Since the last post I’ve had another opportunity to combine the present with the past through the Beaford Arts ‘Old Archive’. I was recently involved as an artist in a Beaford Arts residential for ‘gifted and talented’ year 9 pupils. It was hoped I could lead a ‘drawing with light’ exercise in the dark evening as the residential was loosely based on the ‘big draw’ national incentive to get people drawing. Rather than simply reiterating the previous residential I chose to also include the combining of the past with the present.
A mysterious Old Archive image of Greenwarren House (which now houses Beaford Arts) was found. Mysterious because there is no information attached to it except the description: “Old view of Greenwarren House with different window heads and stucco and 2 horses and riders.” There is no date or reference to the riders, horses or dog in the picture. Technically I should have composed the photograph before dark to have obtained the same angle-of-view and comparable lens length. However the only real discrepancy is to the left of the house where the old stable block isn’t lined up but the advantage of this mismatch is that you see a photo-collage made on a previous residential pasted on a door.
The children, after making some long exposure night photos themselves, made light patterns with a number of coloured torches, drawing or painting with light in the darkness. Afterwards they had the opportunity of learning how to combine the old and new images in PhotoShop.
My final image is a combination of 2 ‘drawing with light’ exposures of 1 minute each plus the original ‘Victorian’ photograph. I’ve tried to photograph the present both actually, the house as it is in October 2009 with reference to art being made in the photo-collage seen on the door and metaphysically; children learning through art seen by the light traces and sometimes ghostly images as they move through time. I’ve also made reference to the past through the old windows and doors seen through the bleached out windows of the present and the trace image of the old building’s chimneys, flowerpots, garden sculptures and the 2 riders on horses and dog.
‘Old Archive, Contemporary Responce’ continues at Boston Tea Party in Exeter from 3rd of November follow this link for more information.