We met in a classroom for 2 hours, a group of 10 people with sexes evenly divided; the tutor Claudia Ascott was the eleventh and swayed the gender of the group towards the feminine. There a range of people including an ecologist probably about my age possibly a bit older who is the “bright” one of the group but seems to have a rather “camera club” mentality and admits to needing to be more creative. There is a young woman in hot pants who arrives late and leaves early. It is always interesting to see quite ordinary people with desk jobs making intelligent comments.
After introducing ourselves, Claudia showed an array of photographs projected onto a screen by a digital projector. Looks like I am about the only person who is familiar with the work of William Eggleston, Martin Parr, Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams does get recognised, Julia Margaret Cameron etc
After looking at the slides, we are then invited to pin a photograph of our choice (we were asked to bring one) to the wall with blue-tack. The group lead by Claudia then goes around the room, looking at the photographs and making comments. Most of these are no bigger than 6 by 4 (post card size) and one needs to get close to them. The most interesting is perhaps a postcard photograph that someone “found” when it dropped out of a library book!
My “Milked maid” photo is recognised as being reminiscent of the Dutch masters in particular Vermeer but no one places it as representative of the Milkmaid by Vermeer. The lighting is attractive to one or more, coming as it does from a single window, while other are interested in individual objects such as the boots, the croissants, objects that prevent it being a true representative of the original; it is in fact, a contemporary view!
Before leaving, we are set an assignment.