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Museum & Tearoom:
7 days a week 10am-4pm

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23rd September 2023 – 19th May 2024

Syd Buron (born in Birmingham, 1977) has followed a meandering path in the arts, with a consistent desire to fan the faint embers of magic that still smoulder in small patches of woodland trapped between farmers fields, hedgerows, misty coast lines, ancient trees and hollow ways (as well as junk shops, auction houses and art galleries). 

Ever since moving to the Isle of Wight twenty years ago, Syd has sought out these magical embers. Exploring the island’s liminal spaces, where at certain times of the season and day, the veil seems thin and embers glow. Capturing nature at its most ethereal with his camera; and in the past year, taking his negatives into the darkroom, and creating pieces for this show – ‘Light Bends in Imaginary Gardens’. The first darkroom was achieved by blacking out and converting the caravan where he lives with his partner Molly in Atherfield (the island’s wild south west). Since last Spring, Syd was able to work with larger pieces using the fabulous darkroom in the basement here at Dimbola. The darkroom process he uses shares much in common with the process Julia Margaret Cameron would have used.

The pieces are made up of Syd’s collection of antique frames and mirrors. On which he paints a photo sensitive liquid emulsion and exposes negatives his photographs (some manipulated, as well as some found, vintage negatives) onto the coated surface. The mirrors are then developed and fixed in the darkroom, as you would a print. The resulting images have the quality of reflections on water – imaginary gardens existing behind the veil. Transient images, changing as the reflection changes when viewed from different angles, and changing as the ambient light changes at different times of season and day.

Some of the frames have been manipulated by Syd – fused with branches and root systems found on the island’s beaches and woodlands. Working in a converted old greenhouse on the farm where he lives, his audio companion in the workshop has often being Daisy Rickman’s incredible album ‘Donsya A’n Loryow’. As it was the soundtrack to the creation of many of the pieces, he reached out to Daisy who agreed to let it be the soundtrack to the exhibition. Unbeknownst to Syd, Daisy is also an artist and filmmaker and her film “Belisama” serendipitously felt like the missing piece in the show. Shot on location during Daisy’s travels through Cuba, Iceland, Venice and Cornwall in 2016, “the footage has been kept at it’s most natural state and no ‘special effects’ were applied during post production. All of what you see here is what was captured within the visual trinity of light, water, and in the camera’s eye”. 

Syd would like to thank Molly for her support and patience, especially whilst living in a darkroom-caravan last Winter. 

A price list of the pieces in the exhibition can be obtained from the front desk.

Follow his Instagram page                Visit his website

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