For anyone who has read the first page of Finnegans Wake the above 100 letter word will be recognisable. Compiled from different languages, this word is meant to invoke on a visceral level what thunder is actually like. One can’t imagine hearing thunder without picturing lightning.
The flash of light is the basic component of pseudo-solarisation also known as the Sabattier effect. Half developed film or photo paper when exposed to a flash of light, will start inverting what has already developed – what was dark becomes light and what was light becomes dark. It is not a perfect process of inversion, it’s impossible to know exactly what will happen to the image. The process of exposing the negative or silver-gelatin paper has many points where it can go wrong. To double the chances of error and to invert the inverted image, I am pseudo-solarising both the film negative and photo paper, each time distorting the image more, yet giving another chance to alter what was frozen in time when the photo was taken.
In Underfoot, the technique is used to explore a vision of the close but unknown underground. Organic forms taken from the earth and dried/dehydrated are recorded through an analogue photographic process of several different exposures being deposited and superimposed, conflating the darkroom with the darkness of the subterranean realm. The resulting images, characterized by their ill-defined features and indeterminable scale, contain a vagueness reminiscent of brain fog, mining, darkness and decay.