After Light

Text and production: Nancy Campbell
Photographs: Paula Naughton
AM BRUNO, London, 2009
Archival storage box, slides, slide viewer, bias binding. Text printed inkjet
 on a scroll of Somerset Satin to archival standards.

Edition of 11 copies, signed and numbered by artist and writer.


Nancy Campbell responds to Paula Naughton’s photographs of a derelict house in rural Ireland with poems investigating the different properties of light: irradiance, absorption, diffraction, reflection and refraction. Different forms, including the ghazal, are used to evoke these properties. The poems ask the same question that preoccupied early scientists: how can humans understand the invisible forces that have such a strong influence on their lives?

The poems offer a scientific perspective on Naughton’s interiors – taking in the related masses, the light effects, the passing of time. Einstein believed that scientific equations waited to appear to the right person, like finger-writing on a mirror, to be revealed when steam hits the surface. After Light captures this split-second of discovery.

This work includes a series of five additional concrete poems by Nancy Campbell in the form of ‘poetic equations’ which are imprisoned between the glass slides like cells under a microscope. These slides, interpreted by the viewer manipulating a hand-held light source, reference the original act of photography.



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