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Science and Media Museum

Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography to open

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Poetics of Light, a major exhibition of pinhole photography, spanning eight decades and representing the work of more than 150 artists across multiple genres, receives its European premiere at the National Media Museum (7 March – 25 June 2017).

  • European premiere of international exhibition of pinhole photographs
  • More than 200 unique images inspired by the 'origins of photography'
  • Features works by more than 150 artists

Poetics of Light features more than 200 original, unique photographs and 40 cameras from the holdings of the Pinhole Resource Collection, a body of work amassed by co-curators Eric Renner and Nancy Spenner in San Lorenzo, in New Mexico's Mimbres Valley.

Along with New Mexico History Museum photography curator Daniel Kosharek, they produced the exhibition which ran in the Santa Fe Museum from April 2014 to January 2016 and which will now have its first showing outside that venue at the National Media Museum from 17 March – 25 June 2017.

The exhibition is split into 15 sections by subject, including 'political', 'figurative', 'scientific', 'panorama' and 'colour', and is global in its scope; with images ranging from refugee camps in the Sahara, to 100th anniversary celebrations for Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, and examples of still lifes from Japan.

Daniel Kosharek said: 'With roots in the ancient discovery of the camera obscura, pinhole photography has enchanted artists and scientists from the 1880s through to today. In this exhibition, more than 200 photographs and 40 cameras show how a box pierced by a hole and holding a piece of film can reveal alternate versions of reality, and a visual form of poetry.'

John O'Shea, Senior Exhibitions Manager at the National Media Museum, said: 

'Poetics of Light transports us to the very origins of photography and photographic technique. In an age of ever more complex technology it demonstrates just how visually inventive photography can be, with a little knowledge, creativity and a few basic materials.'

The exhibition also incorporates new pinhole photographs taken in and around the National Media Museum's home city, by members of the Bradford Photographic Society and students from the Bradford School of Art, part of Bradford College. A selection of their images will be displayed to complement the Poetics of Light exhibition.

Poetics of Light is organised by the New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA.

ENDS