The photogram, which is a unique print, has been used by most innovative photographers over the last century as a means of directly recording the effects of light. The photograms by Sue Ford, while complete as individual works, also form a triptych dealing with the cycle of life and death in nature. Dating from the mid-1980s, they are typical of Ford's practice - there is a pronounced duality within the layers of her imagery, reflecting the interaction between hand and mind, the camera and the eye.
With a photogram this interaction is obvious when one considers the necessary connection between the manipulation of light, the photo-sensitive paper and the artist's intent. There is an interesting link between this triptych and Ford's 'Time series' (from the 1960s onwards) when she photographed friends at designated intervals, their faces over time increasingly marked by experience and age. While there is certain poignancy associated with the passing of time and our own mortality - which led the artist to see the camera as a 'time machine' - the photogram image can be considered a poetic rendition of the power and mystery of shadows and light.
gelatin silver photograph
25.3 x 19.4 cm image/sheet
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
© Sue Ford Archive
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Magical realism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 2006–02 Apr 2006
Sue Ford, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, 17 Apr 2014–24 Aug 2014
Antipodean emanations: cameraless photographs from Australia and New Zealand, Monash Gallery of Art, Victoria, 10 Mar 2018–27 May 2018
Referenced in 1 publication
Maggie Finch, Sue Ford, Melbourne, 2014, 135 (illus.).