Building Reading Lists by ellie berry


If I was to guess when it was that I fell in love with reading I’d probably guess it was around when I was eight. There’s no special event I remember, but I also can’t really remember reading books by myself before then. According to others I’ve been a book worm since bed time stories were a thing. As like most people, how much I actually read ebbs and flows - although I still buy books at the same rate, which has lead to some overburdened shelves holding some very clean books.

At the beginning of this year I decided to try and read 52 books. I simultaneously believed that I could definitely, and yet probably wouldn’t, read that many books - but either way, I really wanted to just track what I’d read and try and read something in the double digits. Currently I’m reading Tim Ingold’s Lines: A Brief History.


The Big 2018 Booklist

  1. Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine - Last Chance to See

  2. Dodie Clarke - Secrets for the mad

  3. Ursula K. Le Guin - A wizard of Earthsea

  4. Anna McNuff - The Pants of Perspective

  5. Terry Pratchett - Lords and Ladies

  6. Terry Pratchett - Maskarade

  7. Terry Pratchett - Carpe Jugulum

  8. Terry Pratchett - Jingo

  9. Andrzej Saphowski - The Last Wish

  10. Andrzej Saphowski - Sword of Destiny

  11. J. R. R. Tolkien - The Two Towers

Where I’ve read multiples from one author I’ve listed the books in the order I read them (just to make things a little more complicated).

The slightly long to-be-read list:

  1. Naomi Alderman - The Power

  2. John Boughton - Municipal Dreams

  3. Robyn Davidson - Tracks

  4. Anthony Doerr - All the light we cannot see

  5. Reni Eddo-Lodge - Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race

  6. Lauren Elkin - Flâneuse: Women Walk the City

  7. Ruth Fitzmaurice - I found my tribe

  8. Keith Fosket - High and Low

  9. John Green - Paper Towns

  10. Frédéric Gros - A Philosophy of Walking

  11. N. K. Jemisin - The Broken Earth Trilogy

  12. Scott Jurek - North

  13. Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time

  14. J. Anthony Lukas - Common Ground

  15. Helen Mort, (et al. editors) - WAYMAKING: an Anthology of Womens Adventure Writing, Poetry and Art

  16. Liz O’Neill - Asking for it

  17. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun

  18. Garth Nix - Sabriel

  19. Shirley Read and Mike Simmons - Photographers and Research: the Role of Research in Contemporary Photographic Practice

  20. Edward Said - Orientalism

  21. Nan Shepard - The Living Mountain

  22. Keri Smith - The Wander Society

  23. Rebecca Solnit - Wanderlust: A History of Walking

  24. Emily St. John Mandel - Station 11

  25. Cheryl Strayed - Wild

  26. Ranne Wynne - The Salt Path

As I’m heading back to college to start a research masters …

… I decided to do a very general google search for reading lists, and stumbled across the page of IMMA reading lists. The one it has for photography lines up very very closely with the reading list for most of the BA Photography course in IADT that I did (which means I might start trying to read them now!).

Reading while walking this summer was both enjoyable, but also tricky as most of the time when we stop I just want to sleep. If I did manage to dig my kindle out of my backpack I really did enjoy reading. I just didn’t often have the strength to go find it. I’d love to get a wider range of books, so please send me on a recommendation or two!
And lets how quickly I can grow my read list before the end of the year!

Also, I went to the botanic gardens with my sister recently, which is always a favourite place of mine. It’s magical getting to share favourite places with other people. So I’m dropping a couple of photos from there throughout the blog post (queue me adding more photos of plants than books).

In the upcoming weeks I plan to finish sharing my BA thesis: so far I’ve shared the Introduction and Chapter One, so lots to revisit still.

IMMA Reading list - Photography

Martin Lister (ed.), The Photographic Image in Digital Culture, London: Routledge, 1995. (✓)

J. J. Long, Andrea Noble and Edward Welch (eds.), Photography: Theoretical Shapshots, London and New York: Routledge, 2009.

Nathan Lyons (ed.), Photographers on Photography: A Critical Anthology, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1966.

Mary Warner Marien, Photography: A Cultural History, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.

W. J. T. Mitchell, Iconography: Image, Text, Ideology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Beaumont Newhall, The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present Day, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1982.

Fred Ritchin, After Photography, London and New York: W. W. Norton, 2009.

Naomi Rosenblum, A World History of Photography, New York: Abbeville Press, 1997.

Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974.

Stephen Shore, The Nature of Photographs, London: Phaidon Press, 2007.

Susan Sontag, On Photography, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977.

John Szarkowski, The Photographer’s Eye, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007.

John Tagg, The Disciplinary Frame: Photographic Truths and the Capture of Meaning, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2009.

