From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Reference URL

From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977 1977
  • Artist Rooms
In this photograph the artist has dressed herself in large crumpled sheets of paper, creating a ghostly form. This is one of a series of similar works by Woodman produced between 1977 and 1978 exploring the theme of angels, in which prolonged exposure is used to create a spectral blur. Taken in a deserted factory in Rome, Woodman uses abandoned debris to create an ethereal, mystical image in the tradition of Surrealism. The mythological theme of the angel is popular with Woodman and suggests a link with American fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville (born 1938). In the photograph she uses a mirror as a prop – it becomes a symbol of artistic self-reflexivity, reflecting the ‘eye’ of the camera back upon itself.

Glossary Open

Exposure

The length of time a photosensitive surface is exposed to light. The term ‘multiple exposure’ is used to describe the act of recording more than one image on a single sheet or frame of film.

Mythological

Refers to figures and events from myths which are the ancient stories that usually explain the origins of historical or natural phenomena.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Exposure, Mythological, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00354
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 9.30 x 9.30 cm (paper 9.80 x 9.80 cm) (framed: 45.80 x 40.20 x 2.00 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008