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Installation of the "Virginia" series in the Mythopoesis exhibit

Installation of the “Virginia” series in the Mythopoesis exhibit

In “Virginia,” one of six photo series in Mythopoesis, the MA degree show at the University of Brighton, Annalaura Palma displays photos retracing Virginia Woolf’s steps from Monk’s House in Rodmell, Sussex, to the River Ouse where she drowned herself March 28, 1941.

Palma explains that since no one knows the exact path Woolf took to the river or the precise spot she entered, the walk embodied an imaginary element.

Between spring and summer, Palma went on foot from Monk’s House to the River Ouse many times. In the process, she noticed swamps and bogs hidden by weeds that evoked a ghostly body shape.

“The water creates crevices in the land that evokes a ghostly body shape. I looked for Virginia Woolf ’s presence in her beloved landscape and  I found her in the water. In my photographs, she became water: I imagined her like a water spirit who inhabits the landscape of the Ouse Valley which once she described ‘an inland sea’. – Palma

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“Virginia” exhibit photo from the catalogue, as provided by the artist

In an email, Palma said the photos in her “Virginia” series, which are handmade C-type photos, are just the start of a longer photographic project about Woolf and the English landscape. She is based in the UK and considers an investigation around the relationship between text and the photographic image is central to her work, according to her website.

Show dates for Mythopoesis are Sept. 12-19, with an opening reception Sept. 12, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Faculty of Arts Grand Parade. Palma’s photographs will also be published in a magazine.

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NPG Tumblr screenshotSee Virginia Woolf biographer Alexandra Harris in Woolf’s Monk’s House writing lodge, bathrobe-wearing Nicole fresh from the shower at her Washington, D.C., kitchen table, and Giselle on a bench in a quiet, tree-lined spot in Kensington Palace Gardens.

Then share photo portraits of you or friends in the rooms and spaces that are meaningful to you in the National Portrait Gallery’s “A Room of One’s Own” competition on Tumblr. Winner of  Woolf-related prizes will be selected at random. Submit them here.

On a related note, The Telegraph includes a reference to Woolf in a story about rooms of her own, which it dubs she-caves, as spaces where women can read, relax, and do crafts or yoga.

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision,” the exhibit of Woolf portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London, opened July 10 and runs through Oct. 26. Read more about the exhibit.

 

 

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Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision,” the exhibit of Woolf portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London, opened July 10 and runs through Oct. 26. Formal reviews are appearing online. But informal ones are popping up on the VWoolf Listserv as well.

Below are some comments from lucky visitors to the exhibit who posted their thoughts to the list this week:

“I saw the show last week and was captivated. I particularly enjoyed the section on Woolf and public transport! That said, there was a glaring, dismaying mistake in one of the captions. Under a first edition of Ulysses, Harriet Shaw Weaver is identified as the “owner of the Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris” who approached the Hogarth Press about publishing the full book. Of course Weaver was the editor of The Egoist, who serialized Ulysses and yes approached the Woolfs. Sylvia Beach was the owner of Shakespeare & Company, who finally published the book herself, at great personal expense, and as far as I know had no dealings with the Woolfs or Hogarth.” – Laura

“I was lucky enough to have my trip to London coincide with the exhibit. I wish it had not been so crowded, as it was hard to pace myself, but I was so glad to get the chance! The book that Spalding has compiled for the exhibit NPG bookwould be worth the while, I think, and is likely available online through the NPG. It’s very well curated, with some rare pieces, including candid shots from Ottoline Morrell’s photo album. I think the impromptu snaps of Virginia are often so much more interesting than those she posed for.”  - Andrea Adolph

“Frances Spalding has done a wonderful job of creating a narrative through visual artefacts.  Those photos by Ott can actually be seen on the NPG website, I believe.  I was surprised by Mark Gertler’s painting of Koteliansky (?Kot?): quite irrationally I had always imagined Kot as an ascetic and tiny man, but in this portrait he looks like a big burly businessman!  There are some real rarities in the show?the bound volumes of letters that Violet Dickinson returned to VW late in life; I had not ever known Violet annotated these (of course, under glass one can only see a page, but the prospect is tantalizing); also the actual Gestapo list on which L & VW’s names appear.  And yes, the catalog is very rich and interesting.  I am in London doing research for a biography of Clive Bell, so was lucky to be able to see this wonderful exhibition.” – Mark Hussey

NPG twitter feed“I think we should all vacate our posts and head to London! :-)” – Kimberly Coates

If you’re visiting the exhibit, tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #NPGWoolf. By searching tweets with that hasthtag, I found this review on another WordPress blog in which the writer says the exhibit left her “inspired to firstly read everything she’s ever written (starting with Orlando) and secondly, to journal in a more dedicated way.”

