LOVE NOTES

2019 -

Unique prints from folded 6x7 film negatives

Ongoing work in progress.

PUNCHED

2018-2019

Unique original snapshots, hand-punched and layered

Chromogenic prints, silver gelatin prints, Polaroids, archival tape

With this work, I punch out the main subjects. It is a playful and provocative act. It transitions the subject to one of process, and imposes a different kind of viewing. The circular shape of the punches become little clouds of thought, or speech bubbles in space. Black holes where information or knowledge continues to leak out. These spaces invite the imagination to fill them back up again.

THE OUTSKIRTS

2018

Archival pigment prints on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth; layered with original pages from vintage family photo albums
17 x 22"

Unique (not editioned). Signed and titled verso

I remove pages from old family photo albums and use them to shield the main subjects of snapshots, which I have re-photographed and enlarged. The album pages perform the role of censor, of veil, and by extension, a manipulator of content. Contrary to the original album pages being a site ‘to have and to hold’ family history, the pages restrain and enclose. The periphery becomes the focus.

 

THE LONG WAY HOME

2017 - ongoing

Archival pigment prints from buried Kodak negatives, on Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag
Unique in size, ranging from approx. 33 x 43” to approx. 42 x 60”

Edition of 1 + 1 AP. Signed & titled

Before leaving Rhode Island in 2012 to return to my birthplace of South Australia, I buried some negatives near the house I rented. The damaged negatives were of my childhood home in Australia, now in ruin. I’d laid them to rest with flowers I’d pressed, flowers that reminded me of home. In the fall of 2017, having returned to Rhode Island and bought a house three blocks from where I’d lived, I tried to remember where I’d hidden the negatives. I had only memory to go by. I buried 25 of them, the age I was when I first left Australia to live abroad. So far, I have found seven.

Every week I walk the neighborhood searching for these decaying artifacts. As I do, I get to know better the place in which I now live but find difficult to call home.

EXCAVATIONS

2015

Archival pigment prints, hand sanded with professional grade sandpaper, on Canson Infinity Rag Photographique
Print 14.5 x 14.3" on paper 18.5 x 18.3"

Edition of 1 + 1 AP. Signed & titled

Unique original snapshots hand sanded with professional grade sandpaper
Various sizes ranging from approx. 2 x 2" to approx. 6 x 6"

'Excavations' explores the complexities of material interface with intangible concepts. The social space of family storytelling is an invisible process into which we are born. We share colorful narratives, sometimes using snapshots as cues. We on-tell these stories and join them, or add to them, through photography. As a child, I loved learning the friendly arguments from mis-remembering or embellishing the visual 'facts'. It is this exaggeration that using sandpaper afforded. I blurred detail, smoothed areas, roughened up patches, and removed people or landscapes altogether. Grinding and polishing these photographs also is a literal assault. There is a ‘no turning back’. But the act of sanding was not spurred by contempt. Instead, it re-choreographs stories beyond the album. The space of the photograph is reset. Reworking manipulates the past, remaking it in the present. 

 

DEVELOP BEFORE

2014-2015

Archival pigment prints on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth
Print 20 x 20" on paper 24 x 24"

Edition of 3 + 1 AP (AP NFS). Signed, numbered & titled

One of my grandpa's most curious collections was of Kodak 126 film boxes. On the outside of each box, where Kodak had printed 'Develop Before' together with the film’s expiry date (a practice that dates from the end of the 19th century) grandpa had circled the date in red pen. It was as if he wanted to ensure the snapshots he took would be revealed at their best and freshest.

There is homogeneity to how we make snapshots the world over. Grandpa's boxes have their own unique marks of age – wrinkles, scars, and marks – things we tend to avoid in family photography. They were also never intended to be subjects of photography: the boxes are trash – nothing of value, though to grandpa, they were worth something. I was compelled to photograph them using a modified Kodak Instamatic, expired chemistry and a scanner.

 

THRICE UPON A TIME

2012

Archival pigment prints from damaged negatives, on Museo Portfolio Rag
Print 27.3 x 36" on paper 31.3 x 40"

Edition of 3 + 1 AP (AP NFS). Signed, numbered & titled

I grew up on a dairy farm in South Australia. Falling milk prices and rising maintenance costs forced my parents, under the threat of bankruptcy, to sell everything and leave in 1989.

Twenty-two years later, Mum and Dad performed a collaborative 'homecoming' on my behalf. Every month for one year, they revisited our former farm, wearing on the soles of their shoes a set of negatives I had made at the farm in 2005, when I took photographs of places where they had made snapshots of me as a child. As my parents walked the farm, the negatives became abraded and imprinted with local dirt and debris. The negatives were then returned to me, some so damaged they had to be pieced together with tweezers.

This series is a movement of reclamation and transcription. Since we no longer work the land with our hands, I work it through the lens, and tread, of my parents. The dominant motive for this work is my longing for an idealized vision of home. The resulting images mythologize my holy land.

 

SELF DIAGNOSIS

2011

Archival pigment prints on Canson Infinity Rag Photographique
Print 6.5 x 9.3” on paper 8.5 x 11”

Edition of 3 + 1 AP (AP NFS)
Signed, numbered & titled

Self Diagnosis is a part-photographic, part-psychological study of failure. I expose personal snapshots on the back of each of the ten inkblots from the Rorschach inkblot test. The work investigates the consequences of opening myself up to visual interpretation; the exposure of items typically guarded; and the construction of truth versus fiction in the family album.

PHOTOS OF ME WITHOUT ME

2011

Unique snapshots, hand cut and mounted to Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Trimmed to 12 x 12”

In this series of unique original prints, I reenact the family album through the deliberate DIY act of scissoring myself from snapshots and then realigning the hand-cut splinters. The works are more than altered souvenirs of my childhood; they are gestural, spatial re-recordings. There is preciousness to my existing in the album, which I call into question. This exercise of elimination, re-appropriation, and change gives me the chance to re-determine and redesign how my past is displayed from hereon.

 

ATTENTIONAL LANDSCAPES

2007-2008

Archival digital c-prints
Paper 35.6 x 35.6"

Edition of 3 + 1 AP (AP NFS). Signed, numbered & titled

The Ishihara Colour Test is the most common clinical test for color blindness. But like mirages, the circles of randomized dots are just optical phenomena. In this series, I undertake quasi-scientific experiments in manipulating the intended meaning and function of family photographs. Selectively and meticulously exposing snapshots through the Ishihara test plates, I explore how we search and process imagery.