Artist Talk – Sarah Pickering

Sarah Pickering, Muzzle Flash

9 November 2013


Artist Talk, North Member Programme

Join us to hear London-based photographer Sarah Pickering talk about her solo exhibition, Aim and Fire at Durham Art Gallery and new series of work, Celestial Objects commissioned byLocus+ in partnership with North East Photography Network (NEPN).

In examining the point where language and imaging intersects, Pickering’s work Muzzle Flash is made by photographing bullets firing from a revolver in total darkness. Each of the photographs she has taken captures the entirety of a gunshot, from start to finish. Contrary to the high-speed fraction of suspended action used in scientific imagery by Harold Edgerton, known for his micro second photographs of nuclear explosions and bullets in mid-flight, these images are a summation of the durational energy and action that the camera witnessed.

Sitting on the line between objective fact and imagined reality, the fragments of muzzle flash reference epic cinema, the skies of romantic painters, such as John Martin, and the expansive dioramas his paintings inspired. Sarah says of the work, ‘The slippage between cataloguing observation and subjective association is territory that fascinates me. I propose that instead of fixing a certainty, the representations we make of the world amplify our doubts about the experiences we have of reality.’

The exhibition is part of  The Social: Encountering Photography, the first international celebration of photography in the North East, 18 October – 16 November 2013, organised by NEPN. For more information about other events in the programme, see

Image: Sarah Pickering, Muzzle Flash, courtesy the artist


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