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Joe Gower

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Joe Gower
Monday 23rd March to Sunday 5th April
(private view Monday 23rd March, 6.30pm to 8pm)


My work’s main concern is the representation of ‘nature’ and how it relates to photography, with a focus on questioning the tension that can be created between the ‘real’ and the ‘reproduced’. My work is made from enlarged photocopies of traditional black and white photographs, mounted behind glass. The images go through a series of interventions and the work becomes an ambiguous degraded visual layer, presenting both itself and the reflective environment it enraptures.

 Imagery is taken largely from the Bristol City Museum. I photograph the preserved specimens and the environment they now occupy. What attracts me to them is how their existence is not only distorted behind the glass cabinets, but also the camera. I feel that both photography and the specimens have a strong connection to death. All photographs freeze a moment in time; the image constructs death while trying to conserve life, just as the preserved subjects do within the museum.

The window space is such a distinct environment; it enhances my work through the layering and doubling of the glass and the notion of windows and transparency. It allows me to create a completely new context for the images - from the museum to the contemporary streetscape.