An anonymous bride selling her dress online, from the project Fairytale for Sale compiled by photographer Natasha Caruana
While riots were sweeping London, Natasha Caruana and her colleagues in the photographic and lens-based artists’ group Tri-pod were scrambling to get their debut show at the HotShoe gallery ready to open.
The gallery even had to close early for safety reasons during the lead up to the show’s 11 August 2011 opening. “We lost a day of work,” says Caruana, adding that she could not get a taxi home from the gallery’s Farringdon location. “But the show must go on and we worked to get everyone to a point where we could open.”
Nine-Point Perspective: Ways of Seeing was the final project for Tri-pod’s members, a group that began after Wendy Pye, who is also exhibiting in the show, and Miranda Gavin decided to set up a support group for like-minded photographers. Together, the members have been meeting monthly for the past year to discuss their projects, says Caruana, which has helped them keep focused on their work. She and the other photographers were encouraged to push their practice and develop new ideas for the exhibition.
Pye is showing still images from her series Beachy Head and Luminance in Flux, and an experimental film, Six Feet from the Edge, which surveys the interaction between people and the Beachy Head cliff. Other artists shown include Zoe Childerley, Ellie Davies, Karen Grainger, Dean Hollowood, Sacha Lehrfreund, Judith Lyons and Melanie Stidolph. Caruana is showing images from the project Fairytale for Sale, a collection of images posted online by brides selling their wedding dresses online.
“I first got the idea when I was on Gumtree and at the bottom of the page was an ad for a ‘sexy beautiful dress’ with a scratched out face,” says Caruana. Intrigued, she clicked on the image, and learned it was advertising a wedding dress for sale, and that it is standard practice to use photographs from the big day to do so, but hide the identities of the wedding party. Caruana began asking the wedding dress sellers for high-resolution images, compiling them for this project.
This project is the latest in a series of works she has made looking at the underbelly of married life. In The Married Man (featured in BJP 7781) she went on covert dates with married men, taking surreptitious photographs of them to create a taxonomy of the unfaithful, while in The Other Woman she worked with mistresses to create portraits of them and find out more about their motivation. These projects will all be exhibited in a solo show at Brixton’s Photofusion next year, 02 February – 23 March. The group is currently exploring options to expand Tri-Pod, however its future has yet to be determined.
Nine-Point Perspective: Ways of Seeing was curated by Gavin and Lehrfreund and includes glass plates, quilting, combined darkroom and digital processes, moving projections and more. The exhibition is on display until Tuesday 30 August 2011, www.hotshoegallery.com
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