tamsyn adams : about << back to main menu


My early work was characterised by an interest in narrative and the passing of time, especially as it is reflected in material remains. I was (and still am) interested in the way that the effects of time manifest themselves in oppositions - the sense of absence is inherent in the actual material remains, or memory, of something that was. The idea of preservation only has significance when in relation to the process of decay. Photography is an especially interesting example of this - embodying a desire to preserve and yet bound, like all attempts at preservation, to fail.

In recent work, I have extended this early interest to address more loaded questions of identity and collective memory. Most recently, I set up the Geneaology project - an ongoing, collaborative, project which works with ideas of identity, narrative, collective memory and photography. This project is only at a very early stage, but I've been interested to see stories already starting to emerge and be reinforced around certain characters.

This interest in narrative and identity is reflected in a different way in another recent project, in which I looked at the changing (or unchanging) social relations in South Africa over the last few years. In some ways, Christmas in the Midlands provides a pessimistic view of South Africa - the microcosm of society featured in many of these photographs seems not so different from that which might have existed under the apartheid system. And yet much has changed, just not always in the most obvious of ways. I hope that over time this ambiguity will become more apparent in the photographs. My work on this project raised personal questions about the ethics of taking photographs, and of looking at them - something which I explored in my recent MA in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College.

In terms of commissioned work, I have been involved in CD artwork and design, and portraits - photographic and painted. I’ve also been taking photographs of musicians and performers (see the live photography section).

To view more projects return to the Main menu or click here to send me an email.