Monday, 17 August 2015

How To Look At Art, part 1: Poppies at the Tower, 2015

How to Look at Art grew out of my interest in watching people in museums. I too was there to look at the art, but watching the way the other visitors absorbed their experience of the museum and developed their memories of the work there, was almost as interesting. They were using the lens provided by their phones as least at much as simply looking, thinking and remembering. I have no idea if there is an ideal way to look at art. It strikes me that photographing the work, sharing among your friends and talking about it may be as good a way as any. I enjoyed watching people insert themselves into the works by being photographed in front of them. This was perhaps most pertinent, effective and, in some ways, most moving at the Poppies at the Tower. I was struck by the sheer numbers of people there, some - all probably - descended from survivors or victims of WW1. It was their vitality, their energy that really brought home to me the scale of the carnage. Their presence and approach - enjoying a lovely day out, in most cases - was in such vivid contrast to the devastation and misery that war brought that, for me anyway, it made the work, the river of poppies, much more affecting than they would have been without that interaction. So, here they are, just a few, recorded on a pot, from my photos of them photographing each other, themselves and the work. This has been fired now and awaits glazing and finishing.

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