Contributions to the 7th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium 29g31 August 2012 Brisbane, Australia
The nineteenth century photographic processes ambrotype and tintype are used today by Ben Cauchi, a New Zealand contemporary artist, to explore ideas of memory, history and the history of photography itself. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) has collected a number of Cauchi’s ambrotypes and tintypes. This paper will look at Cauchi’s use of the ambrotype and tintype processes, and consider the similarities and differences in his approach to these materials and techniques in contrast to those of nineteenth century photographers. The care of Cauchi’s works in the AGNSW collection will be discussed and the importance of an ongoing dialogue with the artist will be considered in relation to both the AGNSW’s approach and also the artist’s use of materials.