Cherine Fahd - Trafalgar Square

Exhibition: 28 February to 31 March, 2007

Cherine Fahd

The artist looks for these precious moments between the columns and she finds them, because she can "listen" with her camera. With the delicate, unobtrusive note of her photographs Cherine Fahd explores the possibilities of making emotions visible within the tension between the individual and the urban context.

Dr Nils Ohlsen - Trafalgar Square catalogue essay

Stills is pleased to present Cherine Fahd's first solo exhibition in our gallery. The new series of photographs Trafalgar Square continues her fascination with capturing moments of human expression, when photographs of nameless individuals within urban settings seem to transcend the depiction of time, place and self. The images could simply be documentary photographs in the way they capture a scene that occurred un-staged and un-directed. Yet in a way they are constructed, photographed with a particular idea in mind, a specific need on Fahd's behalf. The people photographed were patiently looked for. She describes the process;

"...maybe it was the reality of seeing things through a zoom lens; everything appearing closer and nearer. A stranger in the distance is suddenly within reach. Their humanity, like your own, visible. And contained in their expressions, their slightest movement, their actions, their looking, are the infinitesimal clues to what it means to be here - in the world."

Although they are in the public space of London's National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and dwarfed by the grand architecture, Fahd's subjects seem physical and emotional in ways that are usually saved for more private moments. There is no narrative to indicate to the viewer what or why the person is looking, gesturing, experiencing, and communicating this way. The series form, with its repetition of architectural space, almost like a stage, highlights the subtle differences between individuals. The works are also explorations of the act of photography, of capturing single meaningful moments, of catching time.