Why found photography?

For me there is a challenge in the randomness of what you might find and what then becomes raw materials, what can be done with this lost, discarded and often damaged stuff. It gets to have two lives, sometimes as two completely different things and this for me is one of the most interesting things. A new narrative, a new image, a combination of materials and new uses for old machines can enable us to look at photography in a different way, so much more than just a means of recording a moment in time, it is, in a way, a method of traveling through time and one can go forwards as well as back, creating abstract work or inventing characters complete with backstory and all manner of possible futures.

Looking at prints from a strip of long ago discarded negatives that have lost their original image focuses our attention on the thingness of the medium, the physical object that survives long after the emulsion is worn off and the memories gone for ever, replaced by the evidence of every rock it slid over, every foot step it endured that are all we now see. Imagining where it may have traveled, how it got there, where it may have gone had it not been salvaged.

The sound of an old slide projector whirring to life after 40, 50 years in storage, a means of making audio work maybe, each click of the carousel a mark of time, hear an image that is not there, was there.


Slides are a favourite of mine, having them in my hand, holding them up to the light, taking them apart and making new slides, doubling up projections and seeing how the light has faded them in parts, these are lovely things and still have so much to offer. Lantern Slides with chipped corners, wierd old family vacation or Christmas photos from the 1950s, things that people had in their hands too that I feel a responsibility to respect.

Sorting through boxes of old slides salvaged from a house clearance is like opening a long buried treasure chest for me... each new slide is a discovery and a feeling of having saved something that is the only one if its kind is a pleasure, then to decide what to do with it.

Some of the work I make is as simple as finding new way to look at these images, new ways for people to see them and some is more brutal and involves exacto knives and choices.

Either way, there are some gems out there to be found still and some hidden away in artists studios, I want to see them dusted off and celebrated.

36ExposuresFaB Curator