Stanley2 – A Photographic Exhibition by Helen Taylor

Stanley, County Durham · 14 March - 14 April 2015
Photograph: Helen Taylor
Press Release:

Stanley2 – a photographic exhibition by Helen Taylor 
Civic Hall Stanley, Front Street, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0NA
14 March to 14 April 2015

Scenes of unreality and mind-bending perspectives will be on display next month at the first solo exhibition by North East photographer Helen Taylor.

Entitled Stanley2, the exhibition will feature a series of stunning ‘multiple exposures’ - achieved without using Photoshop or digital editing – and taken exclusively on Helen’s 35mm Holga 135BC analogue camera.

Multiple exposures, a technique used to superimpose two or more images into one, has been adopted by Helen to document her hometown of Stanley, County Durham, while presenting a beautifully atmospheric ‘ghost world’ where the lines between what is real and what is not are blurred.

Helen decided to study photography at Newcastle College in 2012 after a lifelong passion with the medium.

She says: “One of my favourite modules at college was working with 35mm film cameras and darkroom processes. After completing my diploma, I continued experimenting with analogue cameras and, in particular, the possibilities of double and multiple exposures. I took the series of photos for this exhibition in my home town of Stanley and in the surrounding area. I wanted to draw peoples’ attention to things that they may otherwise walk past without really noticing.”

In an era of digital photography, Helen is passionate about the unique qualities of film and the effects that it can be used to create.

“What excites me about film photography is the mechanical and chemical processes that have to take place in order to create your image,” Helen says. “We live in a world where photography is available on demand and has become, in a sense, quite a throwaway medium.

“Using a film camera means you don’t have a playback screen to review your images immediately and you have to take the time to compose your shot. Being restricted to 24 shots on a roll makes you more selective in choosing subjects and waiting for a film to develop brings anticipation and surprise back into photography.”

Helen, who owns a collection of more than 50 vintage cameras, both analogue and digital, adds: “I took these photos with a Holga 135BC camera which is a very basic plastic camera (even the lens is plastic). It’s sometimes called a ‘toy camera’. The key feature is that the film advance allows you to take multiple exposures.

“I find the results I get from this camera are dramatically different from anything digital. My technique is to take the first image the right way up and then without winding on the film advance, turn the camera upside down and take it again.

“The resulting photos have a delicate quality and the multiple exposures melt into each other with no distinct edges of where one ends and the other begins. There is no Photoshop or digital editing involved in any of these images, all of the effects are achieved in camera when the photo is taken.”

Helen Taylor’s first solo exhibition of her work – Stanley2 – takes place at Civic Hall Stanley, Front Street, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0NA, from 14 March to 14 April 2015. Tel – 01207 299110

For more information go to: www.helentaylorphotos.com or www.civichallstanley.co.uk