ALMUDENA ROMERO

About the Thamesmead chapter


These fibre-based silver gelatin prints (traditional black and white photographic paper) have been manually developed with a unique method so the unexposed silver in the paper (the highlights of the image) becomes a silver mirror. 

I create paper silver mirrors to echo my experience living in Thamesmead as a self-reflective introspective journey. By using this technique, the viewer can only encounter the photographs I have produced on Thamesmead while seeing their reflection on them, drawing a parallel with my self-reflective experience in the area. 

Bringing the already-present-on-the-paper silver nitrate layer up to the surface, not only mimics the landmark of brutalist architecture, exposure of raw materials, but also resembles one of the earliest forms of photography: the Daguerreotype process. 

About The Thamesmead Chapter high-contrast landscape and sometimes abstract photographs of labyrinthic urbanism and no human presence, reflect on the strong isolating nature of Thamesmead, as well as on broader issues such as marginalisation, housing and community production. 

I was invited to live in Thamesmead along with 40 artists as part of a redevelopment scheme where artists are encouraged to contribute to creating a more cohesive local community by actively participating in the local forums and events. However, the work-oriented urbanism of the area where the lack of cafes, cinemas, theatres and, more broadly, places to socialise along with a local history of social exclusion and marginalisation make the goal of community production complex and political. 

The series includes large scale works and abstract image-objects to reflect on the disorientating scales and forms of blocky brutalist architecture, allowing me to approach the subject of identity (as an artist living in Thamesmead) and community through non-figurative methods.  

Further reading: 

The making, unmaking,and remaking ofThamesmead.A story of urban design,decline, and renewal inpostwar London

#22, from the series About The Thamesmead Chapter. Silver Gelatin Fibre-based paper print manually developed. Float mounted in a bespoke, handmade, acid free board. Framed with anti reflective, UV protective glass. Edition of 5.

# 27, from the series About The Thamesmead Chapter. Install test shot during my residency at Penumbra Foundation, NY

Using Format