On Landscape Review – Bibligography




  • STARKEY, H. KULLMANN, I. JOBEY, L, 2007. Hannah Starkey, Photographs 1997-2007. Gottingen : Steidl
  • HUNTER, T. WIGGINS, C. CHEVALIER, T, 2005. Tom Hunter; Living in hell and other stories. London: National Gallery
  • DUVE, T. PELENC, A. GROYS, B, 1996. Jeff Wall. London: Phaidon Press
  • DICORCIA, P-L, 2003. A Storybook Life. Santa Fe, NM : Twin Palms publishers
  • Leaflets and information from talks at the Jerwood Space, Purdy Hicks Gallery, Guest Projects and Roman Road


  • SOURCE, 2013. Issue 75, Summer
  • SOURCE, 2013. Issue 76, Autumn

Review – On Landscape

On Landscape #1

Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor and Emma Wieslander, with Minna Pöllänen creating a site-specific piece, have come together to create an exhibition that will challenge the traditional representation of landscape, called On Landscape #1. The show was exhibited from 7th-30th March 2014 at Guest Projects, Andrews Road, London.

Landscape is not a genre but a medium…[it is] a natural scene mediated by culture. It is both a represented and presented space, both a signifier and a signified, both a frame and what a frame contains…” – J.W.T. Mitchell, Landscape and Power. The artists have chosen to open their fundraising website (Crowdfunder) with a quote about what a landscape is, to entice the reader.


The exhibition was shown at Guest Projects, which was formulated by Shonibare Studio and gives artistic practitioners the chance to use the facility of a free project space for a month. The Arts Council funded this project and also received help from donators ‘pledging’ money.

The curators had the opportunity to do anything they wanted with this large empty white space. Tables and walls were built by themselves with help from local businesses and friends. They kept quite an industrial feel, which contrasted against the natural aura of the work.

An open call for self-published books (short run or hand-made), which related to the framework of the exhibition, formed a central aspect of the show. This provided “a platform for wider debates around landscape whilst presenting an opportunity for a range of practitioners to showcase their work.” Artlicks.com. Renowned names such as Miranda Gavin (editor of Hotshoe) and Bruno Cheschel were among several members of the selection panel.

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander














Emma Wieslander’s “Wish You Were Here” presents images, which are so very deceiving at a first glance. Having been created upon the idea of illusion, they certainly live up to the concept. When looking in great deal, it becomes apparent that Wieslander has set up one light at different heights, and using just natural lighting has achieved the appearance of the glowing sun. These images are made enjoyable by the trickery within them; grabbing your attention and making you look in great detail.

Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor

Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor

Possibly the most creative section of the show is a range of old negatives, which have been sliced and diced, before being layered together to create a ‘Constructed Landscape’. This work is based around manipulation and photography’s relationship to reality. Although the images are all created from something real, they are imaginary because they have been created and do not actually exist. This work can be seen as a metaphor, representing how land and nature can be destructed.

In order to remove any evidence of location, elements, which are man-made, have been removed. The unwanted parts of the negative are removed using a scalpel; this created something, which was irreversible, compared to using digital manipulation where you could undo the action to get back to the original.

“It is this irreversibility and the slight idiosyncrasies caused whereby the two negatives meet and overlap that I am interested in; how the areas around the incisions flare up, leaking light and creating certain stains around the edges going beyond the frame.” says Dafna Talmor, who created this piece.

Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen

Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen

Minna Kantonen explores the connection between urban cities and how we design and bring nature to them; how do we compensate the balance of a city and landscape? She describes the trees which are often planted in these kinds of places as “lollipop” trees, because they are often just a stick trunk with a blob of leaves on top, which makes them look like a lollipop. Kantonen believes that cities are all beginning to look the same. Having shot in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Helsinki and London, she says that it is hard to distinguish which city you are in, as they look so similar. She has presented in an even grid form to represent how uniform this is becoming; trees being planted in the same way around these buildings.

Observatory in New York - Minna Pollanen

Observatory in New York – Minna Pollanen

Pöllänen is well known for creating site-specific pieces, particularly her observatories, in cities such as New York, Montreal and Helsinki. She is often asked to create them in collaboration with other artists and companies.

As well as creating the site-specific piece, Minna Pöllänen also included images from her series “Nature Trail”.

