The Last Moment

The Last Moment (2011-2014) employs a unique technological approach consisting of scanning, layering, marking, and masking to expose stripped-back, abstract images in which circles of various sizes float, seemingly unanchored to reality, in semi-transparent skies.

Much has been written about the huge number of photographs being produced daily on a global scale, of the changing role of the photographer, and the constant need to document our lives and the world around us. The Last Moment takes place within this social, technological, and psychological context. Published press photographs of key world events from British broadsheet newspapers are collected, the scanned and marked. The physical act of scanning these large sheets of information is followed by a second gesture of mark-making in which every use of a camera, be it mobile, professional DSLR, or hand-held, is identified, then circled and isolated so that only the device itself is visible and the hand holding it becomes abstracted from its human frame.

The idea of transluscence, especially relating to optics and lenses, is central to this piece of work. While the cameras in their various forms are emphasised by the absence of their owners and any contextualising visual information, the muted background contributes to the disconcerting tone of this new, negative space. This ghostly veneer is patterned by a constellation of disembodied artificial eyes, each one a self-contained world. Translucidity, as a concept, is not only a visual aesthetic running through The Last Moment but serves as a metaphor for the numerous ways in which cameras function and are used in today’s global societies.

The title The Last Moment makes reference to the capturing of treasured memories once referred to as The Kodak Moment, and the recent demise of the American camera manufacturer, whose 1900 invention of the Kodak Brownie made it synonymous with the development of amateur photography.


View installation shots here

Contact sheet of all 18 photographic plates (pdf)

The series was shortlisted for the 2014 Source-Cord Prize (details)

The Last Moment essay by Miranda Gavin (pdf)