Final Major Project Reflection 15

I haven’t had the feedback through from my last tutorial yet so I have concentrated on other areas of the course this week.

I was however intrigued why the footpath in my photograph of Flatford Mill and Constable’s painting of it was so different. According to the National Trust website in 1705 an act of Parliament was passed to make the River Stour navigable and then a turf-sided lock was installed in 1708. The turf in the lock was eventually replaced with wood in 1776, the same year that Constable was born and it is this lock that Constable included in his paintings. In 1838 a new wooden lock was installed next to the original lock so that the old lock could continue to allow boats to navigate the river while the new lock was being built.

In 1926 the wooden lock was replaced by a concrete lock and that was restored by volunteers int he mid 1970s. More recently in 1990 a weir was included in the lock construction to help manage the water levels during the winter.

The River Stour Trust website explains that “a distinguishing feature of the locks was the lintel that prevented the locks from collapsing inwards. This was almost unique to the Stour. The early designs of staunches or flash locks had a single gate that upon opening would release a sudden surge of water. Boats moving downstream would wait above the lock until the gate was opened and a ‘flash’ of water carried the boats with it. Later designs comprised two sets of lock gates and a central chamber. Craft enter the chamber and water is released either from or into the central chamber. This brings craft to the same level as the water beyond the second pair of gates to continue passage along the river.”

Although Constable included the lock in several of his paintings he often chose to leave out the lintels because this interfered with his sight-lines!


This week I’ve also been considering the copyright implications of using another artist’s work within my own.

According to the .gov website artistic work is copyrighted automatically and, for paintings, usually lasts for a minimum of life plus 70 years. This would mean that if there was no extension to the copyright it became available for Constable’s paintings in 2007. Additional to this, users may be allowed to use copyrighted material in a teaching environment or if a ‘less than substantial part of it would be seen.’ I plan to reduce the opacity of the representation of the Constable paintings I am using by 60-70% and blend out the edges so that I would actually only be using perhaps 20-25% of the original image. I think I should be ok.

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