RYAN POSNFORD | OCEAN
7 APRIL – 14 MAY
‘Ocean’ is a series of wet plate collodion positives, depicting objects and remains that have washed up in the intertidal zone of the beaches of my adolescence. The series explores notions of time, memory and the concepts of performance and environmental encounter as artwork.
The series involves returning to beaches that were vital to my youth and collecting and photographing found objects. The images consider my environmental concerns and our relationship with the ocean. Dead seals, fish and crustaceans are suggestive of the impending environmental tragedy caused by overfishing, polluting and accelerated global warming.
The work also looks at environment through haptics. The nature of the liquid collodion emulsion creates a direct relationship between the image layer, photographer and surrounding environment. The way the plate is made and handled affects the appearance, sand and insects embed in the surface and rain and sea mist disrupt the photograph and create unique visual artefacts. Even the developer is made using sea water, so the ocean is actually involved in creating the images.
The wetplate process is the same as that used by photographers during the American Civil War and the series draws an analogy between the images of fallen soldiers taken by photographers during the tragic American Civil War and images of the oceans dead and the current environmental tragedy happening in our seas.
‘Ocean’ looks at the landscape. Not the perfect, idealised images of beauty that landscape is so commonly depicted as, but a kind of micro vignette, like a memory, created in the intertidal zone, a place of constant flux, a metaphor for change and time, something photography itself is inherently bound to.