Annie Halliday - visual artist working in experimental photomedia

lightworks: studies in transparency

Light remains a mysterious, paradoxical, and elusive phenomenon. All through the twentieth century, light and visual perception continued to engage and baffle artists, scientists and philosophers. Annie Halliday has been working with light as an artist for six years. Her solo exhibition at The Marlowe Theatre features over thirty recent photograms: unique, direct tracings of light, made without the use of a camera.

In this series of work, Annie is concerned with the strange property of transparency. The substances explored all have ambiguous, changeable characteristics: water, melting from ice, flowing, condensing from vapour in air; air itself invisible, accepted as a given, unremarked; glass, a fragile solid which is capable of flow. The images re-describe everyday events; taps running with water, a torrential spray from a shower, a splash, droplets on windows, groups of drinking glasses, jars, bottles. But nothing looks quite the way we might expect. Photograms record patterns of transmitted light, in contrast to the traditional photograph which deals mainly with light from reflected surfaces. They offer surprisingly different readings, incorporating time, changing notions of boundaries, perspective, and spatial relationships: posing questions about the ideas which have been constructed to describe events.

Annie Halliday says:

‘I’ve been making more and more work on location, which is quite challenging. I try to find a space to set up a temporary darkroom wherever I go. People have been extremely helpful, allowing me to make increasingly ambitious photograms:

I was privileged to be allowed to make photograms of exquisite 18th century drinking glasses at the V & A Museum with the collaboration of the Curator of the Ceramics and Glass Collection, setting up a darkroom inside the dome at the top of the museum building;

I made a triptych of photograms at Whitstable Swimming Pool by kind permission of the staff;

a local mechanic allowed me to make photograms of my car windows in his garage at night;

working with archivists at Canterbury Cathedral in their Stained Glass workshops I made photograms of leaded glass panels from the cathedral choir stalls which were undergoing restoration.’

Annie Halliday graduated from Chelsea School of Art and holds earlier degrees in natural sciences. The exhibition was curated by Jill Robin of iRiS Photography at The Marlowe Theatre.

continue to photograms gallery...