Taking possession of every nuance of gesture, James Nares’ Chronophotographs conjure diaphanous abstractions, radiant worlds and ethereal visions from light and air. His images explore the incandescent lyricism of lucidity and movement, from the source of the artist’s creation: the hand and arm of the creator.
In early 2002, Nares was recovering from a brain aneurysm and unable to paint. In exile from his studio, he focused his attention on a series of photographs, using timed exposures in a darkened room, illuminated only by strobe lights and using the motions of his own body as subject.
The result was his series of Chronophotographs, based the work of Étienne-Jules Marey, the 19th-century French physician and photographer who invented the process. Chronophotography is a precursor to cinematography, a method of recording the consecutive phases of motion on a single photographic plate. However, while Marey’s interest was the scientific uses of the imagery, Nares contemplates the poetry and rhythm of movement.