Faye Godwin.

I wanted to write a post about this photograph: l11(p63).jpg its called Chatsworth lion, Derbyshire 1988.  I find it very captivating.  A black and white photo in a 6 x 6 frame.  The tonality is lighter shades of gray.  The shadows are very light and the white is off white.  The stone lion is positioned in on the right side of the frame, takes up about 2/3rd of it and he seems to be asleep.  Like a sleeping sentinel. behind him in the frame of a window is a statue of a reclining woman, one of those classical beauty figures as from ancient Rome or Greece.  She is naked and has turned to look behind her in the direction of the lion, more precisely behind the lion, we can’t see where she is looking.  The composition suits the subject very well, it is balanced and harmonious and maybe that is why I find it such a peaceful picture, its like the photographer stumbled across an intimate moment here, I feel as though I can hear the woman whispering to the lion and that when we move on the statues will regain life and continue where they left off laughing, talking etc.

I read somewhere that all landscape photographers leave something of themselves in their work, its impossible not to they say.  I have only recently begun to feel this myself about my own work.  In Godwin’s work you can feel her love for the land and the people who live on it that she is photographing, like this photograph:s12(p33).jpg Royal Military canal, East Sussex 1971.

You can also see her sense of humour and a sense of irony perhaps?  Like this: l49(p103).jpg

how she was concerned “Godwin’s work there is an unequivocal, impassioned account of the effects of the closure of vast tracts of countryside for commercial, venal reasons, such as the rearing of animals and birds merely to shoot them.  We see the final logic of the Highland Clearances, in concert with the destruction of the land by those who occupy it without regard for their longer-term responsibilities for its stewardship, on behalf of the wider population now, and in the future.
Phillip Stokes: A critics Assessment.    l46(p100).jpg, and this  l47(p101).jpg

Here is evidence of politics and the photographers politics in these photographs.  I find it ironic that a lot of the issues raised in her work are still current today like land access, social justice, the crisis in agriculture and in rural areas.  And that’s just in Ireland.


About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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