© Sian Bonnell, ‘Camera IV: Manners VIII’, 2011

British School at Rome Photoworks Fellowship Update: Sian Bonnell

Sian Bonnell's photograph series "Manners" has been selected for exhibition by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Awarded the second Photoworks FellowshipSian Bonnell completed a three month residency at the British School at Rome (BSR) in the Italian capital in Spring 2011.

Sian, who is Associate Professor of Photographic Concepts at Falmouth University, said: “Following my senior research fellowship at the British School at Rome, the V&A showed some interest in my Manners series of photographs, which is the final piece of work I made in Rome, and at Christmas they went ahead and purchased the full set of nine photographs. We had been in discussion for the whole of 2014 but there was no certainty that they would purchase the work since I was already represented in the collection. I am extremely happy as this provides clear validation of my practice.”

With Manners Sian Bonnell explore the visual language of religion. She encountered Fra Angelico’s fresco paintings in the Monastery of San Marco in Florence, describing them as ‘the ultimate instruction manual’.

To create her series, Bonnell used the studio as her ‘cell’, re-performing St Dominic’s Nine Manners of Prayer in real time over the course of one day.

The V&A exhibition A History of Photography: Series and Sequences focuses on the wider visions of photographers through series and sequences of images, rather than through individual photographs. The display includes photographs from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

A History of Photography: Series and Sequences shows at the V&A’s Room 100 Gallery, 6 February – 1 November 2015

Read Sian’s blog posts about her time at BSR