Margham Hall orangery from the project The Moon and a Smile

The Moon and A Smile – Anna Fox

This project is commissioned by the Glynn Vivian Gallery in Swansea (who commissioned 8 women artists) and is a response to the recent reattribution of the Dillwyn photographs. The Dillwyn archive is a fascinating source of information about early photographic methods and the life of the upper middle classes in Britain in the late 1800’s. Particularly pertinent is the revision of authorship in the archive so that Mary Dillwyn is acknowledged as photographer alongside her (better known) father John Dillwyn. The archive demonstrates the highly inventive character of the photographers and illuminates some of the earliest experiments with the medium.

This project involved developing Fox’s interest in the contemporary leisure industry through rephotographing many of the sites photographed by the Dillwyns (that had been private property or space reserved for the leisured classes) to look at how they are used by the leisure industry today as democratised spaces. The work made continues the interests ignited in the Loisirs project exploring the relationship between time and memory in documentary photography. Six large and medium scale digitally joined photographs of the local leisure industry and three separate images, shot on 5×4, of flower portraits from the Penllegare Gardens (originally the Dillwyn’s garden now public) – the flower portraits are re-iterations of Dillwyn flower portraits (original Dillwyn images shot on private property, Fox’s images shot in the now public gardens). The show is accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Kate Best.