The artist made spaces of Charleston House provided a backdrop of both art history, stories of love and friendship for Salmon’s newest works Melt in Waves (I & II) 2022. The romantic and sexualised encounters between three women; a cupped hand, a flushed cheek longingly cradle and caress the foot of a body outstretched on a bed of wet grass, bare thighs touch as skins melt in to one another, eyes gaze up and down in an erotic longing that requires contact and touch. The intimate poses reference those seen in the erotic and tender drawings of Duncan Grant, where bodies overlap and morph together through entanglements of limbs, lust and love.
Using herself as sole protagonist of choreographed movements, Salmon uses multiple exposures on analogue film to capture scenarios between multiple selfs, eliding the difference between photographer and model, and examining the female gaze between her women- as friends, lovers or family members. Much like the sensual relationships that have been imagined or re-lived by Grant, Salmon’s are a personal, intimate fantasy that exists only in the minds eye. This daydream-like quality is emphasised by the layer of tactility and colour she adds by hand painting her photographs; a 19th century technique performed by a strictly female workforce. Salmon dissolves this traditional gendered labour, placing equal value in the capturing and post-production of the image.
“Contrary to the search to make black and white photographs closer to the real by colouring, Salmon’s art shows how the real can take on the colours of daydream and illusion.” -Emma Wilson, Diaphanous Worlds
Melt in Waves II, hand painted photograph, 50x50cm (2022)
Melt in Waves I, hand painted photograph, 50x50cm (2022)