James Gilberd - Trophies, series II
Since photographing the previous Trophies series, and being a bit of a hoarder, I collected more objects to photograph. They still all came from charity shops and cost between fifty cents and a few dollars. This time around the images were shot on Agfapan 100 roll film using a Linhof 6x7cm field camera, and printed on Agfa Classic fibre-based paper.
The edition of prints is limited to five. If my supply of Agfa paper runs out (highly likely, as production ceased some years ago), prints will be made on Ilford Warmtone FB.
I enjoyed every moment of using the old camera, and processing and printing in the darkroom. The process created a nice separation from the commercial photography work I do, which is mainly on digital. This series of work hasn’t touched a computer, except to scan and send for publicity purposes.
New Zealand is a sporting nation, and we like to think we "punch above our weight" in international sporting arenas. This is debatable. A lot of our identity as kiwis is tied up in our pride in our sporting achievements.
We have many famous teams and individuals, but what about the less famous, the obscure, the unknown sporting achievers? For every Richie McCaw or Valerie Vili the is a Joe Blewitt whose greatest claim to sporting fame was Most Improved Player in his junior cricket team of 1972.
Each trophy meant something to someone at some time, but it has ended up on the shelves of the local op shop. Neglected, forgotten, discarded. Our individual identity is (arguably) built on mediocrity and obscurity as much as talent and fame.
By photographing the trophies in such a way that the personal attributions of each are highlighted, along with the history of the object evident in its decay, I hope to explore the concept of achievement and failure and the human issues involved in competition, the celebration of the elite reflected in the obscurity of the also-rans.
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