An Island's New Image

The exceptional inquisitiveness with photography as the then "new medium" is what makes Julia Margaret Cameron worth of Trust -- and we are humbled to be hosted by her trustees: Bob and Mary, while staying at Gail's superfab Room with a View (over the Freshwater bay and the "House", the venue of Visioneca, c. f. early morning pic from our window below). All this in a circle of hundred yards -- including Dimbola, where yesternight (after a hyperyummie fish pie + cake ++ by Mary) we attended a vernissage of local children's black&white photography workshop. Bob made a short speech, so much more to the point: how will they ever do anything important, and understand the importance of what they did, if they do not learn what was there before -- analog photography, and let their hyper-digital click-clicking be paced, minimalized and (hyper)reflected in the analog mirror..
Room WIth a View Julia Margaret (1815 - 1879) learned to do so beautifully. WIth that certain touch of noblewoman's intelligence, and against&along all the limitations of the then technology (lucky we had that wet collodium workshop at our school last year!) she penetrated the spirit of her subjects, and achieved stupendous mastery of composition, thourgh subtle command of light and contrast. Below you see a (yes, Nikon-D90=DSLR-stolen) portrait of the original Alice in Wonderland that served as real inspiration and model to Dodgson -- but later on as you can see, she grew a bit sulky :) This pic is hanging at Dimbola, next door to where we stay, among other Cameron's pioneering portraits of the early "stars" of the English society, who often came to the Isle of Wight (mostly to Farringdon, the estate of Alfred Tennyson, just down the street from here), as today Annie Leibovitz, Dimbola e.g. including a Patty Smith's photo room, next to Bob's collage-hommage to the infamous history of island's rock festivals..

..this spirit is to flare up tomorrow, when Visioneca kicks off in it's full avantgard contrast! Stay tuned.Alice after Wonderland