Portraits at the V&A

↑ Stairway to the stuff of art history legends

“In spite of everything, I shall rise again; I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” ― Vincent van Gogh

I find social media to be a sort of catch-22. It can be incredibly rewarding in terms of getting our work out there and making meaningful connections with people. But it is also a little (very) distracting. However, when I do invest in time to write social media posts, I’m often pleasantly surprised by the connections and feedback I gain as a result. Recently, I participated in Joanne Hawker’s #meetthemaker hashtag challenge. Through this Instagram challenge, I found the lovely and talented photographer Bethany Lavin. She took some portraits of me in my element at the Victoria & Albert Museum. I’m so pleased to share some of my favourites here.

Some museums don’t allow pens. So I brought a cheerful red HB pencil to sketch with.

I use a new A5 sketchbook for each exhibition visit

A brilliant and completely unplanned photo: The Female Gaze

The “male gaze” is a concept in feminist theory that I learnt from my cultural studies lectures. It refers to the way women are often represented in the media: they are framed as objects of visual interest and desire for the heterosexual male. But in this photograph, the usual gender dynamics seem to be reversed. Dear readers, how would you analyse this photo? Who has more power? The nude statue that is positioned above me, or myself who is fully clothed and “objectifying” the male figure with my gaze?