Walter and Zoniel have just set up studio to make their largest tintypes to date ....... and possibly the world. They hand-built developing-trays large enough to process life-size portraits for the biggest pin-hole camera they've ever pieced together. After years of searching for the perfect lens, they got their hands on one with exposure times reaching 30 seconds. With this technology they have devised a project in collaboration with the V&A Museum to capture some of the most photographed personalities of our time. The outcome will be these metal sheet portraits that will last a thousand years, when every other image will have disappeared. Paul Smith and Laura Marling are the first subjects of the series and visited Somerset House to sit (stand) for the portraits. This first soft-launch for "The Untouched" was set up in the "Deadhouse" vaults before moving to the V&A later in the Summer for the public to witness the rest of the process. The equipment will be transported and set up as a site-specific installation in the galleries ......... including the essential tool of a gym ball, which helps them handle and tilt the giant plate at 45 degrees to coat each corner in the light-sensitive solution. Here you can also see a test of Zoniel when they were first experimenting with how to position the plate so that the focus fell on exactly the right height for the image to be a true representation of their height. As usual they are making art, magic and science happen all at the same time.
Follow their Instagram to see what unfolds who else will pose bare-foot ......... and see their other concurrent works including this portrait of Ellen Von Unwerth also on show at Photo London c/o their gallery Gazelli Art House.