Thursday, 21 May 2009

Francesca Woodman

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to be in Edinburgh. Quite apart from the joy of climbing Arthur's Seat, one of the highlights of my time there was a visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, an excellent endeavour and a short stroll from the heart of the city along the beautiful Water of Leith footpath.

Anyway, at present the ground floor of the gallery is taken up with an exhibition called Artist Rooms, which includes a lot of Damien Hirst (including a sheep in formaldehyde). This was great, but the room that affected me most was that given over to the photographs of Francesca Woodman. Her black and white photography in the late 70s and early 80s was simple but effective, powerful and evocative - often, she would use blurring or movement in her pictures to make the audience work harder. Certainly there was plenty of symbolism in her photographs, and surrealism too. I say "was" - sadly, Francesca committed suicide aged just 22.

Doing a quick Google image search for Francesca's work will provide a rich bounty. Go and have a look, it's worth it.