Kathryn Allen Hurni – Witness
Preview Friday November 2nd, 7-10pm
exhibitions continues until 1st December
Open Wednesday – Saturday 12-5pm
Elysium gallery presents a new body of work by New York based 2017 ESPY International Photography Award winner Kathryn Allen Hurni.
For Hurni portraiture is choreographing a pose that bears witness to the moment before, or the moment before that. An awkward vulnerability arises in asking a person to perform an act that was once natural but is now stagecraft. And yet, these individuals find places within the landscapes she photographs. Their play acting has met a stage of her choosing where both landscape and portraits fold into a world she didn’t know she was creating but has charted nonetheless. A process she says that is “part poached, and part cultivated”.
Kathryn Allen Hurni has exhibited and been published widely in the United states but this is her first time in the UK and Wales. The artist is thrilled to be visiting a place where one of the early pioneers of photography carried out his experiments. It was at nearby Margam castle that Henry Fox Talbot invented the salted paper and calotype processes, precursors to photographic processes of the later 19th and 20th centuries.
‘In many ways photography has been through whole revolutions since the time of those like Julia Margaret Cameron or Henry Peach Robinson. But I’d like to think that their far thinking attitudes towards and use for photography would welcome these changes. Robinson was mastering photomontage just as we would employ photoshop today. Julia Margaret Cameron was interested in expression over proficiency, earning critical remarks about her lack of technical skill. And Talbot was competing with Daguerre to invent a new way of recording camera images because he was fascinated by “the inimitable beauty of pictures of nature’s painting which the glass lens of the camera throws upon the paper in its focus”. These individuals were true pioneers in the medium and paved the way for photography becoming one of the most celebrated art forms today. Being from America, a country with a relatively short past, makes me even more appreciative to show my work in a place that is home to such rich and storied expression’.