(2)2nd Floor, 2008
Table & Chairs, 2008
White Goods, 2008
Bedroom, 2008
Office, 2008
Stairway, 2008
Locker Room, 2008
Transformer House, 2008
Lift, 2008
Garage, 2008
Fireplace, 2008
Filing Cabinets, 2008
Ships Galley, 2008
Boots, 2008
Escalator, 2008

Incident (2007-8)


The Incident series was produced whilst Artist in Residence at the UK Fire Service College from 2006-7.  Comprising of seventeen black and white photographs, the series documents the spaces that are used to simulate emergency incidents in fire fighting training exercises.


This is photography that draws attention to the photograph – the dark areas often appear where lightness should be, creating a slippage between negative and positive; the matt surface of the fibre based prints echo the carbon-covered surface in the spaces; the photographic trace a record of multiple moments. The choice of the scale (50”x60”), the composition, and the materiality of the images, references image making outside that of the purely photographic.


The blackened spaces reveal traces of human presence – marks where fingers have dragged across surfaces and bodies have rubbed past objects. The traces and marks photographed read as expressive gestures and resonate with the actual surface of the photograph. This series presents us with an institutional representation of potential sites of fires – scenarios that are recreated, restaged and repeated endlessly. Strangely pristine, these locations are devoid of the charred piles of debris normally seen in a burned out building. Designed to retain a distinguishable form to withstand repeated fires, the furniture and fixtures have a schematic and approximate structure. Ranging from the domestic to the industrial, there is an intense emotional power conveyed by the pictures in stark contrast to the very functional subject matter.


Transcending expected tropes of documentary photography, Incident denies simple categorisation; in this work the fictional nature of the subject and the quality of the surface and image become metaphors for photography itself.