Photography has changed, expanded and even deluded our perceptions. It is a vessel of memory, yet also a corrective instrument thereof.
It testifies to the disappearance of things, to the ‘state of the world in our absence’ while at the same time producing images that simulate reality.’ Jean Baudrillard
This statement forms the foundation of ‘With Other Eyes’ an exhibition which explores the relationship between photography and art. For some the photography is a source of inspiration, for others it becomes integrated into their work. In both cases it is an integral part of the artistic process.
In this exhibition curator Beate Gegenwart has sought to illustrate each individual artist’s approach to this. This results in an exploration of each individual’s approach to photography and the union and even conversation between the work and photographic imagery. In selecting a wide range of artists from jewellery to large-scale installation, the exhibit shows the real range of ways and means photography can become a part of the work- as well as the inspiration behind it. For some of the makers photography has always been a central part of practice, for others it is a new exploration.
In this exhibition all the makers work in metal, and this provides a chance also to explore the many ways one medium can be utilised. For some the photography was a ‘hidden’ research tool somewhere in the process. In these cases, a true ‘other eye’ allowing them to explore inspiration, practice and process from an additional point of view. For others photography’s ‘other eye’ is providing additional perspective as part of the work- integrated into its photography adds another dimension, indeed another ‘way of seeing.’
The use of enamel offers a striking exhibition, with photographic elements positioned alongside the artist’s work offering a new insight into some familiar artist’s work. This exhibition also pulls together a diverse international collective of artists- many of whom have never exhibited in Wales previously.
There is a diverse approach to the format shown. Some Makers such as Ruudt Peters choose to include moving images, in the form of video installation alongside his work. While Bettina Speckner and Beate Gegenwart have chosen photo-etching onto their work- in this case silver, stainless steel and zinc pieces. A popular technique among the work shown is also kiln-fusing into glass and enamel, seen in Melissa Cameron and Tamar de Vries Winter’s pieces.
The idea of re-imagining the photograph in the enamelling process, and as part of the work in this manner is seen in many of the maker’s work- Gudrun Wiesmann and Fritz Maierhofer, being two artists who show work integrating this approach. While Margit Hart uses pigment printing digital images directly onto steel, showing the variety of approaches the use of photography with metalwork can take. Even, in the case of Ramon Puig Cyuas partially obscuring the image under alabaster. Or finally encasing photographic imagery in resin as Rebecca Hannon and Kiko Gianocca demonstrate in their work.
The ways artists interpret and integrate the photographic world into their work is as varied as photography itself. And in exploring the ways in which photography can contribute to the process, many have integrated photography into the work itself.
‘With Other Eyes’ offers an insight into the artistic process through the lens of photography and offers examples of the ways in which photography can be integrated into work in unusual and unexpected ways. Illustrating the maker’s individual approach to photography, examining the union between making and the photographic image in its widest sense. It captures a glimpse of the creative possibilities resulting from such hybrid practice.
With Other Eyes is on at Makers Guild Wales until 3rd March.
Free Admission 10.30-17.30 Daily.
A Ruthin Touring Exhibition.