Working in photography, video and installation, Bridget Smith’s practice interrogates the relationships we have with our environment, exploring the spaces in which we seek connection and transportation. For her new exhibition at Frith Street Gallery, Smith considers the natural world, using a range of mediums, all connected by circular motifs which may evoke the sun and the moon. As the exhibition progresses, the circular becomes cyclical referencing an endless turn and return.
Weather Report (2019–22) is an ever-expanding sculpture that documents the changing seasons with their fluctuating weather and light. The work takes the form of a disk woven from freshwater bulrushes created over two distinct periods. The rushes, cut from the riverbank and exposed to the elements to dry out, range in colour from golden brown to vivid green blue, reflecting the effects of changing weather in the multitude of shades and tones. The resulting sculpture is the outcome of a long meteorological process, one that will continue over time as the bulrushes continue to respond to light. Weather Report sits in relation to Harvest (2022), a series of new photographs depicting sculptural piles of harvested rush.
Smith has for some time been experimenting with antique forms of analogue photography and Silver Moons (2022) is a series of tintypes depicting twelve luminescent spheres. Each hovers in what appears to be the deep black of space, conjuring thoughts of the moon and its phases. The photographs are created by exposing tin plates coated in silver nitrate in a large format camera, their materiality paralleling the metaphorical descriptions of the ‘silver’ light of the moon.
A set of smaller, postcard-sized tintypes and ambrotypes capture and document unclassified natural objects, recalling still unknown realms such as the depths of the ocean or outer space. Despite their antiquated mode of production, the dense dark background brings to mind the liquid-crystal display screen of a mobile phone – a device that people receive most of their images on today.
Double Moon (2022) is a 14-minute film of a moon rising in the evening sky, its reflection mirrored on the earth below. Through the course work, we observe the changing relationship between the two moons, the land and sea during the transition from twilight to complete darkness, until all that remains is a central, mesmeric dance of circular light.
Bridget Smith: Field Recordings press release