Dean Barker


Silver gelatine prints from hand coated collodion negatives, 900mm 770mm

Within Wabi-Sabi an artisan must harness nature’s spirit and its inner beauty. They must shape natures resources working with its imperfections and incorporating its natural discolouration. To express this, I have used hand coated collodion wet plates as a vehicle to embrace nature’s spirit and capture the beauty of life and death sitting instantaneously together.

For me, the real beauty of working with collodion is the sense of risk and the uncertainty of the end result. The imperfections one encounters when working with collodion requires the maker to embrace the flaws and irregularities caused by the chemicals and one’s hands.

Within this artwork, one can discover life and death sitting simultaneously together. Life is only temporary, beauty eventually decays. This work refers to transition of life to death, followed by a feeling of appreciation at being able to observe this fleeting moment of life and death at the same time. Nothing lasts, even life, everything is temporary, all will eventually fade into nothingness.