Darkroom photography has always held a fascination for me. There is something magical about taking a photograph in one place and then summoning its appearance in another. I think it’s the closest to alchemy that I’m likely to get – but what is more exciting than following the rules of the darkroom – is breaking the rules. I met Joanna Garrett, a specialist in ‘experimental darkroom’ in 2017 and she has had me hooked ever since.
The experimental darkroom differs from the traditional darkroom in a number of ways – mainly that it there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of utilizing it, the aim is to find a methodology and aesthetic that work ‘for you’. Through trial, error and lots of research, we are working collaboratively as well as individually in order to develop new bodies of work.
This way of working fits with my printmaking and installation practice and the thrill of finding something that works, as well as subverting a traditional method really excites me. To read more about my experiments with softground etching click here.
For more information on my worked with sensors, animation and sound click here.
I have been looking forward to the ‘Masters’ masterclasses for some time. Anyone that knows me well will know how much I love to ‘upskill’. The ‘Masterclasses’ were a great opportunity to network with some very experienced artists and expand my own knowledge.
Sleigh’s research and portfolio are extensive, and her workshop was as enjoyable as it was informative. The aim of the workshop was to explore methods of drawing a composite image over two soft-ground plates and then correctly register them to print on the star wheel press.
The group prepared each plate, de-greasing and coating them with a traditional softground wax, once the plates had been prepared they were etched in copper-sulphate and cleaned in preparation for inking and printing.
One of the perks of my position as Printmaking Technician at the University of Central Lancashire is that I get to be involved with so many interesting and unique projects. Ceramic Frankenstein, delivered by Erik Kok and Rudi Bastiaans from The AKI Academy of Art and Design was certainly out of the ordinary.
‘Ceramic Frankenstein is a student project that combines diverse techniques in several workshops. We visit one of our partner universities, in this case, the University of Central Lancashire. We form groups of students from different departments: Printmaking, Ceramics, and Photography etc. The workshop lasts for a week, which ends with a small presentation on a location that complements the artwork’ – Erik Kok
A reoccurring theme in my practice is phenomenology – finding ways in which to articulate conscious experience.
This can seem to be an absurd and somewhat futile task, to create (often) two-dimensional works that capture or express a three-dimensional reality that exists in flux. For this reason, I avoid trying to creating a ‘fixed’ or static image that represents a place. The works are a gateway to a conversation about the place rather than an illustration of place.
My aim is therefore to create work that interacts with the environment in which it is presented. If the lighting changes, then so should the work, because after all, that is what ‘place’ is, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty says in the Phenomenology of Perception.
‘If I walk along a shore towards a ship which has run aground, and the funnel or masts merge into the forest bordering on the sand dune, there will be a moment when these details suddenly become part of the ship, and indissolubly fused with it. As I approached, I did not perceive resemblances or proximities which ﬁnally came together to form a continuous picture of the upper part of the ship. I merely felt that the look of the object was on the point of altering, that something was imminent in this tension, as a storm is imminent in storm clouds.’