Jan Dunning

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VIDEO: Jan Dunning talks about the appeal of the dark side in her images.

VIDEO: Jan Dunning talks about the appeal of the dark side in her images.

VIDEO: Jan Dunning talks about the appeal of the dark side in her images.

While studying at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design for her Postgraduate Certificate in Photography, Jan Dunning attended a lecture on the techniques of pinhole photography and was immediately taken with its potential.

Having worked in the fashion industry before taking up her postgraduate course, Jan had thought her future lay in the advertising or fashion world, but once she had started to use the lens-less camera she was captivated by the ethereal nature of the images it enabled her to produce.

With no hard edges, or sharp focus, this process of image making gives a painterly quality to the photograph, ideally suited for the interpretative rather than documentary impulse that lies at the heart of Jan's work. The long exposures of the pinhole technique heighten the colour saturation and the infinite depth of field it produces contributes to a softened aesthetic.

Initially working with home made cameras, Jan now uses a Japanese engineered camera that allows the use of film creating negatives from which prints can be reproduced. Jan can control much of the finished image by using reflectors to control the direction of the ambient light that illuminates her models. But with no view finder she has to work intuitively to realise her fairy tales.

Jan has exhibited widely, most recently with a solo exhibition "Artificial Realities" at the Black and White Gallery in New York in May 2009. Other solo shows include "Secrets" at Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; "All the Wild Ones" at Standpoint, London; "Natural Histories, Firstsite", Colchester, UK; "The Watcher in the Woods", Exeter Phoenix, UK; and "Erie", 31 Grand Gallery, Williamsburg, USA. Selected for the Artsway Open in 2008 and exhibiting as the commissioned artist in "Fantastic, Found and Fake" at the Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent Jan has also exhibited in a number of prestigious group shows including at the National arts Club, New York , Project 4 Gallery, Washington DC and the Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London.

In 2007 Jan was shortlisted for the Pilsner Urquell UK Deeper Perspective Photographer of the year and was Highly Commended in the Fine Art Category at the International Photography Awards.

Jan has been a visiting lecturer for the University of the Arts at both Central St Martins and Chelsea College of Art, The Colchester Institute of Art and Design and the University of Plymouth. She has run workshops at The Photographer's Gallery for their Family Event series.

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