Surface modified images

Many people commented on the widespread interest in alternative processes at Unseen this year – lots of cyanotypes. There was also a substantial amount of work in which different surfaces had been used to modify images. Sasan Abri removes the gelatine layer of prints and places these on watercolour paper, which gives the prints a lo-fi, hand-drawn look which forces the viewer to work to make sense of the image.

Sasan Abri, Exposed Series, 2015-18

Parisa Aminolahi uses paint to modify her photographs of her mother, creating a highly textured three-dimensional surface. In both these cases each work is unique.

Parisa Aminolahi, Hotel Room, 2017

The most extreme form is Sylvie Bonnot’s transfer of the print layer to three dimensional objects, blurring the boundary between photography and sculpture.

Sylvie Bonnot, Grande Mue Odaïba, 2015. B&W photography, silver gelatin repositioned on Arches paper
Sylvie Bonnot, Atlas Aéroplis – Volume VI, 2018. Volumized photography, silver gelatin repositioned on sculpted plaster

This is taken a stage further by Adam Jeppesen, who has moved from conventional cyanotypes to three dimensional work with dyed cloth.

Adam Jeppesen, The Pond (an extract), Unseen, 2019
Adam Jeppesen, The Pond (an extract), Unseen, 2019

I have thought about the use of objects and artefacts alongside photographic work, but these artists have prompted me to think about the possibility of some form of three-dimensional photographic work. In one of my principal areas of interest (urban development), Felicity Hammond has produced more sculptural work, and at her Unseen exhibition, printed modified developer CGIs on plastic sheeting and attached these to scaffolding structures.

Felicity Hammond, A Global Sense of Place, Unseen, 2019

The challenge for me is to combine this three-dimensional photographic work with portability. Projection on to a surface is also a possibility.


Sasan Abri

Parisa Aminolahi

Sylvie Bonnot

Felicity Hammond

Adam Jeppesen