Nadia Arbach: In the Medieval and Renaissance galleries we’ve had an activity where we asked people to come and take pictures of their favourite Medieval and Renaissance object anywhere in the gallery. We have set up a group for everyone to share their photos of their favourite Medieval and Renaissance objects. That Flickr site is going to stay online and we’re asking people from anywhere to add their photos of their favourite Medieval and Renaissance objects, not just from the V&A, but from anywhere in the world.
Go to Flickr and search for the group V&A Medieval and Renaissance. If you’ve got photos that you’d like to add, please join the group and add them.
Photographing Medieval & Renaissance Objects
Justina Burnett: I’ve been encouraging people to slow down in the way that they take photographs, to really look at the objects first and also thinking about what’s the most important part of the image? Sometimes detail can reveal more than the whole object.
Jasprit Singh: Look at textures. Look at different textures in the objects. Look at different textures in the floor and around the sides.
One of the specialist people showed me how not to be afraid to zoom in, really get macro detail. I grew up in a very strong Southern Irish Roman Catholic background and the vestments that the bishops and the priests wore always intrigued me. We never got to see them, you couldn’t see them up close, but when you come to a gallery like this you can stand and stare at them and examine them. That’s very liberating.
Today I’ve taken over 160 photographs of various objects around the gallery. The object I most enjoyed photographing is this one here (Samson Slaying a Philistine). I like the way it’s really depictive of violence and I just really love the action in it. It’s like you know when you’re watching a film on a DVD player and you press ‘Pause’, this is exactly what it looks like. And it’s even better - it’s three dimensional.
What I love about this object is you look at it and you think what on earth is going on? It’s a punch up. The thing about Medieval things is that often they’re very juvenile and grotesque. If nothing else, they never fail to make me laugh.
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