Move over Tyra Banks

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Two Sisters Standing by Lady Hawarden


Local press attended a preview this morning of the lovely exhibition Victorian Visions, which opens to the public at the Lady Lever Art Gallery on Saturday.

There are some big names in the world of Victorian photography included in the exhibition such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Francis Frith. But my favourite work is by Lady Hawarden, an artist I had never heard of before this exhibition.

What I love about her photographs is their intensity. Hawarden was a master of composition and used light and shadow to give her images an amazing elegance. I also love the models. She used her own daughters who appear to be experts at striking dark, moody poses. Their gloominess may well have more to do with being forced to pose for hours for a perfectionist mother than artistic expression, but they might have been comforted to know that their intense and unusual photographs could easily be on the pages of modern day fashion spreads. Contestants of America’s Next Top Model should watch and learn!