British photographic history

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Exhibition: A Little Bit of Magic Realised

If you can't quite get enough of Shadow Catchers, the current V&A exhibition pioneering camera-less photography, then a new show awaits you!

A Little Bit of Magic Realised takes its title from the words of William Henry Fox Talbot, writing in 1839, and the exhibition begins with a very rare copy of his Sun Pictures in Scotland; a volume of twenty-three calotypes published in 1845, the first book of "photographic" images published anywhere in the world.


The simple, elegant techniques and processes behind camera-less images evolved from Fox Talbot's starting point through the work of other nineteenth century figures: Hill & Adamson, John Muir Wood and Anna Atkins, and into the twentieth century with Man Ray's Surrealist rayographs, Christian Schad's Dadaist shadographs and the László Maholy Nagy's Constructivist photograms.


These processes have also formed the basis for Derges and Miller's own explorations with light over the last thirty years. A Little Bit of Magic Realised presents treasures from both artists's archives, juxtaposing them with early historical photographic works by Anna Atkins and William Henry Fox Talbot. The exhibition also looks to the future, presenting new works by the artists, and in conjunction with Shadow Catchers at the V&A, confirms Derges and Miller as two of the most progressive artists working with photography today.


Details of the exhibition can be found here.


Photo: Lace, William Hentry Fox Talbot, early 1840s, unique salt print from a calotype negative.


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