Light Works

This week I visited an exhibition of camera-less photographs at Atlas Gallery, some extraordinary vintage images from the likes of Berenice Abbott and Maholy-Nagy and also current world by Richard Caldicott and Tom Fells. Each has their own way of making images using just light, sensitive paper and some kind of object. 

  
Berenice Abbott conjures a dream-like place with ribbons of smokey rhythm drawing us through a circular doorway to another world. I have no idea how it was made.

  
Richard Caldicott‘s series of phonograms always displayed with their negative paper cut-outs are even more delightful seen in the gallery as opposed to on a screen. You can fully appreciate the subtlety of the fine line drawing and cutting marks of the paper negative and the slight shadows in the resulting print – a result of the physical topography of the negative. 
  
 Tom Weston Fels is a writer and artist living in Vermont. He has made an extended series of cyanotypes including ones using leaves from Catalpa trees. I was lucky enough to meet him at the Atlas gallery, a quiet contemplative man, generously agreeing to discuss his techniques with me. We discussed what my pendant might look like as a photogram, he wisely concluded “things of great beauty do not always make beautiful photograms” but that it would be fascinating to see.

Here it is in morning sunlight.