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Cambridge exhibition is full of ghostly goings on!

Published: 13 March 2018 at 10:00

A ghost rising from a woman's body

Anglia Ruskin graduates present work from Mobile Laboratory for Extraordinary Research

Two Anglia Ruskin University Masters graduates have stepped into the world of the supernatural for their latest exhibition.

Julie Sleaford, who studied MA Photography at Anglia Ruskin, and MA Printmaking graduate Vic Dawson invited the public to visit their “Mobile Laboratory for Extraordinary Research” last summer, and the results of that work will be revealed at the Cambridge Artworks ArtSpace Gallery on the weekend of 7-8 April.

Intrigued by the involvement of Cambridge academics in the inception of the Society for Psychical Research in the late 19th century, the artists set out to explore the relationship between light and reality, the tension between presence and absence, and how our fears and desires shape perception.

Their “Mobile Laboratory for Extraordinary Research” was in fact a converted caravan, with a pinhole camera and darkroom. Participants posed outside the caravan to create an image that travelled through time and space to become imprinted on photographic paper.

The artists also explored attitudes to uncanny or mysterious happenings by asking visitors to share their unusual experiences on audio tape and bring along objects they believe to be charged with a powerful personal resonance.

Explaining the process, Julie said:

“Inside the dark chamber we received the ghost image of each participant as it travelled through space and time via a lens-less pinhole in the side of the caravan.  The image that slowly materialised onto a piece of light sensitive paper in the dark was then chemically fixed to become a paper negative, emulating the dawn of photography.”

Vic added:

“We were keen to explore the mysterious and unexplained, and we also wanted to investigate how certain objects hold a powerful resonance that goes beyond being a simple possession. Objects which held special significance for the visitor were photographed in the pitch black of the dark room caravan using a flash that captured their belongings in a frozen moment.”

The exhibition “Dark Room” is on display at Cambridge Artworks ArtSpace Gallery on Green’s Road in Cambridge on Saturday, 7 April and Sunday, 8 April (11am-4pm), with the private view taking place on Friday, 6 April (6-8pm). Entry to the exhibition is free.