The latest Flow Photographic Gallery exhibition features the one-off silver gelatin prints by one of the UK’s best known exponents of the new psycho-documentary photography. Matthew Finn won the Jerwood Prize in 2015 for his extensive and intimate study of his mother. Now, for the first time, four bodies of Finn’s work are being brought together. Mother is now joined by Uncle, Wife and Son. Now hanging together a new dynamic appears in Finn’s work as stories and relationships swirl and mesh. This exhibition is about love, intimacy, memory and loss.
The silver gelatin prints are made by Finn himself and are printed in editions of one only.
Matthew Finn’s large collection of images about his closest family members is as much a meditation on the intersection of time and the heart as it is a work of photographic documentary. Only photography can offer a view into the lives of others which is created out of the conscious and subconscious in the same moment. Stories of this nature can best be told by the employment of the ultimate psychological recording device; the camera. Photographers such as Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and Richard Billingham have pivoted their cameras within the emotional confines and environment of those they love and those must share their lives with.
In this exhibition Matthew Finn has taken a quiet look into the inner space of that he occupies with his closest relatives. As a result of this privileged perspective we become onlookers who leverage the clear sightedness of the photographs, gaining a sense of a fellow human’s intricate emotional life.
And The Rest is History suggests that these images are reflections of what Geoff Dyer calls ‘the ongoing moment’ – they represent time as both a fixed point and a transcendent state. Matthew Finn has wrested from eternity eternal moments of love and loss – each made in the blink of an eye. Photography has the ability to freeze time but the humane stories it depicts are timeless. This is the central paradox of photography; it is at once born of time and beyond time.
Matthew Finn works with film and makes prints on silver gelatin paper in the darkroom so the light that reflects in the eyes of his subjects is present in the prints shown in this exhibition. This is a kind of alchemical deal – a timeless exchange of humanity between subject, photographer and viewer. This reaction between notional elements turns nothing into something; a glimpse into the abyss, a sublime measure of being – made possible by the sensitivity of the human eye and the unseeing mechanism of a photographic device.
In And The Rest Is History we see lives end and begin. We can experience something of the continuum of conscious existence through the exposed moments and the consistent gaze present in these photographs.
Alex Schneideman, September 2020
Born in Manchester in 1971, Matthew Finn studied photography at the University of Derby before gaining an MA at Westminster University. The recipient of the 2015 Jerwood/Photoworks Award, his work has been exhibited widely including shows at The Jerwood Space – London, Impressions Gallery – Bradford and Open Eye gallery – Liverpool.
Finn has produced two monographs of his work to date; Mother published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2017 and School of Art by Stanley Barker Publishing in 2019.
Finn continues to work on long projects and holds a full-time academic post lecturing in photography.
FPG publishes a limited edition catalogue to accompany each exhibition. The catalogue to this exhibition is printed in an edition of 125 only, all are signed by Matthew Finn. They can be purchased here – https://flowphotographic.gallery/print-sales/matthew-finn-and-the-rest-is-history-exhibition-catalogue-limited-edition-signed/
Matthew Finn : And The Rest Is History
12 September to 14th November 2020
Flow Photographic Gallery
1010 Harrow Road
London NW10 5NS
The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11:00 – 18:00
Viewing is by appointment only.
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org