Light traces dimensions onto flat surfaces, impressing moving scenes onto paper frames and palpable planes. Photographs stabilise the dynamism of vision into an experience that slows time, enabling us to extend our gaze. In Light’s Trace, Kadie Salmon and Caroline Jane Harris manipulate their photographic equipment’s technical intentions, embracing them as modes of artistic expression that foreground the hand of the maker and undermine representationalism.
Light leaves its impression on medium format film in the works of Salmon, when she reproduces herself as subject in performative states of motion. Using multiple exposure analogue photography, Salmon creates site-specific, visual paradoxes of intimate self-encounters, evoking romanticism, sexuality and desire. Harris’ appropriation of transparent 100-year-old photographic slides featuring sublime scenes of nature, explore a personal impression beyond the chemical and semiotic medium. The palm-sized portable windows onto the world used in her work are both image and object, historic yet contemporaneous with any view they frame. Both Salmon and Harris encapsulate their expanded photographic handling of materials, by drawing attention to the attributes of media, through sculpting, hand-colouring and cutting-out with a scalpel.
In this exhibition the artists ‘trace’ is explored as both tool and subject matter through manifestations of light. Via innovations of idiosyncratic photographic techniques, traces of the artist's physical engagement and manipulation of mediums are left as evidence on the surfaces and contours of pictures and sculptures. The ‘back-end’ production of analogue and digital images is brought to the forefront of vision through translation, simulacrum and pixelation, breaking illusions of representation. In reference to photographic positive and negative film, the gallery is divided into light and dark, moving the viewer between spaces where contrasts collapse scale, time and place into the present viewing moment.
Through their chosen manual approaches, an aura of the sublime is imbued in the works – from the beauty of both subject and haptic detail – to the apprehension of these laboured surfaces whose mainstream digital counterparts are fast supplanting the traditional techniques championed by both artists.
Kadie Salmon and Caroline Jane Harris met whilst artists in residence at the Florence Trust, London 2016 –17. They both live and work in London.