Alan Trachtenberg (ed.), Classical Essays on Photography, New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1980.

Liz Wells (ed.), The Photography Reader, London: Routledge, 2002. (✓)

The IMMA reading list page.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1981.

Geoffrey Batchen, Burning with Desire: the Conception of Photography, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

Walter Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936), in Illuminations, London: Fontana, 1973, pp. 219-253. (✓)

Richard Bolton (ed.), The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989.

Victor Burgin (ed.), Thinking Photography, London: Macmillan, 1982.

David Campany (ed.), Art and Photography, London and New York: Phaidon Press, 2003.

Charlotte Cotton, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004.

T. J. Demos, Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives on Photography, London: Phaidon Press, 2006.

Emma Dexter and Thomas Weski (eds.), Cruel and Tender: The Real in Twentieth-Century Photography, London: Tate, 2003.

Steve Edwards, Photography: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (✓)

Jessica Evans (ed.), The Camerawork Essays: Context and Meaning in Photography, London: Rivers Oram Press, 1997.

Vilem Flusser, Towards a Philosophy of Photography, London: Reaktion Books, 2000.

Michael Fried, Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.

Michel Frizot, A New History of Photography, Cologne: Konemann, 1998.


Recent Inspiration by ellie berry

"One Christmas Luke asked for a drill. I think that’s where this starts.
He got it too and a decade later he was making an ad up North and he saw a forest and he thought there should be something hidden in that forest. A library, maybe. A bothy, this turned into, like the Scots have, shelters you’d be glad of if you were caught out in the wild. A bothy but for artists not the groundsmen ....
George Mallory might have been the first man to climb Everest. We don’t know but he might have before he died on the mountain. “Because it’s there” is what makes us different from chimps. Now our bothies are done and tenner bets you won’t get to all of them. Going to find one of them is more important than all the reading and looking you can do here.
Get out of the gallery. Art’s not just soft hands."

4 Bothies is a project I came across a little while ago. It is the exact combination of the outdoors and the arts that has me extremely excited, motivated, and inspired each time I read it. 

It is the kind of inspiration that really clicks at the moment. I think I may have been a little apprehensive finishing college this summer - afraid that it would all come to nothing. So I kept my part time job - but decided to also take part in two exhibitions, volunteer for the PhotoIreland Photofestival, and do a CELT course.  

Now that the summer is over and I have sufficiently worn myself out to the point of wanting daily naps, I think I might take some time to decide what happens next. 

"The Library" - Four Bothies

Slightly linked to this idea of the outdoors and space is a blog I read about the most remote place in Ireland. 

I found out about the 4 bothies project from the Irish Times Article from 2013 about the "60 most creative people in Ireland right now". While it's definitely no longer 2013, and I've barely waded through the list, I keep popping back to find another new name to look up. It's nice to read about artists that are where you're from.  

Next up - the best, easy to follow Web Design in 4 Minutes that I've ever seen - and it even looks like it would only take 4 minutes! Beautiful websites for everyone! 

And finally, work by one of my friends from college, Cale Perrin. Technically this is a slightly adapted variation of her work that we used for the poster of a group show we did. It was printed as a blue risograph print and turned out so beautiful. I also really love the combination of photography and sculpture.  Her work, along with many others, has me thinking more about what happens with the image after it is printed. 

New Climbing Website! by ellie berry


For a while I've been feeling like this site is getting a little cluttered, and so I am super excited to say that this morning I built a separate sit for all 'Climbing and the Outdoors' photography I do. That's not to say a small bit won't still crop up on this side, but now everything is starting to feel a little less claustrophobic. 

I chose the name allezberry  originally as a twitter handle; because 'allez' means 'go', and is a very popular climbing phrase of encouragement in the climbing world. Also, it sounds a bit like 'ellie'. Now I use it for multiple platforms, and so I thought it fitting name for a new website.

This website isn't going anywhere. It's going to remain my 'personal' site, with all the non-climbing work I create on it. The only changes will be me finishing the spring clean so the place has a flow to it. 

So go flick through the galleries on the new site (click the image above) and tell me what you think! 

Unleashed Pleasures by ellie berry

How can we work towards an active, critical understanding of the prevailing conventions of representation, particularly those surrounding photography? The discourse that surrounds photography speaks paradoxically of discipline and freedom, of rigorous truths and unleashed pleasures. 

Allan Sekula - Opening lines to The Traffic in Photographs


The Truth by ellie berry

'You know zat another term for an iconographer would be "photographer"? From the old word photus in Lataton, which means - '
'"To prance around like a pillock ordering everyone about as if you owned the place",' said William.
William nodded. He'd always wondered about that word. 

Accurate extract from The Truth by Terry Pratchett