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Victoria Ahrens

Artist, Researcher and Writer

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Senior Lecturer in Photography, University of the Arts, London
Founder of Geographies of Print Collective

Victoria (Argentina/ London) is an artist, writer and researcher. She holds a PHD in Photographic Theory and Practice from University of London, and a BA/MA in Fine Art from University of the Arts London. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and Internationally, and her work features in private and public collections in the UK, France, Italy and China. She has received numerous awards, including the Celeste Photography Prize and the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize. 


In Greek mythology, Hypnos, the god of sleep, lived in a cave at the base of the river Lethe (Forgetfulness), a place where night and day meet. In these videos, photo-etchings and photographs, moving and still images merge in a hypnotic scene, colour inverted and otherworldly. They overlap and dissolve, revealing and obscuring the rocky sea caves and coastlines of the South West of the UK and the mountain ranges of the Altiplano in South America. Both landscapes depict marginal spaces that are united by the rock formations of deep time deposits.


Victoria spent the last few years travelling to these precarious places, creating films and collecting photographic images and mineral pigments, to use in this piece. Her works depict the processes of frottaging the rocks, amongst them: shale, chalk, iron oxide, mudstone and sandstone, as a tool to hand pigment the surface of the photographic image, drawing on histories of colour photography, excavation, forensic observation and the loss of touch that the digital implies.


These images conjure liminal spaces and borderlands where the human and the mineral collide, giving agency and voice to these material fragments. 


'Exogene'  Hand-pigmented photograph, 2021


'Caverna'  Hand-pigmented photograph, 2021

'Hypnos and the Dissolution Process'  2021


'Principles of Geology'  Folded book pages, sculptural object, 2021


'Incline'  Photo-etching made in situ, 2021

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Hand-pigmented photograph and photo-etching, 2021

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