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Susan Derges

Susan Derges trained as a painter before turning to photography, and in particular to the cameraless photography for which she, along with contemporaries such as Adam Fuss and Garry Fabian Miller, has become internationally renowned. This simple, elegant process was used in very early photography and, in essence, allows the artist to fix shadows onto light sensitive paper. Removing the camera allows an almost alchemical transformation, to extraordinary and powerful effect.

Much of Derges’s recent work has been made at night in the open air; using the natural world as her darkroom she has quite literally invented a new way of making pictures. In her newest series, Derges has tracked the night sky with a camera and returned to the darkroom to combine camera based and camera-less techniques that result in images that are at once recognisable, and yet not quite what they seem.

Susan Derges has work in museums and public collections all over the world, including the Hara Art Museum, Tokyo, MOMA in New York. She will also take part in the project Coast at the Zuiderzee Museum in the Netherlands in 2010/11. In October 2010 Susan Derges was one of five artists taking part in Shadow Catchers, a major survey of camera-less photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A Little Bit of Magic Realised; an exhibition at Ingleby Gallery (26 November 2010 – 29 January 2011) ran parallel to Shadow Catchers, which focused on the wider career of Susan Derges and Garry Fabian Miller in the context of early historical photographic experiments.
Click here to watch a short documentary video about Susan Derges made by the Victoria & Albert Museum

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