Roxana Tohaneanu-Shields writes: The Brownie Project intrigued me for two reasons: first a resistance against digital ubiquity and secondly an obsession with authenticity. These reasons tapped into the primordial need to make sense of and affectionately recall the past. Thinking of the millions of images taken in the mid-1950s with such a simple small plastic object as the Brownie 127, I chose the immediate and familiar as the most appropriate subjects to re-enact the spirit of a lost era.
The Remains of the Day (My English Home, 2015) is presented as a triptych of my white dresses, traces of vegetation and a courtyard of organic geometry, telling a story of memorable desires, the fragility of life and the clarity of summer light.
My first images with the Brownie 127 were with the 127 B&W film. I intended to take many images when I went back to Romania to visit my parents and friends but I left the 127 films behind. My technical frustrations came to the fore when I could not find one single 35mm film to buy in central Bucharest. By chance I came across a 35mm Jessop 200 film in my parentsí house from my previous visits, which I adapted to the Brownie 127 and took a whole series of photographs of my father reciting his own poems.
The Remains of the Day (My Romanian Home, 2018) is a montage of photographs from my home in Rasnov, a small town in Transylvania where I was born and spent the first quarter of my life. This work captures my parentsí old house, fragments of walls, the vineyard and the busyness of intersecting shadows.
Roxana Tohaneanu-Shields Shields is a Romanian-born artist and writer who lives and works in the UK. She has a BA in Philosophy from Bucharest University (1998), BA in Fine Art & Philosophy from the University of Reading (2002) and most recently she obtained a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Reading. She has exhibited her work in a number of galleries including The Art Museum of Constanta, The Art Museum of Brasov, Gallery4allarts at the Independent Liverpool Biennial 2008, Romanian Embassy, The Stroud House Gallery and WAM Festival 2012. Roxana is a member of OHOS. She works in a variety of media but her principal interest is in photography; her favoured photographic medium is the photogram.