Grail Grail
42 sherry glasses; plastic line; metal curtain rod and rings; spotlights, refractions and shadows

Grail sideview 1 Grail detailGrail detail 2 

Grail is loose grid of suspended sherry glasses that resembles the bright, central section of Talbot’s Latticed Window (1835) positive image. Recalling both the original glass window at Lacock Abbey and ground-glass screens of analogue cameras, sherry glasses also evoke Victorian social sensibilities, and the arcane emblem that conflates an idealised feminine form with flawless purity (‘woman’ as the magical vessel of Immaculate Conception, and the Grail of spiritual perfection). Photography’s representation of the real, too, is an impossible ideal. The glasses form primitive refracting lenses through which gently shifting patterns of light are cast onto the gallery wall, producing images that are unstable and shifting, as impermanent as they are fascinating. Photography is an elusive as well as an illusive medium, latent with meaning, leaking code.

Copyright © Susan Fereday, 2019