Recreating Talbot Prints at the Bodleian, Oxford

Recreating Talbot Prints at the Bodleian, Oxford

I've been working on a commission which has just opened at the Bodleian library in Oxford as part of the exhibition 'Bright Sparks : Photography and the Talbot Archive.'

I have re-made a calotype negative and salt print of Talbot's 'Unknown Saint' using congruent photo-chemistry and processes to those Talbot was working with in the 1840s.

The print was orginally comissioned as the Talbot image contained too much silver and was too light sensitive to be shown. The act of re-making it with the orginal 15th century glass was really special and illuminates the materiality of Talbot's work in new, tactile ways.

I reflect on the process for the audio guide here

The exhibition runs until 18th June 2023 and the negative, print and notebook containing my experiments has been accessioned and will be held in the Talbot Archive at the Bodleian.