Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Sea of Ice 2014 by James Casebere, 105 x 130 cms; courtesy of Michael and Sally Strain
In the Eranda Studio on the third floor of the  Photographers' Gallery, visitors are encouraged to spend time and look closely at a single  photograph. Neat miniature 'bins' are fitted into the seating You are invited to pluck out a pencil and a card, stay with the image and through writing or drawing , record your response. On the wall is an i-Pad, which, at a touch, will reveal selected comments (in their own hand-written words and sketches) from those who have gone before. 

A selection of responses to previous photographs is featured as part of Touchstone, a programme indicative of the Gallery's wide and innovative educational emphasis on visual literacy. A list of previous work on display, is available at 

But here's a sample of yesterday's comments:

 What Do You See?
...extreme cold which shatters rocks
...calculated and intricate pile of fake stones with pieces of plastic snow dusted on them. I still like it.
...broken paving stones
...grave stones
...the stones are the colour of pinkish grey jumpers now on sale at H&M stores
...nothing but grey sky jagged edges
...when I watch it I imagine the beginning of the world aesthetic set, carefully constructed like a wedding cake
... unsuccessful efforts that mankind makes to trespass into inhospitable environments. Some places are better left untouched.
The Sea of Ice ( also known as The Wreck of Hope) by Caspar David Friedrich 1824

James Casebere's work, which will be on display until January 6th, is based on a nearly 200-year-old painting by a German Romantic landscape artist. The image above depicts a shipwreck locked in  a broken sheet of ice and is believed to refer to a failed expedition to the North Pole 5 years earlier.  

 To view responses and see past images displayed as part of the Touchstone programme, visit the Tumblr site. 

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