Friday, January 12, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ Paving the Way for Female Artists in Photography & Sculpture

Frances Benjamin Johnston and Barbara Hepworth, these two women, both born in the first half of January, 39 years and the wide Atlantic apart, became two of the first women to be successful in their chosen fields of art: photography and sculpture respectively.

Frances "Fannie" Benjamin Johnston
(15 January 1864 – 16 May 1952) was an early American female photographer and photojournalist whose career lasted for almost half a century. She is most known for her portraits, images of southern architecture, and various photographic series featuring African Americans and Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century.

Rather than posting too small images of some of F.B. Johnstone's photographs here, I'll leave a link to Monovisions a website with a thread of large format images of her photographs - do go take a look:
Vintage: Everyday Life in the U.S by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1900s-1910s)

Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth DBE
(10 January 1903 – 20 May 1975) was an English artist and sculptor. Her work exemplifies Modernism and in particular modern sculpture. She was one of the few female artists of her generation to achieve international prominence.

Barbara Hepworth was born in Yorkshire on 10 January, 1903. She lived in Cornwall from 1939.
Hepworth emerged in the late 1920s as a leading member of a new generation of sculptors. Her work became increasingly abstract in the 1930s and, after moving to Cornwall, she began to make sculpture in terms of her experience of landscape. She continued to carve throughout her life, but from 1956 she also made works in bronze which allowed her to produce more and which were better suited to international travel.
(See HERE)

This video (around 3 minutes long) offers a brief overview showing some of Barbara Hepworth's sculptures.


Both charts are set for 12 noon, time of birth isn't known in either case. Moon positions and ascendants will not be accurate, as shown.

I wondered if there would be similarities in the charts of these two pioneering women, other than their shared Capricorn Sun sign. They did not share a Moon sign. Ms Johnston's natal Moon would have almost certainly been in Aries, whatever her time of birth - Aries is the classic sign of a pioneer, as it happens! If she were born quite a bit earlier than noon, Moon would have been close to Neptune, and Neptune relates to photography (among other things). Also in Ms Johnston's chart Sun is in helpful sextile to Jupiter and both planets link via 150 degree aspects to Uranus, planet of all that is modern or unexpected. I like that formation for her - it's known as a "Yod" or Finger of Fate. The Yod links the signs of Capricorn (practicality, business) and Scorpio (passion, determination), directing these to Uranus in Gemini - the classic communications sign; this lady's photo-journalism was pure communication, and the fact that it was by a female photographer in that era was unexpected. Bingo!

Frances Benjamin Johnston, born on 15 January 1864 in Grafton, West Virginia, USA.

There is no obvious similarity between the charts. I'm not surprised to see that Barbara Hepworth's chart had extra emphasis on Capricorn, including the sign's ruler, Saturn. To my mind sculpture - the manipulation of solid matter into art - naturally links to Saturn (solidity, rigidity) and Capricorn the Cardinal Earth sign of the zodiac.

Mercury and Jupiter are in Uranus-ruled Aquarius, adding an unexpected, modernistic tone.
Uranus in Sagittarius sextiles Jupiter in Aquarius - so here's a loose similarity to Frances B. Johnston's chart - the Uranus/Jupiter link.

Moon in Barbara Hepworth's chart, was at 5 Gemini at noon, if she were born in the very early hours, Moon might have been in the last degrees of Taurus - that would put it in harmonious trine to Venus, planet of the arts in Capricorn and would be very apt - but it's speculation only!

Dame Barbara Hepworth, born on 10 January 1903 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, UK.

No comments: