Category Archives: 4. Photographers who evoke Space and Place

4. Photographers who evoke space and place

I felt slightly despondent after my second visit to Silent Pool – the missing element in my photography, somehow not thinking I’d touched deeply enough on what makes it alluring.  I just surprised myself by using that last word, as if the Pool is an enticing woman.  This took me back to some reading I’d briefly done around pools, myths, legends, Roman and Romano-British settlements around Albury. Martin Tupper was a classical scholar so I’m guessing with his interest in the Romans, he would have read the Myth of Actaeon – the young hunter who accidentally witnessed the goddess Diana bathing in a grotto in a wooded valley (Ovid, Metamorphoses Book III)

Returning to the present, I decided to look for further inspiration from photographers.

Clare Wilson

I referred to Clare Wilson’s work here  . The colours in her work here remind me of the hazy colours of Silent Pool and the reflecting tree branches. The tones and hues resemble each other yet there is a difference within each piece on a closer look – shapes morph and colours advance and retreat which is very much like the way the reflections shift within the water. The light and movement on the water of the pool gives a painterly effect although the quality of light is different being more muted in Wilson’s work, whereas the water in the Pool shimmers.

Frances Seward

Frances Seward is a British fine Art Photographer who now creates abstract images in New Mexico. Her photography is a visual representation of the mind attempting to portray the solid evidence of the internal world, with inspiration from abstract expressionism as well as Asian artists as she explores a psychological journey into inner space. This minimalist photography employs reductionism, as well as phenomenological light and perception, to evoke psychological and emotional landscapes. She achieves this by using composite photographs with gauzy layers.  I can’t find mention of how she actually achieves the effecf – perhaps with intentional camera movement, I’m not sure. There is a peaceful energy about her images but maybe they are too indistinct for me.

Frances Smith

Frances Smith is an OCA graduate, based in Guernsey,  who describes herself as a Photographic artist. I looked at her series  “Sea Fever”,   which she describes as a visual metaphor of her personal relationship with the sea. Smith uses layers of colour similar to that of Frances Seward.

Andrew S. Gray

Gray is inspired by paintings of old English Masters and uses intentional camera movement, together with a variety of editing processes to create abstract landscape photography. Some of his images contain recognisable outlines – flowers, trees and cliffs for example, whilst others are a fusion of different colours and patterns

Valda Bailey

Valda Bailey originally trained as a painter but moved to photography. She uses in-camera multiple exposure and intentional camera movement to blur detail and create abstract shapes in the environment. Her images are more recognisable, almost like paintings but not quite. One of her series is “Lakeside” which very much appealed to me with its glinting ripples in water, reflections of trees, and soft colour contrast. Another series “The Woods Call With 1000 Voices”  reminded me somewhat of Helen Sear’s earlier work. I have experimented with double exposure in the past but it hadn’t occurred to me to attempt this for my current Assignment.

Bailey has also looked for approaches, such as Wabi Sabi, where the hand of the artist is more evident. She has Incorporated gold leaf into the finished print but, thinking that backing with gold leaf “only serves to drain the energy out of the print’, decided to print on glass after a lot of research.


I did feel less downcast after this further research and clearer that I want my images to have recognisable features whilst still being impressionistic of the mood of Silent Pool. I talked it over with my husband as well, agreeing with him that, given the time of year, it would also be better to time my next visit either in the very eary morning or early evening when the quality of light would be different.