Only Time Will Tell

Only Time Will Tell

Women’s Arts Association Wales Full Members’ Exhibition 2023, Llanover Hall Arts Centre, Cardiff. 6th November to 20th December 2023

With the prompt “Who do you think you are?”, the starting point for this work came as I looked through my old and current passports.

My most recent passport reconnects me with my ancestors as I gained Irish citizenship two years ago, and my oldest passport photo reminds me of the quiet but determined young woman I was as I embarked on a new life, moving from Luton to study art and settle in Cardiff. Those documents, those photographs told me that ‘who I think I am’ is grounded in my earliest years but is also changing and continues to evolve and develop. The determination to understand myself through my ancestors and natural environment continues to grow alongside the need to regain myself after exposure to suppressive and negative life experiences.

Whereas the imagery describes place and identity, the creation of the image (a negative placed over cyanotype paper) develops over a long timescale. With an exposure time of four weeks, the final image will only be viewable during the last few weeks of the exhibition. And so, I link back to the original question, who do you think I am? Only time will tell.

Image above: Mon 30th October – Clip frame and negative delivered to the gallery for installation.

Images above: Mon 6th November – The exhibition is open to the public. A sheet of cyanotype paper is installed within the clip frame and placed onto the wall. The exposure begins.

Images above: Mon 4th December – After 4 weeks exposure within the gallery space the exposure ends. The print is washed in water, dried and inserted into the clip frame again. The finished print is placed back on the wall.

It’s only now once the print is washed that the actual image can be seen properly revealing ‘who do I think I am’. 

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