Introducing Anya Teixeira's camera work, an inspired example of how photographic practice opened up narrative expression for women in the 1960s and 1970s.
Anya Teixeira (1913 Ukraine - 1992 England) took up photography at the age of 47 to create a body of work on display in different forms in an exhibition organized by the Women’s Art Library and the Estate of Anya Teixeira in Special Collections.
Opening Drinks Reception: Friday October 18th, 6-8pm
Digitized slides and original prints show Teixeira’s keen observation of body language ranging between spontaneous exchange and crafted gesture to produce a shared culture. She photographed predominantly in public places making varied series of images that have in common a distinctive "female gaze". Her work was included in the critical exhibition Women’s Images of Men at the ICA in 1980.
Teixeira’s practice included co-founding the Creative Photo Group and writing articles for various photographers’ publications. She questioned the value of the photograph residing in its perfected print to emphasise the dramatic storytelling power of an image. This display of prints and archive suggests that Teixeira’s photographs recall the street images of Helen Levitt and share the pathos and humour of Garry Winogrand, but the material qualities also suggest a resonance with Julia Margaret Cameron (1813-1879) whose photographic practice a hundred years earlier explored the gaze through staged tableaux performed by children and adults captured on imperfectly processed glass negatives. Fashions and photographic printing techniques reveal shifting time frames, but here we also experience the camera as a micro-storyteller’s tool fixing a narrative in a time without making it topical as journalism. Instead the photographer is a storyteller reporting back from the perspective of an enchanted audience. Teixeira’s camera enabled her to see, understand and reproduce how captivated she could be by what she described as “the most rewarding subject”: people.
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