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Turning 80 this year and still as creatively productive as ever, acclaimed British photographer Paul Hill has produced a limited edition set of platinum-palladium prints of some of his most recognised and seminal images. Prized for their rich, subtle tonal quality, wealth of fine detail and stability, platinum-palladium prints are at the summit of traditional photographic printing.
Proposing a fresh interpretation of a selection of the original 35mm negatives from his renowned Prenotations series of the 1970s, these exceptional images have been printed at a larger-scale to truly celebrate Hill’s remarkable compositions together with the superior qualities that platinum-palladium has to offer. Boasting fine detail and extreme archival stability, these beautiful prints have been handcrafted with the assistance of contemporary technology.
For the past 18 months, Hill has been working with Studio of Light at top ten University of Loughborough - specifically the photographic research and development expertise of Alan Duncan and Ben Dolman - who have devised an innovative approach to platinum-palladium printing by uniting this 19th century historical process with contemporary image making.
Opting for images that would offer a strong tonal range and impact, the negatives were scanned and digitally processed to make optimal files for the enlarged negatives ready for contact printing in the darkroom. Mastering this challenging process, they can now create consistently superior and exquisite prints, as presented in this exhibition of just 10 photographs from Hill’s most memorable work.
Speaking about the project, Duncan and Dolman state: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for us at the Studio of Light to work with such an outstanding and distinguished photographer as Paul. Producing a set of platinum-palladium prints from his treasured negatives has allowed us to showcase what we can offer to photographers, galleries and, in particular, museums in the production and archiving of exacting photographic artwork.”
As for Hill, he comments: "I was so excited to get this invitation from Loughborough to participate in their venture into platinum printing and have my work printed by Alan and Ben. Their reputation as photographic innovators is well known, so I knew I was in safe hands. This is particularly important as there is only ONE negative existing of probably my best-known image - Man Against Snow - made in 1974! When they told me that the prints would last for at least 1,000 years it was an easy decision. To think that if a photograph was made by this process at the time of the Norman Conquest and it would still be OK today is phenomenal!"
Argentea Gallery is working with Hill and Loughborough University to exhibit these outstanding prints in The Midlands where much of Hill’s work was conceived. These rare prints of such beguiling luminosity, made with premium noble metals, attentive patience and meticulous precision will appeal to collectors who relish both the unique materiality and exclusivity of these influential images.
Signed copies of the recently released 3rd edition of Hill’s notable book Approaching Photography, which includes several photographs from the exhibition, is also available to purchase alongside a selection of smaller, vintage prints from the Print Room.
Prenotations Remastered opens Friday 17 September 2021
Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday, 12noon – 6pm
Strict social distancing guidelines so the opening reception will take place throughout 17th September from 12noon - 6pm.
Images: © Paul Hill. Top: Man against snow. Lower: Girl in striped shirt.
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Filmed discussion about the exhibition and the platinum palladium work at Studio of Light with Paul Hill, Alan Duncan and Ben Dolman https://argenteagallery.com/exhibitions/
The camera in the background of the picture was made by Ben Dolman
The big ones are largest platinum-palladium prints made in UK - 30 x 40 inches. The others are 20 x 24 inches. The camera was made by Ben Dolman, who took the picture of me and Alan Duncan.
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