Shutter Hub member Sid White-Jones is a photographic artist interested in memory and perception. His practice focuses on the ever-shifting contemporary classification of the photographic form and aims to challenge traditional methods of communication by presenting a more mutable style of artistic expression, one which considers what photography can or cannot exist as.
Sid graduated with First Class Honours in BA Photography from Norwich University of the Arts and in 2018 was awarded a place on the Visa Pour l’image Documentary Photography Programme. Within the past year he has worked alongside the Human Interfaces Creative Lab as a Guest Editor for the lens-based magazine Uncertain States and has assisted organisations including Mina Raven, The Motion Sickness Project and Kettles Yard.
Here he shares his recent project, ‘Residues’.
Residues is a work with sentimentality at the core of its narrative; a not so uncommon story of a family collection turned out by those to whom the preserved memories were entrusted.
Discovered between the contents of a roadside skip was a collection of 35mm negatives; intertwined between a heap of two splintered oak-veneer nesting tables, a dozen milky-glazed ceramic figures and a single size electric blanket. Whilst it had seen better days, the hard backed and red leather photo album pierced the film of mess and held out for attention.
Stealing the negatives and re-introducing them to the scanner revealed many bygone memories; of windswept couples taking river tours on their travels, suited gentlemen holding new-borns swaddled in cotton; their heads decapitated by the cameras downward lean, of sports days, Christmas days and of picnics in the boot of a Ford Granada Ghia Coupe in the Peak District, England. With all of these stellar memories competing for use, it may appear surprising that the humble flower is the sole visual focal point of this work.
The fleeting beauty of a flower is no doubt what makes it so desirable. When cut from the stem the ageing process of the flower rapidly increases and cannot be stopped, only slowed by placing its stiff green stalks into water and adding a few drops of sustenance in the form of preservative nutrients. It is this undeniable temporality that make the flower most inspiring and like the flower; humans follow this same cycle of growth and decline once cut from the umbilical cord of the mother. The overlapping vased flowers seen here comment metaphorically on our own ageing process. We both share in reproductive systems, have skin prone to hardening and cracking and we both require love and attention in order to thrive.
From a technical perspective, the photographs incorporate found-photography, chemical manipulation and photomontage. However conceptually, they deal with the pain of loss and the human obsession to prevent the inevitability of death.
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