Dreams of Alternative Worlds
Figs. 1-6 Mistakes and interventions (2019)
One of the unexpectedly enjoyable side effects of doing a photography degree is the opportunity for experimental play. I am fascinated by the idea of re-versioning, and how an image changes and degrades as it is rephotographed and printed in a variety of different digital and analogue ways to a point where it no longer resembles the original at all.
This particular series is based on two accidents which occurred during printing processes, both as a result of the properties of water, and all originate from the first image (1). Firstly, I mistakenly printed the image onto the back of a sheet of digital transfer film and so the inks could not take. They had nothing to stick to, and so over the course of the following weeks, the inks ran out over the film to make the second image (2). There is a fascination in examining the edges of the image to see the tiny fractal patterns and in particular I liked one section which I rephotographed to make a new image (3). The next one was a darkroom mistake, when I accidentally held the same digital film too close to a wet black and white print which I had made from it. It stuck to the print and sadly I could not remove it. Over time, the chemicals in the print have begun to crystallise and to make beautiful fractal patterns (4). I am photographing these with a macro lens and testing them on different print media and No 5 is a version of a tiny part of the crystallised image, printed onto digital film and then backed with gold leaf. The last is one where I have begun to bring back in elements of the original.
Two elements of these images are of particular interest to me. Firstly, the originals are not stable and will continue to change slowly over time as the chemical alterations continue. And secondly, one has no idea of the scale or subject of the work. Images 4 and 5 could be from Google Earth, but they are in fact photographs of tiny sections of an A5 image. The same shapes and patterns created by water are repeated at both scales and they hint at alternative worlds where the laws of physics apply differently.
Figs 1-6 Woodward, H. (2019) Mistakes and interventions. [Photographs, digital film transfers] In possession of: the author.