Unearthed, Photography’s Roots, at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, explores the entangled roots of photography and botany.
Telling the story of photography through plants, the works in this exibition are arranged chronologically from around 1840 to the present day, with a focus on botany and science. Over 35 photographers are featured – from William Henry Fox Talbot to Karl Blossfeldt, Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Learoyd. Pioneering female photographers such as Anna Atkins and Imogen Cunningham are naturally included [Atkins and Cunningham are the subjects of other posts on this site]. Charles Jones’ (1866-1959) photographs get their first public exhibition here too. His photographs of vegetables lay in obscurity until they were discovered in a trunk at Bermondsey Market, London, in 1981, 20 years after his death. Eleven rarely seen works by Japanese artist Kazumasa Ogawa (1860-1929) are central to the show. His coloured photographs, combining Japanese printmaking traditions with the art of photography, were created 30 years before colour film was invented. The final room includes contemporary digital works influenced by old masters and early photographic techniques.
The main image accompanying this post is Richard Learoyd’s, Large Poppies, 2019 © the Artist. Image courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery/Dulwich Picture Gallery
Unearthed: Photography’s Roots/ 8 December 2020 – 9 May 2021*
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK; more details in link below
*These dates are correct at time of writing but may be subject to change. Please check their website for up-to-date information. https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/