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Wednesday, June 3

Artfully spoken, Tim!


Tim and his massive contraption.

A certain TOD contributor has urged me to be a little kinder to Tim Pearse, the photographer who weaved an interesting narrative around his lith print of a sheet or towel, transforming an every day item into a mystical, soul-searching icon.

To support his charitable approach, David M. pointed me in the direction of this website where the same Tim describes how he constructed a supercamera for a 20"x26"negative. Clearly, then, he's not just an arty type but a guy who likes to get his hands dirty.

David said, in an email, there's, "A great deal of craftsmanship in his images (see below). I think he gets them exactly as he wants them. Surely we can forgive him the gobbledegook. He’s not the worst, by any means and a good deal more intelligible than F1 racing." (The cheap jibe about F1 can be understood by reading this post I wrote about about Formula E. David went on to take another cheap shot at Leica users but he does that in practically every email and I refuse to take the bait.)

Copywright of Tim Pearse.

David, not for the first time, has a point. It may well be that the art-speak is just something that's expected of photography students, possibly to meet the demands of pretentious lecturers. Tim looks like he'd be a good guy to have on your side in a fight rather than a chicken-necked intellectual so I'm happy to give him the benefit of the doubt.

His camera is almost a work of art in itself. He built it entirely from scratch working at it daily for five months. Despite its size, it can be transported to different locations but that's a two-man operation. He uses orthographic film which can be processed under safelight conditions in the darkroom.

Tim's quoted on the Films Not Dead website (see link above) as saying, "‘The idea behind this project is a simple one; to ascertain whether traditional craft skills once inherent to the practice of creating photographs can still be accessed and utilised within the modern, technologically progressive sphere of image making, and whether or not these skills are still relevant."

In an interview with the website which provides more details of the camera and Tim's working practices, he added,

"The process of altering the properties of a sheet of film chemically is a tangible act of creation (careful, Tim…), that is, you are affecting the way in which the viewer will eventually come to see or 'read' your own work, directly, through the skill of your own hand.
"I just don’t think that snapping away with a digital camera and doing a little post production can ever emulate the physical connection between the photographer’s vision, their knowledge of a process and their skill to execute their creative choices."

To which I can only add, "Well said, sir!"

4 comments :

Herman Sheephouse said...

Well he's right - it's a craft skill that can be used artfully, but it can become so bogged down in pretension as to be nauseating.
I'd rather that a cooper called a barrel a barrel rather than a vessel for the transportation of delight . . . or a hollow receptacle from which dreams can be divined . . .
Did y'see what I did yet??? Bring on the pseud.

DavidM said...

I only take cheap shots at Leica users because I haven't found a way to charge for them. I think we'd agree that they are a breed apart.
The F1 jibes are free and are intended as "One man's meat..." illustrations. If you'd been a cookery correspondent, I'd be making cheap jibes about Victoria sponge. It was news to me that there is a Formula E.
Anyway, I'm glad that deeper digging has turned up some gold. Keep up the good work.

DavidM said...

Oh, Captain Sheephouse! You dazzle us. A cooper might not use the words, but a poet like you might.
Try googling English Brewery Cask Units for a foaming tankard of verbal delight. Thank you for inducing me to go there.
Are we getting a bit off-topic here? Do we mind?
My soul is a hollow vessel, but I do have dreams...

Herman Sheephouse said...

Thanks David - I'll blame it on my Uncle Joe - he owned the Royal Oak at White Waltham (now Parkie's pub) - I spent many hours playing in his storage sheds - the smell of beer barrels, fags and crates of Ginger Beer and Soda Siphons has seeped into my soul.