Past Presence

The starting point for this work was the phenomenon of unreliable memory.

Accessing memory appears to be a constructive process. The mind recreates places and experiences in the moment of recollection. So how much if any, of our memories reflect objective truth?

What does it mean to our sense of self when memories become progressively augmented with fragments of imagined places, adjacent memories and stories, both internally authored and received? How can we understand the past when so much of it is uncertain, unreliable, illusory—constructed anew each time we recall it? The camera too, is instrumental in transforming a moment of objective truth into a false representation, altered irrevocably by the viewer's interpretation.

These questions, framed as a collision between objective reality and subjective interpretation are the themes this work seeks to explore.

This series was begun by returning to places of distant memory, places recalled from childhood but never revisited.

The camera recorded each scene as a digitally stitched panorama. The images were then transposed onto medium format celluloid as black and white negatives.

Scraps of carefully chosen materials treated with silver nitrate were exposed individually to the negatives in the darkroom, creating a fragment of the whole scene on each. The pieces were then collaged in layers back together, physically rebuilding each landscape of memory. An act of remaking the past.

Once complete, each physical reconstruction was photographed digitally and returned back into the original scene as a photocomposite.

This project is ongoing.

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Blue Pool
Descent
Quarry
Bounds
Blue Pool centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
Descent centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
Quarry centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
Bounds centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
C-Type prints on Fuji Matte 1159 x 469mm
Descent centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
Descent centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media
Past Presence
Descent centre | Silver nitrate treated mixed-media

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