skopelos documentation

In making work that responded to Skopelos, I thought about the sea. The sea holds memories of time, place and events. I am interested in how we perceive and experience the natural world and how we understand our place in relation to the environment. With this in mind, I started to make my sea photogram series.

 

The sea is always moving, so making photograms of the sea is like suspending time. I'm working without a camera; there is no lens. I place the paper directly into the water to make the image. This is an attempt to connect the self and the other, working without an intermediary. The series of sea photograms are intriguing studies of time and place invoking a sense of history, memory and yearning. The work also speaks of our insignificance, especially when considering time geologically.

 

I worked at night, using the outside as my darkroom. Because I couldn't see that well I tried to tune into the movement and rhythm of the water in and out, like a breath. It occurred to me how this exercise engaged the body and mind.

 

The nightly journey down the hill in order to work at the waters edge became almost like a ritual. I would wait until the sea front taverna had closed (should there be any chance of light spill while I worked) before making my exposures in the sea.

 

During the day, the darkroom I had set up became the place where I developed my exposures from the previous night, organised and reflected, ready to put any tweaks into action later.

 

I enjoyed the haptic qualities of working with photographic paper and the development process. The contact prints demonstrate the distinctive qualities of the analogue process. Photography produces vanished moments which are no longer there; it can relate to loss as well as holding and showing. These images help reveal the physicality of nature and the work provokes questions of how individually we experience nature and the role it plays in our lives.

 

I had the opportunity to meet and interact with other artists from around the world at the studio. I loved the self guided nature of the residency, leaving room for experimentation and thoughtful reflection, enabling the artist to shape the residency to fit their work. The beautiful landscape and spacious studio became a backdrop for creative output, allowing me to focus on work and think.

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