GCSE PHOTOGRAPHY Dora Maar at Tate Modern Feb 2020

On Monday 3rd February 2020 GCSE Y11 Photography students traveled to Tate Modern in central London to see Photography work by Surrealist, Dora Maar and the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide.

All students are working on their examination theme called, ‘Event’. Studying the work of these pivotal Photographers will aid our students to consider how artists document and communicate everyday events. This will hopefully give our students the chance to gain important primary research to help them develop and support their own growing ideas and responses.


Whether capturing Frida Kahlo's house, wild dogs in India or the Seri people in Mexico's Sonara desert, Graciela Iturbide presents the world in black in white - or as she describes it, as "an abstraction of the mind."

Travelling with her camera every day and often living with her subjects for months, Iturbide says that her process is similar to that of a travel photographer, except that she only shoots "what surprises and provokes an emotion that I want to capture."


Her eye for the unusual also translated to her commercial photography, including fashion and advertising, as well as to her social documentary projects. In Europe’s increasingly fraught political climate, Maar signed her name to numerous left-wing manifestos – a radical gesture for a woman at that time.

Her relationship with Pablo Picasso had a profound effect on both their careers. She documented the creation of his most political work, Guernica 1937. He painted her many times, including Weeping Woman 1937. Together they made a series of portraits combining experimental photographic and printmaking techniques.

In middle and later life Maar withdrew from photography. She concentrated on painting and found stimulation and solace in poetry, religion, and philosophy, returning to her darkroom only in her seventies.


Students were also asked to consider the work of the two photographers and think about how they could make similar images, documenting events and happenings in the streets in and around Borough Market.

Like Iturbide - high contrast - thinking about the formal elements and tone
Event - a journey through spaces and structures
Event - the passing of light and time
Double exposure using Snapseed on iPhone
Triple exposure using Snapseed on iPhone