Pressed is an installation of work that I created for 'Salon 2019' a showcase of work by professional services and technical staff at the University of Brighton. This work is an insight into personal memory and a family archive.
As a child I collected flowers and leaves with my Grandmother from her garden in North Yorkshire. Together we placed them into a flower press, dated 30.10.1996 and left them there, entombed between cardboard and wood. Twenty years later (to the day), on 30.10.2016, my Grandmother passed away. In the weeks following her death I rediscovered the flower press in the back of a wardrobe as we cleared out her personal belongings from the house she had lived in since I was 2 years old.
I used those pressed flowers to create a series of colour darkroom prints. Instead of photographic negatives I placed the flowers, leaves and petals directly into the enlarger, held between glass, they were then projected onto the light sensitive photo paper to create an indexical image on the paper - a direct trace of the items from my Grandmothers garden. These prints were displayed in the exhibition as an installation piece that included a small darkroom and working enlarger that the gallery viewers could interact with. Entering the dark space, viewers could press a button to turn the enlarger on and project the flower down onto the baseboard as I had done when working in the darkroom. This experience mirroring my own and sharing the intimate process used to create the work.