Tina Rowe

Family

Oyster Shell Ghosts

I was given a box negatives that were found at a car boot sale along with other items related to photography. It seems the negatives were developed by an amateur photographer who wasn’t particularly skilled so it was difficult to gage what the actual images were. I used them as a practice as I had intended to print portraits of trans racial adoptees on these shells as I liked the literalness of printing a discarded thing on another discarded thing. These negatives seemed more suitable because the subjects really are lost, there are no names, it’s possible to guess the timescale from their clothes but even the relationships between the subjects are not fully clear. Placing the images on the shell and displaying them amongst other items mudlarked from the Thames while encouraging the audience to pick them up and examine them meant that these figures were really looked at, really seen, if only for a moment.

This work won the Denis Roussel Award in 2019