Kilsby P, 'Trompe L'oeil & Lux'
Each photograph in the series TROMPE L'OEIL is made up of a mixture of real, physical objects and two-dimensional reproductions. Traditionally, trompe l'oeil paintings seek to deceive the eye, the viewer seduced by the image's plausible accumulation of texture, form, lighting. These photographs belong to that tradition but specifically seek to compound the duplicity of the genre by collapsing 'first hand' representations of objects with 'second hand' existing representations.
This series of photographs, LUX, was made by painting objects with phosphorescent paint. After a period of exposure to light, the objects are then plunged into total darkness, when they begin to glow. That faint, slowly fading light is caught by keeping the camera shutter wide open over a long period.
The selection of the objects used in LUX is inspired by the seventeenth century Dutch genres of the memento mori and vanitas. These artists were endlessly resourceful in choosing imagery evocative of the passage of time and human mortality: candles, hourglasses, blooms, foodstuffs. According to Ernst Gombrich, the very act of making representations is itself a kind of vanitas since the image does not provide access to the objects depicted, a reminder of the folly of material acquisition. The slow decay of the fading light caught in these photographs is itself a reference to this concept at the heart of the vanitas theme. (2009) Abstract Website