Shaun Waugh is a Wellington based artist whose practice explores the artistic and technical aspects of the photographic medium. Waugh’s photographs are as much deadpan empirical, observations of his selected subjects as they are philosophical proof that ‘seeing is believing’, or that the act of sight is facilitated through a commitment to belief.
Waugh makes refined ‘portraits’ of found Kodak photographic film and paper box lids as well as colour checker chart swatches2, but are unlike a traditional portrait, where decisions emphasise the way in which the photographer may subjectively perceive his or her subject.
The colour of the print float mounted within each of the photo box-lids is generated by taking colour samples of the inside lip of the box-lid using a spectrophotometer, a device that records the wavelengths of light reflected off a surface. The colour data from these readings is used to generate RGB numbers that are employed in Photoshop to create the colour and a print that matches the box-lid exactly. The box lid operates as a three dimensional framing device for a two-dimensional photograph bringing analogue and digital printing into close proximity and creating a memorial to a kind of photography that is now considered defunct.
Shaun Waugh completed his MFA in 2012, and is currently employed as a Senior Tutor at Massey University, Wellington. Recent exhibitions at public art galleries include; The Devil’s Blind Spot: Recent Strategies in New Zealand Photography, curated by Lara Strongman, Christchurch Art Gallery ; Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph, curated by Geoffrey Batchen, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; The More You Know: Then and Now, Here and Nowhere, curated by Christina Barton, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington.