Exhibition previews 8pm, June 17th Exhibition runs until July 22nd
Martina Corry is a visual artist working within the field of photography and graduated from the University of Ulster in 1999 with an MFA (with Distinction) specialising in photography. This is her first solo show at Context Galleries.
Most of the artist’s images are made without using the optics (i.e. the lamp, lens, colour, gobo and mirror system that produces a projected image) of the camera. In the darkroom images are generated through actions carried out on the photographic paper. Actions such as creasing, crumpling, folding, cutting and drawing engage directly with the picture surface as a material in itself.
Corry is interested in how photographs are experienced simultaneously as image and object, tangibly real and yet somehow remote. Not merely images, but seen, encountered and negotiated as real objects. Often employing a single motif or action, previous works have explored ideas concerning memory and intimacy through the absence of figuration. Recent works have explored memory and vision through the activity of drawing and mark making.
The use of materials such as fibre optics (specially manufactured, hair-thin glass fibre for the transmission of communications in the form of light) in the image making process addresses the fundamentals of the chemical based photographic process namely the play of light on the surface of a light sensitive material. Fibre optics are today used widely in communication systems. In the technology’s early development, optical transmission was possible due to the “phenomenon of total internal reflection, which can confine light in a material surrounded by other materials with lower reflective index, such as glass in air.” (Jeff Hecht)
The images are made as opposed to having been taken- in the way a camera could be said to passively ‘take’ a photograph. The image is built up over a period of time and rather than merely representing a past event records and represents itself, inextricably linking the real and the represented.
Many of the works in this exhibition are luminograms. (A luminogram is the resulting image caused by exposing the photosensitive medium to light without the intervention of an object. The light is modulated by varying the intensity through distance from the photosensitive surface, power of the light source, or by the use of filters or gels or motion of the light. The paper can itself be shaped to create the desired effects in the final image.) Gottfried Jäger describes these as “the result of pure light design; the rudimentary expression of an interaction of light and photosensitive material… a kind of self representation of light.”