The studio photographer
Ben Cauchi works with obsolete 19th-century photographic techniques, particularly the wet-plate process which produces ambrotype and tintype photographs. Because of the demands of these processes, he works mostly in the studio, creating images that recall the studio photographs of 19th-century photographers.
The shirt in The photographer's shirt, half filled with the photographer's presence, reflects the late 19th-century interest in spirit photography. The halo of light in Interior suggests the use of a 19th-century camera lens, which typically darkens its image towards the edges. The dark, flat tones of Interior and Self-portrait give both works an antique quality.
Cauchi has been practising and exhibiting in New Zealand and Australia since 2000.
This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, June 2011.