This exhibition features a collection of large-scale photographic portraits inspired by the Victorian-era practice of “spirit photography.” During that historical period, photography was used to provide evidence of an afterlife, showcasing phenomena like levitation and ghostly apparitions. However, with contemporary photographic knowledge, it’s evident that these effects were achieved through simple techniques such as jumping at the right time, tangible props like cheesecloth, and double exposures – essentially, trickery.
In this series of “Spirit Photographs,” Gray employs modern technology, specifically a digital camera and light source, to pay homage to the historical spirit photos. Simultaneously, the work acknowledges the present-day aura photograph, a popular feature at psychic fairs and tourist destinations. The portraits in this collection capture individuals from the Spiritualist community in Lily Dale, NY, and various Spiritualist churches in Maine. All sitters are self-proclaimed mediums or Spiritualists.
The goal of this body of work is to go beyond capturing the physical appearances of the subjects in front of the lens. It seeks to convey their auric fields and healing energies, offering a glimpse into the spiritual dimension of these individuals within the context of their communities.