Working Palettes_001-011, 2023
Black and white photographs, hand coloured and retouched with photographic dye
30.5cm. x 40.6cm (dry mounted on board)
A palette is a range of colours. It can be an object that is used to house colours, and a surface to mix colours. It is a resource, a tool, the beholder of alteration and a facilitator for creation.
In computer graphics, a palette is referred to as the set of available colours of which an image can be made. With colour profiles available on our software, our colour perception relates to how we view on our screens. Holding commitment to our devices, our screens infuse the way we perceive, and redesign our visual understanding of it. With analogue film apps you can choose your film without buying it, choose an era, and recreate an old memory. On Snapseed, you can auto remove the background of a subject and replace it with ‘a better’ one, or with One Tap Beauty Make-up Editor you can perfectly face-tune your selfie. Modify your body with Youcam, and airbrush imperfection...
Tools are our companions.
Thinning, smoothing, enhancing and reducing are all tied in with ways we can alter our images through ‘retouching’. From representations of events, bodies and products to food and location; our ever-changing tools provide us with access to morph realities.
Working Palettes are black and white photographs, hand printed on fibre-based paper and hand retouched, using a range of colour blending techniques; brushwork and physical retouch masks. Focusing on the interaction between hand and image, subjects involved in this work are retouching products once readily available on the market, and the borrowed palettes of ‘maestro’ retoucher and teacher Kevin O’neill. Building up colour and working on these prints with photographic dye, the objects themselves become responsive, living. Seeping in and out of the frame, areas are left unfinished, or others, embellished. Gesturing towards the plasticity of the medium, Working Palettes is an ode to craft of hand retouching, and the work of Kevin O’neill.