Grammar 1


While consciously refining the elements of a photographic practice, Roseanne Lynch subjects her process to the principles of Bauhaus’ preliminary course. Through experimentation, contemplation and rigour she has produced images mostly made in the darkroom that talk of architectural constructs, light and the medium itself.

For 18 months from August 2018 Roseanne Lynch lived in Leipzig, Germany for access to The Bauhaus Foundation at Dessau, where she was an artist in residence for 3 months. She made her home in Leipzig for the to take advantage of the continued access she has been given to the sites and the materials research archive at Dessau, and the darkroom at The Academy of Fine Arts (HGB) Leipzig, where she is a guest.

The disassembling of the photographic process, both in her photograms and architectural studies, extends the scope of what is the photographical, and is an exploration of photography’s power as a structure of understanding.

Photograms are synonymous with Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy and Lynch is interested in how photograms create space and scrutinise the indexical link photography has to its subject. The reference within her photograms are architectural, but what the viewer is being shown is more about the medium and the perceived understanding that a 2d surface holds.

As always, she brings her question to this conversation between photography, architecture and representation. ‘What can a photograph I make here do?’

This work has recently been seen as part of the core program exhibition ‘Bauhaus Foto’ at Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Australia, 24th August – 20th October 2019.

La Trace de L’Oubli – Forgetting’s Trace, The Centre Culturel Irlandais 7/11/19 -20/12/19.
and the Irish Embassy, Berlin, courtesy of Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.

This work is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.

Representation by nagGallery, Dublin.

Link to conversation with Peggy Sue Amison, curator of ‘La trace de l’oubli’ Paris, recorded on the opening night at Centre Culturel Irelandais.

Exhibition statement

In her artistic practice, Roseanne Lynch explores the role photography plays in the act of looking. The series is the result of an artistic residency begun in October 2018 at the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau and later in Leipzig, Germany, which has acted as a catalyst for continuing her exploration by employing elements drawn directly from the Bauhaus Vorkurs: the preliminary course undertaken by students at the Bauhaus school of design, architecture, and applied arts. Designed in 1922 by Walter Gropius and Johannes Itten, the main aim of the course was to encourage consideration of materiality by experimenting with basic fundamental forms, repetition and rigor to study space and surface.

To photograph is to record light. By capturing light, an artist references the surface of forms and reflects on a pure sensation of materiality that suggests a three-dimensional space on a two dimensional surface plane. Working with the basic shapes of the square, triangle, circle, as well as the straight line, Roseanne pulls back to these fundamental elements, de-cluttering in order to reframe the experience of pure seeing. Her dissection becomes an act of forgetting in order to remember and re-vision the experience of looking.

Using the camera-less process of photograms as her main method of recording light – literally placing shapes on the surface of photographic paper and illuminating them – Roseanne takes her craft to the very essence of what is photographic. She describes through imagery what Paul Klee once called, the “combat between light and rational forms”, bringing attention to how light travels, bends and creates illusions of movement through the documentation of light scatter, refraction and transmission.

Taking her experimentation even deeper by folding and wrapping light sensitive paper over objects, then exposing them to light, Roseanne studies and contemplates this ‘combat’ further, allowing sculptural forms to emerge out of flat space, to expand on the discourse of materiality.

In some cases, Roseanne draws on the surface plane with graphite, allowing the viewer to experience the act of seeing though reflections cast from the surface. This highlights the consideration that art does not reproduce what we see, but instead provides a platform that makes us see.

La Trace De L’Oubli is an active diary of sorts, a record of the artist’s ongoing process, her underlying interest in architectural space and her experience reflecting on the Bauhaus teachings. The collection of images welcomes the viewer into a dialogue that gives form to perception in a language of shape and light, texture and tone.

Peggy Sue Amison, Curator