ANTIQUITY & PHOTOGRAPHY: The Open University (London), September 10 2015
The fantasy of capturing the ancient world on film has fired the popular imagination ever since the early 19th century. Whether allowing armchair tourists the opportunity to view ancient sites without the need for travel, or reanimating ancient history and myth in flesh and blood, rather than pen and paint, the camera has, for more than two centuries, channelled a unique vision of the distant past. But while cinema’s relationship with antiquity has been endlessly studied in recent years, the same cannot be said of still photography, in all its forms. From the earliest days of the daguerreotype, which quickly became a valuable means of depicting archaeological sites, to the artistic photography of the present day, which can variously recreate and redestroy antiquity using both analogue and digital processes, the photographic medium is a powerful vehicle for exploring and commenting on our relationship to the past, which deserves to be examined in much more detail.
This one-day colloquium aims to provide a forum for colleagues interested in this area of research, in which any question or topic related to the theme of Antiquity and Photography can be discussed. In particular, it is hoped that the colloquium will explore some of the more creative and/or subjective ways in which photography has addressed the ancient past, in addition to its use as a tool for documenting archaeological finds.
11-1 Panel 1
Joanna Paul (Open University), ‘Time’s Relentless Melt: capturing Pompeii in contemporary art photography’
Shelley Hales (University of Bristol), ‘Commemorating the Dead: Pompeian corpses and post-mortem photography’
Clemence Schultze (University of Durham), ‘Borrowed authority: photography in reconstructing the Parthenon’
Ian Walker (University of South Wales), ‘Photographing the Parthenon frieze at one remove’
2-3.30 Panel 2
Jill Mitchell (University of Wales Trinity Saint David), ‘How to Record Life Moments: Photography as a means of recreating moments of a life in antiquity’
Alison Rosenblitt (University of Oxford), ‘Cummings’ Paganism and the Photography of Marion Morehouse’
Zena Kamash (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Site Seeing: visitor photography at Pompeii from the late 19th century to the present day’
4-6 Panel 3
Katy Soar (University of Sheffield), ‘Framing the Minoans: Representing Knossos in early twentieth century postcards’
Amanda Couch (University for the Creative Arts Farnham, and Creative Arts Education), ‘Dust, (photographic) grain, livers and me’
A Q&A session with Grace Vane Percy, photographer (Venus, Quartet Books, 2014)
Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair: ART AND THE INTERIOR AESTHETIC: AN ANALYSIS OF DISPLAY IN THE ENGLISH STATELY HOME
A talk looking at the relationship between grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase.
English stately homes are exquisite places to live. They are also magnificent living museums. The collections within these historic houses embody the personal identity of the owners, expressing their taste and stature whilst demonstrating a continued patronage of the arts and artisans. But what is the relationship between these grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase? The discussion explores the intertwining history of Britain’s finest buildings as family homes and art galleries. The fusing of home and culture which carries right through to the modern day as it informs the interior design of properties for today’s wealthy and elite.
Jeremy Musson is an architectural historian, author, broadcaster and historian buildings consultant. His area of special interest for the past 20 years has been the history and design of the English country house – although he has also worked on other important buildings including cathedral churches and colleges. Architectural Editor of Country Life in 1998-2007, and presenter of BBC2’s The Curious House Guest in 2006-2007, he has written widely on historic and contemporary architecture and is author of several books including How to Read a Country House, English Country House Interiors, and The Drawing Room. Born in 1965, he lives in Cambridge with his wife and family.
After starting his career with Asprey, London, Christopher Vane Percy formed CVP Designs in 1971, operating from above its Mayfair showroom until the mid-eighties. Christopher Vane Percy is a Past President of British Institute of Interior Design and until June last year a board member of the BIID as Heritage and Environment Director. Until 2014 Christopher was also The Regional Chairman – East Anglia – of the Historic Houses Association, a five year appointment. In 2013 he was appointed a trustee of Moggerhanger Park, where he has been working using his formidable talents to breathe life into this Soane masterpiece.
Grace Vane Percy specialises in Female Nude portraiture, predominantly for private clients. In her work she combines the concept of the classical nude and traditional photographic technique to capture timeless images of female beauty. Her signature atmospheric, flattering lit portraits have made her name in this field. She trained at Central Saint Martin’s, before going to study fine art and the techniques of the Old Masters in Florence. At the end of 2014 Grace released her first book entitled ‘VENUS’ and enjoyed her first solo exhibition – the culmination of a four years worth of research and work, for which Grace was also responsible for all editing, layouts and oversight of the specialist print process.
Venus Event at Foyles: Wednesday 29th April 2015 7pm – 8:30pm
Please come along to Foyles at 107 Charing Cross Road Event:
Drawing from the classical tradition of the nude in art history, photographer Grace Vane Percy’s portraits of ordinary, extraordinary women seek to at once explore the naked female figure and to celebrate femininity and beauty in all forms.
At Foyles to discuss her collection Venus, a book of black and white film photographs of nudes juxtaposed against the backdrop of some of England’s most important stately homes, Percy will explore the classical tradition and its influence, the representation of women’s bodies and the significance of the goddess of beauty whose name inspires the selection.
Vane Percy’s work specializes in nude female portraiture, looking to empower her subjects and contextualize the mode within a wider art and photographic history. Invited to join the Women in Photography archive at Yale in 2004, Percy practices between London and New York, where she has shot in Matthew Brady’s original studio.
In conversation with Suzan Antonowicz, Head of International and Beauty at The Independent, David Fletcher, fine art and antiques valuer and regular on BBC show Flog It, and author and broadcaster Jeremy Musson, this is an insight into the work of a contemporary art practitioner and an exploration of the representation of women today.
