Kenneth Anns at Cedars 1961
Kenneth Anns at The Cedars

Photographs of families have changed in content and purpose throughout the 20th century. When Kenneth was young a photograph was taken in a studio. The members of the family were all expected to be there and the background was chosen from available backcloths. Gardens and trees and classical entrances were popular. They were a very formal moment. The best clothes would be worn, hair done nicely and a show of family solidarity would be reflected. This sums up the very early photograph of Kenneth.

Kenneth was quite fascinated by photography and purchased a Leica camera. He loved to take photos of his family, and was happy to be photographed. He did not use photography to supplement his visual material for painting.

Some of these photographs are quite curios when you look at them closely. It is difficult to see how the train was moving without rails in Southampton dock, I do remember the photograph being taken and the huge train, with great clarity.

Sark is a beautiful island, the crashing waves on the rocks, the tidal flows sucking water out of caves, the smell of the seaweed and gulls shouting and swirling around in vast flocks. Kenneth has captured Sark, the majesty, the sublime, in a way that the camera simply cannot.

So they posed and made an effort to look their best. Not like today when one  gets caught at a party or chatting to a friend. The casual photograph has taken over from the formal, rather Victorian version, portraits that cost less than paintings, but had their place in the family home just as a painting would have in the homes of the wealthy. The wedding photographs are the last vestige of this formal approach and even they today are changing in content and form.