Electro Studios Project Space
26 – 30 October 2022
5 Seaside Rd, Saint Leonards-on-sea, TN38 0AL
Open 11-5pm Daily
Open Evening Friday 28 October 6 – 8pm
Cyanotype Workshop Thursday 27 October 2pm
Talks & Performances Sunday 30 October from 2pm
Ideas for Change, What is Culture Declares an Emergency – an open discussion around ways in which individual artists can make a difference within their practice, where to go for information and joining the conversation. Facilitated by Louise Whitham who wll be making her own pledge at the event. Other talks will follow on.
Image: © Ian Land
Curated by Whitham & Montague
Artists: Alison Bettles | Louise Whitham | Jude Montague | Ian Land | Rachael Williams | Estelle Vincent
As the year turns into its darkest months, intrepid artists prepare for our survival through the forthcoming winter by recording light with diverse materials. In the shadows we transform objects, moments, faces, land and ocean scapes into visual memories. This is a project exhibition about an alternative materiality incorporating mistake, analogue distortion, dirt dust and chemical inbalance. Failure is part of our potential outcome that we face as photographers looking into the dark.
The show brings together multiple interpretations of alternative process photography from a small selection of PhotoHastings artists and guests. Processes include portrait cyanotypes, pinholes, cyanotype wallpaper, projection (analogue & digital), photograms, adapted polaroids, shadowgrams, work-in-progress, visual poetry and alternative chemicals especially those featuring organic materials.
Video: Jude Montague | Soundbite: Director of Electro Studios Project Space, Colin Booth
Title of work : Some Arrangements, 2022
Capturing the beauty of the natural world, botanical imagery is an analogy for the passage of time; as flora and fauna germinate, flourish, and wither. Using the garden and its produce as subject these pinhole images capture light, shade and form of dark corners and floral studies.
Information: Alison Bettles
Jude Montague / Montague Armstrong
Title of work : Saule’s Spirits
These modern cyanotype portraits tap into the psychic presence of the subject. They are created by sunlight, and Saule is the Latvian sun goddess reflecting my love of singing Latvian folk songs and the pagan idea of divinity in the material.
Jude Montague with Matt Armstrong is Montague Armstrong. They have a print and music workshop at 15 Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea. Montague improvises prints using etching techniques developed at Camberwell College of Arts and her press was built for his own use by the technician who maintained the print equipment at North of England technical and arts colleges. The music of Montague Armstrong draws on the original and beautiful sounds of rescued analogue equipment in particular the mightly Hammond organ.
Information: Jude Montague
The Great North Wood
This ongoing project aims to map the remaining fragments of The Great North Wood with soil chromatograms. Soil chromatography is a photographic process used predominantly in agriculture to assess soil health. Finely ground soil is absorbed by filter paper that has been prepared with silver nitrate. The different elements in the soil mixture (microbiology, organic matter, and minerals) move through the paper at different rates through capillary action, resulting in distinctive patterns.
This project came to be during the COVID-19 pandemic; through our regular family lockdown walks in the local woods, followed by an inspiring Zoom workshop led by artist and environmentalist Hannah Fletcher.
The Great North Wood is a sprawling ancient landscape that gradually became fragmented by the development of south London’s suburbs – but whose name lives on in districts such as Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Forest Hill and Penge (‘edge of wood’). Once stretching for several miles between the Thames and Croydon, today The Great North Wood consists of a series of small woodlands, parks, cemeteries, sports grounds, railway embankments and gardens – all of which provide a home for nature within a modern urban landscape. London Wildlife Trust.
Information: Estelle Vincent
Title of work : Temporary / Contemporary
My work focuses on environmental issues and social history. I use unusual photography techniques and alternative processes to make multi-layered artworks which have the mark of my training as painter and printer. This collection is the result of taking action to favour green issue to make and exhibit my photography. Influenced by my ‘Culture Declare’ pledge I created a variety of artworks using a range of less harmful chemicals and alternative substrates. The installation includes cyanotypes pizza boxes, anthotype wallpaper and chlorophyll prints using leaves. I discovered a particular beauty that these natural processes give and have realised a satisfying alternative to archival permanence. All my images are photographs taken near or in my home on the seafront. Capturing the shadows as they come and go and watching the sea build and destroy has given way to a temporary and contemporary art.
Information: Louise Whitham
“The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea” (Vladimir Nabokov).
Seascapes is a small series of long exposure pinhole photographs, shot on colour slide positive film which expired some time in the 1980s, home developed in colour negative film chemistry. Exposures varied between 30 and 90 mins, as the sun was rapidly setting on a few cold February late afternoons, and the correct time for an exposure was almost entirely guesswork. The ghostly figure in some of the pictures is the photographer, standing in the frame for just a part of the exposure time.
Ian Land is a photographer and curator, and the editor of Silverhill Press, a small publisher specialising in photography, art, poetry and fiction books, based in St Leonards on Sea. He exhibits regularly. He is currently working on a project documenting the length of the English Channel, from Dover to Plymouth, which he hopes to finish by the end of 2023.
Information: Ian Land
Title of work : Doctored Polaroids
Back in the pre-digital age the polaroid was an essential tool not a party pleaser. It was used, especially the gorgeous and now frightening rare 10×8 inch as an aid to composition as we waited for the proof sheets to return from the lab.
Always a delight watching the image develop before your eyes like a magic trick. Williams is using Polaroids here as a method of making an instant record and then by doctoring them creating a new version of reality. A new history if you like.
To put things into context… Williams recent works have focussed on endangered animals using as reference points iconography and primitive depiction of the cave paintings of Lascaux and Australia.
Working through this she has become increasingly interested in what she calls “Museumification” i.e. the placement in a new environment with straight walls and glass cabinets of the taxidermied carcasses and skeletons of extinct animals and in fact of other historical objects such as Roman artefacts and the like. The context changes the object out of all recognition so it seems that our preserving of history is more subjective than objective and barely real at all.
Williams says she “is just beginning to walk down this path and fortuitously this opportunity of an alternative photography has presented itself”. So here is the beginning of her journey into visual memories.
Information: Rachel Williams