Presentation on theme: "Discovering traditional English festivities with Anna Fox A few days ago, we had the chance to visit Anna Fox’s new exhibition “Back to the Village” and."— Presentation transcript:
Discovering traditional English festivities with Anna Fox A few days ago, we had the chance to visit Anna Fox’s new exhibition “Back to the Village” and in this week’s edition of ARTnews, we are going to tell you about this exhibition that is a must-see ! nna Fox is a photographer born and raised near Selborne, a little English village. Fox has become known for her extensive documentation on rural life in Southern England (and is keen to dispel the myths created by the popular imagery of the countryside). Inspired by Benjamin Stone’s work on customs in the 1900’s in England, she realised a photo series entitled “Back to the Village” (1999-2008). She portrayed traditional festivities in Hampshire in Southern England. Five main traditional festivals First, she worked on Halloween.This worldwide celebration has its origins in the Anglo-Celtic Islands and is celebrated on the Western Christian’s eve feast of All Hallows' Day, on the 31st of October. The aim is to remember saints and martyrs’ deaths along with all the faithful departed believers. Most people think Halloween is about being scary and being scared when in reality, the theme is using humour and ridicule to confront the power of death.
Among all the snapshots she took for this theme, the one that drew our attention was this masked man (opposite photo). The colours are cold, which contributes to creating a scary atmosphere. In addition, the guy has no eyes, which conjures up the notion of death. Then, Fox chose the barely known Saint John Eve’s. It is a Christian feast celebrated on the 24 th of June by “fires of joy”. People usually wear traditional costumes (as in the photo below) and share a meal with their family and friends. A costumed man for Halloween. A.F’s photo.
A woman( ?) wearing a traditional costume for St John’s. A.F’s photo. Next, the photographer worked against the clock for the Nativity of Mary celebration. It is one of the most important Marian feast days. It is celebrated by Christians on the 8 th of September to pay tribute to Jesus Christ’s mother,Mary on her birthday. To make it more lively, churches encourage people to dress up with Nativity costumes like this little girl who wears a glittered dress with A little girl dressed up for the Nativity of Mary. A.F’s photo. white fur edging and some white tights to represent Mary’s purity (photo below).
This portrait of a woman, also taken during the celebration, really caught our attention. Through her pale face covered with foundation, her eyelids coloured with salmon pink eye shadow, her pink and her blonde curled hair, she looks like a doll. Her facial expression and her vacant gaze heighten this impression. Furthermore, the English artist took an interest in Guy Fawkes’Night. It is the commemoration of the anniversary of the Gunpowder plot, a conspiracy set up by English Catholics led by A woman dressed up for the Nativity of Mary. A.F’s photo.
Guy Fawkes. They wanted to overthrow the Parliament (and James I at the same time) by attacking it. The plot failed and the conspirators were executed. Since then, there has been a celebration on every 5 th of November also called “Bonfire Night”. The day before, children from several schools create representations of Guy Fawkes and the best one is chosen and burnt the day of the celebration, as a symbol for the town. This event is also accompanied with fireworks, after which children ask “A penny for the guy” to passers-by so they can earn some money for their creation. For the occasion, people really like to dress up with frightening costumes that often refer to Fawkers. Last but not least, Anna Fox focused on a very strange feast. This local tradition takes A child at Guy Fawkes Night. A.F’s photo. place every year in Hampshire. Children are in prams and the person who
carries them has to be the fastest to get to the finish line. Usually, people are dressed up (see picture below) to make it funnier. One of the purposes of this celebration (in spite of having fun) is to raise money for community groups and associations. In 2012, it raised between £600 and £700. Don’t Miss it ! As non-specialists of contemporary art, we were very interested in Two girls competing for Pram race. A.F’s photo. this exhibition which made us learn a lot. The theme is original and we really found it impressive that the portraits were made with such precision. Otherwise, the faces’ frozen effect made us feel uncomfortable. So whenever you have some spare time and you don’t know what to do, go and see this exhibition, it’s really worthwhile ! Marie-Louise & Apolline 1 ère ES1, ARTNews
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