If I had procrastinated during the summertime, I would not have been able to produce very many lumen prints for the Inverness show. Firstly, because they require bright direct sunlight. Secondly, they need hours and hours and then more hours to produce a decent print. The process takes advantage of expired paper, which casts several variables in your direction that you must contend with. You do not know if the paper will work and each paper type yields different colours and effects, rendering everything experimental and unquantifiable. Hours, days, and weeks are sometimes required to make one successful print. But when you get that print, oooooooh, it’s an amazing feeling!
For the days that where overcast I needed supplementary endeavours in which to immerse myself. Which was valuable, because it meant that I played around with a few experimental concepts which have opened several lines of enquiry.
The first experiments involved the employment of my box brownie cameras, using analogue film (a rich man’s game) and direct positive paper (still a rich man’s game, but not as bad as the first option.) Each media had its advantages and disadvantages. Film may be expensive, but you can make decent enlargements. The paper positives are cheaper, and you see the results straight away, but they are small, and one offs. Unless that is, you digitise them. With film your camera is loaded with 9 exposures. With the paper, your camera is loaded with only one exposure. To get round this, I took several cameras on protracted contemplative walks that would be repeated numerous times in one day till I got the images I wanted. It may sound annoying, but I enjoyed these perambulations very much.
In addition to the darkroom pieces are a couple of mixed media works. Although only a small component of the show, this exploration of paint made for a happy and long overdue return to the easel.
It feels f**king great to be making again! Even more amazing to see the framed works coherently telling the story of an explored theme. The endeavours of this year’s summer holiday exertions culminating in an exhibition that can be viewed at Eden Court Theatre on the first-floor gallery till Friday 1st of December. A joint show of recent works with my friend Jim Boon.