A complimentary drink will be available for customers at this event. Book signing too!
Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road
Tickets: FREE – BOOKING ESSENTIAL
Historic House Magazine January 2015
A wonderful review by Jeremy Musson in the current Spring Edition of Historic House Magazine.
Tatler November 2014
Thanks Tatler for this month’s most amazing spread! No less than eight pages!
From October 31st My First Book VENUS will be available
Buy your copy of the limited edition VENUS now!
“Quartet’s latest photographic volume, Venus, is something of a treasure; beautifully produced with that elegance which will endure, notwithstanding the trends of the day.
The black and white images of female nudity set against backgrounds of exquisite art and shot with a discerning eye prove time and again that the feminine form in a proper environment is not only alluring, but has the kind of impact that defies any descriptive lexicon of words we choose to use.
The concept of the book is brilliantly executed, giving the reader a visual bonanza rarely experienced elsewhere. The book’s defused eroticism creates an art form which will dazzle all those who worship the glorious feminine structure of young women, directly contrasted in a setting embellished with artefacts by great artists from a different generation.
The master of ceremonies is the author/photographer Grace Vane Percy whose touch is so impressive and bereft of any pretentions. Her women are portrayed in their natural state, with their pubic hair so tastefully shown to put paid to any notion that such exposure is best concealed.
Grace truly epitomises her subject, with her long and shapely form, and revealing an irresistible capacity to understand and appreciate the sexual frisson that her photography imbibes. If she herself were in a reversal of roles, she could be even more stunning than her most vivacious models. And what a pity she isn’t…
This magnificent book is a Christmas gem. To miss it would be a cardinal sin that no one should ever wish to commit, so hurry along and order your copy now. Be amongst the first to celebrate its acquisition!”
Chairman, Quartet Books
NEXT BIG THING: GRACE VANE PERCY
Spabreaks.com is the largest spa recommendation service in the UK, with venues across the country and abroad, but month in The Hot Tub they like to interview a person the consider to be a rising star… and this month IT’S ME!! I was of course completely honoured to be asked a few questions by the lovely Bonnie Friend
Check out the interview:
Photographer, Grace Vane Percy, specialises in taking nude photos of women that rival the old masters for their painterly style. She talks to us about inspiration and the launch of her first book VENUS!
What are you up to at the moment?
I am working on a new project which has a slight retro feel, think 70s black and white nudes but with a mysterious quality. It’s a series of nudes with a more erotic element, but still very feminine – showing female sexuality in the kind of way every woman can relate to!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Women. The natural beauty and diversity of real women and the sculptural elements in every body. I enjoy finding the unique beauty in each woman I work with and showing that to them in a photograph.
Who’s your role model?
Lee Miller! Ever stylish, feminine and beautiful, but practical, hard working, talented and an exceptional photographer, she was as inspiring as she was inspired.
Who would play you in a movie?
Audrey Hepburn! Please.
What’s your earliest photography memory?
Photographing my Sylvanian Families with my father’s Polaroid camera! I used to make brochures for imaginary hotels with them and cut outs from the Country Life property section!
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
If you want something done properly do it yourself, and always keep going. When you make the space in your life for something you want and cut out the things which are just sapping your time and energy (even if they help you pay the bills), the thing you’re working towards will always come flooding in. It has been true for me every time.
When you’re not working on being the next big thing, what do you do to relax?
I love yoga and I also love to cook every day, I’m a vegetarian and love all the variety and delicious options. Recently I’ve been experimenting more with raw food, which has been amazingly yummy and very satisfying, my husband’s also surprised himself by enjoying the fruits of my labour too!
We encourage everyone to do one thing each week to be kind to themselves, what are you going to do this week to #bekindtoyou?
Someone said to me recently, you should always treat yourself as you would treat a child. I’m not quite managing that, but maybe if the weather’s nice I’ll buy myself a big ice cream!
Thanks to the talented Bonnie Friend & the Spabreaks team
VENUS: Reviewing, Proofing, Getting Ready for Production
Presses will roll on Friday 12th September! @ Deckers Snoeck in Ghent
Film’s Not Dead: A Helping Hand For VENUS
London based photographer Grace Vane Percy has been creating a beautiful body of work over a number of years where she has been exploring the Venus poses & the female body. Her work has been shot on mostly medium format film as well as some 7×5 sheet film. Vane Percy is now looking for funding to help her put this project into a book:
“I have been working on this self-funded project for over four years and it’s finally ready to be published. With your support and generosity, all this planning and work can finally be brought out into the real world. Shot mainly on medium format B&W film in some of the UK’s most celebrated country houses, my series of 54 unique images and 15,000 words of text is completed. Locations include famous and historically significant houses, from Alnwick Castle, where Harry Potter was filmed, to Castle Howard where Brideshead was revisited twice. The photographs combine the female form with architecture in a manner never before seen. The halls, of Houghton and Holkham, the gallery of Newby Hall, as well as follies and fountains provide the perfect setting.
Venus is the mother of all female nudity in art. She is known for her ethereal beauty, which transcends mere desire. With the advent of photography this disassociation from the mortal world became difficult to execute. In this series, the concept of perfect encapsulation of female beauty is reclaimed and represented for the modern world.
The result will be a full-color (for richness & depth of tonal quality), black and white, litho laser press printed book, on finest quality paper saddle bound, hard-back, coffee table book.”
Thank you Film’s not Dead, I’m such a fan! It’s a real honour to be featured.