Between the Pages is a celebration of the beauty and physicality of books in an age of immaterial information. Ryan Ponsford produces black and white pigment ink prints of aged books and manuscripts found in archives, libraries and private collections. His images are captured on a nearly obsolete format of Polaroid type film using a large format-camera, and the negatives are hand-processed. As Ponsford remarks, ‘For centuries, the written word has been the most important way of passing on knowledge, stories, theories and ideas. Before we could travel overseas and before the days of instant information and mass media, books were a pivotal part of making the world available.
‘The work is about texture, history, and lost objects. There are suggestions of baroque art and references to the vanitas painting tradition. On another level, the work is a statement about the loss of past objects. The books are captured on silver gelatin emulsion and presented in a cold black void – as if resting in a place where books go to die.’
Ryan Ponsford graduated from the International Collage of Professional Photography, Melbourne, in 2008. This is his first solo exhibition.