The First Photographs

June 17, 2017

It's a funny term 'Found Photography' and a pretty new one. When I first started collecting, Vivian Maier was still alive and I was just the odd girl in her bedroom surrounded by other peoples photos. 

 

So how did I start the collection? I was 15 and wandering around a vintage market in Oxford and discovered a photo album and diary from a Brown Owl in the 1930's. It made me wonder how it got there, why had the family not claimed it? When I opened it I saw two years of one woman's life. Each image revealed more and more of her personality and it was captivating. 

 

I paid the £15 and took it home, and thats how it began.  

 

I was a strange child. I watched a lot of black and white films and was a little obsessed by the Second World War. When I started upper school I discovered the darkroom and thats where I stayed - trying to recreate May Ray's experimental photographs and constantly smelling like developing chemicals. So found photography was a natural fit. 
 

 

There was a mixture of playful joy and sadness in the images and knowing how the album was then simple sold to a stranger made it sadder. In my ernistly profound teenage way I felt like a castodion of the last traces of her life. 

Some were a little comical. This was something I felt bad about, but also loved. I don't want to laugh at people, but sometimes the accidental set ups were simple brilliant. 

 

See more of the album here: 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2018 By Dawn Parsonage