Martin Newth


8 Hours (2001)

Martin Newth is extremely experimental as a photographer, based in London; he looks at alternative ways of using different photographic methods of enhancing his subjects (mainly using long exposures). He has a storytelling aspect to his work, this helps the audiences to portray and grasp his hidden meaning. In this series he has taken eight hour long exposures in American motels, most of which are of his honeymoon (in 2001). The images are perhaps suggesting the philosophical futures of marriage as a rhetorical interest (or in modern times the stigma that we may feel as the viewer).

His captures display the movement as a haze or series of trails that exist with time-consuming exposures. It is discernible that they were asleep during night whilst being photographed. The viewers may want to know if the artist and his wife was happily married and perhaps fifteen years later ask if they are still believe themselves to be harmonious, or perhaps if the ghostly aesthetic within the photograph is foreshadowing the contrary. Newth used large 10×8 negatives to create the series to ensure the most accurate amount of detail and high contrast where upon was seemingly captured in order to give us a sense of dreamy feelings. This potential notion of the series is suggestive, speaking about his relationship and proposing that it would’ve been their dreams to be happily married and that they’re now incorporated in that dream. His setup was simple; he would just place the camera on the television overnight and then develop them in the bathroom every morning. This process continued throughout his honeymoon, this provided the inspiration that enabled him to create the series. I believe that the movement fascinated Newth during long exposures of the night; he wanted to find the outcome of the aesthetic created, after researching the history of photography, this inspired the quest for new theories to try out, in essence remediating. Newth is still a practitioner working today.

I feel deeply inspired by this work however, I would utilise a more directional narrative, the work I feel would be modified differently therefore, relating it to my own personal experiences with lymphoma as there was countless nights for several months in which I didn’t sleep, insomnia caused by scratching and the need to reduce the desire to itch . I became too overheated at night; I would like to illustrate my frustrating symptoms by using long exposures whilst moving between two blankets, complimentary in colour. One blanket will be red symbolic of fire and danger. It will illustrate the coldness but also the hazard of potential danger. The captures will display movement between the two blankets correlating the amount of movement made during the night corresponding to the message of overheating by ‘throwing the blankets off’. I would also like to empathize what it can do to a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would like to have a similar aesthetic to my images, withholding the same movement, thus inspiriting a mystical air, with use of high contrast blacks but with intense colours to enhance the images aesthetic.

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