The "Camilla Watson – Mysteries of Monserrate" exhibition, in the Palace of Monserrate, will be on display in the Park of Monserrate during the next 8 months. The photographs exhibited are printed on cotton paper and the exhibition also includes a screen and a table with a photographic print directly onto wood used in shipping.
This work is notable for the locations that it shows and also because of the printing methods used. With images in black and white, printed on cotton paper by using a brush to apply a silver emulsion, the photos exhibited reveal a different angle towards the beauty and magic of Monserrate. These are Camilla Watson’s first pieces that do not contain images of people as part of the photographs.
The photography itself uses a photographic emulsion gel, rich in silver, in a process which starts by blending in a warm water bath. The liquid is then applied to a brush and is then applied to the chosen surface: mosaic, wood, walls or a simple piece of paper. After drying, an amplifier or slide projector (for bigger surfaces) is used to exhibit the surface in negative black and white. The darkroom process is then competed with developing, a stop bath and a fixer.
This photographic work stands out for its experimentation with new mediums of display, with images printed directly onto stones, wood, mosaics and even walls, using a mobile dark camera that the photographer herself designed.
Camilla explains: "I didn’t have a list of things that I wanted to photograph. I just approached it with an open mind and captured things that called my attention: water, waterfalls, stones, fish and tree roots; I came back in winter and focused on the long shadows of trees that had shed their leaves – illuminated by the low winter sun. People feel the magic of this park and I don’t think that they will even notice the lack of colour in the black and white pictures of the garden, because although colours are pretty, that can also act as a distraction."
About Camilla Watson
Born in the United Kingdom in 1967, she began her photography career as part of theatre scenery, later devoting her time to reporting and pictures. Between 2001 and 2004 she lived in São Paulo, where she was invited by an organisation called "Meninos do Morumbi" to teach photography to the residents of the area’s favelas. That experience resulted in the work titles "São Paulo - Belo Horizontes", which was her first to be exhibited in Lisbon. She has also spend time in S. Tomé, Mozambique, Ethiopia and South Africa, where she continued to work in reporting associated with non-governmental organisations.
In Lisbon, where she lived for 5 years, she developed activities with the community of Mouraria, (becoming a member of the "Renovar a Mouraria" (Renew Mouraria) association, with the Lisbon Municipal Council supporting some of her projects such as "Tributo" (Tribute) and "Dentro-Fora/Passado-Presente" (Inside-Outside/Past-Present), integrated into the "TODOS 2010" and "TODOS 2011" initiatives, which consisted of the printing of photographs of residents directly onto the walls of homes, using the mobile dark camera that she designed. These works were also exhibited in the Municipal Archive's Photographic Section.
Exposition: "Camilla Watson – Mysteries of Monserrate"
3rd of February to the 25th of March
Palace of Monserrate
Free entry upon purchasing a ticket to enter into the Park of Monserrate.
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