This week I learned about Francesca Woodman and her photography. Woodman was young talented artist who became famous mainly for her black and white photography, many of the photos in which she was a part of. Her artwork used slow shutter speed to capture certain elements in a blurry aura. I really like her artwork because each one evokes thinking and self-interpretation of the meaning of the photo.
Upon further research I learned that she died young due to suicide from depression. I noticed while I was looking through portfolios of her work that she never smiled and she always looked sad in her pictures. You can sense the emotion in a lot of her photographs, and I feel like she used the slow shutter speed, creating faded images of herself, to symbolize feeling lost and invisible to the world.
As stated in discussion regarding one of her photos that is shown above:
“When I first saw the photo I did not even realize she was in the background, but as soon as I recognized there was a body blended into the wall it became the focus point of the photo. I think it’s pretty crazy that even though she was almost invisible the photo speaks so loud because she’s in it. When I look at the photo I see an old abandoned house with dirt and broken glass laying around. To me, I feel like she’s haunted by something that might have taken place, not necessarily in the house, but the house might symbolize the scary and dark situation. The way she’s crouched down against the wall, it’s hard to tell because it’s blurry, but she appears to be frightened. Her whole body is blurred out except for her feet, so I feel like she’s been trying to escape whatever memories are haunting her but she’s unable to escape, like she’s being anchored down by her feet.”
The combination of the Artist OTW week discussion, and additional research provided me with a better understanding and appreciation for her photography. I think it’s very unfortunate that she left this earth so young but she definitely left an impact on the world. When I did my abstract drawing I felt like I used elements from her artwork to create my own. For example, I sketched only in black and white and highlighted certain elements of my drawing that I wanted viewers to focus on. I was able to draw more freely after looking at her photography because I really felt like I had the freedom to create anything I wanted without judgement.