FAY GODWIN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHS
Although Fay Godwin's work was highly esteemed by fellow photographers and the public alike through numerous exhibitions and through the publications she co-authored, this was the first retrospective exhibition of her landscape photographs.
Fay Godwin's work fails within the tradition of British landscape photography commencing with Roger Fenton and continuing through Bill Brandt in its concern with time and place, whether the ancient Drovers' Roads of Wales, the bleak moor lands of Yorkshire, the settled domesticity of Dorset or the Whisky Roads of Scotland. Her images evince a readiness to respond to the flow of life, to embrace some measure of the accidental effects of light and atmosphere. In incorporating elements of both fact and metaphor, Godwin's work forms one of the most complete poetic documents of the British landscape.
Godwin's involvement with photography stemmed from the hobby of photographing her children which led in the early 1970s to commissioned portraits of poets and writers. Her interest in landscape was stimulated by her love of walking. She subsequently so-authored many essays, guide-books and poems (with writers such as Ted Hughes, John Fowles and Alan Sillitoe) on the theme of British landscape.
The exhibition originated in 1983 and toured to Swden, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Brunei, India and Bangladesh; it was disbanded in 1993. An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Ian Jeffrey and biographical and bibliographical notes on the artists was published by the British Council to accompanied the show. ISBN 0 86355 0061
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
Bangladesh, Dhaka, British Council Auditorium
- 29 October 1990 − 13 November 1990
India, Bombay, National Centre For The Performing Arts
- 03 March 1990 − 30 March 1990
India, Calcutta, Birla Academy Of Art And Culture
- 06 February 1990 − 11 February 1990
India, Chandigarh, The Government Museum And Art Gallery
- 24 January 1990 − 30 January 1990
India, New Delhi, AIFACS Gallery
- 12 January 1990 − 18 January 1990
- 01 September 1989
Indonesia, Jakarta, British Council Office - Jakarta
- 01 March 1989
Singapore, British Council Office - Singapore
- 01 December 1988
Brunei, British Council - FCO
- 01 November 1988
- 01 April 1988 − 31 July 1988
- 01 June 1986 − 31 January 1987
- 01 January 1986 − 31 May 1986
- 01 July 1985 − 31 January 1986
- 01 November 1984 − 31 January 1985
Germany, West Germany
- 01 November 1984 − 30 June 1985