Lady Clementina Hawarden: Related Photographers
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)
Hawarden has often been compared to her contemporary, Julia Margaret Cameron. Cameron was a photographer who actively exhibited and sold her work. She experimented with techniques and effects, and promoted photography as an art. Today she is highly regarded as one of the most experimental photographers of her time.
Cameron's and Hawarden's life and work contrast in many ways. Graham Ovenden wrote in his 1974 book, Clementina Lady Hawarden, that:
'Although her work has often been linked to that of Julia Margaret Cameron, the best known woman photographer of the Victorian epoch, Clementina Hawarden struck out into areas and depicted moods unknown to the art photographers of her age.'
Following the 'rediscovery' of Hawarden's photographs in the 1980s, her work influenced the practice of contemporary artists such as Sarah Jones and Cindy Sherman.
While Cameron sought to promote her work, printing perhaps ten or more prints from a single negative and negotiating prices with the V&A, Hawarden appears not to have printed many images from each negative, nor did she actively sell her work.
Lewis Caroll (born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832-1898)
Lewis Carroll, famous for his book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), was a keen photographer and admired Hawarden's work. After visiting the Photographic Society Exhibition in 1864, he wrote in his diary that he 'did not admire Mrs Cameron's large heads taken out of focus. The best of the life ones were Lady Hawarden's.' Carroll purchased five photographs by Hawarden and placed them in an album he called Professional and Other Photographs. The album is now at the University of Texas at Austin.
O.G. Rejlander (1813-1875)
Known as the 'father of art photography', Oscar Gustave Rejlander was a Swedish photographer and painter active in England. Rejlander knew Hawarden, and may have influenced her choice of subjects and style to a certain extent. They both combined portraiture and studies from life, for example, and focused on light in their compositions. Hawarden evidently admired his work, and displayed a copy of Rejlander's photograph After Raphael's Sistine Madonna in her house.
Sarah Jones (born 1959)
Sarah Jones was born in London and graduated from the MA photography course at Goldsmiths College in 1996. Jones is among the leading contemporary artists who make carefully staged, large-scale colour photographs. The proportions of her photographs accentuate the relationship between the almost life-size subject and the viewer. Jones makes images of domestic spaces and of people, often using adolescent girls as her subject. The link between the work of Jones and Hawarden was made explicit in the exhibition 'Lady Hawarden / Sarah Jones - Kindred Spirits in Photography' (3 March to 7 May 2000) at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam.
In 1991 editor and writer Ingrid Sischy discussed the use of costume in Hawarden's and Sherman's work in an article in The New Yorker:
'Until I saw Lady Hawarden's show,' she said, 'I took Sherman's use of costume for granted…many artists use costume as a part of their work. But the similarities between the photography of Sherman and Hawarden raised questions. Is it the dressing up that makes the pictures of both these women so powerful? Is that what's so haunting about what they do? And in the idea of dressing up, is there something especially meaningful to women?'
Sischy suggests that women more than men have to deal with the world of appearances, and it is this that makes the work of Hawarden, and Cindy Sherman so fascinating.