After realising my dedication to analogue photography, becoming deeply involved in alternative processes felt like a natural progression. I thrived when spending hours hand processing C-41 and E-6 film. When I became comfortable with these methods, I expanded into basic new printing techniques such as Solarisation and liquid emulsion. Although I never approved of any of my solarising results, it inspired me to investigate analogue dodging and burning, double negative exposures, and in-camera large format double exposures. I ate up all these traditional practices greedily. I began to imagine what I could do if I had unlimited funding. I always dreamed of creating a chapel of female portraits printed in analogue onto pains of glass. I thought this structure would stand in a spacious white cube gallery space, where the audience could walk through and engage with it. I daydreamed of lights on the inside acting as backlighting for the stained glass, creating projections of the portraits onto the white cube walls and ceiling. But alas, I have never had the chance to put this dream into practice. However, I did manage to become proficient in liquid light, and polaroid emulsion lifts, all onto glass. These small scale skills have formed the foundation of my practice and my hopes for the future. I have explored Chlorophyll printing methods and techniques, but I had little success since I live in the notoriously sunlight deprived Glasgow. Next, I hope to have the facilities to move towards Gum Trichromite printing.
Collodion Wet Plates
(That I dislike)
Modern Masculinity (2017)
1m x 60cm handmade led light boxes
The original photos
Ilford hp5 400
I created this diptych when I was 17. I was working through my relationship and proximity to the male gaze. I'm an only child who was raised by my Mum and Nan, and because of this, men have always frightened and fascinated me. I used the medium of liquid light on glass, to highlight the concept of male fragility. I compared the experiences of these two men, who are from very different walks of life.
One was a young man, who I knew from college. He had a car and I didn't drive. We lived in a rural area where there is next to no public transport so the opportunities for new adventures felt limited without a car. He was a typical teenage boy, he liked to drive too fast, and party for days. He was only one out of two boys in my college class and I was enthralled with how different our lives were. He was articulate and described to me his vision of the world. We'd go to the nearest city, go for food and he'd drop me at work afterwards.
I was working in the local fish and chip shop and it was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have ever had. My manager was from Tehran and he would fill my head with stories of his beautiful home city. When comparing these two men's stories I found something beyond the obvious cultural differences. I found that my manager's description of his male experience was far more about cheekily pushing the boundaries of 'freedom' but with strong family-centric values. There were far more examples of his relationship with the concept of 'control', of responsibility and of taking charge.
My classmate however was much more centred around almost anarchistically losing control. He liked to flex and push the boundaries of what was expected of him. He liked to see how much he could get away with whilst fully relishing and realising privileges that came with being a straight white male.
It's hard to compare the fluid elements of what is the patriarchy; what is a cultural difference; and what impact does an age gap have on all of these. So I created a Venn diagram of their interlinking experience and translated that graphic into fine art with the final product my almost intimidatingly large liquid light glass sheets.
Practicing with liquid light
Ribbon and liquid light