Alastair Cook

unknownThursday 24th April 2014 at 1.00pm
Gray’s School of Art, GP10 Portacabins downstairs

Alastair Cook is a British artist working in analogue film-making and antique photographic practice; artist in residence for Absent Voices: http://absentvoices.com

“My exhibition ‘McArthur’s Store’ finished at the tail end of last year: a series of wet plate collodion tintype portraits of the fishermen who work from an historic creel store on the Old Harbour in the small Scottish fishing town of Dunbar. With the support of Dunbar Harbour Trust, I set up a traditional dark room within McArthur’s Store, a building dating from 1658, working with the men in their place of work for a total of six months over two years. This work is centred on people and place, exploring the issues surrounding our effect on our landscape and what imbues the very spirit of place. I decided to use this antique process to record these fishermen as collodion is sensitive at the violet end of the spectrum, delivering a clear visual depth, a suggestion that we are peering beneath the skin. These men have worked outside their whole lives, thrown around in all weathers and as such the collodion seems to accentuate their age, their chapped lined sunshine beaten skin. After beginning, I learned that the fishermen were bringing on the next generation, so in the second year of my residency I made portraits of the young boys, just recent school leavers but already experienced fishermen.”

McArthur’s Store is an award winning collection of wet plate collodion portraits of the fishing community of Dunbar, touring the UK throughout 2014

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