Kingston exhibition features 100-year-old photos of athletes in motion
In the Olympic year Kingston Museum is exploring old and new techniques used to capture athletes in motion, writes Clare Buchanan.
The exhibition will demonstrate the way artists and photographers have changed and evolved and how they depict the human body over time.
The showcase includes work by Kingston-born, Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who bequeathed his personal collection to the borough in 1904 and paved the way for capturing the world in motion.
He was a pioneer in trying to capture motion in sequence photography and the exhibition displays many of his 1887 experiments of humans and animals in motion.
Much of his work was devoted to athletics and the male physical form, reflecting a new emphasis on physical fitness and ideals of masculinity in the 19th century.
In contrast, the display also includes contemporary artist David Michalek’s work, which captures athletes in motion in high definition.
Coinciding with the 2012 Games the exhibition also focuses on 21st century techniques, including the use of sport biomechanics to measure and correct technique and injury rehabilitation.
A video by Charlie Murphy, called the Kingston Big Wheel, will accompany the exhibition, courtesy of the Stanley Picker Gallery.
The video is inspired by Muybridge’s iconic motion sequence and features 300 gymnasts, dancers and athletes creating a chain of human cartwheels. The Kingston Big Wheel forms the final project for No Competition – a series of artist projects exploring the relationship between art and non-competitive sport.
Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion, Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston. From July 28 to October 20. Admission free. Contains nudity. Phone 020 8547 6463 or visit kingston.gov.uk/museum