Strange but true.




This photo is my reflection in a piece of art in the Museum of contemporary Art Sydney.


Its a privilege to be able to photograph in an art gallery. I have an amazing collection of photos from Galleries around the world. These are art pieces of infinite beauty. I've only come across three galleries in my many years of  travel where I was unable to take photos.


This lady, was painted by Hilda Rix Nicholas

I stood in front of it for ages. I studied her technique. I don't know how she did it but I was fascinated and having the photo in my computer allows me to study it over and over again.

I wonder what her thoughts were at the time of painting.

Why did she decide on this woman as her subject.?

Did she imagine that the world would one day be privy to her creation?

I love the combination of colors.

Her face, under her bonnet is resigned.



I love this part of the painting.

The artist, painted this before her own life took a tragic turn, from then on… her paintings were dark and melancholy, but she gave us this wonderful image to share.

The galleries are not precious about allowing the public to share in the beauty of the exhibits. Rather, they dare you to look further and question.

As a photographer, I am increasingly disappointed when I attend a quilt show and there are entire exhibitions within that show where photographs are not allowed.

Non photography of  Antique quilts I can understand or even an exhibition that may eventually be made into a book. That I understand too.

But I can go to the Louvre, The Hermitage and the Tate Modern and photograph, but don't take photos of the  XXXX quilts "because those Quilters might copy them" !!!!

Strange but true. So, I admit, that I don't look at those exhibitions. They make me uncomfortable because I think sharing your creation is more important than closeting.



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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Lois Bruno says:

    I want to know why the quilting arts are diffferent than other arts. It seems to me that you can copyright patterns. But that is different than creating a piece for exhibit or for sale. If its truly art, isn’t it your contribution to the universe and you let the universe take it from there? My thoughts are evolving in this issue. No rims, purple eyepieces, Lois Bruno

  2. Brenda says:

    Actually, according to the MCA website, photography is not generally permitted in the galleries and you must apply in writing for copyright approval for publication or personal use. The Art Gallery of NSW has a more liberal policy but it is still for personal study only which does NOT include online publication no matter how thorough the attribution…

  3. Pam says:

    Lois, well said.
    “Sharing your art enriches my life. But, more importantly, sharing your art also enriches your life, dear artist. That’s powerful. Think about it: Sharing your art enriches your life.
    So now, instead of telling you to go change the world, I can cut right to the heart of the matter:
    Sharing your art enriches Our world.”
    This is an statement made in an article by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner/director/salesperson and founder of FineArtViews.

  4. Pam says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Brenda.

  5. Pam says:

    Brenda, interestingly enough, information given at the entrance desk of the MCA is vastly different to the information you presented. There were numerous signs in the gallery allowing photography but no flash.
    Similarly The Art Gallery of NSW. I always ask for permission even if there are signs of affirmation in the gallery. I had a wonderful discussion with the supervisor duty on the merits of taking photos…
    I carry a huge camera so there is no hiding the fact.
    I was amongst fellow photographers in both galleries.
    I’ve also studied the paintings from images on the internet….
    There are 100’s of images online.

  6. I agree that photography should be allowed at quilt and embroidery exhibitions. Exhibitors should be given the opportunity to say if they will allow photograhy of thier work and a small card attached to the works of those who do not. This is just a tick and flick on the entry form. Many times the public are just given a blanket statement, ‘photography forbidden.’ (It’s a bit like those care labels on cloths that tell you the garment should be dry cleaned when in fact it could be washed but the manufacturer is covering themselves against complaints.)
    Life moves on and times have changed. I believe that there isn’t that much copying going on and if there is the artist can always start legal proceedings. A lot of art work is so original and requires a high level of skill that the ordinary person couldn’t reproduce it. But by being able to photograph it you can study it in detail and learn. In the Fashion Industry, which is worth more in monetary terms than the quilt or embroidery industries, there is no copyright and that industry booms.
    The digital age has thrown up many question that haven’t arisen before but solving them by saying’ we won’t allow this’ isn’t always the best solution.

  7. Pam says:

    Carolyn, thanks. I agree wholeheartedly. Our lives have changed so much over the past few years.
    Our world has become smaller and the digital age is important to us all as Artists. At a press of the button on my computer I can attend almost any Art Gallery in the world.
    I can study the paintings, research the lives of the artists and seek information. I can share my information with like minded friends and discuss rationally the pros and cons of a piece of art (or indeed a quilt)
    Such is the world right now.

  8. Brenda says:

    My point remains that when a venue allows photography for “personal use” or “private study”, that privilege does NOT extend to publishing those images online for the rest of the world to see.
    It is also not very cool to publish images of other people’s art without attribution (see first image above),

  9. Pam says:

    Oooooh Brenda…………!!!!

  10. Candy says:

    I think that regardless of rules, attribution should be a given right of the creator. Even if it is street art, it’s nice for the viewer to know – what street! Study (of anything) is built on reference. Brenda is right, who’s art is your reflection in Pam?, Pam is right re sharing and enrichment. Lois and Carolyn are right to be thoughtful and not just brush it off as so many do. Be open and have the discussion, move with the changes, that’s my view.

  11. Pam says:

    Candy, correct… unfortunately I didn’t get the name of the painting because this was a refection in another glass panel at the other end of the room…. In fact not the painting at all.
    What I have found interesting in this discussion is that it began as a discussion about photographing quilts. !!!!
    We all have the right to our own opinion and I invite comments which often create discussion.
    I appreciate the opinions of participants.
    However, I find it most unprofessional to ‘shout’ in the comments of another persons blog….!!!!!

  12. Pam says:

    The definition of ‘shouting’ in a comment is to write in capital letters.

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