As well as to provide a platform for wider debates around landscape, the show also aims to present a space where thought-provoking discussions can happen. With so many open events for the public to attend, this idea works effectively as when looking at the exhibition and discussing, ideas will bounce from one person to another creating a discussion. The website also plays a key role in the exhibition, as it extends the audience beyond just the physical space of the show. This project has been called #1 as it was a ‘pilot’ for future projects.

With so many sections to one show and so many artists coming together to collaborate, it is hard to feel that each section works perfectly with another. They each have completely focused on different elements within the framework of Landscape, using unique methods to produce their work. By bringing in components such as a site-specific piece, the scope of the exhibition was widened beyond just photography. All being female could be a reason for them choosing to look at landscape and nature.

This is a very thought provoking exhibition and completes the aim which the artists were looking to fulfil.



Curation Project – Sombre

Unfortunately, our group did not communicate through 0ut the project, despite our efforts to contact them. This meant that myself and Emma (a member of our original group) took it upon ourselves to do the project without the rest of the group.

We began by looking for books on portrait photographers, looking for something similar to the images we had previously looked at. I found an image similar to this, by Richard Avedon. The window was almost a filter, it separated the viewer from the model.


We then began looking for portraits of a person which are more similar to this. We found that the images we liked all tended to have a depressing, sombre feel. Sombre was a word which was frequently repeated when we talked about our work, so we felt it was appropriate to name the show Sombre.

We chose to split the images into two sections; in section one it felt as if we were looking in at the models whereas section two it was as if they were looking out the window. We printed our images on an inkjet printer on lustre paper as this was high quality and we felt that the images deserved this good quality. We placed the name of the photographer, image and date below the image in the left corner.

The writing explaining our exhibition is in the middle of the piece because we wanted it to be noticed as it explains why we put the images together and also splits the images up so that there is not too much to look at. The images were all placed at an average eyeline height as we found it looked more uniform and there was no need for them to be at different heights.


Sombre is an exhibition based loosely around the idea of an isolated and lonely yet very narrative portrait. Photographers Jeff Wall, Hannah Starkey, Tom Hunter and Philip Lorca-diCorcia all use narratives in their portraits to portray a lonely story.

Throughout the show each selected photograph depicts an isolated person or couple with very subtle lighting in a very secluded settings, either their ‘own’ home or somewhere with limited access like a female bathroom. As a reader of the show, Sombre wants you to feel as though you are looking in on each situation and this is helped by the camera angle in each photograph as each and every one does not feel invasive, more like it is peering onto the situation through a door or window, yet it still feels as if you were there.

Each of the chosen photographers are well known for their staged portraits which is something Sombre was looking for as it is about how someone who is just acting can get across to the reader those feelings of isolation and the sombre mood, whilst making it feel very realistic for each photograph.

First, photographer Jeff Wall, his portrait ‘Picture for Women 1979’ gives off the impression of isolation in the woman even though she is accompanied. The male character makes her seem as though she is being threatened, her facial expression tells us something is not right yet we are left guessing.

Second, photographer Philip Lorca-diCorcia and ‘Mario, 1978’. The lone figure suggests isolation along with the low lighting.

Third, Tom Hunter and his photograph ‘Woman Reading Possession Order’. Hunter used Baroque style paintings to influence a lot of his photographs using the narratives behind them to almost recreate them to move them into a more modern era. For this photograph, Hunter used Vermeer’s painting ‘Girl Reading Letter’ to stage his portrait.

Finally, Hannah Starkey, who we have selected three images from her Untitled works. Each of these photographs is staged and all have a very low feeling coming from them.


Sombre Exhibition By Emma Pinchen and Tegan Upton

Images: (left to right)

  • 1. Hannah Starkey – Untitled, March 1999
  • 2. Philip Lorca-diCorcia – Mario, 1978
  • 3. Jeff Wall – Picture for Women, 1979
  • 4. Hannah Starkey – Untitled, January 2001
  • 5. Tom Hunter – Woman Reading Possession Order, 1998
  • 6. Hannah Starkey – Untitled, October 1998
Hannah Starkey - Untitled, March 1999

Hannah Starkey – Untitled, March 1999

Philip Lorca diCorcia - Mario, 1978

Philip Lorca diCorcia – Mario, 1978










Hannah Starkey - Untitled, January 2001

Hannah Starkey – Untitled, January 2001

Jeff Wall - Picture for Women, 1979

Jeff Wall – Picture for Women, 1979

Hannah Starkey

Hannah Starkey – Untitled, October 1998

Tom Hunter

Tom Hunter – Woman Reading Possession Order, 1998


Unfortunately, we did not read the brief correctly, as the images should have been from the previous 10 years and we did not do this. However, our tutors felt that the images did fit together well and were given the quality they deserved with the printing.

