Staying Power

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Staying Power – V&A Exhibition

On Saturday, I visited the V&A with a friend for an early birthday celebration. I enjoy visiting the V&A usually, but this time there was an exhibition on black photographers – focusing on their work from 1950’s to 1990’s.  There were some great photos in the exhibition, my favourites being those by Neil Kenlock, Yinka Shonibare, Armet Francis, and Charlie Phillips.

In particular, Shonibare’s images were particularly insightful. Called ‘Diary of A Victorian Dandy‘ with each image depicting a different time of the day, Shonibare takes Victorian era images and flips them culturally. Based onHogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, Shonibare puts himself in the images as the Dandy, and pictures himself as a high society man in the Victorian ages. I thought this was a great set of images, as in those times, black men were not respected or treated as equals.

Francis’ images were also ones that I particularly liked, especially his self-portrait. It not only shows the photographer, but the environment he is in and his surroundings. His work featured a portrait of his mother – with the information that she paid him as he was just starting his career.

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