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An uncertain exchange I & II



Simone Douglas


1966 –

Alternate image of An uncertain exchange I & II by Simone Douglas
Alternate image of An uncertain exchange I & II by Simone Douglas
  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    diptych: 2 RA4 colour photographs on aluminium
    2 photographs: each 150.0 x 100.0 cm image; 167.5 x 118.5 x 9.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. verso [a], ink ".../.../...1996 Simone Douglas" and u.r. verso [b], ink "...1996/.../.../ Simone Douglas".

    Gift of the artist in memory of Dr Phillip Kent 2004
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Simone Douglas

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Simone Douglas

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Simone Douglas uses photography to encapsulate the intangible and reveal the space between memory and consciousness. Most of her work during the 1990s was concerned with what she calls ‘aberrations’: the things that are absorbed but not instantly recognisable.1 These are the spaces of absence and the indescribable areas where unrecalled memories lurk. In conceptualising these aspects Douglas’s images emulate peripheral vision, an intention at odds with the accepted verisimilitudes of photography. Yet Douglas uses this understanding of photography to theoretically highlight the visual phenomenon of half-light and its cognitive relationship to uncertainty.

    Douglas often works with photograms and carefully manipulates her images in the darkroom in order to achieve specific effects. In her words: ‘I really do work with light a lot in the darkroom. I see it more as a process of painting, I guess, rather than pure photographic work, or a direct translation from a negative. It’s … a combination of things.’2 Douglas’s images bring into play the viewer’s wish to define and understand what can be seen and the impossibility of this. ‘An uncertain exchange I & II’ describes this experience, the title itself referencing the interplay between viewer and image and the elusive nature of what is represented. In this diptych, of one pale image and the other dark, Douglas’s manipulation of colour, tone, depth of field and focus takes us to the imaginary and the immaterial – to a space of sublime contemplation.

    1. Charity R 1994, ‘Aberrations’, The Photographers Gallery, Aug/Sep, London
    2.Cavenett W 2000, ‘Simone Douglas: an uncertain exchange’. See www.thei.aust.com/isite/igsimone. Accessed 03.03.2000

    © Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Simone Douglas