Curating a show of nine photographers with such diverse work is always tricky, but curators Miranda Gavin and Sacha Lehrfreund have used the space to the full, creating separate spaces for each photographer's work, but succeeding in creating a flow. Every part of the gallery is used; including the glass front of the office, where Natasha Caruana has installed her piece Fairytale for Sale. This work is a collection of wedding photographs, with the bride and groom's faces blanked out in a variety of ways; using photoshop, black pen, blue tac or even bits of tissue paper. The effect is eerie, and it's only on reading the emails that are interspersed with the images that the viewer understands these pictures have come from a website where brides are selling their wedding dresses. For me, this project questions the act of marriage, reducing it to something farcical; all the effort which goes into buying the perfect dress is so easily frittered away when a little bit of cash is needed.
A far cry from Natasha's collection of digital images from the Internet is Dean Hollowood's project The Chase, which takes us back to the origins of photographic printing. His colour photographs of china animals are layered with test strips from the darkroom, with their different hues and tones, and including Dean's notes of exposure times. The visual effect is quite beautiful, and questions our "ways of seeing". And we get it; we've had experience in the colour darkroom and the work brings back all those agonising hours of trying to get the right colour. Most younger people, however, won't. The Chase is a project about photography, it's history and how it's changed.
|© Dean Hollowood|
In between these two bodies of work are seven other very strong examples of contemporary photography. Far too many for me to outline here... you best go and see for yourself. The exhibition runs until 30 August.