Oliver Raymond Barker works with the mechanics and alchemy of photography to make images, objects and structures that expand upon what photography is and can be. Working predominantly with alternative analogue techniques he uses photography as a tool to uncover imagined narratives and unseen processes, framed by his interest in culture, ecology and spirituality.
Trinity | Oliver Raymond Barker
4 min read
"My photographs are made with a backpack camera obscura - essentially a large portable pinhole camera that I can carry on my back, make analogue photographs with and sleep in too.
In November I was exhibiting my project Trinity in Norway near The Lofoten Islands. Being in this beautiful, cold water location was a great opportunity to test out an idea I want to develop in Cornwall next year - swimming and towing my camera gear to access remote caves, coves and coastal locations."
- Oliver Raymond Barker
The exhibition Trinity explores the complex histories embedded in the fabric of the Rosneath Peninsula in Scotland. Early Christian pilgrims voyaged to remote corners of the British Isles such as Rosneath in search of sanctuary.
Today however, the peninsula is dominated by the presence of the military bases HMNB Faslane and RNAD Coulport. The UK’s Trident nuclear program is located in the area and currently houses four of the country’s nuclear submarines. Each with eight nuclear weapons on board - ready for battle at any time. Temporary constructions of activists protesting against the nuclear presence are found in the surrounding areas.
Through an immersive process made on the boundaries of the photographic medium—using a custom built tent-like camera obscura seeking to capture the essence of the place and providing sanctuary for the artist — Oliver Raymond-Barker’s work weaves together these disparate yet interconnected threads.
At a time of extreme instability in our geopolitics, the work questions our relationship with the nuclear and opens up dialogues around whether deterrence theory is still adequate in an era of fake news and cyberattacks.