For Liza Dracup's new series of photographs, Landmarks, she turns her attention to photographic material in the Harrogate Fine Art collection.
Dracup was given access to the Mercer Art Gallery’s collection of Victorian photographs and invited to respond to them in her own way.
Dracup mader her name in the photography community when she was nominated for both the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 and the Prix Pictet (Earth) Photography Award 2009.
She selected mainly stereoscopic photographs taken within a 35 km radius around Harrogate, often by anonymous photographers.
She was looking, she says, for “the feeling of the ordinary landscape’.
Landmarks features Yorkshire locations like Hackfall Woods, The Strid Wood at Bolton Abbey, the railway bridge crossing the River Nidd at Knaresborough and Ilkley Moor.
She often explores aspects of the landscape at different times of the day and night, where the shutter remains open long enough to capture parts of the spectrum that are normally invisible to the eye. It is, says Dracup, an “in-between light that reveals opposites: light and dark, day and night”.
Dracup’s pictures of Ilkley Moor at night, where the warming-up sodium street light illuminates the underbranches of a fir tree pick out each twig in a bright and usually hidden red,
“The stereoscopic photograph of the cased fern in the Mercer collection caught my
attention as it reflected the Victorian sensibility of preservation and bringing the outside in for the propose of study, observation and decoration,” Dracup says. “I took these principles and updated them photographically”.
The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful colour catalogue with an essay by art historian Michael Prodger, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham, who says: “This exhibition then is not just about Dracup’s response to the Mercer’s archive but about threads: those that link her own work, past and present; those that link her to previous photographers; those that link her to a place; and above all those that link her – and the viewer – to scenes and subjects that resonate with an indefinable sense of mystery.”
Landmarks is on show at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, until 8 January 2017