I have been working with slides for about 7 years now. It has become quite an addiction for me really, as both a searcher of abandoned or unwanted slides and as a maker of new stories by finding two slides that create new narratives. I sit for hours and hours, my 3 lightboxes warming the room, as I try to find two slides that surrender to a new story. I say surrender and I mean that .. often I find a superb image that has a story all of its own and it takes a long time to find another slide that when coupled together reveals a scene that stops me in my tracks. Two completely unique timelines, places and photographers are placed together and divulge a new story. They are newly confessed witnesses to something that never happened or that appears impossible. It is this that fascinates me about working this way. These found 35mm slides start life with an innocence documenting family holidays, oversee visitors, lovely views of mountains climbed, or childhood friends.
I remove them from the safety of their slide mount which they have sat for over 30 years, place them with another slide and remount the two. And then they are changed. Changed from the lucid directness of their non-fiction to a scene that distorts and presents a more psychological space to needs some negotiating. These images in ‘A Sense of Someplace’ seemingly witness both a truth and a distortion at once. And it is that unsettled moving between the two that is the sweet spot.
Lindsay Perth is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
During a Visual Artist residency with NHS Forth Valley Hospital, Scotland in 2011, I wanted to use existing photographic material as a starting point for working with narrative. I brought my 35mm slides and for 9 months the group I was collaborating with created a fantastic body of work. I was able to produce a publication of these images, with accompanying essays from Street Level Photoworks Director, Malcolm Dickson and two of the collaborators.