Exhibition of photos by former Writtle student

College_exhibits_photographs_after_their_appearance_at_RHS_Autumn_ShowEight hand-coloured photographs of cottage garden plants are being exhibited in the library following their appearance at the RHS Autumn Show.

Former Writtle College student James Walker took traditional black and white photographic prints, measuring 16ins by 12ins, and each of these was hand coloured using traditional techniques.

James, from Hatfield Broad Oak, said: “The RHS Autumn Show mainly consists of flower and vegetable displays but it also exhibits photographers’ work.

“To exhibit, I had to submit photographs to a panel which assessed whether the standard was high enough to show. A few photographers were picked and given exhibition space to show a series of photographs, which had to be garden-related and show a common theme.

“I decided to photograph cottage garden plants in the traditional way – using film and printing these in black and white. I then hand-coloured the prints using photographic dyes directly onto the silver gelatin print.

My idea was to give an impression of the traditional botanical prints by using this method. Medals are awarded at the show and I was pleased to receive a bronze at my first show.

“Previously, I had done lots of book covers which tended to be black and white photographs which I then hand-tinted. It was this style that I loved doing, so – having always had an interest in flowers and plants – it was a natural decision to produce a series of hand-tinted still life images.”

We value the support of former students to help enhance the opportunities for those now studying at the College. James … offered us a unique opportunity to appreciate these hand-tinted photographs in the style of Victorian botanic images and we are very pleased that they will be exhibited in our Library. Dr Jill Raggett, Reader in Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

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