School of Art
Material Memories: an exhibition of contemporary Ambrotypes4 February 2008 – 20 March 2008
Over the past three years I have been studying towards a PhD In Fine Art Practice at the School Of Art, Aberystwyth University. I am working with the Wet Plate Collodion Process, a predecessor of film photography, popular between the 1850s and 1880s.
The exhibition is of imagery taken from personal family snapshots, recreated as Ambrotypes. An Ambrotype is a collodion negative on glass, which when viewed against a dark background appears as a positive image. In bringing together photography’s history and my own family archive I am meditating on photography and memory, and the material nature of the photograph as a memento mori.
“Family photography can operate at this junction between personal memory and social history, between public myth and personal unconscious. Our memory is never fully ‘ours’, nor are the pictures ever unmediated representations of our past. Looking at them we both construct a fantastic past and set out on a detective trail to find other versions of a ‘real’ one.”