THE DARKVAN

June 12th, 2009 admin

I’ve just come across an intriguing project called Darkvan. It was set up by Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge who met while doing an MA at the University for the Creative Arts, Maidstone. They have recreated the Wet Collodion process, the first publicly available photographic process, taking it out of laboratory conditions and onto the road by customising a two-berth Ford Transit van featuring a hermetically sealed darkroom.

The Wet Collodion process is a nineteenth century photographic development created by Englishman Frederick Scott Archer that utilities a silver chloride solution bonded to glass to create a black and white negative after exposure in the camera.

Edge and de Vere traveled around Southern England between August 2008 and April 2009 in the Darkvan along with a self built 20×24 inch plate negative camera, which stands 5 feet high and sits 3 feet wide, taking 18 x 22′ glass plates for Collodion exposure.

Here are a few of their results-

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© Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge

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© Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge

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© Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge

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© Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge

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© Dominic de Vere and Sebastian Edge

You can see a wider portfolio of Edge and de Vere’s images here.

You can also watch a video about the Wet Collodion process on the J. Paul Getty website here.

Finally, you can read about the project Surface Stations which formed part of their final show, combining the English weather forecaster, farmer Lester (who is utilised by the Met Office) here. It is a site specific time-lapse work with a mercury cube and Stevenson screens.

Contact Sebastian Edge- sebedge@googlemail.com.

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