david o'mara

This series consists of nearly one hundred photographs printed-up from found negatives. I wanted to accentuate the arbitrary nature of the photographs, the random and anonymous features of the images which appear accidental, ‘slips’ in the usual means of representation. They are frames of film that have been drained of visual information, fragments of faces in anonymous environments. The images eschewed the running narrative of the negative strips, they dropped out of a sequence commemorating the archetypal ‘Kodak moments’ of weddings, birthdays and holidays. Instead we are presented with the everyday or what has been deemed as void or ‘nothing’.


It is in viewing the series collectively that the overall meaning and shared resonance becomes apparent; it is not a collection of individual images but an amorphous mass of interchangeable units. The photographs are poignant reminders of the unsuccessful attempts to place ourselves amongst our own visual culture, including the apparently impermeable perfection of the media culture.


One aspect of the process of collecting discarded negatives that I had not originally envisaged was that it would be finite. The whole digital camera revolution was still very much in its infancy when I commenced the project in the mid-1990s, but by a strange twist of fate it meant that I have been cataloguing the final years of widespread domestic film use. With the advent of digital, there are few negatives to be found, and digital mistakes and accidents are easily deleted, leaving no physical remnant.

days of nothing