Monday, 13 November 2017

"1871" updates

Morning everyone,

Our portrait exhibition has been on for a week now and our gallery walls are filling up with portraits of new sitters! You can still have your photograph taken and join the exhibition, just visit the gallery and speak to us. The show is open till the 25th of November and we're in the gallery Tuesday to Saturday, 11 to 18.

And for those of you who would like to see more photos of Dafydd's ultra-large camera project in Maindee, you can find them on our facebook page


Friday, 3 November 2017

"1871" opening on Tuesday the 7th of November

“1871” is a collection of images that refer to the beginning of studio and family portraiture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that made the new artistic medium of photography accessible to the general public for the first time. In 1871 Dr Richard L. Maddox invented the Dry Plate, a glass plate coated in a light-sensitive material that could be stored and used later. This invention meant that photographers could travel further, and transport their photographic materials without the need to coat and develop them as soon as they were taken. Because of this, it was no longer needed to travel with, or have a darkroom, which also meant that it was possible for individuals to buy a pack of dry plates, use them at home and have them developed elsewhere, reducing the cost of taking photographs significantly.

The first set of images is a collection of found glass plates brought to us by Calvin Morgan from Aberbargoed. The plates is a series of candid family photographs taken by a family in Lincoln (one images is a photograph of family member’s picture taken at the Geo Hadley studio, Lincoln which existed between 1885 and 1900), and unlike normal studio photographs from the period, show the family relaxed, smiling and having fun at home. 

The images we usually see from the 19th century were taken in a studio and are quite static and look more serious and sombre (due in part to the long exposure times needed in early photography). The new dry plates were more sensitive than other traditional materials and it was possible to use quicker shutter speeds and take “snapshots”.

The second series of images is a collection of portraits of visitors to the gallery, and people in Pontypool, which recreate the slower and more static-style studio photography of the early photography period. Each portrait is taken on a large format 8x10 camera, photographic paper and developed using a reversal process which creates a unique and un-reproducible b/w portrait. We will continue taking portraits during the exhibition growing it as it progresses.  At the end of the exhibition, each sitter will get to keep their portrait.

“1871” is the eighth in a series of 9 exhibitions organised in 76m2 by the*kickplate*project, with the support from the Arts Council of Wales, Torfaen Council’s Arts Development and Pontypool Community Council.


Mae "1871" yn gasgliad o ddelweddau sy'n cyfeirio at ddechrau portreadau stiwdio a theuluol ddiwedd y 19eg a dechrau'r 20fed ganrif a wnaeth gyfrwng artistig newydd ffotograffiaeth yn hygyrch am y tro cyntaf. Yn 1871 dyfeisiwyd y Plât Sych gan Dr Richard L. Maddox, plât gwydr gyda haen o ddeunydd sensitif i olau y gellid ei storio a'i ddefnyddio yn nes ymlaen. Golygai'r ddyfais y gallai ffotograffwyr deithio ymhellach, a chludo eu deunyddiau ffotograffig heb fod angen eu haenu a'u datblygu cyn gynted ag y'u cymerwyd. Oherwydd hyn nid oedd angen mwyach i deithio gyda, neu fod ag ystafell dywyll, oedd hefyd yn golygu ei bod yn bosibl i unigolion brynu pecyn o blatiau sych, eu defnyddio adref ac yna eu datblygu mewn man arall, gan ostwng yn sylweddol y gost o dynnu ffotograffau.

Mae'r set gyntaf o ddelweddau yn gasgliad o blatiau gwydr a ganfuwyd a gawsom gan Calvin Morgan o Aberbargoed. Mae'r platiau yn gyfres o ffotograffau teulu a dynnwyd gan deulu yn Lincoln (mae un ddelwedd yn ffotograff o ddarlun aelod o'r teulu a dynnwyd yn stiwdio Geo Hadley, Lincoln a fodolai rhwng 1885 a 1990), ac yn wahanol i ffotograffau stiwdio arferol y cyfnod, yn dangos y teulu yn hamddenol, yn gwenu ac yn cael hwyl adref. Roedd y delweddau a welwn fel arfer o'r 19eg ganrif yn cael eu tynnu mewn stiwdio ac yn eithaf sefydlog ac yn edrych yn fwy difrifol a syber (yn rhannol oherwydd yr amserau agored hir oedd ei angen mewn ffotograffiaeth gynnar). Roedd y platiau sych newydd yn fwy sensitif na deunyddiau traddodiadol eraill ac roedd yn bosibl defnyddio cyflymder cau cyflymach a chymryd "cipluniau".

Mae ail gyfres o ddelweddau yn gasgliad o bortreadau o ymwelwyr i'r bobl, a phobl ym Mhont-y-pŵl, sy'n ail-greu ffotograffiaeth stiwdio arafach a mwy statig y cyfnod ffotograffiaeth gynnar. Tynnwyd pob portread ar gamera 8x10 fformat mawr, papur ffotograffig ac a ddatblygwyd yn defnyddio proses wrthdroi sy'n creu portread du a gwyn unigryw ac na fedrir ei atgynhyrchu. Byddwn yn parhau i dynnu portreadau yn ystod yr arddangosfa gan ei dyfu wrth iddo ddatblygu. Caiff pawb sy'n eistedd gadw eu portread ar ddiwedd yr arddangosfa.

"1871" yw'r wythfed mewn cyfres o 9 arddangosfa a drefnwyd yn 76m2 gan brosiect *kickplate* gyda chefnogaeth Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Datblygu Celfyddydau Cyngor Torfaen a Chyngor Cymuned Pont-y-pŵl.

7 Tachwedd  25 Tachwedd
Dydd Mawrth  Dydd Sadwrn, 11:00 – 18:00

7th November – 25th November
Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 – 18:00

2 Adeiladau Portland / 2 Portland Buildings
Stryd Fasnachol / Commercial Street
Pont-y-pŵl / Pontypool

Thursday, 2 November 2017

"PhotoRenga" ending, Maindee Triangle project and new exhibition

Morning everyone,

We have a few updates for you this week. First of all, "PhotoRenga" closed on Tuesday, so we'd like to thank David and Kate for running the workshop which led to the exhibition, Bill, Rosie, Jason, Kate and Paddy for their participation and everyone who came to visit in the last couple of weeks. Here are a few more photos from the exhibition - we will post images of the complete renga that were on display later on.

Second, for those of you who haven't made it to Maindee yet, Dafydd will be there for two more days taking ultra-large portraits on colour photographic paper with a camera built into the door of the former public toilet building on Chepstow Road (as odd as it sounds!). Due to the unpredictability of the process and the temperatures dropping, these are not perfect photographs, but if you're after a unique (and nearly life-size) image of yourself, look no more. You can also see the developing process, which is very interesting! The portraits are free and everyone will be able to take them home on Tuesday evening after a three-day exhibition at the nearby Holbrook Studio - there's more info about the times on Maindee Library's facebook event page.

Last but not least, our new show in 76m2 is opening on Tuesday the 7th of November at 2. We'll have more information about it soon, but for now we can say it'll be called "1871" after the year when the dry plate (or gelatin) process was invented, and will feature portraits of our gallery visitors, and also some surprises..

That's it for now, we'll be back with more updates soon!