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Circle Of Light

Emily Houghton


I have been taking pictures for a long time now, since I was a small child.  I started by wanting to record the things I saw that I liked, so that I could hold on to them forever.  Then the camera became my passion and photography became the only consideration for university.  But in recent years I’ve lost that passion.  I’ve not enjoyed working to briefs, I’ve become frustrated by not being in control – not being able to create images my own way.


These new photographs, Circle of Light, are my attempt to control the light, to control the drawing, to control the image.  I used slow shutter speeds in low light conditions with lit flammable material (ultra-fine wire wool) to generate light – swinging it around to create the images, painting circles of light.


At least I thought that the light would be controllable.  I thought that it would be like painting with a brush.  But the showers of sparks had a spirit of their own, each pulling in its own direction.  They couldn’t be controlled, they had too much energy, ignoring gravity, bursting free.


And I realised, that while they could not be controlled, they could be guided.  With encouragement they could dance.  When I look at the sparks, I see something of myself.