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Jim Lloyd - thoughts

Near IR

Open Door residency

During the introductory residency weekend in February 2018, twelve artists from diverse background gathered under the Allenheads dark skies for a weekend of discussion and exploration on the theme of “BEYOND”. An astronomy talk and discussions with others provided stimulation and considered how we use belief systems to make sense of what we see. This is as true now as in ancient civilisations. Scientists don’t have a monopoly of using scientific tools to see. A scientific theory can predict the motion of the stars but is that understanding? – or might an artist or poet help us to understand better.

It was inspiring to see the range of different approaches being brought to the BEYOND leitmotif, which ostensibly focussed on the stars above, but may in reality, be anchored in human earthly fears and desires. My own approach was principally photographic, using reflected sunlight in a wavelength ranges beyond human perception – chiefly a narrow ultraviolet band of around 400-350 nm and also the near infrared. This is technically challenging, and the residency provided a useful opportunity for a concentrated period of refining the methodology. Flowers provide a fascinating subject for photography in reflected ultraviolet light as invisible “nectar guide” patterns are revealed that may be perceived by insects; an intriguing example of co-evolution.

Another sense of BEYOND I have explored is that which is outside our comprehension or verbalisation – maybe the true meaning of the world is inaccessible through our senses and only accessible through the subconscious. I produced a series of monotypes and held monoprinting workshops at Allenheads investigating this theme. 

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