Tactility by Genevieve Swifte

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Tactility  2013

drawing with gold and platinum to reflect light on pigment print from black and white negative

15 x 15 cm

These works fuse analogue and digital photomedia with a classical drawing technique that can be traced back to ancient Greece. My negatives are first scanned and then printed with archival pigment ink to produce a dense black surface upon which I draw the night sky with marks of gold and platinum. This particular method of drawing is a modified form of metalpoint, a technique used widely during the renaissance. The traditional method requires the preparation of a fine toothed ground from a white pigment which will bond with particles of metal to create a soft mark. The dense black pigment laid down by the inkjet printer allows metal to be be applied as a series of permanent, reflective marks. The drawings have a shifting and elusive quality and, once placed within the photographic image, they speak about darkness as an inherent aspect of light and the nature of visual perception. The images are never static, inviting the eye to move in close and between the various aspects of the works. The effect is seductive, inviting the gaze as if a moth to a flame. Here, my photographic imagery searches for darkness in the everyday, the spaces and surfaces that lack illumination; architecture against a bright sky, shadows and dappled sunlight, rich darkness beyond pools of candle light and the sun cut by the frame of a window. With the depiction of the night sky, the imagery speaks about scales of intimacy and the temporal nature of both photography and drawing via the action of the shutter and the accumulation of thousands upon thousands of intricate marks.