Tower Bridge 1946 / 1979 (2005)
26 x 22 cm. Cut and tiled vintage book plates (with detail)
I collect second hand tourist guides. Within the century of printed photographs that they contain, I search for plates that have been printed at similar scale, taken from a similar view point.
When I find a near match between book plates, I cut and fold the pages into a new single surface. The dates written on each work give the publication dates of the books I have used. Whichever has been used as the ‘base’ image is listed first.
The patterns I use to cut the two book pages into one single surface are such that all of both sheets of paper are preserved. If you were to fold all the flaps in or out, the entirety of each image will be seen. The act of folding one image into the other pushes them out into three dimensions in a bulging time ruffle.
The Universal Now works operate as a resurrection of the unregarded book plates and forgotten photographers that have stood in the same places at a different times, bringing these moments into a dialogue and into the present. The Universal Now takes its title from debates about time continuum in quantum physics.
Piccadilly Circus New Years Celebrations 1951 / 1961 (2008) 39 x 28.5cm
Cut and tiled vintage book plates
The Universal Now: Big Ben 1935 / 1982 (2008)
24.5 x 18cm, Cut and tiled vintage book plates
“Fluorescent tubes” 2009, C-Print
This underground facility is situated within the Solotvyno salt mine near a small Ukrainian village of the same name, close to the Romanian border. It was opened during Soviet times in the 1970s, and operates alongside the Ukrainian State Allergy Hospital which is also located nearby.
The therapy which takes place at Solotvyno is based on a method known as Speleotherapy, an alternative therapy for asthma and other respiratory diseases. This therapy was discovered in Poland in the 1950s when it was noticed that salt mine workers rarely suffered from tuberculosis. Scientists found that the salt-permeated air of the working salt mine helped to dissolve phlegm in the bronchial tubes and also killed the micro-organisms which caused infections – and that this greatly helped patients who were undertaking treatment for asthma.
The clinic at Solotvyno salt mine is unique because its tunnels, which are 300 metres below ground level and remain at a steady 22°C (72°F) all year round, are the deepest in the world to be used for such purposes. Around three to five thousand people are treated here every year and there is often a waiting list – in fact, at any one time up to 200 people, a third of whom are usually children, can be receiving therapy. Patients spend an average of 24 days at the facility, using a lift to travel underground for afternoon or overnight sessions. During this time they talk, read or sleep on beds, grouped together in alcoves which are carved out of the rock and lit by fluorescent tubes.
“Breathing in” 2009, C-Print