Category Archives: Part three

Richard Billingham


Photo by Richard Billingham. This linked image is available to view online: https://creatingdigitalmedia.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/richard_billingham_3.jpg

Richard Billingham as a young student artist Billingham lived with his alcoholic father, frustrated that he could not get his father to sit still for his model he started taking photos to paint from.  He and his father later moved back with his mother continuing to use his camera for his art-work, as a result he has made some very interesting candid images that would not normally be photographed seen or seen.  These images that were not originally intended for use in themselves launched Billingham as an photographer and artist and were published in a successful book ‘Rays a laugh’.

Sally Mann


Photo by Sally Mann. This linked image is available to view on line: http://www.boumbang.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Sally-Mann-7.jpg

Sally Mann has used family portraiture and attracted controversy by publishing images of her naked children.  Her pictures are in black and white and by always having a camera by her side has caught some interesting images.

Elina Brotherus


Photo by Elina Brotherus. This linked image is available to view on line at: http://www.paris-art.com

Elina Brotherus has used self-portraiture in some interesting and creative ways, I like this image of her reflection in the mirror held in front of the face of the model.  Brotherus has a good website illustrating a lot of her work.  Brotherus has also studied ideas of self-portraiture in connection with landscape and her environment and how they relate.

Francesca Woodman


Photo by Francesca Woodman. This linked image is available to view on: http://www.heenan.net/woodman

I have just been reading about Francesca Woodman and looking at her images sadly Woodman died at a very early age and I am sure that had she lived she would have been successful as an Artist.

Susan Bright, comments, “It is difficult not to read Woodman’s self-portraits as alluding to a troubled state of mind.”

Looking at Woodman’s images I see a mixture of fantasy with pathos.  There is a feeling of melancholy and vulnerability in her poses.  There are a lot of nudes, but the images are not about the nude body but the nakedness and perhaps this was a reflection of how she felt.

I can only guess at her thoughts based upon her tragic end and not having read her diaries but this is what I read from the photographs.

However, I find Woodman’s photos both a little erotic and disturbing.  Woodman clearly had a lot of pent up sexual-tension with an artistic voice wanting to be heard.  If I was to say that there was an element of narcissism in Woodman’s photos I think I would be wrong.  I think that she was probably insecure about herself and her looks, yes she was very self-indulgent which may sadly have lead her to her death.  I think that Woodman’s images don’t need accompanying text for the images to be appreciated.

I wonder however, that Woodman clearly had mental-health issues and perhaps the wider issue is the stigma attached to this form of health-issue and the lack of understanding and help for sufferers.  Many artist suffer from depression as many artists by there nature are bipolar in some degree and perhaps educational institutions such as schools and colleges / universities should also watch for this and offer counselling and support.  Woodman committed suicide in 1981 and over 30 years later we are still loosing talent through our lack of understanding of how to help.