Dawn Parsonage is an artist, photographer, collector and comedian originally from Oxford. Known for her collection of over 10,000 found photographs, collected over 20 years, she draws on her archive to inspire her contemporary photography practice.
Her debut solo show, The Boring Exhibition, was held at the Bermondsey Project Space, London, 2019. The exhibition playfully explored boredom through photography, film and interaction via her found photography and newly created body of work.
Her first publication The Boring Book, accompanying The Boring Exhibition can be found in the libraries of the Royal Photographic Society and the Martin Parr Foundation.
"Found photography has fascinated me since I was 14 - these tiny fractions of seconds trapped on a piece of paper. But when these photographs are lost that moment is also lost forever, along with all the things it could tell us. I'm less interested in the big historical events, but more the personal moments that were so important to someone that the picture was taken and treasured. These images are often overlooked and discarded, seen as having no value now the names of the people staring out at us are long forgotten. But there are treasures to be found if we just stop and look.
The major theme of my collection is instances of real emotions - people laughing, crying, being in love, doing all of the things that make us universally human.
To me these moments feel so delicate and ephemeral that they usually disappear as soon as we go to photograph them. When we see a camera, we check ourselves and suddenly become aware of what we are doing and how we are feeling. Genuine emotions caught on film are rare, yet images of people taken while bored, as featured in the Boring Exhibition, feel like the ultimate kind of unadulterated intimacy."
Dawn studied Graphic Design at Brighton University before becoming a director for Green.TV and the BBC.
She now works from her studio in Peckham, London.
LensCulture Black and White award 2019 - Finalist
Fix Festival 2020 - Judges Choice.
Aesthetica Art Prize 2021 - Long List.
Features and interviews
Metro Newspaper (UK)
Bermondsey Project Space, London, 2019
Peckham24 2019 - PUSH, Brightrooms. Peckham Levels.
D.I. - direct input - Muddy Yard, British Columbia, Canada 2018
The Great Divide - OVADA, Oxford, UK 2018
D.I. - direct input - Muddy Yard, Wimbledon, London, UK 2018
Reclaim Photography Festival - May 2018
URL Love - Muddy Yard, Brixton, London, UK 2018
London Institute of Photography - June 2018
Red Rolled and Seen, Bright Rooms, Peckham Levels, London March 2019.
Saatchi Gallery - START fair - OPEN DOORS, London 2018.
Whitechapel Gallery, London. - 2003 - The world’s largest signed and numbered limited edition artwork by Dan Eatock. Part of the group which numbered the artwork for this world record on location at the gallery.