In a series of interviews, we talk to our graduating artists about their practice and process…
BA Fine Art soon-to-be graduate Sally Burch’s photographs are odes to process. At first glance, they’re landscapes, but the closer you look the more unreal they become.
“I had to go back to what it means to be a photograph. The traditional conventions. How the image appears on photographic paper, its materiality. The image, the light – all the components. Then I looked at the components that go into image making now – the scanner, computer and the printer. That was my enquiry.”
Having used photography regularly within her painting practice, Burch had a moment of realisation. “I was wondering ‘why paint this?’ It didn’t make sense to me that I’d transfer what I’d already got. Well actually I haven’t even ‘got it’ – it’s a digital code. Then I started thinking how this digital code can be fragmented and changed.”
She began exploring the elements of photography – image, light and paper. Playing with scale, she moulded paper, creating images of miniature landscapes. She continued experimenting with different substrates on which to apply the photograph from bent wood to Victorian floor tiles, often altering, even destroying, the image in the process of its transference.
The notion of the ‘poor image’, copied, transferred and reproduced, is something Burch returns to. Indeed, printing out her documentation on one of her final days working in her final project in College, the computer scrambled one of her images. “And I thought ‘Yes, that’s a gift – a whole new body of work!'”