A story has come down to us from ancient
Greece, of two famous rivalling painters, Zeuxis and Parrhasius. Zeuxis boasted that his still lives were so close to life that birds came to pick at the painted grapes. Parrhasius then asked him to pull away the veil in front of his own latest masterpiece but when Zeuxis tried, he realised that the cloth was in fact painted. He had to concede that where he had only been able to fool the birds, Parrhasius had managed to fool him.
My interest in photography relates to the paradox that to believe in the illusion of any pictured reality we disavow the materiality of the image itself. The condition of the image becomes foregrounded in the photographs which in different ways complicate any process of easy identification.
CONDITIONS OF VISIBILITY
During lockdown, the water in Regents Canal became transparent. I have lived close to the canal for years and the water had always been brownish green and opaque.
Groups of magnet fishers used to set up near the bridges and bring hidden treasure to the surface. Much of what they found had been thrown into the canal to make it disappear – hand guns, stolen bikes, car clamps and safes that had been forced open… Other items had just fallen in – bits of scaffolding from the many building sites along the canal, parts of machinery, tripods… and suddenly for a short time, everything was visible.