In connection with the Chelsea Festival, London, Gallery 286 showed work from several prominent artists working with holography.

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The works in this exhibition are all by artists I have got to know during the twenty years I have been involved with holography. Not all the pieces come from my collection but I own work by all the artists in the show.

The purpose of this selection was to show work which could be acquired by collectors who might respond to the special magic of holography. None of these artists has permanent gallery representation and the opportunities to view their work, let alone buy it, are few and far between. Some of the work is recent but much of it is several years old and comes from a particularly interesting moment in the development of holography, when it was ceasing to be simply a scientific curiosity or a cheap novelty item and was being employed by trained artists for almost the first time.

Margaret Benyon has been making holographic art since the 1960s and has remained an influential and widely exhibited figure in holographic circles. Most of the other artists represented discovered holography in the late 70s or early 80s and worked with it for a number of years. Some are still producing new work, others would like to but do not have the facilities, all remain enthusiasts of the medium.

Much of the work in this exhibition was recorded on glass plates which are no longer available since Agfa-Gevaert ceased production a few years ago. They are consequently already rare objects and will doubtless become increasingly sought after. Holograms of this vintage may be regarded as the Daguerreotypes of holography. They represent a similarly superb technical achievement coupled with artistic flair and imagination and are as far as you can get from the familiar image of holography as something to be found on a credit card or in a gift shop.

Most of the artists are MA or PhD graduates of the Royal College of Art which ran a highly creative holography department for ten years from the mid 80s to the mid 90s and then closed down largely due to the lack of any suitably qualified BA applicants. The lack of holography courses in British art schools has stunted the growth of an unique medium whose great artistic potential can be observed from the wide variety of approaches displayed in this show. Commercial holography tends to look extremely uniform. Put the same tools into the hands of a group of artists and the results are as individual as the artists themselves.

I hope you enjoy this exhibition and will visit future ones in this gallery. Looking at holograms is one of my greatest pleasures and I am delighted to be able to share it with a wider audience during the Chelsea Festival.

Jonathan Ross, June 1999




Works included in the exhibition.  
Please visit some of the other exhibitions which have included work from the Jonathan Ross Collection at Gallery 286.  
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