O L I V I A   S T R E T T L E


V & A Gallery Visit
Friday 25th February 2022

On Thursday 24th February I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum situated in central London as I wanted to take a look at their photography centre. Collecting images as early as 1852, the V&A has one of the worlds largest and most significant photography collections. As part of my ongoing research for my final project at university, I decided it would be extremely beneficial to see work on display in various exhibitions, allowing me to gain knowledge from photographers practice and the curation that makes up the spaces.

The 'Photography Centre' is located on the second floor and spreads over a large portion of the area. During my visit, part of the centre was even under construction in order to double the size of the space!

The gallery space took over two continuous, grand rooms which were darkly lit but somehow complemented every piece of work. Scattered with influential projects, the space was filled with a continuous flow of passing visitors silently observing and appreciating the work. As well as being home to several donations, gallery 101 was specific to donations made by Sir Elton John and David Furnish and gallery 100 was 'The Bern and Ronny Schwartz Gallery'. Each space hosted work from as early as 1839 and included the photographic process that created the work - this was very enjoyable to witness as I have a great interest in the introduction of photographic history.

In terms of my current work, although the majority of the imagery that was exhibited wasn’t based on a subject matter similar to my own, I found it extremely beneficial exploring the various ways of presenting photographic work. Framed prints, digital slideshows, photo books, items on display to add context to the imagery and even the display of prints - whether they are in a considered arrangement or a non-uniform style, it allowed for me to explore the various ways of presenting. It has gave me a greater understanding of the curation process that goes into exhibitions as well as imagining my own work for the final university show.

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