Thursday, 25 November 2010

V&A Shadow Catchers: Camera-less photography

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As I am down in London for a few days I was told about this exhibition at the V&A Museum and thought it sounded really interesting. SHADOW CATCHERS: Camera-less photography is an exhibition of 5 contemporary artists who have all used alternative methods of producing images without the aid of a camera. Instead the artists have developed unique ways of creating imagery using shadows, light, photographic paper, natural artifacts and other materials. The 5 artists are Pierre Cordier, Adam Fuss, Susan Derges, Floris Neususs and Gary Fabian Miller. My favorites from the exhibition were:

Pierre Cordier

Pierre Cordier's work is more like a painter or printmaker than a photographer, he replaces the canvas or printing plate with photo paper. He applies photographic developer to the paper to create dark areas and fixer to light tones.

This unique method allows him to create images impossible to realise by any other means. This process has become the artwork and his style is his technique.

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Gary Fabian Miller

Fabian Millers work was one of my favorite of the collections, he explores the cycle of time, from day - month - year and controls experiments by varying the durations of light exposure. His work was simple yet really energising.

"The pictures I make, are something as yet unseen, which may only exist on the paper surface, or subsequently my be found in the world. I am seeking a state of mind which lifts the spirit, gives strength and a moment of clarity."

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Susan Derges

Some of the work Susan had produced seemed almost impossible, most of them are photograms of water which she produces by submerging large sheets of photographic paper in rivers and using the moon and flashlight to create the exposure. her work is said to "examine the threshold between two interconnected worlds: between water and spirit"

She also produced some amazing clips of the evolution of a frog starting with frogspawn.

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I really enjoyed looking round the exhibition, I would never consider myself to be someone who knew alot about photography but I don't think that matters here at all. Its about realising what can be achieved and that sometime you should strip away all the modern technology and media that we cant help but turn to and actually force yourself to find another outcome. Its quite inspiring to see some of the literally amazing images that have been made by these 5 artists and to now see if I can maybe adopt some of that forward thinking.

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