Our tutors thought that it would have been a better idea to put the numbers below the image and perhaps have a corresponding list separately, further below the images. I have to agree that the way we presented it with the details was perhaps not very professional.

I have a much better understanding of how to curate a show now and enjoyed the challenge of creating a show from scratch.


  • STARKEY, H. KULLMANN, I. JOBEY, L, 2007. Hannah Starkey, Photographs 1997-2007. Gottingen : Steidl
  • HUNTER, T. WIGGINS, C. CHEVALIER, T, 2005. Tom Hunter; Living in hell and other stories. London: National Gallery
  • DUVE, T. PELENC, A. GROYS, B, 1996. Jeff Wall. London: Phaidon Press
  • DICORCIA, P-L, 2003. A Storybook Life. Santa Fe, NM : Twin Palms publishers

London Trip 17.03.2014 – White Cube

Darren Almond created the work for the show “To Leave a Light Impression” at the White Cube, Bermondsey. Over 13 years, Almond has taken images across every continent, to create a series called ‘Fullmoon’. All images were taken on a long exposure and under the light of a full moon, so that details which are undetectable to the human eye can be revealed.


Image from White Cube Gallery Website

The image does not even to begin to give you an idea of how large these images are and how big the space is. The huge scale of the beautiful images are just breathtakingly mesmerizing. Because the space is so big and white, your attention is instantly drawn to the images as there is nothing to distract you from them.

“Darren Almond stands before nature, between man and nature, between man and space, between life and death, and looks at the sad beauty of everything that is reflected through the lens of his camera. Almond slowly finds his way into the core of the earth and into the total mountain to directly stare into all that has been of this world throughout millennia.” – Aesthetica Magazine.

f0401564a4f4be443bbcf2ce06c533a9_0There are six pairs of bronze sculptures in the centre of the exhibition, filled with lead. Each one represents an astronaut who walked on the moon and weighs the comparative weight of them and has the astronaut’s initials engraved on it to identify them.  These contrast with the images because they are so much smaller; these become ‘standing stones’ which show the sculptural connection between man and moon. This is a way of mapping both visible and invisible spaces.

I wish I could have spent longer gawping at these striking images, as there is so much detail t0 them, with the large scale they are printed at it is impossible to see it in a short time. I would have like to take my own images but unfortunately the gallery did not allow us to. I would thoroughly recommend this show if you are looking for something spectacular to look at with a good back story to it.


London Trip 17.03.2014 – On Landscape

Our trip to London consisted of visiting four galleries; Guest Projects, Roman Road, Laura Bartlett Gallery and White Cube. I had never previously visited any of these so was looking forward to exploring new locations.

Image by Pete Donnelly

Image by Peter Donnelly

I was really pleased and excited that we would have either the artist or curator talking to us about the work exhibited at each of the galleries because you do not get that opportunity on a normal outing to a gallery. They talk about the work in such detail with so much passion that you leave knowing everything and more about the show.


We began our trip by visiting the On Landscape Project at Guest Projects. This show was a collaboration between Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor and Emma Wieslander, with Minna Pöllänen brought in to create a site specific piece. All being female curators gives the exhibition a sense of fragility and femininity. The aim of the show was to challenge the traditional representation of landscape. Three of the four artists were there to talk to us about their work, how it was created and why. Each artists work had its own separate section. The fact that they were all in one room but separate shows how they can work on their own but together they are one and work together strongly.

A central element of the exhibition consists of an open call for self-published, handmade or short run books relating to the exhibition framework. The publications, on display throughout the exhibition, aim to provide a platform for wider debates around landscape whilst presenting an opportunity for a wide range of practitioners to showcase their work.” Work was chosen by Lucy Soutter with Martin Barnes, Miranda Gavin and Sue Steward.

Image by

Image by Dafna Talmor

I particularly enjoyed the images created by Dafna Talmor, as they were so innovative. They had been constructed by layering negatives and using a scalpel to remove areas of the image. This resulted in “photographs create a space that defies specificity, refers to the transient and metaphorically blurs place, memory and time.”


Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait

Upon walking into the lecture theatre, I was completely confused as to why there was a football match being shown through the projector. Football seems completely un-relevant to photography. As time went on, I began to notice that the camera was focusing on one player in particular, Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers to ever play football.

