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Accumulation, Graham Patterson

Graham Patterson, Accumulation

Graham Patterson reintroducing acetate prints, taken from original photograms back into the landscape ©Plamena Ganeva

  • Dates:2018
  • Status:Archived

During 2018, Graham Patterson was awarded a developmental commission through the Wear Experimenting project.

Patterson is an artist based in Northumberland UK, his studio is situated on a farm adjacent to Holy Island.

Facilitating two participatory workshops as part of the project ‘Accumulation’, Patterson combined darkroom-created photograms with printed digital enlargements to create ‘zines and films that would form temporary installations within the coastal landscape.

Working with artist Jo Howell of #WearExperimenting project, Patterson identified a tidal inlet at the mouth of the River Wear where an array of plastic pollution and ‘ghost gear’ (fishing equipment) had amassed within the coastal defences. During the first workshop, participants collected a large amount of debris across 100 metres of coastline, taking it back to Howell’s studio where participants would select which pieces to work with. In the following workshop, positive and negative prints were collaged into various booklet formats.

‘Growing up close to this coastline induced a deep emotional connection to the tidal space. I’m interested in working with materials that present themselves in the coastal landscape, tapping into notions of serendipity as well as prescribing to an economy of means. I favour intuitive – direct methods of making, the use of analogue equipment such as photocopiers, slide projectors and camera-less darkroom processes accentuate this. The stripping back of film emulsion, perforating, cutting and collaging is a process, that has been employed consistently.

I decided to print enlargements of the photograms onto digital film, both as negative and positives. I had formulated a concept to take the film back to the location where the plastic material was found. The painterly effect rain or seawater had on the surface of the film was visually exciting as first the adhesive protecting the ink turned clear and the abrasive shoreline began to etch into the surface of the film – the intention being that the elements would over time – erase the imagery. I began by embedding posts into the sand – fitting telescopic poles to pre-drilled holes, formed an apparatus in which to attach the film to. Artist Leah Millar and photography student Plamena Geneva recorded video footage and stills documenting the installation process. This is an aspect of the project that I wanted to further explore following on from a similar project on Holy Island in 2017, as well as investigating the performative element inherent in publicly installing work.   This project also provided a counterbalance to the solitary nature of working rurally.’