Donna Richardson Devon, United Kingdom
I am a photographer, working with the concept of life, death and memory depicted by images of water and childhood exploration. Having survived a major stroke I am fascinated by the workings of the brain and the meditative effects of water in it's many forms. I hope to provoke feelings of wonder and intrigue with my photographic practice.
In my own practice the importance of memory is huge. As well as my own childhood obsession with understanding who I am through a collection of photographs to the harrowing and confusing memories I have of being in a coma and finally the desperate desire I have to create a legacy by which my son can remember me when I die. It is interesting to consider the move from analogue to digital in terms of photography’s connection with memory. If photographs are finite fallible objects created with photochemical processes then their preciousness becomes a crucial factor in memory and potential loss. When photographs are digital files, kept in computer code, infinitely repeatable and potentially immortal then the threat of loss and therefore their importance must appear reduced. I think this is why the presentation of my photographs has always been so important to me. As digital images, I am drawn to the framing, lighting or book form to present the images as a physical object. A precious item to be cherished, admired and held close. Not a mere sequence of 0’s and1’s.
There is often something obstructing a clear view in my images, creating an uneasy sense of being too close, or not being able to get close enough. The journey of the river will appear, but then disappear, being enveloped by the dark waters or being only present as shadows or reflections. It is rare to see an unobstructed view or a viable trajectory; there is always an absence. In the presentation my work is regularly displayed behind acrylic glass. A shiny surface, giving the images a slipperiness, an almost over exaggeration of the wateriness of the images, but perhaps the encasing behind a glossy surface offers a layer to hide behind, offering a barrier to the outside world. A place to be fortified within, looking into an almost-concealed world.