Visibly Evident
Martin Newth

Negative Horizon, 2019

The top of the 42-storey tower block on Hong Kong Island was the location for this pair of images. Shot in the summer of 2019 with an old, large-format field camera, the negative images are the result of using photographic paper instead of film. Designed to be used in controlled darkroom conditions, the paper failed to faithfully record the full spectrum of colours. Instead, the red hues appear to reflect the searing heat of the tropical climate and echo the sense of unease that engulfed the city during the prolonged conflict between protestors and the authoritarian political regime.

Martin Newth’s photographic, video and sculptural installations explore and emphasize the processes and apparatus of production. He employs numerous methods including very long exposures and purpose-built camera obscuras to make experimental works that explore the material nature of photography, tracing the historical roots of photographic technology as well as raising questions about the aesthetics of the medium in the 21st century. In contrast to the majority of photographs, which invite the viewer to read pictures from a screen or page, Newth’s work slows down the process of reading images and offers an engagement with the material nature of the photograph and the performance of its production.

Martin Newth was born in Manchester in 1973. He studied at Newcastle University and the Slade School of Art, London. He has exhibited widely including recent solo exhibitions ‘Rezension – Skulptur, Objekt, Apparat’ at MEWO Kunsthalle, Germany (2018); and ‘Re-view’ at Photofusion, London (2018). Other group and solo exhibitions have been hosted by venues including the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2020); Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art in Bytom, Poland (2019–20); Loft 8 Gallery, Vienna (2019); Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2016); The Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei (2013); George and Jorgen, London (2012); The Kunstverein Konstanz, Germany (2008); and Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin (2008); ‘Visibly Evident’, conceived and curated by David Ross, Central Space Gallery, London (2010); ‘Visibly Evident’, Spinach, London (2011); ‘Visibly Evident’, OPEN Ealing Arts Centre, London (2011). Martin Newth is Programme Director of Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.