In only eleven years, Julia Margaret Cameron managed to create her own style of photography; capturing beauty in a time when the process was more cumbersome than we can even begin to imagine today. “I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me…” she wrote. She received her camera at age 48 as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law, and began a journey of discovery, and of conviction to show photography as a serious art form. What intrigued me was how long ago this was. I looked at the V&A website a day before I left for London, and I learned about this exhibition, and indeed about Cameron. This is another quote of hers that they used in the opening of their article: “My aspirations are to ennoble Photography and to secure for it the character and uses of High Art by combining the real & Ideal & sacrificing nothing of Truth by all possible devotion to poetry and beauty”. The was back in 1864. I found time to visit the exhibition earlier today, and saw the electrifying collection of images. They beautifully displayed, and in the perfect setting. Her letters compliment the story told by the images.
It is worth a visit even if you are not interested in photography. If you are, then, it’s a must! The exhibition opened yesterday, and will remain so until February 21st.