"Shadow Catchers: Camera-Less Photography at the Victoria & Albert Museum"All In London Rating
: Added Thu 06 Jan 2011 - Reviewed by Leila
The five artists taking part in this unconventional exhibition demonstrate thereís more to photography than a camera lens. Shadow Catchers contains a selection of both the abstract and the highly realistic, thanks to the use of fascinating techniques such as the photogram and chemigram processes. Far from being a novelty, many of these methods have existed for decades Ė chemigrams for instance are created with just photographic paper, chemicals and light to produce painterly images, this method has been in existence since the 1830s.
Gary Fabian Millerís experiments with light result in otherwordly landscapes, while Floris Neusussí photograms of human figures create ghostly shadows, caught in the act. However it is Susan Derges with her poetic landscapes who steals the show. A sequence of images illustrating the metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog lines one wall - images that have been produced by placing photographic paper over the jar containing the baby amphibians and allowing a flashlight to expose their silhouettes. A majestic depiction of the ripples of a river has been made by submerging the paper in the water and using both the light of the moon and a flashlight to create the resulting pattern.
Shadow Catchers demonstrates the endless possibilities of manipulating light and using chemicals on paper, often to spellbinding effect. This exhibition runs at the V&A until the 20th of February.
Official All In London review for Victoria and Albert Museum