Last week I visited Wolverhampton Art Gallery for the preview of the new exhibition “From Darkroom to Digital”, which celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Wolverhampton Photographic Society.
It’s a very interesting exhibition, concentrating on the works of six well-known Wolverhampton photographers: Rejlander, Haseler, Whitlock, Bennett-Clark, Eisenhofer and Susser.
The first of these, Oscar J Rejlander, is known as “The father of Art Photography” – here’s a small sample of his work:
The young Hallam Tennyson (1852-1857), son of Alfred Lord Tennyson, in thoughtful mood.
This next image is not perhaps what you might expect: “The Two Ways Of Life” (dated 1857).
Here Rejlander uses multiple images of the same models, creating a montage in much the same way as we use digital manipulation techniques today. The two young men have the choice of a life of hard work and Christian values, or – well, I suspect ‘debauchery’ is as good a word as any. The chap on the left does look as if he’s going to have more fun, though…
Apparently Queen Victoria purchased a copy of this photograph for Dear Albert. Draw your own conclusions.
The exhibition runs until 15 February: details are on the page “Dates For Your Diary.” Do go and see it if you can.
Whilst I was at the Art Gallery, I came across what I consider to be Wolverhampton’s best-kept secret: the “Makers Dozen Studios”. Housed in a Georgian Building at the rear of the Art Gallery, this is a complex of 12 artists’ studios and a small gallery, open to the public.
You can read more about Makers Dozen here: makersdozen.co.uk or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MakersDozenStudios
Better still, make a point of visiting the studios and gallery. Even better, while you’re there, treat yourself to an original work of art.