Alternative Process: Behind the Scenes with Exhibitor Melanie King

Our recently opened Alternative Process exhibition got off to a great start at the Private View, featuring some really 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. Next in our series of short interviews with the contributors is Melanie King…

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an Artist from Higher Openshaw, Manchester and am now living in London following my Masters in Art & Science at Central Saint Martins. In July 2013, I founded the London Alternative Photography Collective which features two artist talks a month at Doomed Gallery, Dalston. In September 2014, I was the Curator for Photography at London Analogue Festival. I work for the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at London College of Communication and programme astronomy and science related events for super/collider.

What did you exhibit?

I exhibited archival astronomical images of the Moon, the Earth and the Small Magellanic Cloud and printed these using the photogravure and cyanotype processes. I aim to take my own analogue astronomical images, capturing celestial light on photosensitive material.

What made you take part in this exhibition?

I wanted to take part in this alternative photography exhibition which is so close to my home town. I have some great memories of Mossley and The Peak District, particularly Emmaus and Dovestones!

Have you attended the exhibition in person and if so what did you think?

I thought the exhibition itself was fantastic with a great variety of works, though it may have been good to have a talk from one of the artists to focus the meeting and encourage conversations between artists. I would also like to see the Shutter Hub exhibition tour around the UK.

Other than your own work, which of the other works in the show appealed to you and why?

I really enjoyed John Kiely’s presentation of wet-collodion plates, with the waxing and the velvet background. This technique gives a very luxurious effect

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 see our previous post here.

You can find out more about Melanie King's work here, and we will be bringing you further interviews with our Alternative Process contributors over the course of the exhibition.