VC05 B05 – Memorable Images

The objective of this activity is to explore the visual aspects that make an images memorable.


List the images that come to mind when you first think of the following:

1. Art work

2. Musical performer

3. Advertisement


Discuss the visual aspects of the images that make them so memorable.  The lecture in week 5 will be applicable about this subject.  There are many books and websites that discuss why certain images are memorable.  Some questions to use as starters are


Is the image balanced?

Is it clean, clear and not distracting

Is the composition of the image affecting its ability to be remembered?

Is the message simple?

Is the message unexpected

Is the message concrete, creditable and/or emotional?

Post a 100 word reflection on your blog on each of the 3 areas discussed above.


For this exercise, I decided to go with the very first image that popped into my head on each subject.  Then I had to hunt down copies of those images.

Image 1 – Art work.

pro hart

The rabbit trappers wife – Pro Hart.

Image sourced from

This image is memorable to me, because I saw the original on a visit to the Hart gallery in Broken Hill when I was a child, and Mr Hart was there and asked if I liked it – I did :>

This is a well balanced landscape image, with a fore, middle and background.  The title leads the viewer’s eye into the image, looking for the wife, much as a hunter or trapper would look for signs of their quarry.  The stylised use of colour works well to direct the viewer as well, and is only a little too saturated for the reality of the Australian outback.

By placing the title subject in a darker area of the image, Hart keeps the viewer interested, he also makes the viewer feel as if they have stumbled on the scene, not walked into a posed diorama, such as American Gothic.  His portrayal of the subject in a domestic setting dates the image, reminding the viewer that there was a time when many Australians had to live an itinerant lifestyle, moving to wherever work or sustenance could be found, and surviving hardships that so many of the viewers of this artwork could never imagine.

This is certainly not near the top of Hart’s most memorable images, however, it is certainly memorable to me, the memory of seeing this in person still raises very fond memories, and I credit it with giving me the interest to study art in high school, several years later.

Image 2 – Musical Performer

For me, there are only two possibilities here – Jim Morrison from The Doors, and Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot.  For the purposes of this exercise, I feel that Morrison would be the more likely choice.



Image sourced from


This is probably the second most iconic image of Morrison, after the ‘young lion’ album cover.  This is how I prefer to see him. Active, performing and enjoying himself on stage.

Part of what makes this shot memorable is that it is an action shot, a performer performing, and while the fashion dates the image, the pose is universal among band singers through many time periods.  The timelessness of monochrome lets the viewer immerse themselves in the energy and mood of this image, experiencing Morrison’s legendary stage presence and raw sexuality from a close perspective.  It’s message is simple and clear.. Here I am, adore me.  This also works on another level, that of a publicity image for the singer AND his band, as so many bands are judged by their lead singers.

The shooting star that was The Doors as a band is pretty much encapsulated in this image, edgy, dark, energetic and just a little dangerous, making this image memorable and compelling to me.


Image 3 – Advertising

As someone who avoids advertising conscientiously (I don’t own a television, and I do not read magazines or newspapers), I was quite surprised that I had an image immediately in my mind when reading through this paper.



Image sourced from

I remember vividly the early ‘United Colours of Benneton advertisement (note the American spelling used in this version).  like others in the series, it was controversial to the extreme, and many were only around for a few hours before being redacted and apologies issued .. in the days before the internet, this add was the original VIRAL, everyone talked about it, on trains, around the water cooler, on the news.. This add was the hot topic everywhere. That was the point.  People talked about it, AND Benneton, who’s colourful, mass produced clothing was quite upmarket at the time.

This was my favourite of them all, this ad was made when Apartheid was still legal, when inter-racial couples were still stared at in some places,  and yet here was a CLOTHING company not only promoting the harmony (or UNhate, as they termed it), but didn’t even showcase their clothing on models while doing it.

This image is quite minimalist and stark, the subjects, a neutral background, and the company logo, nothing else, no happy smiling models wearing this season’s must have’s, no status symbols, in a time when life was all about status, just a wordless plea to make a better world.  This image appealed to you on so very many levels that it is still considered a landmark in advertising today, nearly 3o years after making it’s debut.  That’s the power of a memorable image.  Right there, in one sentence.


About Rattimoth

Middle aged with freckles, the rest is subject to change without notice.
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