SUSAN DERGES: What brought me in to making images like I do is very much to do with sense of place and when I first moved to Devon, I moved to a place that was a little bit like this and I’d been working with a camera before then in the studio doing a lot of staged photography. I’d only been living in this one place for a short while when I started to look at things outside and I remember one of the first things that triggered a print was seeing a still pond with a cluster of newly laid frogspawn. The sun was passing through the spawn and it was printing this image on to the bottom of the pond. And I just thought, “wow” that’s a print, it’s a sun print.
Water’s absolutely key to everything that happens internally to us and externally, and it is the most fantastic metaphor for how everything operates. It can stand for a stream of thoughts, cascades of neural activity in your mind, it can stand for the idea of a circulatory system in landscape or in the body interchangeably. It seems to be something that kind of connects everything and maybe the underlying desire to make images in the first place was to talk about what underlies the visible rather than to just show the visible.
The plate’s going to be on the line that the water is running at.
SUSANS ASSISTANT: Slightly diagonal
SUSAN DERGES: I think even a bit more, maybe it’s running slightly off centre.
A lot of the early work was a lot to do with the birth end of the scale. So it was working a lot with the kind of creative aspect of using water to talk about birth and things coming into being and things developing and forming and actually a lot of work that I’ve been dealing with in this place over the last five years has been to do with things dissolving and dissolving out of a form in a way.
Photography is kind of tied up with death in many respects in terms of you’re looking at absent moments; they’re no longer there. So it is quite a lot I think to do with loss as well as holding and showing.
Nothing is all in the state of coming into being, or in the state of dissolution out of being it’s always on the move, and I think that’s my sense of trying to deal with how it feels to be… there but in the process of change.
FREE TALK: The second in a series of screenings programmed by our Exhibition Road artist in residence Jamie Jenkinson, this screening looks at the relationship between movement and colour in artist film and video.