Tuesday, 6 March 2012

White Cube Bermondsey

A couple of weekends ago I visited the new White Cube space in Bermondsey. But before I get into the exciting news about that I'll fill the void since my last post. Now it has been a while since I've updated my blog(ages actually) but I can assure you I haven't totally abandoned the wonderful world of art and photography. I have been out and about the past few months taking in lots of new places and experiences. The spring/summer saw me taking in the cultural delights of Amsterdam, Brighton, Devon and Cornwall as well as many local trips to my next door neighbour London. Whilst in Amsterdam I re-visited Foam, the brilliant photography gallery I loved so much the last time I went. In Cornwall I went for the first time to the Tate in St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth gallery. And visited lots of new and old places in good old Londontown.

But a couple of weekends ago I was finally rewarded for my part in a White Cube project. A whole year ago I was back at the White Cube warehouse helping out on a project for Anselm Kiefer, having half-forgotten about hoping to see the final piece in an exhibition I was very excited to see the shiny new White Cube website and to discover they had opened a new space, with Kiefer to be one of the exhibitors. So I hop-footed it down to Bermondsey (stopping at Borough Market on the way for a few treats) and lo and behold one of the pieces that I had been working on was there in the exhibition looking splendid!(See images above) The rest of the show was great, I was in total awe of the size of the space, as I expecting something more on the scale of the Hoxton or Mason's Yard sites. So all in all a good last few months.
I will be posting soon about new work of my own and hopefully not leaving so much time in between my posts as last time.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

"Light was needed to create the images but ultimately it also caused their destruction."

This is some brand new experimentation of mine but it is something I have been thinking of doing for quite a while. I have always struggled with the fact that my pieces of work are ephemeral and that if they are displayed they will fade and, in a sense, be destroyed.

My third year work did concentrate more on allowing the pieces to fade over the time that they were displayed in a gallery space and it soon became linked to performance art. The work had a life, once it was taken down from its space in the gallery it would have completed its life cycle.
The work I am currently making allows the image to be preserved.

In the early days of photography Fox Talbot and his associates were attempting to find the most effective way to fix the photographs they were making. Light was needed to create the images but ultimately it also caused their destruction.
The desire I have to show people the images I have made and the fear that too much exposure will eventually destroy them was felt long before my time in the early 1800s by Thomas Wedgwood. He created images, which were probably very similar to ones I am making today, but frustratingly found no way to fix them,

"only by keeping his results in darkness could they be prevented from becoming total dark blankness: he showed them almost furtively, by the light of a candle" (Newhall, 2006, p13)

When methods were discovered that would allow the early photographers to fix their images there were still problems with how to display them. Too much exposure to natural light would still cause some damage to the image. Delicate daguerreotypes were kept under glass, in velvet lined cases to prevent them from becoming damaged by light and to stop their surfaces becoming worn away.

Later ambrotypes, which are negatives on glass displayed on a black background to produce a positive image, became more popular as they were easier to produce and slightly less delicate than daguerreotypes. They were given the look of the daguerreotype by being placed in similar decorative cases.

Having a photograph in a small case gives it a more personal aura, it is an individual and private experience to view it. It gives the photograph status as a precious object. It says this image should be viewed on its own, separate from any others. Even a series of them would demand that they be viewed as individual objects.

I purchased some ambrotypes from ebay, removed the original images and replaced them with my own prints. I made these prints specifically for this project. The silhouettes of the plants are delicate and soft and they would disappear very quickly if displayed in a frame in daylight. In their cases they are protected from light and other damage. However each time they are opened and viewed they will fade a very small amount, something that would only be noticeable after a long period of time. This allows for only short viewings of the image, which adds to the preciousness and importance of them.

The images themselves comment on nature and its fragility, they show the simple, but beautiful forms of plants. They could also relate to those first photographic experiments and the botanic cyanotype documents created by Anna Atkins. The images reflect the fact that nature is ever changing, even if we don't notice it at first and that it needs to be protected before being damaged forever.

Newhall, B. (2006) The History of Photography, New York, Museum of Modern Art

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Some more portraits

Or should that be some "Moore" portraits? Anyway, I made some more portraits in my style, this time I had wet hair so the hair in the image is more defined and the moisture created a colour change on the paper. I wanted to scan them but they're too big so here's some photos of them on the wall. Again its just an experiment but I'm quite happy with the results of these.


Some of my outdoor work.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

White Cube Antics

This was my last week working at the White Cube warehouse. I've been working on a project for Anselm Kiefer....his show will open at Hoxton Square on the 11th March, unfortunately the piece I have been working on will not be on display in this particular show but hopefully I will get to see it in situ at some point.
It was also the opening of the Mona Hatoum show 'Bunker', at Mason's Yard on Thursday evening so of course I attended that. I've only fairly recently become familiar with her work and I particularly like the piece thats currently on show at the Whitechapel.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

You can travel the world, but nothing comes close to the Bournemouth coast

Some of my work made in Bournemouth, such good memories, need to go back soon!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Happy New Year everyone. Before Christmas I was asked about creating some kind of portrait using my method of working. I have never tried this before as I always work with landscape, therefore I had my doubts about how well it would work, but there was only one way to find out....

