New Acquisitions and Previously Unexhibited Work from the Jonathan Ross Hologram Collection.
13th - 30th March 2001
Gallery 286, Earl's Court, London.
Private view was held on Tuesday 27th March 6.30 - 8.30pm
Since the Royal College of Art closed its Holography Department in 1995 very few artists have had the opportunity to work with holography in this country, and it is sad for a hologram collector that many of the artists who were working with the medium are no longer doing so - or at least not producing new work. It would seem, in retrospect, that the 1980s and early 90s were what might be considered the first Golden Age of Holography, a period during which the basic recording techniques were developed into a whole repertoire of different styles.
In the absence of new work coming on to the market in recent years, I have concentrated on collecting further examples of holograms by the British artists I first came to know during the 1980s and whose work I particularly admire; Jon Mitton, Patrick Boyd and Caroline Palmer amongst others. Some of these are featured in this exhibition along with other works I have recently acquired and some that I have had for several years but not had the chance to show, such as Martin Richardsons study of my late cousin, Auberon Waugh, and Martins marvellous Mathematical Chef which is a replacement copy on HRT emulsion of the original Ilford copy that was broken a few years ago (connoisseur info.). I have also acquired a few pieces by American-based artists when I have had the opportunity: Doris Vila, Alexander, August Muth, and John Kaufman, who I exhibited in the gallery last summer.
Some artists work is now becoming quite rare, as they did not make large editions in the firstplace, and hard to trace as there is no established secondary market in holography. I started collecting Margaret Benyons work in 1985, by which time she had already produced a considerable body of work. Recently I have tried to fill in some gaps in my collection and it has taken several years of negotiation to get the pieces I wanted. Now I am proud to own one of Margarets first laser transmission works, Interference Box (1969), a beautiful mixed-media piece from her Australian period, Secret Sacred III (1979/2000), and three pulsed laser pieces from her Conjugal Series (1983). Interference Box is being shown on a new laser diode display, designed by Mike Anderson
Collecting holograms seems to me to be part of developing a relationship with an artist and, not surprisingly, the artists whose work I have acquired most of have been those with whom I have had the most contact - either because we have worked together on exhibitions or have been involved in other projects, or because we have become friends. Some artists leave their work with me on consignment so I can show it to people who visit my archive - after a while I often want to add it to the collection. I am essentially a collector rather than a dealer and it can be hard to sell a work if you really want it yourself.
I look forward to a resurgence of creativity amongst British holographers - some of the finest in the world - but in the meantime I am enjoying making a more detailed study of a very interesting period in the development of the medium.
Full list of work in the Exhibition.