The Cat on the Bike
Today we talk to Deborah about herself and her motivation behind her photography:
“The motivation behind my photography comes from my fascination with memory, childhood and my love of the photographic image. In my photography I have always been drawn to the theme of childhood, whether it has been recreating my own personal memories, or taking pictures of my children and recording their childhood.
“In my latest series ‘Stillness in Time’ I have wanted to capture a more introspective side of childhood by using the Wet Plate Collodion process, which includes children from outside of my family. Using this old Victorian process really slows down the photographic experience for both the sitter and the photographer. With exposure times ranging from around 3 to 30 seconds the child needs to be as still as possible, allowing a brief moment of stillness, something that doesn’t happen too often in our lives.
“The first image is a special portrait for me as Lucy had for years refused to have her photograph taken by anyone. However, seeing the magic of the wet plate process & her siblings getting their photograph taken she decided that she would like to try. She held still, without support for 5 seconds – she was amazing. With my dark tent set up in her garden I was praying that something would come out to show her – thankfully it did.
Dreaming of Mermaid
“This portrait of my daughter was unusual in the sense it was taken in my studio with UV lights. For this she had to lie down and keep still for 30 seconds, a very long time for a child. As with all the portraits it is the child who tells me what they want to bring to the photo – with my daughter it is usually a flower.
“Taken in my back yard – with the dark tent set up in the dining room my son was lying out in the sun. He is more self conscious about himself than he used to be – so he closes his eyes and pretends I’m not there.
“This again was taken in a garden (not mine). I had my dark tent set up in the garden and ten children eager to take part. We chose a quiet part of the garden. I love this child’s eyes – she is a beautiful, quiet child but also a child that can’t keep still – this was again a rare moment of her stillness.
“All of these are original Tintypes but are reproduced on Kodak Metallic paper as this is the closest I can get to replicate the Tintype and its 3 dimensional feel.
“I am about to have two books published by Galerie Vevais. The books are on my “September is the Cruellest Month” series and this series “Stillness in Time” – both of which will be edited by William Ropp, with an introduction by John Wood. It will include some original prints.
“I will also be having an exhibition in September and I started a project with a Glasgow School last week.”
Her work can be viewed at deborahparkin.com.