We did it! I still can’t believe that I’m sitting here in London (Heathrow airport) with glass plates in my bag of Archer’s new plaque surrounded by the people that made all of this all happen. And I have an Aluminum plate of the dead Fox – also known as, “The Death of Fox Talbot.”
Carl Radford made a very nice introduction and John Brewer did an excellent job of presenting Archer with historically correct information. Archer was never without a headstone, but he wasn’t ever recognized for what he did. That’s where we came in.
The unveiling was very special. The very moment Carl and I lifted the black cloth from the plaque on Archer’s grave, the clouds parted and the sun shined bright and beautiful on all of us. A very good sign. A confirmation, if you will, that it was right to do this (see Kim Conway’s photo below). It was moving. I really hope Alastair got that bit on video, it was the pinnacle for me (well, there were many, but this was special).
There were almost 50 people at Archer’s grave. More and more came throughout the day to see the process he invented and to see the wonderful Collodion exhibition. All of it was very well received. Thanks to Tim Soar and Adam Brown for presenting the work properly – a wonderful job, indeed. Adam’s going to be hanging out in the gallery on a Sunday here and there. Stop by, see the work.
The Friends of Kensal Green, Barry Smith, in particular, was a kind and gracious host. He gave us some private tours and shared his passion with us: the history of some very interesting and important people in Kensal Green. We also shared a couple of pints with him. A wonderful experience: it’s all about connecting.
It was a great honor for me to be a part of all of this, a pinnacle in both my personal life and my artistic career. The people I’ve met and the places I’ve been because of this process are the reasons I wanted to do this. Archer made this happen for me. I’m not saying we’ve “paid him back”, but I hope, in some small way, we’ve made a difference for him/his memory and for everyone working in the Wet Plate Collodion process.
”The Death of Fox Talbot” - This is an image (whole plate Alumitype) of a dead fox. It was about 150 meters from Archer’s grave. The poor thing probably laid down on the tomb to either get warm or cool off and died (who knows of what). It smelled terrible, of course, but I couldn’t help but make an image of it. Being orange/red in color and lying on a gray slab, Collodion translated dark. I think you get the idea though. I thought the eye and teeth were stunning and spooky.
Thank you, thank you, thank you – to everyone that donated, helped, attended, etc. It was a great pleasure working with all of you.