The ‘work of art’ was created by video installation artists, Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon. The video is accompanied by 10 atmospheric tracks which coincide with the action which is happening. There are also subtitles throughout, which are quotes from Zidane on his career. They tell a story and give it significance. Without these words, we are left guessing what the video is about.


17 cameras placed around the pitch focus on the player for the whole 90 minutes of the match between Real Madrid and Villarreal. These cameras all followed Zidane, getting close and long shots of every move he made, from pulling up his socks, to laughing at a joke, and of course, his football skills.

Philip French says “This art work is hypnotic, self-indulgent and lacking in context, rather like doting parents at a nativity play concentrating on their daughter’s Mary or their son’s Joseph to the exclusion of the other performers and the Gospel message.” This quote shows how the video completely cuts out any other person and just focuses on the one star of it all.

After thinking about how the music, quotes and way the camera was used, I did see how this piece has been called a work of art. It is about far more than football, its about how Zidane is the best at his profession.



Curation Workshop

In this weeks session we had a curation workshop. In groups of 6, we looked at many photocopied images and had to select 6-20 which the group liked and fitted within a theme which we got to chose. Once we had began to look at the images, our group decided to look at images which were portraits, but not the average head and shoulders shot. This image is an example of the kind of images we were looking to find.

Image by Barbara Bosworth, Indigo Bunting 2003

Image by Barbara Bosworth, Indigo Bunting 2003

Once we had selected our images, we began to sort them into sections and put them up on the wall. Some images were easier to put together as they were from the same exhibition, whereas others did not seem to go with any other images. Ones which did not fit at all we removed from our selection, or tried to add to match with them. It took a lot of moving around to get the images in a place where the whole group agreed they fitted. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to work with some of members in my group as they would not listen to others thoughts and I did not agree on the final presentation of our chosen images.

In three weeks time we will be presenting this work. To get to our final outcome, we must research artists and find other images. Our group have decided that we will each do our own research and then come together to discuss what we have found and progress from that point.

Image by Phillip Toledano, From the collection “Days With My Father”

This image is by Phillip Toledano and comes from the collection of photographs “Days With My Father”. The images tell a story of how his father is living with dementia, after his mother suddenly died. He tells it very truthfully without over-dramatising to make it seem worse than it is. He uses humour to lighten up some images, but others are utterly heart-breaking.

This is the kind of image which would fit into our collection because it isn’t the normal kind of portrait you would see but still fits into that bracket. The emotion felt in this image is so intense, there is no need for the image to show their faces as enough can be read from just seeing their hands. The light coming from the father shining onto the hands is natural and subtle making it feel intimate. The way Toledano’s father is using both hands to hold onto his hand makes it seem as if he wants to feel close to him and not let go.

As much as I like this image, I perhaps feel it could be hard to find something with such emotional depth in the meaning to go with it in our collection.


Metaphors and Allegory

This week we looked at metaphors and allegory within an image. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which term is transferred to something it does not literally apply to. A metaphor should not be confused with simile where a simile makes the comparison explicit by using “like” or “as”. Allegory is a story with a meaning other than the literal one or a description of one thing under the image of another.

In this session we looked at two images which are based upon the image “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais. The painting is of a girl laying in a river, fully clothed, looking dull and lifeless. These images when looked into have a much deeper meaning that what is just on the surface.

Ophelia, John Everett Millais (painting)

The colours in this image are very muted and dull. The girl and the area which she is laid in is limp, lifeless and peaceful, however you can see the busy city behind the bushes, almost hidden but slightly showing. The camera is above the girl looking down onto her, which is perhaps to emphasise that she is submerged. There is allegory within this image. This image was based on the story of a girl who on her way home from a drunken night out, fell into a river.

On the Way Home, Tom Hunter

There are no main lights in this setting, just natural light from outside, which is flooding in through windows and small lamps. This gives an idea of the time of day, as well as the clock which is in the background showing it is 10 past 4.The room looks dirty and oldfashioned. There are 3 pictures on the wall which could be family pictures, these are mirrored by the windows on the door. Her slippers and robe are on the stairs which could show that she took them off before coming down or perhaps tripped over her slippers. She is wearing just a white night dress. White symbolises purity and heaven. There is a medicine bottle and glass of water on the table by where she is laying, which if she comitted suicide could have been the way. The stairs look like the only way to get out of this room. They are lit by the natural lighting and could be seen as the stairway to heaven.

Untitled, Gregory Crewdson