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Peter Moseley

The Centre for Fine Print Research and the Photography Research Group are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Peter Moseley as a visiting research fellow at UWE where he will be undertaking independent research for the next three years. His area of expertise is the history, techniques and technologies of nineteenth and early twentieth century photographic and photo-mechanical printing processes.

Peter is a qualified teacher with over forty years’ experience as a photographer. He has an MA in Printmaking from Brighton University and a PhD from UWE. He has exhibited at solo and group shows and recent work has been shown at the National Gallery in London, the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol.

THESIS TITLE: Photographic portraiture and the meaning and crafting of ‘style’: the aesthetics and syntax of photomechanical processes for the production of continuous-tone ‘fine-prints’.

The research project
My research project investigated the image as artefact, in particular the print surface, as produced by early photographic printing techniques and considers how these process characteristics mediate the readings that the artefacts evoke.

This research project was primarily concerned with the:

• materiality/physicality of the print, its surface characteristics and what makes it ‘work’ for the author and viewer,
• potential contribution of modern digital technologies to analogue early-photographic printing processes in relation to the preparation of negatives and control of exposure, acutance and tonality,
• portraiture and the development of personal practice, in this case in the representation of the aged and aging body.

My project drews upon research from a range of disciplines and perspectives; workshop experimentation on surface attributes is informed by cultural and technical histories of photography and printmaking and by recent industry developments of materials and digital technologies. My theoretical appreciations are shaped by cultural analyses of the production and inscription of meaning and by art history discourse on portraiture and representation of the (aged) body. I hope, through my practice as a hotographer/printmaker, to articulate an imaginative and technically innovative exploitation of the potential of these early photographic processes.

This practice-based strand ofresearch is focused on the exploration of the textural and tonal characteristics of early photographic printmaking processes, in combination with digital technologies, for the representations of the body and the portraiture of older sitters. Given the centrality of print surface and texture to this project, the choice of mature and older subjects for portraiture and representation of the body seems appropriate. Skin, the face and the body offer an unparalleled generosity of texture and interpretation and provide ample opportunity for the exploration of affectively and aesthetically nuanced printmaking.

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