I’m a photographer living in London.
My work is about the magical in the everyday – invisible forces, the transient, the overlooked.
“I always remember my first encounter with photography – I must have been about seven years old and my teacher asked me to fetch some books from the classroom cupboard. In the darkness I noticed that an image of the room outside was being projected through the keyhole and onto the dark, dusty shelves – I was standing inside an accidental camera obscura. I was transfixed.
“Then, at 15, watching my first ever print appearing under a red light – it was a photograph of a carburettor as I remember, an inauspicious start, but I felt giddy all the same as it swam into view. This makeshift darkroom was like a secret world that could only be entered if you knew where to find it. The whole heady brew: marzipan-scented Kodalith, choking vinegary stop bath, the fruity solvent odour as the film canister cracked open, the soapy feel of developer on my fingers and the gentle metronome-drip of the tap.
“I think those are the feelings that I try to express with my photography: a sense of a supernatural and archane process that to me feels more like alchemy than science, that can hold the intangible in a fraction of a second and make it live forever. I’m trying to return to that dusty book cupboard where I found myself struck dumb all those years ago.”
Images and text ©2007 – 2012 Mat Denney.
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