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Andrea Selwood: Home Science


Tue 7 Aug 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Wed 8 Aug 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 9 Aug 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 10 Aug 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 11 Aug 2012, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: Photospace, Level 1, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: James Gilberd

My personal history of coastal living and references to water in previous artworks provides some ‘back story’ to this exhibition. It follows that my ideas were also stimulated by ‘Vessels’, a kinetic installation of light on water by Daniel K Brown (City & Sea Museum), c.2010. I have long held an interest in applied photography since finding physics textbook examples of scientifically recorded phenomena, for example, the time-based capture of the distance between lightning strikes.

These photo-based works bypass the camera to ‘draw directly with light’ during a brief period of darkroom experiment. I first generated this imagery using a jam jar and water effects recorded by the photogram technique, where objects are placed then exposed onto light sensitive paper and chemically processed. In the production of images, I explored different light sources, viewpoints and angles of projection along with sequences of a movement narrative.

Maintaining this “low tech” makeshift approach, I set up light refractions incorporating a variety of domestic glass vessels which when filled with water operated as my lens, prism and condenser. By fixing a torches light beam to pass through the water-filled vessel at a certain angle to the paper I formed a kind of rough science (perhaps unrepeatable). Essentially, I was distorting the function of the photographic enlarger; controlling the passage of light then tinkering with exposure settings. Inevitably, this involved trial and error plus an element of chance, accident or the unexpected.

The sequence or narrative behind these images evolved intuitively during the process of making the work. The figurative forms ambiguity might suggest the different stages of an organic, chemical reaction or equally could be of animal, human anatomical or biological origin. The refracted light effect of gestural movement and ephemeral mark making was similar to my experience of watercolour painting.

At post production stage, the computer has permitted me the freedom of presentation, colour and scale. Somewhat ironically, the commercial Lambda photographic process has liberated the production of the “one-off” photogram print.

Andrea Selwood - June, 2012

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