It was 20 years ago when I first entered the darkroom, which was once a small cupboard adjacent to the art room where all the clutter was stored. What an experience it was! The darkroom, where the light was red, the radio too loud and the smell of chemicals stayed with you for days, was a magical place and soon became a place to escape to and visually explore my ideas.

In 1990 I began studying Photography at art school, then I trained to be a teacher and in 1996 started my first job as a Photography teacher in Auckland. The experience and privilege of teaching such enthusiastic students, on a daily basis over the next 10 years, gave me the motivation to step outside the classroom and into the darkroom and begin exploring my own ideas once again!

As a teacher of Photography one of the first assignments my students would have to complete involved producing a series of images that were made entirely in the darkroom, without the use of a camera, but with light, objects and photographic paper to see what they could create.

The experience of seeing an image magically appear from nothing is truly remarkable, one that is being lost through the explosion of the digital age. Since my introduction to photography I have been loyal to the traditional ways of creating photographs primarily in the darkroom. This method is becoming a rarity, and the world of industrial technology is developing so rapidly that film and darkrooms are no longer essential to document, record and produce visual ideas or memories.

The work I have generated is a result of my strong desire to continue working and producing photographs that express my ideas, and to avoid all use of camera and digital technology. As a result of this each image is unique and no two are the same. There are so many variables that must be controlled during the production of a Photogram, that it is impossible to reproduce an exact copy.

My aim is to inspire others to not lose sight of what is possible to achieve without the use and dependency of computers and other digital media.

So enjoy!
Sarah