Brighton University art student Lauren Shields is walking in the footsteps Man Ray and Picasso by exploring cameraless photography. Photograms are created by exposing objects directly on light-sensitive photo paper and Shields, inspired by water as a metaphor of life and death, chose rivers and ponds as her medium.
“I like to use water in my work because it is a great metaphor for life and death; it is integral to everything we do. The use of water also allows the work to become very physical – I immerse myself in the environment to create the work. For me, on the surface the work encapsulates a number of qualities I’m interested in; which include colour (which is created on the paper—not photoshop), nature and the environment.”
“Beneath the surface, they represent personal stories such as the death of my dad when I was 6 years old; which shadows most of my work. I used frogspawn in some of the work – a great metaphor for life and protection. But it’s the ethereality and mysterious qualities of the work which for me, represent my dads death. I use the environment of the river and the materials within it such as plants, silt and creatures, to create compositions which appear celestial – and sometimes almost heavenly. Creating these photograms also allow me to show what’s underneath the surface, whats invisible and not entirely present, just like my dad.”
This is definitely an interesting technique for Lomographers to try and an inspiring story by the artist. What do you think of cameraless photography or photograms?