This exhibition of work by the photographer gives a fascinating insight into the Woodstock Festival and the people who attended.
Displayed chronologically, from people arriving at the festival to the sights that could be seen as you wondered around Woodstock, viewers really get a sense of the passion, rebellion and freedom that people felt when attending the festival.
Considered to be one of the most important music festivals in history, Woodstock took place at a time when the world was changing and people began to realise the power that they had to change the world.
It is through Baron Wolman’s sharp and challenging photographs that those looking back at the event now can really get a sense of how fast the world was changing. But the images also manage to capture the different layers to the festival from representing freedom and rebellion to at its simplest a celebration of passion and music.
Wondering around these images, Wolman’s style is remarkably natural, capturing people when they were least expecting it, getting a real sense of their emotions at that split moment.
Photographs such as Little Girl Playing Amongst Gongs has plenty of charm about it because it is clear that she is completely unaware of what is happening around her, lost in her own world of imagination. But it also has an undertone of answering why people wanted to change the world: so that future generations had a more positive outlook on the world and the people in it.
All of the images offer a very different perspective of the festival, picking out moments which don’t especially seem important on the surface, but put together with other images from the festival combine to create on overall vibe of people coming together to celebrate their values, concerns and feelings for the world, particularly important during this time when the Vietnam war was raging on.
Wolman’s photographs manage to capture this spirit of the festival, capturing gazes that seemed challenging but never aggressive as seen in Festival Goers on Their Way to Woodstock which also manages to convey the sense of disillusionment that people at the festival must have felt at the time.
A wonderful selection of images that arrive just on time celebrating summer festivals, but also at a time when in 2016 we feel that we have the power to change the world once again.
Woodstock by Baron Wolman is on display at Proud Camden until the 11th September. For more information visit: https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions.