MA Inspiration : David Bailey : The lady is a tramp

MA Inspiration : David Bailey

27.06.2019

***

{ Falmouth University MA in photography – CRJ }

In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.

***

It’s funny how you forget things. When I first started this module, I drew a *nearly*, but not quite, complete blank on photographers that inspire me & my work. Thats not to say I’ve never been inspired by other photographers, of course I have been. But I had reached a point in my practice & career, where I had discovered quite a while ago that it can be quite stifling, and toxic to always be comparing yourself, your branding, your images, your prices to the ‘competition’ . So for a long time ago now, I had basically stopped.

I still came across photographers, and their work that I loved in galleries, or in magazines, but I had learnt to look at it not like a photographer, that can be informed and inspired, or with a critical eye, but just aesthetically.

Do I like this, as Barthes says, does its ‘punctum’ bruise or prick me in some way?

***

This module has bought me very quickly back to the habit of not only looking at a deeper and broader range of photographers, and photographs, but evaluating their work, going beyond mere aesthetics. Whilst researching for my oral presentation, going back over photographers that have inspired and informed my work in the past, I remembered a book I owned by David Bailey, The lady is a tramp; which is a collection of photographs of Bailey’s wife Catherine. Separated into fashion & beauty, pregnancy & family, it’s funny actually, as this is quite like my current project of looking at the fractured parts of myself, and how they inform my work.

It’s interesting to wonder how much of our work is subconsciously informed from things we have seen, but forgotten.

I had totally forgotten (given it was 15 years ago!) how much of a profound impact this book had on my work. Bailey’s images of Catherine birthing her two youngest children, were the first birth photography images I ever saw. The one of Fenton’s birth especially I found truly inspiring, along with Fay Weldon’s text that accompanied it.

“Fenton bursts, until now all spirit, into a world in which for the time being he must be all flesh; the transition scarcely contained by the grainy coating of skin and straining sinew this is his mother. And she, for her part, is the nearest to animal, furthest from human, that she’ll ever be.”

(Weldon 1995 : 80 )

Ma inspiration ; David Bailey ; The lady is a tramp

Ma inspiration ; David Bailey ; The lady is a tramp

This image actually made me want to capture births. The brutal reality, the beautiful rawness contained in this image, was mesmerising. I remember just looking and looking at it, being in total and complete awe of it. That I had seemingly *forgot* such an important part of where I was coming from contextually is quite interesting. I loved looking through this book again, going over the images, seeing what had been in my brain all this time when I was photographing births, but as I say , I had forgotten about what enlightening. The connection of Bailey’s (which obviously is coming from a place of him photographing his own wife) to his model is breathtaking, quite obviously this connection is impossible to imitate, or have with a client, but it made me want to strive for this pure connection. Female connection. Woman to woman throughout all of the ages, that know what this is, and how it feels, to hold each other up, and strengthen each other, and for that power and strength to come through in my photographs, was what I wanted. I just never realised it started here at this book.

MA inspiration : David Bailey : The lady is a tramp

MA inspiration : David Bailey : The lady is a tramp

65187121_2805059182899809_119048629360001024_n65660872_607070683124719_1873958333631692800_n

References

Weldon, Fay. 1995 . David Bailey, the lady is a tramp. Portraits of Catherine Bailey. Thames and Hudson.

T~F~:

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*

F a c e b o o k
I n s t a g r a m