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Fay Godwin

Fay Godwin

Fay Godwin (1931-2005) was a British landscape photographer and her biography and work are well documented by DJ Clark on his website – http://www.djclark.com/godwin/index.htm (accessed 15.3.15). In Godwin’s work ‘there is an unequivocal, impassioned account of the effects of the closure of vast tracts of countryside for commerical, venal reasons, such as the rearing of animals and birds merely to shoot them.’ (Philip Stokes, essay in St James Modern Masterpieces, 1998). So, her images were driven by a similar passion to Adams’; the preservation of open, wild space. Interestingly, subsequent to Godwin’s era, the UK now has a certain rights to roam away from public footpaths (https://www.gov.uk/right-of-way-open-access-land/use-your-right-to-roam).

Fay Godwin
Fay Godwin

I looked at length at Godwin’s photographs on Clark’s website.  While the scenery of the British Isles she captures is not on the same grand scale as that of Adams’ scenery and there is a clear difference in the quality of light to the west coast of American she, like Adams, creates images that are sharp from front to back.

From youtube, below is a film of Godwin being interviewed about her life and her work, also a view of her landscape work in Land Revisited. The connection she feels to the space around her comes across strongly as she talks, seeing the landscape as a friend of which she asks questions and wants to give something back through her photographs.

Listening to an artist talk about her work herself reveals her true intention and is arguably more valuable than hearing an interpretation through a critic.


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