Last Saturday we had a visit from artist and curator, Cat Fuller, who brought with her a HUGE archive of old, found negatives which have been sitting in a box for a number of years just waiting to be used! The opening of the darkroom meant that their opportunity had come at last and we excitedly set about trawling through to see which gems we could turn into some fabulous prints. As darkroom facilities are becoming harder to find, it had been a number of years since Cat had had the opportunity to print and was worried that she would have forgotten how to. It didn’t take her long to get back into the swing of it and we started knocking out the prints with ease.
It was an amazing amount of fun, printing these visions of the past, and surprisingly quite emotional. Printing photographs of people taken over one hundred years ago, there is only one conclusion to be derived from the question of where they are now. To see photographs of people in their prime with their whole lives ahead of them - lives which have now passed - really gives you a sense of perspective.
It was a great opportunity to see the power of archive and gave me the chance to consider how the photographs that the residents, the young people and I contribute to the project will be viewed in one hundred years time. This only further underlined to me the importance of the project.
I’m off to read up more about the zone system. Enjoy the photographs!