Hugh Hamshaw Thomas
Hugh Hamshaw Thomas latest works began as cyanotype photograms made from plastic flowers, windblown from graves and retrieved from cemetery bins. The photogram encapsulates and evidences the passing of time much in the manner that the flowers memorialise the passing of a life, the fossilisation of light as moment traced and revealed by absence. The photographic process is just that. The fossilisation of light in time, memory and trace of that which fleetingly was.
Here plastic flowers act as the simulacra of flowers, as trace, as remembrance of a life and themselves presented as if in some Victorian botanical catalogue of type.
Both the form of the work as a typology and the historical photographic process act as museological echoes of time to suggest memorial and historical time.
The inherently seductive blue of the cyanotype has a poetic resonance all of its own that triggers deep emotive and poetic echoes, associations of time and passing, sadness and loss and play upon those qualities to evoke feelings of fragility. Each flower becomes a poem to loss, to sorrow, to life’s passing. The extended development through screen print and enlarged digital print amplify those layers of abstraction and separation through process, time and memory.