to photograph and travel. Don Mccullin has won many awards and was even awarded a CBE in 1993.
Roger Fenton is my next artists, i found his work a little old fashioned but then again what do i expect when he was around in the 1800’s, but i did find him interesting to research. He first of all studies with painter Charles Lucy then spent time in Paris with another artist called Paul Delaroche, Paul Delaroche was who first introduced Roger to photography and calotypes. Unkown to anyone Roger gave up paiting and studied a degree in law and became a solicitor, unkowingly again he went back into photography and started shootin civil engineers in Russia, a bridge suspension in Ukraine, landscapes and buildings in St Petersburg and Moscow and he did a large amount of work on the Royal family. Roger was assigned to the Crimean war in 1855 by publisher Thomas Agnew, there was alot of controversy over his photos because of the way Roger avoided taking pictures of dead, injured or mutilated soldiers, he was accused of maybe trying to glorify the war and make people think differntly of it. Unkowingly yet again, Roger Fenton stopped photographing in 1862, went back to working as a solicitor and apparently he never took another photo again, he died at the age of 50.
I found Larry Burrows work most interesting and i really liked his images. Like my other artists Larry covered violence in the middle east and fighting in Congo. He had alot of motivation which came from several things, first of all when he was younger he worked in the mines and after seeing the suffering and hatred of working down there this was said to give him the passion and courage for dangerous situations. Secondly he got a job at Life magazine and started of doing meaningless darkroom tasks, he was printing thousands of war photographs from some of the most famous WW2 photographers so he had alot of motivation and inspiration from seeing these images. Larry spent 9 years in Vietnam and was determined to see it through to the end and then photograph the coming of peace. His colleuges and other people beleived Larry would become cynical or immune to what he was seeing but it was quite the opposite, Larry became sensitive and worried about the morality of what he was doing. It wasn’t untill a mother of someone killed wrote a letter to him about how his work was making her deal with things because it made her feel comfortable and understand, this letter gave Larry a lot of relief and he continued to photograph. Even after Larry was told to go home and other photographers were sent to replace him, he kept going back because he was motivated to finish what he had started. Unfortunatly Larry died when a helicopter he was in was shot down over the Veitnam border.