A week in the studios concludes: Killer Crystals & Newton rings

With the photo-shoot completed the remainder of this week is given over to archiving the work.

Its a lengthy process so the next 2 days will be consumed doing just this. The only consolation is I have some music at hand...

This world and body...

The type of film I use suffers from a chemical degradation nick-named killer crystals which is one reason I have to digitally scan all my work as soon as possible. I won't know for a few days if the film will survive.

Scanning to protect my prints is firstly a necessity but also it's good practise as eventually l'll need to make enlargements or reproductions.

Edit: after 2 weeks my film has now unfortunately fallen victim to this blight. Its began to yellow (or burn) areas which were very clear are now fogged and tell tale crystals have formed that will eventually eat the print. A flat-bed scanner was a wise investment.

To reiterate none of these prints are edited with after effects, all are analogue and in camera.

Detail of Lost in Translation 1.0

Scanning Polaroid's takes time as newton rings slow the process down. These interference patterns can be removed through editing, however Polaroid's (Impossible film) come with a handy fix that involves using a spent-cartridge as a scanning frame - lifting the print away from the scanning glass.

Polaroid cartridge used as flat-bed scanning frame

Due to the day job I have to postpone for a few weeks the next session of 'Lost in Translation'...after which I'll consider a small exhibition...until then...

Never throw away your old cartridges!


In the studios Wednesday: Lost in translation - sello taping limbs

Today’s session continues the use of sellotape except today I focus on the limbs.

Sellotape is fast becoming my favourite new costume accessory. Much like yesterday the day begins early with some tea and a rummage through some vinyl then its just loading a camera and off we go...

To be played at maximum volume...
The process of binding is becoming a ritual, but essentially I repeat the events of yesterday except today I focus solely on binding my arms, nothing else; and of course it goes something like this:

• setting a timer; running into position; binding; waiting for flash; going back to the camera; apply double exposure quirk; quickly jump back; bind some more; repeat...

There’s some chaos too - I make mistakes, miss my position, fall over etc, but also there’s a lot of exhausting lateral thinking, remembering where my limbs where, are going to be, to enable the double exposure.

And remember I only have 5 shots per cartridge of expired film.

As always there's the urge to keep going, to move onto the next session however I'm aware I need to take stock. To slow down. This is how I've planned to work - one element a day. Each one is its own performance.

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'

© Holton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'


In the studios Tuesday: Lost in Translation - Sellotaping my face 

To coincide with its opening we’re following a week in our new studios. 

I’ve spent some time designing these studios so they complement my practise; essentially a white cube, there’s not much preparation needed to set up each day, except for a tripod or loading a camera, everything is in situ.

I just jump straight in barring a cup of tea and some well-chosen vinyl records.

To be played at maximum volume...

My weapon of choice is the Polaroid Image, which has a quirk that enables perfect double exposures; the only other tools at hand are some sellotape and scissors.

As mentioned previously I'm now applying a new working practice, focusing on the key elements that make up my work..binding, repetition, give these centre stage as I felt they'd become today I'm just sellotaping my face...

The day incorporates then these repeated actions:

  • setting a timer; running into position; binding; waiting for flash; going back to the camera; apply double exposure quirk; quickly jump back; bind some more; repeat…

In between all of this is some serious lateral thinking, making a mental note of where my limbs are / have been / or are going to be; and I'm limited to only 5 prints per cartridge; much of which I've found out is expired.

The Polaroid Image camera lends an element of chaos to every shoot, I have some control but still each shot is unique and I don't really know what I'll get until the prints developed.

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'

© Hilton Vasey 'Just Waves in Space'


A week in the studios - Lost in translation

Today marks the official opening of our new studios and to celebrate, this week we’ll be following the creation of new work ‘Lost in translation’.

'Lost in translation' is the 2nd series of works of 'Just Waves in Space'.

These new studios were built to our specific needs and are now a wonderful hub of productivity, providing a renewed sense of freedom and much needed immediacy, plus some home comforts.

This marks a new chapter for my art-practise following an incredibly long period without access to studios, time is still something of a luxury especially as we became parents recently.

'Just Waves in Space' has become more of a exploration, with hundreds of prints already its still not complete, and I don't truly know if it ever will be but its leading someplace new, and that's exciting. 

As regards to my publishing ideas those are still on the back-burner as I want first to build a body of work - then select key series for publication or exhibition. 

This suits my routine, family now comes first, as I no longer seek contemporary exhibition nor exposure, I'm revelling in my time.

Creative Commons Licence
Unless otherwise noted, copyright of all artworks remains with the artist Hilton Vasey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.