• Robert Manville

My Final Degree Project.

Portrait of James O'Connell. Served in the British Army from 1979 to 1985.

While studying for my degree at Hugh Baird, I used the opportunity to develop new photographic skills and part of that was learning how to capture images using a 5 x 4” camera and an old box of Ilford FP4 glass plates, also known as dry plates.

My final project was originally going to be built on taking portraits of ex Armed Forces personal that lived locally in Liverpool, as a way to reflect back on the power and purpose of single precious photographs that were often taken in the late 1800s/1920s of soldiers before they went to war to give to their loved ones – now a single fragile piece of glass recording those who survived. This was to be the Liverpool Veterans Project.

Unfortunately, due to the lockdown in the UK, I had to develop a new project, so I decided to look at my family isolation. Using the same camera and glass plates, I aimed to documented and recorded my family and the isolation activities and domestic space which we are unable to leave. Working at home with this equipment and self-processing the plates, these photographic techniques give a unique viewpoint and aesthetic fragility to the outcomes, reflecting on one's family life while in lockdown.

Below are the final images from my Family Isolation Project.