Alchemical Ensemble show focuses on obscure processes
I am attracted to alternative ways in which cameras see the world. I was trained as a painter and printmaker. I was asked to teach photography at my school in 1986. I had never previously been in a darkroom but after a year or so of teaching the course, my fascination with photographic possibilities prompted me to give up printmaking for photography. I built my first pinhole cameras about two years later when all my camera equipment was stolen.
I attempt to give a painterly quality to my photographs by modifying them with bleaches, fixer, toners and emulsions as well as exposing them to light at inappropriate times. I am one of many artists who find it a challenge to explore the alchemy of melding dissimilar media, hoping to create a rich kaleidoscopic surface that is as seductive as the image
The largest body of my work consists of pinhole cityscapes; an ongoing series I call “The Bent Cities Project”. Having lived and photographed in urban environments most of my life, I have witnessed the constant flux of cities – the sustained birth and decay of urban spaces. I have photographed these places many times over the years where at times they have become altered, have declined or have been completely replaced with something new. I mimic this urban change by curving, twisting or angling the negatives in my pinhole cameras to create “bent” cityscapes of an indeterminate time. I want these images to look as if they have become luminous wrecks of a dubious age, leaving surface time maps chronicling the signs and blemishes of extended use – images tainted by humans, the sun, weather and the seasons.