Alternative Process: Behind the Scenes with Exhibitor Andrew Chisholm

Our Alternative Process exhibition currently running at The Engine Room, Manchester is well worth a visit, featuring creative and innovative photography by artists working with Polaroid Lift, Wet Plate Collodion, Gum Bichromate, Photogram, Pinhole, Mordançage, Photogravure, Cyanotype and more. The show has prompted questions from visitors about the processes involved and the stories behind the works, so we thought it would be a good idea to meet the artists individually to find out more by way of some short interviews. Our next interviewee in the series is Andrew Chisholm…

Who are you and what do you do?

My practice is mainly around the possibilities of analogue colour materials. In order to explore them, I typically devise a new process for each project. Apart from the Watergram series in the current exhibition, I make life-size figurative photograms: working in complete darkness, a person is posed on or adjacent to a large sheet of colour paper, which is lit using coloured flashguns. I also recently completed a series of images called Unknown Persons, in which colour negatives are enlarged far beyond normal 'acceptable' limits. These images are as much about the impression our minds make of the limited information available in the grain of the film as they are about a likeness of the person portrayed.

What did you exhibit?

I exhibited one of the images from my Watergram series. Inspired by the work of Susan Derges and Adam Fuss, among others, I wanted to add a temporal aspect to photogram images of water. To do this, I lit the water with an arrangement of flashguns which enables me to change the colour of the light over a very short time span. As the ripples move over the surface of the water, the colour of the trace they leave on the photographic paper placed beneath the water changes, reflecting their movement and change of shape.

What made you take part in this exhibition?

I strongly believe that there remain many unexplored possibilities with photographic media (both analogue and digital). By bringing together a variety of work explicitly concerned with such exploration, Shutter Hub's exhibition challenges viewers to think about the process behind the image in a rather explicit way. This is a very refreshing contrast with some other exhibition situations, so it seemed like an excellent context in which to show my work.


You can see the exhibition for yourself until Sun 7th December 2014, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm at The Engine Room, Mill 1, Woodend Mills, Manchester Rd, Mossley, Ashton under Lyne, Lancs, OL5 9RR.(Viewing by appointment during the exhibition, contact John at The Engine Room on 07736 849 388) For further information about the exhibition see our previous post here.

You can also read our previous interviews with fellow exhibitors Brittonie Fletcher, Melanie King, Charlotte Davenport, Anthony Carr, Anthony Firmin and John Brewer.

Look out for more interviews with our Alternative Process contributors over the course of the exhibition!