As part of the showcase of exhibitions at the culmination of the BA(Hons) Photography at the university of Portsmouth. The show ran for four weeks across May to June 2012.
Secret Dockyard was a photographic project during 2011 to 2012 documenting the conservation areas of Boathouse No4 in the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth. A historical structure in its own right, Boathouse No4 was a key part in preparations for D-Day and other aspects of World War Two.
The aim of the project was to show these otherwise unseen areas so they could be accessible to the public through photography. The photographs themselves serve as a preservation of the areas, documenting them for generations to come. The series was shot using large format 10×8″ black and white film and a series of fibre based contact prints which were treated using selenium. The process of the fibre based prints and the selenium helps to preserve the photographs for as long as possible.
Through exhibition, Secret Dockyard was presented in cabinets with a glass lid. The cabinet serving as the walls of the museum with the artifacts inside. A large print of an overview of Boathouse No4 featured above the cabinets as the facade to a museum does from the street it is on.
One of my many on going projects has been ‘A Road Petrol Stations at Night’, a study of the non-place and world of the night time service area. My initial interest in these places came about after reading ‘Non-Places’ by Marc Auge but what is a non-place? A non-place is anywhere we as people occupy for a temporary amount of time, they are built and made for us but we don’t live there. Examples of non-places include supermarkets, airports, hotels and, of course, service stations.
The A Road service area at night is very much a non-place and emerge from the deep darkness that comes from night time driving. The visual style of the photographs was to create this expanse of negative space using the dark of the night, isolating the subject and making it feel both secluded but also welcoming and safe.
The series is constantly growing and all the photographs so far have been shot using a large format technical camera using 5×4″ colour film (Kodak Portra 160).