Jenny Tomlin is an experimental photo artist and darkroom printer based in Green Bay, Auckland. Her speciality is pinhole photography and alt-photo techniques of solargraphy and lumen – all lensless processes.
She completed a BFA at Elam in 1984 and hasn’t been out of a darkroom since. After working overseas - she returned to NZ and has run a darkroom service for film photographers since 2002 alongside pursuing her own practice, always informed and inspired by responses to environment.
‘I’ve been drawn to working with opposites. Growth versus decay and change over time - what slips away and what endures. Introducing disruptive elements to the work then using the results to explore further outcomes.
With pinhole and solargraphs I see the image coming from inside the camera rather than the scene outside. There is a slow transformation in the dark over time, like a gestation rather than a decisive moment. Making cameras from objects that have been discarded or held a fond attachment is important. I need them to have held a former function. The lumens feel like a celebration of the object, a transformation into vibrant matter.
I’m at home with lens free and cameraless processes. I’ll choose darkroom over digital, enjoying the physicality, slowing down and working with limited choices. I see the practice as a release from purely recording an image. I no longer feel the urge to respond to a landscape with a big camera but instead can explore aspects behind photography and how images are formed.’