Opening tomorrow as part of the De La Warr Pavilion's 'A Nod to Cage' season, Lucy Phillips is showing work from her ongoing project 'What Cannot be Seen'.
Lucy says: "what cannot be seen is an attempt to create a visual and textual archive of the unseen by returning to the fundamentals of photographic image making. Inspired by my own experiments with pinhole photography and French artist Sophie Calle’s use of the camera as a covert device, I constructed 20 pinhole cameras from matchboxes and invited people to take part in a postal photography project via a Facebook status update. Participants were sent a camera loaded with photographic paper, instructions, and an invitation to photograph ‘what cannot be seen’. The cameras were returned to me to be developed, together with an explanation of what the participant had photographed and why.
"Almost immediately the project developed its own momentum, with results being far more intriguing than I had anticipated. I was unprepared for the way that many people appeared to use the camera as a form of confessional and I was also gratified to find people becoming excited by the process of creating an image using such a basic piece of technology.
"Since these initial cameras were sent out, over a year ago, more than 100 people internationally have participated in the project. Some are friends and family; others are unknown to me. What started as an experiment has become an obsession and an exploration of the power of simple imagery and words to transcend individual experience.
"An ongoing project, and one which may never end, what cannot be seen is an invitation to reveal, to create and to play."
The exhibition runs 19 May - 5 June. There will also be a special event for participants and the public on Friday 27 May at 7pm, part of a Random Fridays event of performances and installations throughout the building.