Includes the Natural Magic light boxes made for this exhibition in Oxford, alongside work commissioned by the Eden Project and two other series of work that relate to photograms of rivers and their estuaries.
After spending six years in Japan in the 1980s Derges has largely lived in Devon. Her environment has provided a rich source of metaphors that she has explored in fresh ways. In looking to get as close to her subject as possible she used the night as a dark room and literally passed light (the moon and a flash) through the river water. After making prints of the River Taw, she graduated to its estuary and with immense difficulty recorded the waves. One such Shoreline , which was commissioned by the Royal Mail in 2005, will be seen for the first time in this exhibition.
Derges' multifaceted but accessible involvement with the environment encouraged the Eden Project to commission her to make a massive series in glass that recall the cycle of water through clouds, ice, condensation and rivers. In conjunction with a studio in New York she has made a series of prints from this Eden Project, which again will be seen for the first time in London in the Purdy Hicks show.
In making her original photograms of rivers and streams, the moon was very important to Derges as the ambient light source that gave each print its particular colour, but the desire to extend the depth of field of her prints to include it in a more visible way caused a return to the studio, recreating a stream and projecting photographs of the moon through it. Reminiscent of the great Japanese prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige these images led to a similar approach with stars. A series of these recent works will be included in the show.