New work - The Spectrum of Emotions
Beautiful, familiar and often overpowering. A project that stays with you well after you have experienced it.
20 years in the making, The Spectrum of Emotions, brings together 50 vernacular photographs depicting people experiencing true emotions. Each photograph is a personal snapshot from an anonymous photographer found and collected by British artist, Dawn Parsonage. The Spectrum of Emotions were found from across Europe and America and span the victorian era to the 1990s.
The project is an exploration of the emotions we feel beyond the Kodak smiles of traditional photography. The images are presented in a sequence of emotions, joy, sadness, aching loss, boredom, euphoria: each with a relationship to the ones either side. A constant flow from one to the other, bringing you on a journey which has echos of infinite experiences and moments in our own lives.
Because of their personal nature, and the fact they are often taken by someone they knew, the emotions we see experienced are not eroded by the presence of the camera as they might be via the gaze of a stranger.
Dawn is particularly concerned with empathy, and the effect of seeing these rollercoaster of emotions in such a short space of time on the viewer.
This project is at the core of Dawn Parsonages practice. The effect of the camera on the emotions of the people featured in the image is a central theme of her archive. This project is a culmination of this exploration to date.
A 5m diameter suspended ring houses the photographs, allowing a constant uninterrupted experience. The work is also site specific, adapting to its space.