Artist Statement: I see the modern camera as serious and restrictive. I am engaged with what a camera is and what constitutes a photograph. I draw technical diagrams and construct them using obscure household and recycled materials. Inventing new techniques such as airbrushing cyanotype onto synthetic surfaces and using gelatine to make paint for photo paper and as canvas primer.
Studying photographic components of the periodic table, I created my own photographic element table, I am experimenting with sustainable darkroom practices. Often producing ephemeral results. “I have committed heinous crimes against chemistry and photography” Man Ray.
I recently made a 4x5 monorail camera, pinhole cameras from a coat hanger, a wall clock (that takes 12 pinholes over 12 hours), an egg carton and my mouth and body. I have plans to build an immersive camera obscura as an installation, using skills I have learnt in the wood workshop and having set up my own darkroom, I’ve built a laser drawing machine over my developing tray and have made photograms with disassembled camera parts and marbles. I have used spray paint on photo paper before exposure and 15-year-old Rodinal film developer as paper developer. I am interested in perpetual motion, kinetic energy and how this might be applied to an interactive camera. It it’s bound to fail due to the laws of thermodynamics but its impossibility is quite against the linear progression of photography as a perfect optical transcription of reality.
Camera-less photography offers a direct dialogue between light and surface. I often use 50+ year old photo paper, as they produce unpredictable results due to uneven silver gelatine coating, fogging and warping.
Embracing the digital to share live videos of my process online in an attempt to establish some semblance of studio culture. I am engaged with creating a fun and explorative encounter in opposition to white cube galleries’ translations of physical exhibitions into a prescriptive scrolling experience. I am attempting to create an exhibition experience akin to walking. Physical and digital installation has revealed my practice plays with ‘gendered’ skills: feminine craft and craftsmanship. By installing stitch alongside photographic prints, I created a photographic quilt inspired by Catherine Opie’s Dyke (1993), I produced six, self-portraits of myself changing, of which adorn the quilt. I am interested in the traditional roles of women as home makers. Utilising, house-hold objects such as pegs, I also hung the self-portraits on my darkroom line.
I have engage with Sarah Pucill’s Stages of Mourning, Judith Butlers Gender Trouble and Catherine Russell’s ‘autoethnographic’ (1999). By appropriating colonial practises of simplifying unstable reality (such as cartography, photography and photogrammetry) I am challenging the boundaries of perspective, cropping, vanishing points and how this distorts reality and by extension its establishment of fixed beliefs surrounding the ‘other’. Kimberly Krimshaw and Hito Steryl’s discussion of imperial ‘othering’ of the non-homogenous has caused me to think of how my practise might become more intersectional and outside of binaries. I am interested in alternative ways of looking at history, such as Foucault’s ‘epochs’ and how my multi-disciplinary installations and machines might prompt discourse surrounding alternative approaches to practise, thought and the origin and agenda of the tools histographies are created with.