Cara Cottam
BA (Hons) Fine Art

I explore ideas of place and time through photographic media and printmaking. Photographic paper is used as a recording implement, stripping down the process to just essential materials: chemicals, paper and light.  The journey in my practice has led to an awareness of the potential inherent in chance and the unknown.  By relinquishing control of photographic practices, environmental conditions create and dictate place.  I remove the fixed and representational functioning of the camera in order to  emphasise the materiality of the image’s becoming rather than its outcome and give importance to the duration and time of its production.

My photogram series was informed by my etching series. Here, I explored the mechanical formation of  memory and time by documenting objects and places encountered in the day-to-day.  The physical involvement and the duration involved in the process of printmaking, allowed me to articulate something stuck in time, unchanging and forgotten. Changes from chemical properties and repeated hand gestures created a kind of ephemerality, a continually morphing sense of time and movement. I pushed the awareness of time passing and created something that not only has been refreshed through a time period but also has an unexpected outcome each time.

My current body of work is contextually linked to Liz Deschenes’ creation of sculptural objects through photograms contunally exposed, Susan Derges’ capturing of the movement of water by immersing photographic paper into water and Alison Rossiter’s processing of expired photographic papers.  Like them, I use organic and direct ways of forming the non-representational photograph as object; as Adam Fuss says, ‘You don’t take the image, you make the image.’