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CURRENT : FOLKLORE TALK & STORYTELLING & BOOK SIGNING : Oriel Ty Meirion Gallery : Dyffryn Ardudwy : Now Booking for 21 November 2019
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Sunday, 4 August 2013

'Processed Memory' - Photographs by Remy Dean

The exhibition is on show this summer, until 7 September 2013, at Oriel Maenofferen Gallery, Llyfrgell Blaenau Ffestiniog Library, Canolfan Maenofferen, Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3DL. Telephone: 01766 830415.

Alongside the photographs, there is also a small exhibition of 3D work by the potter, Jane Williams.

The following is an artist's statement from Remy Dean that accompanies the current exhibition:

'Processed Memory' Exhibition Poster
I am…
…a writer, teacher and visual artist…
…son, brother, husband, father and friend…
…”a dream to some, a nightmare to others”…
…the sum of my memories.

The exhibition you are currently adding to your own memories grew from an accident. An album of family photographs I had taken in the 1980s was forgotten about and left in the bottom of a box in a damp cellar. Over time the action of the elements ate into the surface of some of the photographs and ‘destroyed’ the image. Amongst these pictures was the last portrait I had taken of my grandfather, and also a photograph I had won my first competition with.

Particularly today, the photograph has become synonymous with memory. This connection is overtly used in advertising campaigns. Both the photograph and the memory are parts of a process, and these processes are always ongoing. They both involve the act of seeing: utilising photochemical reactions (on film, photo-sensor, or retina) and an attempt to ‘remember’ using chemicals (print, screen or cortex).
'View from Pompidou', photograph by Remy Dean (C) 2013
I liked how the ‘destroyed’ pictures had not remained passive, they had become organic and recorded the effects of their environment. The patterns were quite beautiful. Likewise, our memories are not passive, they are affected by time, age, emotion and environments. So I experimented with ‘destroying’ other pictures using similar organic, analogue processes. These traditional prints became ‘chemographs’, which, in many ways, is what our memories are.

You will also see a few ‘traditional’ landscape photos, some of the Moelwyn mountains that so majestically define our skyline, and have done so for millennia - well beyond the scope of human memory. I see these old friends nearly every day (though sometimes they are entirely shrouded in clouds), and they always look different. They remain the same, yet continually change. They never get old.
'Moelwyn: Midwinter', photograph by Remy Dean (C) 2013
I am fascinated by these two time scales – the instant of the photograph and the eternal that surrounds us. The moment of an experience, the lasting effects of memory. Memory and identity have been a recurring theme in my fiction stories and my recent non-fiction book, Evolution of Western Art (2012) is my take on some examples of great art, representing moments captured, and now remembered, from a period of more than 40,000 years… One of the photographs you may have seen in my last exhibition here at Oriel Maenofferen appears on its cover and was taken from my series of ‘drawings with light', Ghosts of 1513, a small selection of which are exhibited here (and will not be publicly shown after 2013).

I hope you enjoy seeing and remembering and thanks for sharing.

A selection of photographs shown in this exhibition are now featured in an on-line gallery (Pinterest)