The photogram is traditionally an experimental darkroom process where household objects are arranged on photosensitised paper and exposed to light. Lexigram is an exhibition composed of a series of over 40 ‘digital photograms’. Rather than being exposed by light, they use technology - digital cameras, scanners, photocopiers and printers - to ‘expose’ already flat representations and ‘develop’ the results within the confines of a frame. This creates a concrete trace of a performed moment, or sequence of moments, which coalesce, or jar, in the layers of each image. Often these suggest a quotation, appropriation or repetition of part of a previous image, which build together to form a visual dictionary of possible structures, one though which is limited in its scope.
The source footage, which forms the basis of the work as a whole, includes the re-staging of editorial magazine photoshoots and conventions of product photography. These are then layered through documentation, re-documentation, scanning and photocopying with images of liquids, evaporation and dilution. The work as a whole consists of a wrapping up of substances, forms, materials and conventions; and an unwrapping of packaging, surfaces and cosmetic textures.
Thus, the resulting arrangement comprises a series of symbols that stand in for language; a set of repeated, edited motifs representing substances that appear to be displayed for consumption, but also bring into focus the apparatus of production.
Samantha Donnelly explores the fluidity of representations, specifically the shifting relationships between the physical object and the photographic subject. Recent exhibitions include Factually Real Illusions, Chelsea College of Art, London, 2016; Semi Gloss, Semi Permeable, The Albus, Glasgow International, 2016; Rubbernecker, Ceri Hand Gallery, London, 2014; Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Art Society, London, 2013; A Private Affair, Harris Museum, Preston, 2012; Contour States, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 2012; The Shape We're In, 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2011 and Compendium, Vitrine Gallery, London, 2010.She has been awarded an ACME Firestation Live/Work Residency in London from 2015-2020.