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Tim Pearse’s studio space over at the Barbican, Plymouth.

As I am wrapping up for my move from Plymouth in the next few days, which sincerely saddens me as this city had been my home for nearly six years. It is a quite city for most of the evening, yet it is the comfort of the people, friendliness, the salty smell of the ocean and the fresh seafood you could find in the market that I am going to miss the most.

It has been a few years since I started doing the wet plate collodion and the daguerreotype process. This sort of practice, much like most hand-based craftworks, will succumb to isolation and stray from most commonly, far away from practitioner of the same craft.

What irritates me was that I had just found out that Tim Pearse, an excellent traditional darkroom practitioner and also a wet plate collodion artist as well, had recently established a working studio and darkroom, nearby where I lived. The irritation was not out of jealousy or spite because the space he has now is monumentally awesome (which was the working studio of the late Robert Lenkiewicz), but just when I am about to leave town, another practitioner moved in so close that I was so ecstatic and happy to have nearby as a neighbour and colleague of the same craft.

We could have sat for and talk tons as we speak the same darkroom lingo.

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Tim’s darkroom space

There aren’t too many studio space I have seen with such artistic historical significance, as most of the common studio spaces are usually sterile and clean. This one comes with its own nuances, the wooden flooring with the late painter’s footprints etched onto its surface. The diffused windows, which Tim told me, were done by the late artist himself to maintain soft subdued lights in his work space. Perfect with working darkroom.

Tim teaches workshop as well from traditional darkroom practices to the wet plate processes. Quintessentially, it is the expected practice that needs to be preserved just as any other art practices.

I could not think any other space would be any more perfect for Tim to establish himself and continue to practice his craft. It is a shared art space with the building’s historical nuances, which I believed would be keypart to his upcoming works.

Tim introduced me to ‘Molly’, his mammoth wooden plate camera that he built when he studied at the Plymouth College of Art. I had seen that camera before over at the said college, now that I had finally met its maker.

I wished that I had more time to stay and chat, and I was longing to work with another practitioner for good old image-making outings. I regret that I did not have the chance to do so. Albeit out meeting was short, yet I am pleased to have met Tim, which he is an interesting and a humble artist. Hopefully our path will cross again.

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