The top image shows a scan of the original piece. To create this I took a sheet of photographic paper straight from the box and laid my head down on it, in daylight, for about 5 minutes. When I took my head off the paper my silhouette was captured. There is not a lot of detail in the image but I expected that, what I didn't expect was that something that is rarely captured in an image was clearly visible. The pink shape near the mouth and nose is actually the mark my own breath made on the paper. The water vapour in my exhalations caused a chemical change in the paper changing the colour of it. A trace of the subject is now embedded in the image itself.

The bottom image is my attempt to create a more detailed portrait, something that might appeal to more commercial audiences. I layered a digital image of myself over the scan of the original piece. This then gives more detail and is recognisable as a certain person. Not too sure if it works or not.. or if the the two images together create a contradiction. If you have any thoughts, let me know!

(Photoshop is not my strong point so apologies for the mistakes there!)

Friday, 3 December 2010


Some Icy Pictures to celebrate the recent snow!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

New Work - Hainault Forest

Some new work made this afternoon in Hainault Forest.

Shadow Catchers

A bit late with this post but a couple of weeks ago I went to the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the V&A. Of course I had to go to this one since camera-less photography is kind of my thing.
It was amazing to see some of the Susan Derges and Garry Fabian Miller pieces in reality but I was ever so slightly disappointed with the show. I felt the space wasn't really big enough and everything was squeezed in. I also wasn't so sure about each of the four artists being separated into their own room. It was worth the £5 entry, but I'm glad it wasn't any more costly than that!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Welsh Wonders

I travelled across to Wales last weekend for one of my oldest friend's wedding. An incredible experience, I cannot really put in to words, perhaps the 1000 photographs I took on the trip will at least give some indication to the level of enjoyment, emotion and appreciation that was felt by myself and, as I hope, by others.

The wedding ceremony took place in Swansea, which is a town full of character and we very much enjoyed our stay there, however for myself the location of the reception was one of the highlights of the weekend. We danced the night away at Rhossili Activity Centre, located just a few minutes away from the beautiful Rhossili Bay (pictured, second from top). The setting couldn't have been more perfect and complemented the wedding very well.

Of course this post has, seemingly, little to do with my current artistic practice but the whole trip gave me a great deal of inspiration and drive to start creating more work and to visit more places around the UK and thats never a bad thing!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

White Cube Internship

Last week I sarted an internship in the White Cube Archival department which is about a 20 minute walk down the road from the Hoxton Square site. Mostly just filing at the moment but its very interesting to get to find out about so many different artist's exhibtions and works. Hopefully things will pick up a bit soon, in the meantime I need to find a paid job as well as not forget about the fact that I have a degree in photography and enjoy making work!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Chine moves to the City

So we moved the Chine show to Brick Lane, London a couple of weeks ago now. The show was on for four full days with the private view opening night on Thursday 8th July. It was a combined exhibition featuring the Photography, Fine Art and Illustration courses from the AUCB and I must say I believe it was a complete success!
All the work I exhibited in this show was different to the work in the Bournemouth show. This was because, as you may well know by now, my work involves working with unfixed photographic paper that is continually changing in colour so a piece can only really be shown exclusively in one exhibition. I had a body of work consisting of five separate prints and these were spread throughout the whole exhibition, mixing with the work of Fine Art and Illustration.
Although the concept of allowing the prints to change and almost be destroyed as they are exhibited is strong I still have a desire to keep the beautiful colour and form of the prints and stop it from changing any further.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Show

Photos from the private view of the AUCB Graduate show.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

AUCB Graduate Exhibition

Up goes the uni exhibition. This is one of my final pieces, Landscape, April 14. The piece is hung in a darker corner to allow a fairly slow change in colour over the period of the exhibition.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Art of Cress

A, perhaps futile, attempt to grow cress on a sheet of fibre based photographic paper...... needless to say it did not work. Nothing for the seeds to anchor their little roots in and the paper dried up too quickly.
The seeds are now stuck to the paper, unable to carry on growing but now a part of something else.....

Friday, 14 May 2010

One More...

Last Thursday, the day before my hand-in, I took one more early morning trip to Queens Park with a couple of rolls of paper. The forest looked particularly green on that morning, as the top photo shows. I chose a different spot, good to work in, although I was confronted by a very small but very angry jack russell!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sand Cloud

Some very tiny work, I think this is the smallest piece I have ever made, its a 2.5x2.5 inch square from a box of old Kodak paper I recently bought on eBay.
On Monday I went for an early morning cycle to Branksome Beach and took an assortment of paper with me. I took two long strips and wove them around the rocks and the sand. I also took some different sheets of old fibre-based paper including these small ones. The change in colour on the small ones happened very fast despite it being a cloudy day, they went from a bright white to a brilliant pink right before my eyes.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Back to Hengistbury Head

Another trip to Hengistbury Head today, it was raining unfortunately which is not so good when trying to work with a piece of paper that is twice the size of you but I had some help from a lovely friend! I took two sheets out that were about 4 - 5 metres long and a couple of thin strips about the same length. Some really nice colours on the paper today and a good spot to work despite the hundreds of mosquitos!!