Photography’s roots in the United Kingdom stretch back to early experimentations with the medium. Although it was a Frenchman, Nicéphore Niépce who was the first to capture an image on film, it was an Englishman, William Henry Fox Talbot who invented the calotype, a process which was a major forerunner to 19th century developments in the medium.
Fast forward a few centuries and the UK continues to be a fertile ground for developments in the medium. Admittedly, museums in the UK were sluggish in accepting photography as an art form, especially when compared with their American counterparts. However, in the last decade photography has won its hard-fought battle for institutional recognition in the UK. Tate Modern, for example, appointed its first ever Curator of Photography and International Art in 2009.
If we step outside the gallery space we see a similar trend in academia. In the past photography was little more than a footnote in most Art History courses in the UK. Yet today many Art History degrees offer photographic history modules and four universities in the UK now offer MA degrees specifically in The History of Photography.
Right, point made, photography is hotter than ever and LPD realises the craze isn’t confined to London. Yet, we felt it was important to narrow our focus to ensure that no stone is left unturned in bringing our readers the most up-to-date information.
In doing so we will be featuring all manner of photography exhibitions and events. This will include blockbuster shows but we also want to dig a little deeper to unearth the hidden gems. Many institutions for example draw on their permanent collections to create small displays. We also hope to keep our finger on the pulse of the latest work amongst emerging and graduate photographers.
We also want LPD to be a place where you can actually see what’s buzzing on the photography scene. Through a focus on image-sharing we envision LPD as both a textual and visual source of information. We hope to see LPD burgeon into a participatory hub where everyone can share their experiences of London’s photography scene.
Suffice to say, we’ve come a long way from Fox Talbot’s experimentations with the medium and as such LPD will be keeping tuned to photography’s expanding field. So if you have an event coming up that you feel fits the bill, send it our way!
That’s all for now.
Sarah Allen, Editor LPD