UMBRA MA Photography Show14–18 November 2018 Exhibition foreword by Lee Mackinnon
Photographers have been known as shadow catchers: those that dwell at the edge of the frame, taming the light. A life spent domesticating spectral patterns of matter as they flow and reform. An image is a mass of moving parts. There is nothing static here, only relative scales of time and motion. Liquid traces of the world are temporarily contained and slowed to a fraction of a second. Or set in space to reorganise the flow of time. The complexity of space-time is compressed into a surface that troubles scholars.
Behind each surface, a complex series of chemical negotiations. Cosmic interactions make mundane suburbs; Supernovas are visible in blades of grass. The day is owned by a mass of hot plasma that rises overhead without the slightest surprise. Light bends as it moves from one substance to another: this refraction is visible in the twinkling of stars, the glinting of crystal, the way water abstracts the bodies within it.
What you see here is a studied effect: years of careful construction that assume an immediate form. What remains unseen is the pure physical effort of holding and honing an idea that it might become seemingly effortless and distilled. Look! The light is already fading. Pixel and grain dance, dislodging themselves from sight. Objects are redrawn in halftone.
Everything is just beginning.