Peter Moseley has a particular interest in the photographic process of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, he works from a studio in Kingston-upon-Thames. Following retirement from a career in educational management, his long interest in photography was extended by a MA in Printmaking & Professional Practice (Brighton). He is currently undertaking a PhD project at the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, investigating aspects of the image surface texturality and tonality of early photomechanical printing processes. Peter has had prints selected for exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and two solo shows of portraiture – ‘Take Five’ (2005) and ‘Volte Face’ (2010). Last year he exhibited a selection of prints at Impact 8, Dundee.
‘I am not, in general, enamoured of machine produced full-colour photographic prints. I find their clinical surfaces, particularly as presented behind glass, too plastic, too clean. They can seem to reflect rather than absorb and respond to the gaze. Their materiality rarely forms part of any artistic conversation. The ‘product’, of itself, appears disinterested; it contributes reportage not engagement.
‘The small selection of prints shown here is from my gravure series on the body, ‘Time of my life’, which explores aspects of the textural and tonal characteristics of this early photographic printmaking process. Print surface and texture are central to this project, complementing the choice of mainly mature and older subjects. Their skin, their faces and their bodies offer a generosity of texture and interpretation and provide ample opportunity for the exploration of affectively nuanced printmaking.
‘I seek to avoid objectified representation. I try to incorporate and foreground the agency and self-awareness of my sitters, acknowledging their participation in the construction of their portraits and the presentation of their bodies. By avoiding cues of socioeconomic placement, I hope to offer space for the emergence of the viewers’ engagement, unconstrained by badges of identity, class, status or authority. My sitters are presented anonymously, without prop, social cue or smile. Their intimacy of exposure independently and individually asserts their physicality, persona and participation. Their corporeality is mirrored in the labour of my realisation, the antithesis of snapped spontaneity. My prints – archaic processed photographic imagery though not photographs – aim to offer the presence of subjects who, with dignity, offer intimate and voyeuristic access to their embodied selves.’