Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mama Asia

Women’s history is being made every day. 
Here is another astonishing story from modern Afghanistan about Latifa Nabizada, a woman battling enormous odds to achieve her goals. It is the first in a new series by ABC journalist Sally Sara about inspirational women in Asia. 
Sara is also the author of Gogo Mama, a book about remarkable women from Africa.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Lady with a camera

There is a very interesting auction coming at Bonhams. Rare previously unknown photographs taken by Lady Clementina Hawarden in the late 1850s t 1860s. Very early for photography in general let alone for a woman to be involved. Artists, researchers, production designers and writers with an interest in the Victorian era all have much to be thankful for in Lady Clementina's legacy of images of her children that show homes and fashions of the day. The images going to auction can be seen at Daily Telegraph.
Lady Clementina died quite young from pneumonia and it has been suggested that her constant contact with the chemicals needed for photography may have weakened her immune system. Being mother to ten children as well probably didn't help.
The largest collection of her photographs are at the Victoria & Albert Museum and include general outdoor scenes as well as stylized family studies. The stables at Dundrum House appear to have been a favourite setting.

Stable yard

Interior Stables

Below is a portrait of Henry Brougham Loch and one of Clementina's daughters, Isabella. He went on to a varied life as an eminent colonial administrator, serving as Governor of Victoria and High Commissioner for South Africa. The entry for this photograph in the V&A collection reads:
"Hawarden used the balcony on the south side of her house in Princes Gardens in London as an open-air studio, floating in space. She posed her daughter Isabella Grace beside her mother’s cousin, Henry Brougham Loch. This double portrait must date from the summer of 1861, because the houses on the south side of the square are still being built. Virginia Dodier has written that Loch was a celebrity in 1861, because he ‘survived imprisonment by the Chinese during the Second Opium War’."

Not sure what this next study is about - prayer? - but typical of many in the recognisable style of Lady Clementina Hawarden. 

(All images from the Victoria & Albert Museum website)