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The Light Archive 2010-2014


A collection of 6 books, bound and boxed

The collection of photographic images comprising The Light Archive began as a series of intuitively captured images of light patterns around my home. Over the course of the project approximately five thousand images chart the committed actions of recording instances of natural light over a 4 year timespan. A document and diary of remembering and forgetting, in The Light Archive material volume supercedes the single image depicting an ongoing dialogue between the artist and her environment.


The house is a giant sundial, linking me to space and time through diurnal rhythms and the presencing and absencing of natural light. Natural time takes over from ‘clock time’. Pre-reflective affect, that is, affect that is not consciously considered, is made evident in the urge to document these quotidian occurances. Documenting them repeatedly, I cannot resist the urge to capture their image, to bring them closer. 


A manifestation of the performative act of looking, recording, documenting, thinking, doing and being in the world, the archive is a documentation of repeated looking which re-articulates and reinforces the artist’s intention to know more through looking more, while proposing new ways to document, measure, and plot the development of looking in relation to the self. Personal perspectives are exposed through creative activity – the making of the image, its bringing into being, both consciously and unconsciously mediated by the self. 


These light patterns act as an agent of change: through observation and documentation I assert their importance as a condition in the relation of self to environment as changing, evolving – a durational process. Observing these light patterns I operate in a state of un-decidability as to whether the images speak of joy or sadness – perhaps both. The images exist as symbolic forms, known yet unknown, manifestations of fragmentary psychic material. The images act as testimony – part documentation, part personal experience – a time-based narrative authored from the artist’s own perspectives, a telling that shows fragments of life being lived. 


My motivation is not to capture an ‘ultimate’ image, but myriad moments unfolding in their time-based intensity, there and gone, present and absent in a moving through time as a real and lived relation.  Time mapped and documented in its passing through the forms of light and shadow is a transforming of life lived, real encounter, into tangible visual evidence: at this time, moment, place, I was there. I am the witness.


This speaks of not only owning the image through authorship, but also of owning the moment of its production through the embodiment of that relation. Time taken in the actions of image capture for the purposes of self-reflexivity, frees the artist from the commodification of production. Practice is its own end. In searching for space, in chasing light, time/space, psychophysical space, and socio-cultural space are both negotiated and mediated on the artists’ own terms. 


As document and diary The Light Archive is a manifestation of an ongoing visual dialogue between environment and self, full of stutters and falters, sometimes full and deep utterances. A cohering of fragmentary psychic materials, that which could could not be spoken finds form in the visual realm.



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