I think Bardry is now a much broader thing than the ancient Bards would have even imagined. I ‘m sure if a new instrument was invented any Bard worth his salt would have immediately picked it up to learn it’s possibilities. So, too I think that the visual arts must be included if Bardry included they learning and reciting of history.
Today’s historical recording is done in many ways, blogging for one but also photography. People get all weirded out about photography during ritual but since we don’t have a lot of sketch artists sitting outside of every ritual this leaves the recording to the photographer/Bard.
How are people in the future going to know what happened in today’s rituals if someone doesn’t record it? I’m that person for TOILA and Womenspirit most of the time. All our rituals are photographed and all our other celebrations. People who don’t want to be photographed have to stand in an area I can shoot around and tell me they don’t want to be photographed.
They have to tell me because I post our rituals and events on Youtube if I make a slide show. This also lets people who have moved away or can no longer participate see what went on and the people they love. We can also check out what we did for altars at a particular ritual, see who called a corner or did a presentation or anything else we want to know like what Goddesses were invoked.
I try to take the best pictures I possibly can and make everyone look good. I also have to remember to give someone my camera if I’m participating in the ritual. I am just as much a priestess in ritual as a corner caller or any other person in ritual. I have to be respect full of the space and I have to be as unobtrusive as possible. I wish other people took more pictures in rituals so we can all see what happens. It also lets newbies see what a public ritual looks like.
I had a dear friend take pictures of my ordination and I’m glad I did because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t remember a darn thing. I treasure those photos.
So yes, I think photography is a very important function of a Bard if they are so inclined. File it under archivist.