Photo frescoes on plasterboard walls extracted from their studio.
Artist duo Walter & Zoniel’s Developing Shadows are photographic frescoes developed directly onto the walls of their former art studios in East London. The entirely original Photo-Fresco technique was invented by the duo, enabling them to expose and develop photographic images directly onto walls.
Having to move studios multiple times, as the inexpensive artists’ spaces in East London were rapidly re-developed, inspired Walter & Zoniel to create the series Developing Shadows. Acting as an homage to these ephemeral warrens of creativity and the characters who had co-inhabited them. The subjects of the series are individuals who worked or lived in these art studios, existing in the most rudimentary of spaces in order to create.
Their subjects were shot naked in the style of classical nudes, representative of the deeply personal nature that a studio space can be, and the sense of being laid bare that comes with having another person enter this portal to one’s state of mind.
The artists then developed the works directly onto different walls of studios throughout their former studio building and hacked the plasterboard walls out just before the building was demolished.
The effects of the previous inhabitants can be seen in many of the images as unusual chemical reactions made from the layer of photo-chemistry coming into contact with studio walls that had been party to artist brushes being cleaned or tested on them. They echo the stories of the ghosts that hide within our walls, the balance of relief and vulnerability of exposure that comes from creative expression.
The brush marks viewed on them are from the hand applied photo chemistry, the drips from the unique processing technique of the artists, and the changes in coloration from the substances on the walls themselves.