Quarterlight catalogue text

Tracey Holland
‘Apocrypha’

toned photographs. Light. Wax, paper

‘The title for this piece of work refers to books which go to make up the Old Testament. The word means hidden (Greek; apokrupto), “because they were wont to be read not openly, but as it were in secret, and apart (Bible, 1539, preface to the Apocrypha). Their authenticity was doubted by the Protestants and so the word ‘apocryphal’ means not genuine or not authentic. This duality of meaning is reflected in the nature of the transparent photographs of the children’s heads and the chest x-rays. The heads depict the outside whilst the x-rays reveal the ordinarily hidden inside, a poignant reminder of the skeletal form beneath the flesh. Other photographic panels contain images which act as an inventory of lost, discarded and outgrown things (such as nails, scales, snakeskins, candles and hair); other objects depicted are used to cut and trim (scissors, blades, shears). The flanking photographic panels depict images of 16 pairs of bird wings. Here, they are represent the soul, highlighting an inner and outer world.
The light is essential to affect a transmutation or change; like an x-ray revealing the inner bones. Colour is added to the work by both the toning of the photographs and the light shining through pigmented waxed paper. Some of these paper images are taken from children’s encyclopaedias and show blood circulatory systems. Some are strewn with hair or seeds which are caught and held on the paper whilst the wax is hot.’

Tracey Holland was born in Birmingham and studied Fine art at Exeter University. She has had numerous one person and group exhibitions and is represented in a number of public collections.