Oxford School of Photography

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Daily Archives: September 30, 2014

Photography Oxford Festival Exhibitions Highlights Part 3

I have only managed one venue since my last review but I wanted to alert you to the the work most worth seeing. Joanna Vestey has the best gallery experience anywhere in Oxford, it is her studio at 45 Parktown, easy to find, turn into Parktown from Banbury Road and go as far as you can and it is in the bottom left hand corner. The space cries out to be a permanent gallery, it has light and space and is just gorgeous. But to the pictures, two photographers Joanna and Drew Gardner . Joanna Vestey has a series called Custodians, it shows interiors of some of the most beautiful locations in Oxford, and some which may not be beautiful but are equally intriguing. The custodians of the title only take up very little space in the images, they are located but not dominant, there can be different interpretations of this but honestly it doesn’t much matter. The images are quite beautiful and so much better for being seen as prints than on a screen. I would recommend that you get down to 45 Parktown before the show closes.





all © Joanna Vestey

It is possible that of all the exhibitions on show during the festival Drew Gardner may have received the most press coverage. The Telegraph for one, this is the premise of the exhibition titled Descendants from his site 

Born out of his passion for history, Drew recreates portraits of some of the world’s most famous historical figures featuring their direct descendants. After in-depth research tracing the direct descendants and verifying their lineage, the famous portraits are recreated with painstaking attention to the smallest of details. From sourcing the period costumes and props to the authentic backgrounds. Drew then carefully analyses the lighting in each portrait and patiently recreates them using the latest lighting techniques. The end results often show startling resemblances to their forebears.

The pictures are things to be admired there is no doubt, the attention to detail borders on the obsessive and they are stunning images, I just have the nagging feeling of ‘so what’. I doubt there are many people who could have made such remarkable facsimiles of the originals and the descendants do look like their forebears but I just wonder why so much effort was put into the work. Anyway it lead me to his website where I found much to like. The images as prints are so much more than they are on the screen so go to see them.

I suggest you go to Parktown to see Joanna’s pictures and grab a snap of her as a custodian in her own space and see the Descendants too




all ©Drew Gardner