Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘women photographers

Light Journeys presents Shauna Greyerbiehl

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Light Journeys is proud to present Sydney based photographer Shauna Greyerbiehl as our featured artist for November:

from the series Daily Motion

(courtesy Shauna Greyerbiehl)

The Everlasting Moment of Maria Larsson (2008)

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On the topic of women photographers is this recent film from Sweden “Everlasting Moments”. It was a 2008 nominee for best foreign film at the Golden Globes.


Set in 1907, this magnificent period drama about a female photographer living in Sweden is both an intimate family portrait and a rich canvas of working-class life at a time when socialist and anarchist beliefs flourished in the shadow of strikes and demonstrations. Strict Protestant traditions dominated, suppressing any ideas of women’s rights or common sense.

Agneta Ulstater Troell, the director’s wife, based the novel and screen adaptation on the life of her ancestor, Maria Larsson, a simple though determined woman and mother of seven, married to a charming bull-like dockworker who was often drunk. After winning a camera in a lottery, Maria became a photographer at a time when no woman would have dreamt of embracing such a profession and few men would condone it.

Director: Jan Troell · 110min · TBC
In Swedish with subtitles

Looks like a tearjerker….

Written by Lee Grant

February 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

Running with wolves and a bit of Sugar….

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So, it’s been a few hectic days… actually weeks! I’ll try to keep brief as I have a date with my couch, a bad DVD (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and 2-minute noodles for dinner (the kids are away and I’m simply hopeless at dinner for one!).

So first up and to follow on from my last post, I’m posting Nachtwey’s Ted clip that we were all looking forward to seeing. It’s moving, there is little doubt about it, and he produces eloquent and meaningful work… but really, I was kinda expecting something a little more earth moving; maybe I’m just feeling a little bummed about traditional documentary these days – I also just came back from the opening of the 2008 Leica Documentary Prize exhibition tonight, which I realised I’d already seen (and critiqued on this very blog) earlier this year. Ho hum… I’m waiting for the revolution:

This morning I also got an alert via APE about a post that Amy Stein had written regarding a new documentary film called “Who does she think she is”. Well, you can imagine my excitement, relief and anticipation for a film about the difficulties faced by women in the art world! I’m quite relieved to see that it isn’t just me banging on about this issue – and whilst I don’t like to re-iterate the argument for the sake of it – I do believe it’s an important discussion for the art world to have and to recognise. Here’s a sneak peek:

Looks tres interesting indeed.

Lastly, and cos I’m hungry, I’ll sign off with a photo I took at the weekend at a friend’s place. I dunno why, but I love this picture. I feel like I’m in a kid’s picture book… the kind I still like to read…..


Written by Lee Grant

October 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Magnum’s New Girl on the Block

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The weather right now is miserable: cold, wet and pissing down with rain. Shouldn’t complain really, given that we are supposedly experiencing one of the worst droughts in history. But it doesn’t do much for motivation. It sure is soporific weather……… I just want to lie down and sleeeep……….

But not before sharing the work of one of Magnum‘s newest new nominees, English photographer, Olivia Arthur. Her website is packed with consistently strong images that belie her youthful 28 years (they’re getting younger and younger every year!). At 28 years of age she has collated an impressive portfolio of images that explore the politics between Eastern and Western cultures and the effect this has had on the emancipation of women. She focuses particularly on Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan. Here are a few teasers:

All images courtesy Olivia Arthur‘s website

I likey! Even more impressively she has managed to be fully self-funded (albeit with the help of several grants and awards) and as she discusses on the Magnum blog, this has allowed her a particular freedom whereby she has “had very few guidelines and conditions to follow. This freedom has been amazing for me because it has meant that I have been able to get right into it and let the work unfold as it goes along. It also means that it doesn’t necessarily fit into the regular format of photojournalistic stories, and it has not always been easy for me to get it seen.

I’m very pleased to see that Magnum is putting their money where their mouth is in terms of supporting new, emerging talent, men but increasingly women (though they still have a rather piss-poor gender balance). Last year’s round yielded the photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti whose work is quite sublime and for me this direction from such a key player as Magnum is good news. It’s important that agencies like Magnum make tangible, projects that have their roots in a bit of struggle and self-reliance. I think that this is especially true for women (particularly older women) who often miss important opportunities because of familial commitments and/or financial pressures. (Yes I harp on but I’m frustrated by what feels like a lack of opportunity in Australia when compared to abroad.)

I do believe however (if you happen to find yourself in this boat) that it is very important to keep struggling. Belief in the importance of what you do seems to me to be crucial to the possibility of future success. For every person out there that finds your work boring, there will be another who finds it amazing………. Mmmm, just read that back and I sound like a self-help manual for stumped artists! But I know, that some of you know, what I mean.

Anyways…….. I’ll leave you to ponder Olivia’s gorgeous photographs. It’s time now for my snooze.

Written by Lee Grant

July 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm