REFOCUS Commission & Prize for Photography
June saw the launch of my giant Public Artwork, Match in Stockton-on-Tees.
The REFOCUS commission, and the ongoing Prize, aims to re-position photography as a medium which is able to work on multiple levels – as transitory, but also long-term, as something that is a democratic tool, but also an artform.
The 38 metre wide artwork is installed in a prominent riverside location of Stockton-on-Tees’ Castlegate Shopping Centre and will be on view until summer 2017.
Using John Walkers’ notes, I asked Dr McGinnis to recreate the original formula of John Walker’s Congreve match to make a replica for the commission photograph. John Walker invented and sold the first ever friction matches in 1827 in Stockton. The fact that this invention coincided with the production of the first ever photograph by Niépce in 1827 is a wonderful connection that inspired my commission. The convenient production of fire and light in the form of a matchstick, and the fixing of light in a photograph is brought together in the final image.
A video interview with myself and Dr Joe McGinnis can be viewed at this link.