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The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, in association with the National Portrait Gallery NPG catalogueexhibition,  “Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision,” will hold a one-day conference on Thursday, July 17.

The event will feature Professor Frances Spalding CBE, curator of the exhibition and professor of art history at Newcastle University, and Professor Maggie Humm, School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of East London.

The location is the Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, National Portrait Gallery, London WC2H 0HE, and the schedule is as follows:

2:30 p.m.: Registration
3 p.m.: Frances Spalding
4 p.m.: Tea
4.30 p.m.: Maggie Humm
5.30 p.m.: Panel discussion

COST: £25 for non-members of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. For bookings: contact Lindsay Martin at lindsay@lindsaycmartin.co.uk

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We are spotting lots of Woolf sightings these days, many of them due to “Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision,” the exhibit of Woolf portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London, which opens today.

Curated by Frances Spalding, noted biographer and art historian, the exhibit includes portraits of Woolf by Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry, famous photographs by Beresford and Man Ray, and intimate images depicting Woolf with friends and family.

Media coverage

An article in The Independent, Feminist writer’s friendships: feel the fear and do it anyway,” talks about the way the exhibit “will shine a spotlight on the feminist author’s relationships with other women.” One example the authors cite is the “extraordinary literary collaboration” between Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.

Another, written by Frances Spalding for The Telegraph, focuses on the actual photographs themselves and is titled “The last photograph of Virginia Woolf,” which was taken by Gisèle Freund at 37 Mecklenburgh Square in 1939. In it, Spalding fills in the background of the photo, both literally and figuratively.

On the BBC website, “Virginia Woolf: Her life in pictures” shows and dissects a number of Woolf portraits — from the famous George Beresford 1902 platinum print to the 1939 family photo portrait taken by Gisèle Freund.

The exhibit, the events, the book and the competition

Besides portraits, the exhibit features portraits and rare archival material like letters and diaries that explore her life and achievements.

A full slate of events, from lunchtime lectures to weekend workshops, are also part of the show — and they are too numerous to detail here. But you can find them on the exhibit’s events page.

Those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be in London between July 10 and Oct. 26 may want to get a taste of the exhibit by ordering Spalding’s Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision, which is available online for £20.

And if you’re feeling lucky, enter the NPG’s competition for free exhibition tickets, catalogue and a two-night stay at the Morton Hotel in Russell Square.

Tweet it

If you use Twitter and want to tweet about the exhibit, use the hashtag #NPGWoolf.

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The first exhibition featuring the life and achievements of Virginia Woolf through portraiture will be staged at the National Portrait Gallery in London, according to The Guardian.

NPG 5933. Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) by Vanessa Bell (née Stephen), 1912. Oil on board, 15 3⁄4 x 13 3⁄8 inches (400 x 340 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London

NPG 5933. Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) by Vanessa Bell (née Stephen), 1912. Oil on board, 15 3⁄4 x 13 3⁄8 inches (400 x 340 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London

The exhibit, curated by Frances Spalding, will feature more than 100 works, including paintings, photographs, drawings and rare archive material. The letter Woolf wrote to her sister Vanessa Bell before her suicide in 1941 will be included.

Titled “Virginia Woolf: Art, life and vision,” will be staged July 10 to Oct. 26. Read more.

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This month, the International Virginia Woolf Society shared a series of “interesting facts about Virginia Woolf on its Facebook page.

Vanessa Bell

The most recent, * Interesting fact no. 12, * told the story of how Woolf, 28, and her sister, Vanessa Bell, 30, “once appeared in public almost nude,” according to the judgment of some who saw them at a ball held in conjunction with Roger Fry’s 1910 exhibition of Post-Impressionist painters at the Grafton Galleries.

Inspired by the paintings, the two sisters browned their arms and legs, adorned themselves with flowers and beads, and appeared as bare-shouldered, bare-legged, ‘indecent’, figures from a Gauguin canvas.

It’s said that the two women recreated their Gauguin girl look for a later photo, which has not been located.

Visit the IVWS Facebook page for more interesting facts about Virginia, including the fact that Woolf’s Dreadnought Hoax escapade heads the list of “The Twelve Best Facts from a Year of Interesting Literature.”.

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