Gelatin-silver print photograms by Susan Derges
Museum no. E.2816-1990
Ernst Chladni was an 18th-century physicist who researched the visualisation of sound waves. He discovered that fine sand on a square metal plate formed geometrical patterns when a violin bow was vibrated across the edge of the plate. Derges made these images in a similar fashion, but with carborundum powder on photographic paper to produce photograms.
'Vessel No.3 (1)'
Dye destruction print photograms by Susan Derges
National Media Museum, Bradford
For this series Derges used a toadspawn-filled jam jar as a three-dimensionaltransparency. She placed the jar above an enlarging lens in the darkroom and used flashlight to make an exposure. The first image shows loops of well-ordered spawn, while the final one shows an empty jar from which we presume the last toad has just hopped into adulthood.
'Arch 4 (summer)'
Digital C-print from dye destruction print photograms by Susan Derges
Collection of the artist
'Working directly, without the camera', says Derges, 'with just paper, subject matter and light, offers an opportunity to bridge the divide between self and other'. In these dreamlike landscapes, she first made images of cloud by direct digital scans of ink dispersing in water within a small glass tank. She printed these scans onto large transparencies, then placed them beneath a glass tank containing water, bracken, grasses and reeds. Next she made direct prints onto dye destruction paper placed beneath both tank and transparency. Finally, she photographed these prints and digitally stitched them together to make the large-scale digital C-prints.