A1 revisited

I’ve been thinking about closing the loop on A1 as part of my rework. As one attempt at this work I shot lace curtains in Lacock Village but couldn’t find a suitable second side to the story. I photographed the lace curtains because Lacock was home to Fox Talbot and some of his iconic images of lace. Now, the tenant villagers rely on lace to supply a shred of privacy from the hordes of tourists with cameras (I count myself in that number too).

Having started to learn darkroom skills I wondered about making photograms of net curtains and about pairing these with the Lacock images. Or perhaps with the lace images that I made at home. So I went to the darkroom with Holly and a bag full of net curtain fabric and made photograms. Then I came home and scanned them. Here are some of the photograms paired with images including the same net fabric, either in situ at Lacock Village or as part of a set constructed in my kitchen.



Obviously there is work to be done here. The images are of differing sizes and differing post processing, I’m still trying to find the best way to scan the photograms. I think the FT connection is diluted when I use images taken at home. I need to go through my archive and find more Lacock images, I definitely have more.

However. I do very much like the presentation of the lace curtain as a flat photogram, the opaqueness compared to the veiled translucency when the curtains are in place. I really like that the curtains match. I like that this work follows straight on from my EYV A5 where I used Polaroids of windows at Lacock Abbey. I think that I have two complementary sides here. Plus I do feel as if I’m closer to closing the loop on the work that I wanted to make originally.

edit – thinking about it, the whole point of the assignment is that it doesn’t have to be authentic, perhaps I could mix the two locations…

edit – I need to consider the best post processing to apply to the scans. Colour, greyscale, or black and white? High or low dots per inch? Inverted or not? Here are some examples.

Returning to this some months later, it became apparent that the true value in this assignment was as a stepping stone to the Shared Intimacy images of photograms of lace underwear in Assignment 5. Indeed if you look at that assignment you can see its lineage all the way back to here. I have therefore decided that there is no value in reworking A1 as such, because it actually is continued into A5.



6 thoughts on “A1 revisited

  1. gesa July 26, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    I like these pairings a lot, though I haven’t quite figured out for myself what the representation as photogram may contain. Looking at them, and I note you say you haven’t post-processed these, I have the sense that for the photograms (and perhaps the other ones too, but differently), the edge of the curtain and of the image seems significant, requires careful attention: where do you cut the view/ the paper? how does the bottom of the lace relate to the image edge and to an edge of what is viewable or shielded?

    • Kate July 26, 2018 / 7:30 pm

      Hi Gesa, thank you for reading and commenting. There is such a lot to think about. The appeal in the photograms were firstly being able to reference Fox Talbots salt prints of lace and correlate them back to the same place and/or object. Also, that the lace curtains become more or less opaque when reproduced as a photogram. I agree with you on the edges, there is significance but so far I have just followed my gut. There’s also the issue of scale – photograms by necessity are made at life size whereas it’s easy to stand back from it with a camera and include more of the pattern in the frame. Another question that I haven’t resolved is that of 3 dimensionality. Hung curtains have ripples, pleats, horizontal folds where they are too long… I deliberately didn’t lay the lace flat or place glass on it to hold it still, and some of the images show ripples, which I’m happy with. I’m conscious that Fox Talbot would probably have made the work with the lace absolutely flat and level.

  2. Jennifer July 29, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Can I ask a really basic question – what’s your intention here? I find the first photo interesting, but quickly got bored with the rest, which made me wonder what you ‘see’ as interesting about them, i.e. what drives you to show these to someone else? (And I speak as someone who has a real liking for repetition.)

    • Kate July 29, 2018 / 4:31 pm

      Hi Jennifer, scratching an itch really! I wanted to explore the physicality of lace and the physicality of the photogram, both have a link to Fox Talbot. I’m not sure that this has achieved it, truly, but I do feel better for trying. I will feel a bit more at ease with presenting the original work now, as I can document that I have tried (and parked for the moment) a rework possibility.

      • Jennifer July 29, 2018 / 8:00 pm

        I’m at a stage of being badgered by tutors about making my intentions a lot, lot clearer, so I now think about it with all and every work by anyone that I look at. I have reservations about how much these communicate about the physicality of lace / lace curtain. Did you make other sets of lace images? Ans what’s the lace link to Fox Talbot?

      • Kate August 1, 2018 / 12:43 pm

        Hi Jennifer, thanks for replying. Yes, I made two or three other series, as well as another one in progress. Some of Fox Talbot’s early work was chemigrams and salt prints of lace. Lacock Abbey, his home is just down the road from me and I’m intrigued that lace is relevant there both as something that he worked with and as a textile that the modern villagers use to protect their privacy. I am fond of working with common every day materials and objects so lace feels relevant to my practice in a number of ways. It’s interesting to photograph it in a way that doesn’t pander to it’s translucency but does nod towards FT’s work with it as an object.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.