I am interested in the relationship between memory and photography and the question around whether a photograph can capture an actual experience and trigger genuine recollections.

My work revolves around a house I feel deeply attached to, which has been shared through twelve generations and is now in decay. I grew up in this house, which is charged with history, and want to keep a true record of it, challenging the belief a photograph cannot seize the true spirit of an experience or place and reconsidering the role of affect in the archive.



Photography has always been linked to remembrance, from the daguerreotypes of the 1840s to the camera phone snapshots we take today; our pictures recall family members, friends, trips and all kinds of other special moments we want to hold on to. The belief our photographs hold our memories is contestable, however, and I am interested in the theory that the image of the photograph can take the place of the memory, concealing it and replacing the original impression left by the experience. Notable critics have supported this presumption, arguing photography captures too much information to function as memory. Roland Barthes, following Proust in Remembrance of Things Past, states a still image cannot tap into a past experience the same way a smell or sound might, claiming memory is not so much image as sensation. I’d like to counter this presumed effect of the photograph, creating images which are the visual equivalent of smell and sound, activating the Involuntary Memory* and triggering genuine recollections.

Working in black and white, shooting frontally with a large format camera, making photograms directly in the darkroom, and painting with light during hour-long exposures, I seek to evoke a sense of presence and musicality in my work, targeting the senses and making pictures you can feel as well as see.

* A sub-component of memory that occurs when cues encountered in everyday life evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. Voluntary memory, its binary opposite, is characterised by a deliberate effort to recall the past - Wikipedia


WORKS

THE AFFECTIVE ARCHIVE [Work in progress]
A compilation of resonating spaces and intimate belongings, found in the house I’m documenting, which have been shared through generations. My aim with the work is to overcome the disjuncture between actual experience and photographic representation through strongly perceptual images which elicit a visceral response and spark a wider discussion around affect and the archive.

A PERVADING ABSENCE
[2019]



An interrogation on space and the void, physical and psychological, drawing from the experience of alienation and emotional disconnect.





LIGHTSCAPES; A THEATRE OF MEMORIES [2019]

Walking the same ground twelve generations have walked before me, I use long exposure photography and light painting to conjure a material perception of the immaterial, reactivating the space and suggesting a spiritual dimension, tapping into the history, memory and energy of the house I'm documenting, embodying a theatre of memories.