Natural Magic: Experiments in Photography

On Thursday 23 March, Blackwell Hall will be closed to the public until 1.30pm, including the café and exhibition galleries.

A circular region of bright red colour surrounded by lighter green and black

They Lit Fires, 2016–17 © Garry Fabian Miller


Natural Magic: Experiments in Photography

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   17 March – 4 June 2023

 Transept, Weston Library

About this display

Photography was invented by a network of chemical experimenters. Little by little, they discovered the photosensitive properties of precious metals and learned to capture images from life on a chemical emulsion of silver nitrate, or iron, or gold, or ground up vegetables.

Today’s digital photography feels a long way from the experiments of the nineteenth century, but an intrepid society of alchemists is reviving the processes of the past and creating new approaches to darkroom photography.

Natural Magic features work by Megan Ringrose, Nettie Edwards, Karel Doing, Andrés Pardo, and Garry Fabian Miller – artists who have spent a lifetime exploring the chemical potentials of photography.


Dr Phillip Roberts, The Bern & Ronny Schwartz Curator of Photography, Bodleian Libraries

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