The time I spent in the Falmouth University's Institute of Photography darkroom was invaluable. It gave me lots of new experience, opened new perspectives and triggered a lot of new reflections. It was the first time really I spend time in a darkroom with a subject to explore and defined goal. The first contact I had with the printing process was twenty years ago and the second was in February during the face to face event so when entering the darkroom a couple of weeks ago I felt a bit anxious that perhaps I will get lost and find out in the end that it is not really my thing. Nothing like that happened and I found myself working seven hours a day without any breaks on photograms and luminograms, trying different options and watching with amazement how the image emerge from the blank surface of the paper.
I have made roughly about two hundreds works. Most of them are simply experiments and sketches but there are some which I made with a clear intention and I am happy with the results. My very blurry expectations regarding the outcome were completely wrong, what appeared on the exposed paper surprised and intrigued me and it was truly fascinating to see the totally new forms coming into being as a result of the simple photographic process.
It was interesting to face the new challenge - the digitalisation of all those unique prints. Still have only some of them scanned - the majority of them will probably never be digitalised and stay as a one, unique piece. This is something new in my practice as I only worked with digital photography so far. The photograms and luminograms I created are the physical objects, the unrepeatable, unique records the same as drawings or paintings.
The blend of computer generated forms and the recorded reality gain the new dimension. Both the real and virtual is transfigured into a new visual entity. It is impossible to distinguish the real and virtual.
I want to try to set up a simple darkroom at home or look for the one to hire locally to be able to realise some other ideas.