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‘LIGHTWRITERS’ REVIEW This BUMF exhibition could easily act as an awareness campaign for one of the most relevant problems in our everyday lives. We live in an antisocial, digital-heavy age, in which everything is simplified and made easy to use. It is often thought to be a generation of minimal creativity, effort and experimentation. For instance, in the age of Snapchat and Instagram, many of us with a camera could succeed at taking fascinating, beautiful photographs, even though they do not know anything about the specifics of photography. The artists displayed in "Lightwriters" almost take a stand against this mainstream fashion of everyone wanting to be a photographer. They show that photography is not only about taking a ‘nice’ photo, but it is also about the techniques and different ways of creating a photograph, capturing the essence of life and our existence in it. The exhibition itself was a collection of photographs that have been created using cameraless methods, using light as it's main tool. Although, for me, the main beauty of this exhibition was that the participants of this exhibition created not only photos, but also 'graphics', therefore, successfully fulfilling the definition of the word 'photographic'. Heather Connolly created a series of ‘lightwritings' by causing light to react with an object on light sensitive paper. The main intention of the artist was to create a conversation of the specifics of the manufacturing of these 'writings'. She wanted people to discuss, discover and think about her creations. However, these images cover a whole technique, work process and even a secret method. This creates a different conversation entirely (which could not be a result of a simple Instagram photo!) as the matter in question is about the diversity and mystery of the technique, as well as the effort put into the artwork. Samuel Day created a series of images through experimenting with different colours and the methodical logic of photographic printing. He worked in reverse order to get to the desired colours and, therefore, using his knowledge of the additive and subtractive colours, he created these amazing pieces of art. When placed next to each other they create an almost graphic-like pattern through the use of different space and shapes. The 'writings' draw you into the colour and, again, make you ask the important question – how?

Margaret Maguire explored the three-dimensional space with analogue, cameraless photography. She applied this to her work by experimenting with different perceptions of space, time, form and light. Her photographs use objects to leave a print through the implementation of light and from further away they seemed like pictures of space or something unnatural, it was built on a great geometrical sense of space and positioning. Christian Marot was the only artist who used a human form in his work. He explored the two ongoing opposites of presence with absence and life with death. Although these inspirational subjects have been explored throughout human history, he has managed to do something that is still fascinating through a complicated procedure of cameraless methods. He took infinite oppositions, problems and went back to the basics of photography to understand and explore them. Personally, Sarah Markbreiter must have been the most fascinating exhibitor for me, as her technique really drew me in and made me explore the different techniques she must have used. The artwork in question looked from one angle like it was acrylic, from one angle like it was digital and from another angle as if it were a watercolor. Instead, however, they were cyanotype prints, which were made using a combination of paper, chemicals and sunlight. The artists' intention was to highlight the fragility, preciousness and the imperfections of the prints. This then acts as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of human existence - a great metaphor to end the exhibition with. Altogether these 'lightwriters' created a professional exhibition of art, graphics, fascinating techniques of alternative photography and showcased their amazingly varied and advanced skill base. They prove that the key to professionalism, originality and one's own pleasure in the work process comes from the effort one puts in their work, the different techniques it explores, and the conversations it starts. Coming up is the BUMF:Gallery Screening Week ‘A-ROLL’ showcasing short films from MA Fine Art, Commercial Photography, BA Photography and Fine Art. Make sure you come down every night of the week during 18th-22nd April 4.30pm!


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