Traces Unseen

Traces Unseen features three artists surfacing and inscribing hidden histories of bodies and places. In his series of tintypes, Damien Shen responds to archives documenting his rich heritage of mainland China and the Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia. Todd Johnson studies the psychogeography of place, collaborating with Lake Burley Griffin by submerging negatives in its waters. And with her pinhole solagraphic works, Tara Gilbee conducts a forensic digital tracing of a quarantine site.



This solagraphic series tells the story of the Old Quarantine site at Point Nepean in Victoria though use of arcane recording devises. Forming part of a larger creative investigation undertaken to explore some of its layered histories.

The longitudinal and immersive nature of this work required that I take up residence on the site; this all was made possible through the generous support of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery throughout 2018 and 2019.

The devices used gave way to pinhole light recordings whereby the solagraphic record is imbued with the marks of the sun rising and falling (note the sun stripes within the images). The photographic material also registers its own weathering and records the textured surfacing of the elements from its duration at site.

The works look to create a unique registration that can reflect the ephemeral elements within the site, dismantling notions of the representative landscape and delving more into temporal ideas of contained time and surface tracing.

Join the live Facebook opening event at 6pm Thursday the 21st May, where the show will be opened by Joanna Gilmour, Curator at the National Portrait Gallery.
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